Sunday, August 1, 2010

Dwight Crum Pier to Pier Swim

The Dwight Crum Pier to Pier Swim is a great tradition in the South Bay. I am proud to be competent enough of a swimmer to have completed the two mile open water course, especially since just two years ago I could barely swim two laps!

Before the race, I had two packets of oatmeal, a ham and cheese croissant, a banana, coffee, and a bottle of Accelerade. I gave myself a small bolus of Humulog and disconnected my insulin pump an hour before the race. Later, while in line waiting to get my timing chip, I ate a Cliff Bar.

I felt like I got a good start after lining up far on the outside. Most importantly, I was calm and enjoying every moment. I was able to draft off other swimmers for a brief as they passed me. I could have hung on for longer, but wasn't sure if I would burn out and regret it later. I got into a steady rhythm, albeit slow, and swam 80-90% of the race without the benefit of drafting. The Manhattan Beach Pier seemed far away, but knowing it was going to take well over an hour to complete the two mile distance, I focused on the stroke cycle and breathing smoothly.

Forecast to be in the low 60's, the water temperature varied quite a bit. It would feel comfortable for a while, and then I'd cross pockets of very cold water. I chose to swim without a wetsuit. Eventually, the pier started to appear closer and I felt good enough to finish strong. After rounding the Manhattan Beach Pier, I finally started to kick hard and caught a wave to shore.

After finishing and exiting the water, I was freezing cold! My face was numb and I trembled until warming up in the sun. My brother in law was at the finish line with my niece and nephew. I took the opportunity on the beach to thank my swim coach, Steve Hyde, for helping me achieve this goal. The main purpose of participating today was to prove to myself that I could swim 2 miles in open water. By accomplishing that goal, I set a benchmark which I can improve upon. I had plenty of energy left and my blood sugar management strategy worked well. I did not have a bg monitor at the finish line, but it was at 157 when I checked an hour later. I walked around the beach the rest of the day, both for the exercise and just to enjoy the day in the sun.

My next planned race is the Bulldog 50k run on August 21st . However, there is a good chance that I will enter the Naples Island One Mile Swim on August 15th. For the sake of training for my next triathlon, I'll be swimming with a wetsuit when I have the opportunity to be in open water for the rest of the year.