What do I have in common with Katie Ledecky?! She and I swam (in her case swim) for the same high school swim team. Unfortunately for me, the similarities end there. While I’ve logged some time in pools, it’s nothing like the 10-20k meters she’s likely doing in a workout, and my time spent jumping in the ocean surf or sailing isn’t sufficient training for a frigid 1-mile ocean swim, for which, somehow, I had signed up. Why you ask? Because of this guy, my friend Corey who’s gone from sporting a diaper in a coma to swimming across the Chesapeake Bay and 7.5 miles across the Potomac River, to organizing Swim Ocean City this past spring.
He organized the swim to benefit Hopkins Brain Trauma Research Center where he landed after coming out of the coma, ditched aforementioned diaper, and relearned virtually everything. He asked me to participate in the swim and I felt like I could say Sure! or Sure! Guess I’m a sucker for the dain bramaged.
So I took on some coaching from my husband/ former Tennessee Volunteer swimmer and swim coach and it was a recipe for disaster only once. After seeing some water temps in the 50s in June and July I rented wet suits and off we went to Ocean City, MD.
That’s me searching our bags for Brian’s lost, I mean safely stashed swim cap. You’re supposed to wear your numbered cap. We didn’t get started until around noon because the 9 milers got started a couple of hours earlier and for some reason, no matter how insignificant my performance was, it’s hard to dodge nerves the whole time. As my cousin’s fiance who swam the 3 mile and who’s done an Ironman put it, you get a few moments of ‘why am I doing this?’
But eventually they blew the horn and in we went.
Forget the initial surf, the swim to that yellow start buoy can suck the life out of you. I was ready to turn around by the time I got to it!
Once you round that you can get into a groove swimming parallel to shore although the swells made it hard to keep track of where you were. But a mile later I did find the finish buoy and head into the beach and the finish line up on the beach.
So did this guy… he and a few others actually finished the 9 miler in 62 degree water! They were popsicles when they got out, but they did it.
This day involved my usual race day food which is peanut butter and honey sandwiches. They’re the right proportions of everything, portable and are light enough to eat before a workout without getting sick. Ok, a summer veggie recipe coming tomorrow!