Swim

Journey to a 10k Part 2: Racing

By OceanFirst on 8/19/16

This is the second of a three part series by our Swim School Director Lauren Pacheco about her quest to complete a 10k open water swim. Read the first part of the series here

When training for a 10k, it’s best to not jump in with both feet (terrible pun, I know) but rather to train with some shorter open water races. After talking it over with my coaches, I decided to enter Boulder Reservoir’s 1 mile open water race in June. Up until that race, I had completed a grand total of two open water swims, so one mile seemed like a good way to not overcommit right off the bat. Plus I was used to swimming the mile from my high school and college days, so I was feeling confident about doing it in the open water.FullSizeRender-4.jpg

As I crossed the finish line, the woman tracking the swimmer’s times remarked at how proud she was of me. It took me a moment to realize that I was the first woman and fifth person overall to exit the water. I also wasn’t wearing a wetsuit, which is a different category because of the buoyancy advantages. After finishing with a time of 28 minutes, my confidence was boosted and I was ready to keep going.

Next on the racing circuit was in July, a 3 mile crossing at Carter Lake. The straight-shot across the lake was a similar format to the Horsetooth race I was training for, which was a good taste for what was to come. The start was terrifying: imagine 200 people in the water all aggressively trying to push their way to the front of the pack at the same time. I chose to stay back and save my strength for the three miles ahead.

At this point, 3 miles was the farthest I had ever swam without stopping, but my distance training in the pool coupled with the fact that swimming in the open water is simply more interesting made the time fly by. I finished in 1 hour and 14 minutes, snatching 3rd place in my age group. After finishing, I looked back across Carter Lake and said to myself, “I could do that again. I can swim twice that distance.” This race was exactly what I needed in order to feel confident about finishing 6.2 miles.

Will Lauren achieve her goal? Stay tuned for the 3rd and final part of this series.

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