Miss Lauren's Second 10k Swim!

By OceanFirst on 10/22/17

Well, it happened again. One year and some very sore arms later, I have completed my second 10k open water swim. To make things more challenging, in the span of time since my last big race, I had progressed into a harder age group and dealt with some personal, family, and health issues. Despite those challenges, I was determined to swim those 6.2 miles faster than I had last year, and to end my summer feeling accomplished. 21457677_10105515895448203_7167234897523980427_o.jpg

My summer schedule was stacked with prep swims with a variety of distance and water temperature, including swims in Boyd Lake, Carter Lake, Lake Tahoe, Union, Boulder, and Willow Creek Reservoir. I was encouraged by my first place wins in many of my races and I could feel my strength building.

Due to some logistical challenges, I found myself juggling different pool practice times at two locations at 5:40am and 7:00am, before racing to work at 9:00am. For three weeks, the bulk of my activity occurred before most people start work.

The weekend before my race, the Ocean First staff traveled to Lake Tahoe for a company retreat, which turned out to be the most beautiful place I have ever swam. The water was crystal clear and a warm 69 degrees, and  I spent my swims looking at minnows and huge underwater boulders while stopping to chat on the rock island with seagulls. Over the span of our three day vacation, I completed over 10 miles of swimming.

And just like that, the summer was coming to a close and my big day had arrived. At 3:45am, me and my trusty kayaker, Kathryn, were up and packing the car to head to Horsetooth. We couldn’t have asked for better weather: warm air and water that was a balmy 71ºF. As a seasoned veteran, I knew what to expect and my pre-race jitters were kept at a minimum. 21543733_10105515895528043_4566199660379499599_o.jpg

The race began, and with Kathryn in my sights I was cool, calm, collected, and ready to rock. The teamwork between swimmer and kayaker was flawless, and we were able to coordinate my fueling like experts; I even managed a one-arm backstroke while drinking from a water bottle. The reservoir was at a record low, so the biggest obstacle we encountered was trying to avoid running aground in the shallow spots.

The 6.2 miles flew by this year, and I felt like the finish line almost came too soon. With a finish time of 2 hours and 50 minutes, I managed to beat the odds and crush my previous time by eight long minutes. And best of all, I won first in my new age group! It may seem a little crazy, but I think I am hooked on long distance open water swims.



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