Saturday, July 19, 2008

Breakfast of Champions OR my Peaks to Portland race report


5:30am
1 cup Autumn Wheat cereal
10 oz orange juice
1 banana with 2 T. peanut butter
1 cup blueberries

6am
10oz orange juice

7:30 sipping HEED
8:15 Hammer gel

Okay so it's not the breakfast of champions... I got some MAJOR leg cramps after Fort Gorges. (If anyone has suggestions on improving my race nutrition I'll take them!). They alternated between both calf muscles and to cope I had to flex my foot and only kick with one foot. I think my problem wasn't my breakfast per say. I think I mixed too little HEED powder with my water, about 16 oz. Duh. The container does say 1-2 scoops of HEED per 16 oz and I only did 1/2 a scoop. Note to self: follow directions next time.

Luckily I did follow the directions of my talented, cheerful and knowledgeable kayaker Jo. THANK YOU JO! She was awesome and made me feel very confident, especially when she saw that something was up and I was slowing down... that's what kicking with one leg does. You see if I was in the pool I would have just sat out a set and nursed my leg, not being the martyr type to actually swim through any type of pain. Alas....

However I did have a very fun type swimming this race. It was at times unbearably LONG for a wimpy sprinter like me, but everyone was so hyped up and the very fact of swimming 2.4 miles in the ocean was so cool I think I will have to do it again.

The weather was ideal. Overcast, warm, low breeze. Only minimal waves on the water. Pre-race on the boat and the beach I had some good fun with my Masters teammates Jo, Jim, Ellen, Liza, Kathy, Karen, Gary, Karen, Jen, Liz, and Carrie (pictures to follow).

The start wasn't all that bad. The "sharp" rocks and mussels on the beach were noteably absent where I entered. I went right up to start with the blue wave (mostly all men which was a bit intimidating). The water did feel very cold before we got going, but not as bad as I feared. We were all close together at the start, but only once did someone brush me, I crossed next to someone and someone swam over my legs. No paddle butts to the head as I had heard from others. Phew! One annoying guy did keep crossing next to me and I couldn't shake him. Then shortly after when I finally located my kayak, he started swimming with us -- hey get your own kayak! After that the middle part of the race was LONG. I started daydreaming about what I would write on the blog, fantasizing what it would be like to win.... fantasizing how the harbor master would escort me in to the chute just like a police escort in a road race .... opps I am still swimming... still around the fort... ughh... back to reality!

I think my leg cramps came on about 1.9 miles. At the time this was actually the farthest I had swum in the ocean. First my right leg. Then my left leg. I tried to swim closer to the beach, just not the right beach. I was so longing to stop. My wonderful kayak god mother ushered me back to the boat with a smile and some encouragement. Then I was inside the boats and decided no more of this one leg kicking crap. I HAD to swim thorugh this and actually sprint to the finish like I had planned. After passing to the left of the big beautiful sailboat with the guy on it with the long beard ( I waved to him, see I was having fun), I started sprinting. It helped that there was some poor lad swimming exactly parallell to me on the right. I decided I had to beat him. About 200 yards from the beach I had him. Sorry Mike! It felt impossible to run out of the water and I was told later that I looked like I was about to collapse. I was just happy to be on dry land.

Final stats:
Time 52:27
6th woman
33rd OA
4th AG

Pretty good for my first P2P!

8 comments:

mconley342 said...

Alina, you are such a great & strong swimmer. I love that part were you said "swimming 2.4 miles in the ocean was so cool I think I will have to doit again.

IronMatron said...

Congrats! I hate to bring up the fact that in some twisted minds 2.4 miles IS a sprint. Ha ha! kidding.
You were awesome! Next year you're going to beat all those ladies and win the whole thing! :)Watching you swim is inspiring!
And did you see they are giving $100 bucks to the fastest male and female swim at Epic??? Hmmm???

Ange said...

Great job Alina!!! You are so awesome to push through that pain!
I'm so proud of you!!
see you SAturday!! No...Friday! :0)

jwlunt said...

Congrats for a job well swum.
I'll be swimming it this year and woulds like to ask you a few questions if i could.
If you have questions about the Alcatraz swim I probably can answer them as i've swum it and like in the bat area.
Thanks

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