Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Long Beach Open water 5km swim

Before you say wow 5km swim really...its all about perspective. 

some goodies from the event.

I had spent the Saturday at an Open water swimming conference as a guest of Coach Christine, it was set aboard the Queen Mary which has permanent residence at long Beach CA.

Here I am with Craig Dietz
 One of the motivational guest speakers at the venue was Craig Dietz, if you have ever complained about not being able to do something check out this u tube as Craig was born with out limbs yet does some pretty amazing things 

So after hearing Craig speak and watching his amazing story I went with renewed vigor to the swim on Sunday.

Here I am with AL at the briefing.
The swim was called making waves, and was all about getting the word out about Cancer. All proceeds from this inaugural event went to
Memorial Care Todd Cancer Institute at Long Beach Memorial which is the Destination for Comprehensive & Supportive Cancer Care
  I am no stranger to Cancer, I lost both my grandparents to Cancer and was involved for 5 years raising money for Breast Cancer for AVON of Puerto Rico.

Covina Aquatics was well represented.
The swim was held at Long Beach Marine Stadium, The stadium was the site for the 1932 Olympic Rowing competition and the 1968 Olympic rowing trials. Marine Stadium was recently designated as an official state historic site. So was an exciting venue to be at!

800 meter swimmers
What made the day was the kids, I say that as there was many different events a 100m, 800m, 1,500m 5km, and 10km with a four hour cut off. As well as Master swimmers there was kids whose first time exposure out of the safety of a pool and a black line; were chattering excitedly about their swim in open water! Laughing, playing tag just enjoying the day, most of the Master swimmers had a more serious look trying to figure out their competition and best tactics!

Well 5km is 5km, it was broken down into 3 loops and there was a floating island were I wish I had put a bottle of Heed on to but as this was my first time dabbling in an organized swim event was not sure how the feeding zone worked.
The 5km swimmers were in yellow caps also there was blue caps (10km swimmers) and pink caps (1500m swimmers) The swim start has Master swimmers going first as I was wearing a full sleeved wetsuit I was in the second wave of "non swimmers" which is totally the wrong name for this group as there was some serious swimmers in this group!
My tactic was to be conservative and work on my breathing and stroke, as soon as the horn sounded I witnessed a swimmer think piranha feeding frenzy occur, there were arms turning over the water every were and bobbling heads like M&M candy heading out for the first yellow buoy!

On the second loop I was lapped by some very fast yellow and even a few blue caps, I also saw the floating island of water bottles and did think about pretending that one of those bottles was mine as salt water does not taste yummy at all!! I also had to stop in awe to say amazing to Craig as he was doing the 10km swim, any doubts I should call it a day disappeared, keep on moving forward Suzy enjoy the swim and be grateful that YOU CAN!

Despite being one of  the last official yellow caps in the water I finished my 3rd loop and was so happy I had a smile from ear to ear! I am not going to break any records but sure needed to get some fluid into my system 

Finished 5km in beautiful conditions too
Al s youngest daughter Montana was in awe at the swimmers and certainly happy to see me come out of the water.
Very happy to have finished
After I finished we watched the blue caps finishing the 10km swim, and Craig Dietz interview after deciding to do the 5km swim. He is so positive in his approach to life it makes you want to reach for the stars and believe you can touch one.

Below is my heart rate I did not wear my GPS wish I had now!

It was the end of a great weekend below are a few pics from just a few of the swimmers at the conference which inspire..
Diana Nyad swam with box jelly fish stings for hours!
Diana is an International Marathon Hall of Fame inductee, most famous for her attempts to swim from Cuba to Florida. but also a very accomplished marathon swimmer.

Greta Anderson
 In 1948 Greta won Gold and Silver medals at the London Olympics, and swam the English Channel 3 times is still active and teaches infants and children to swim at the Greta Anderson swim school at Los Alamitos California!

Anne Cleveland and Mallory Mead.
 Both Anne and Mallory are internationally recognized and HIGHLY accomplished Channel swimmers.

Jamie Patrick and Diana Nyad
Jamie was honored at the conference and was World Open Water Swimming man of the year 2011.
Martin Strel in black with his son Borut.
Martin is known as the Big River man, and is in the Guinness book of records as swimming the 5 greatest rivers in the World!