The Green Lake Open Water Swim (GLOWS) is always the "early" swim of the season. This season it seems to have come too early. I've swum it two of the last three years, and finished in 22-23 minutes. The course is a short half mile course. This year I felt under-trained-- I've been in the lake, what, 5 times so far?? Not a lot of swimming! But I knew I could do the distance, if not at the speed I'd done in the past.
Going to the start on the bus (it's a point-to-point swim) I was amazed at the number of people who seemed to be doing it for the first time. Turns out the first year I did this, about 65 people finished (the half mile), and this year over 80 did (just in the half mile), so there must be more and more first-timers each year.
I started at the back of the pack, but in the middle, not off to the side. It wasn't planned, it was just where I was when the gun went off. The water was cold, but not as cold as Lake Washington had been so far this season. I started swimming fine, then a few minutes in, couldn't control my breath. It was similar to the Whidbey Island swim in that way. I didn't panic. But I couldn't control my breathing. I switched to head up breast stroke and kept swimming, knowing that when I caught my breath I'd be fine.
Sure enough, two or three minutes later, I was. I got into a rhythm, and could swim. I could feel my shoulders getting tight (ah, the joys of under-training) but just kept swimming. By half way across the lake I was alternating 10 strokes of crawl with 10 strokes of breast. I was in a grove, and fine. I wasn't loving it. I felt slow. And the distance felt long. I was happy when I saw the finish. I crossed in 25:26. My slowest time ever for this swim. That just teaches me that I have to get in the water more!
Not my best race ever, but I'm glad I did it!