It seems ironic to me that Diana Nyad swam 110 miles from Cuba to Key West the same weekend that I attempted to swim a mile (ha!) from one side of the river to the other. Had I known that she was swimming non-stop for 52 hours (?) I would have stopped complaining about the wake my sherpa husband was leaving me in the powerboat.
I look across the river every time we go to my in-laws. Wide, vast, expansive, the Neuse River is abandoned on the other side save for marsh grass and tall cypress trees. Not inhabited for miles, it stands as it did 200 years ago. I’ve never had the courage or the gumption to swim it, but in an act of mental reassurance, this weekend I decided that I was going to swim across it. A distance, I guesstimated to be approximately a mile. I figured that if I could swim across the entire Neuse, I would have no problems with the swim course of the Beach to Battleship.
With Chris in the boat next to me, I set off. I should have set a watch to see how long it took me but of course I forgot. I have to say, it was really hard to site since all I could see was water, marsh grass and trees. I kept on asking Chris to put the boat in front of me so I could sight on it, but apparently it was more fun to haggle me every time I stopped and harass me to swim faster. After what seemed like forever, I reached the other side, swam past the last orange crab pot and was able to put my feet down. It was quite the feeling to look across the other side of the river and see the houses and I’m glad that I didn’t stop within the first 200 yards. Chris wouldn’t let me get in the boat, probably because I looked like this:
After a long shower and a cold beer, I felt much better. I wasn’t tired, which was encouraging. Encouraging because last year’s race was a perfect storm of favorable conditions. The weather was sunny with not a cloud in the sky, the current was so fast that the race director remarked that a bag of potato chips would make it to T1 (transition one- from swim to bike) in time; it was a perfect day.
This year, however, there is talk of the swim current not having as much push. With low tide at 6:51 am on the ocean side, we won’t have any sort of push until approximately an hour after. The half heats start at 8:30, with waves going off approximately every 5-8 minutes. In short, this means that it’s going to be a full swim- no laying on my back, looking for the buoys. That’s okay though, I already feel so much more prepared than I was last year.
I also managed to get a quick bike ride in which was quite nice. I figured since I brought all the gear I might as well use it.
Fortunately, for the eight year old, the rest of the weekend was spent on the river, doing the things that he loves to do. Paddle board chicken fights, exploring the neighbors beach, and plenty of wake boarding. Oh, and some silliness. Always.
This week is more training of course, with a heavy emphasis on the runs. Next week I’ll start doing some bricks (bike to run) and really start focusing on what I’m going to eat. Hope everyone’s having a great week!