Longest Open Water Swim
Today I finally made my goal of swimming 10 miles at Deer Creek! It's something that I have been wanting to do for the last couple of years, and it just hasn't worked out. After missing out on swimming last Saturday with everyone else, several people offered to paddle for me another day. Sue was the first one to offer, so she was the first one I asked. Luckily things worked out that she could paddle for me today.
We met a little before 8am and got the kayak loaded up. We ran into Justin Stewart and a couple other guys as we were getting ready on the boat ramp and they wished us well.
The water felt great and the weather was nice. Swimming down the bay in the glassy, morning water is one of my favorite things to do. I planned to swim the Deer Creek 10 mile course and hug the shore to make sure I got in a full 10 miles. Everyone I saw at the race cut a few corners and I was more interested in getting a solid 10 miles than I was getting a particular time.
Sue had never paddled for someone before and she was excited to give it a try. She did an excellent job and stayed right at my 11 and 1 (depending on which side she was on) which is perfect for me.
We talked a little beforehand about my feeds. The plan was to go 1 hour with no feeds and then every 45 minutes after that. I had three bottles of Perpetuem, some gels, squeezable apple sauce and ibuprofen.
Other than dodging a few fishing boats, the first half was pretty uneventful. On the way back things took a turn for the worse. Last Saturday the swimmers got a little help from wind pushing them back towards Wallsburg Bay. Not today. Between Rainbow Bay and Wallsburg Bay I felt like I wasn't going anywhere. I knew I was past due for a feed, but I wanted to get the hell out of the wind and chop and into the bay. It was exhausting. Finally I had to stop outside of the bay to get a feed and some ibuprofen.
Once we got back into the bay, things settled down quite a bit. Sue let me know that we would have to do a loop around the buoy line to make up for not going across the boat ramp near the island. I guess she had talked to the ranger and told him what we were going to do and he told her that we couldn't cross the boat ramp. By this time my arms were getting pretty tired, but I wanted to get a solid 10 miles so I did a loop of the buoys before heading to the end of the bay.
I took my last feed at the end of the bay and headed back towards the boat ramp. Sue let me know that we were going to be short of 10 miles and needed to do two more buoy loops. I just about said "forget it" but I knew I would regret it, so I did two laps of the buoys. As I was coming in from my second loop, I saw Sabrina and my boys on the shore. I waved weakly, and kept plugging along to the finish.
I was so happy to be done! I haven't done a ton of swimming the last couple weeks and I definitely felt it. Next year I will be more prepared. My GPS had a freak-out before we finished and I'm not positive of my total distance. My longest open water swim before today was 9.25 miles and I am 100% sure that I was over that today. I finished in 5:16, which is quite a bit slower than I was shooting for. Considering the crappy conditions in a couple spots, I'm just happy I finished.
Thank you to Sue for volunteering to give up her Saturday and paddle for me all morning. She did an excellent job keeping me safe, getting my feeds ready (shaking up my drinks, opening gels and apple sauces, and getting my ibuprofen), taking tons of photos and videos, and encouraging me when things got tough. She was in the perfect position the whole time and kept me away from the jerks on their fishing boats.
After today's swim, I am one swim away from the Utah Triple Crown, which consists of swimming 8 mile from Antelope Island to Black Rock at the Great Salt Lake, 7 miles across Bear Lake, and 10 miles at Deer Creek all in one year. I have already swam Bear Lake and now Deer Creek. If I can find a good day to swim Great Salt Lake, I will see if I can work it out.