I did my 5th Roughwater Swim yesterday. It is the one mile swim around the Flip Flop Wharf, one of my favorite races.
I was a little nervous going into it. I think it was more race nerves than anything else... I was a bit apprehensive about swimming in 58 degree water without a wetsuit, having lost much of my insulating blubber and not having swam in water that cold for about a year.
I had fun talking to some of my old teammates, especially Ultra-M, who gave me a warm greeting and hug when I saw her, and invited me to join the rest of the team on the beach. It was a small group, which was nice for an introvert like me. I was so busy chatting with her, I almost missed the start, only realizing the race was starting when the swimmers ran towards the water. Luckily I was close to the start line anyways.
It felt good, for the most part. The water was nice and cold, but not painfully so. The swim was super aggressive. In particular there was a guy next to me who hit and kicked me hard more than once. Whenever I looked at him, it looked like his head was out of the water. He must have been pretty strong, swimming with his head up and keeping up with, well, me. For what that's worth.
What do I love about this? I guess I don't blog much about what it is about this I enjoy. The cold makes me feel alive. Swimming in the ocean just makes me feel in touch with something alive and powerful. I really think we are meant to live near water, it is a source of life for us. And I always just enjoy the energy of my fellow swimmers, all there sharing that enjoyment I just described.
I swam it hard, and just tried to keep my arms and legs moving fast, although I felt sloppy, like my right arm kept slipping. n At the end I touched sandy bottom with my hand, then I got and ran up to the chute, and saw Rory and Raybon at the end of it. Rory said to me, like he often does lately "It's me, Rory!" So cute. A sweet way of trying to get my attention.
Afterwards I did a run with some old teammates. I made what might have been a bad choice and tried to keep up with Ultra-M and ended up with heart palpitations. :( First time since my failed marathon. She coached me through finishing up about 2.5 more miles left of running/walking/shuffling. I think we still averaged about 10 minute miles, so I must have gone waaay too fast to begin with. I say it "might" have been a bad choice, because maybe it wasn't, because at least I got to spend time with friends. I guess the bad choice was not saying I needed to go slower sooner. I was pretty tired this morning, but recovered after naptime. Not sure it was the rest or the electrolytes I took before the nap, but I'm much better now.
After the run, I had to wait a while for Raybon to come pick me up, as he and Rory had left to get lunch. They didn't have the results posted up, as they were still sorting through them. I went and asked the race directors how I did and somehow it was figured out that I won my age group.* Huh? I went 26:09. I've gone as fast as 23:41 (2006) in the past and not placed at all, so that was pretty surprising. I am actually pleased with the 26:09. My second fastest time was 24:40 (2005), and I would have considered myself to be in shape then. I'm not as far off as I thought. Last 3 times I've swam around the wharf post baby, I've gone around 30 minutes. Ok, I'm not supposed to care about how fast I am or my medals, right, but it makes me happy, and I'm not going to fight that.
I took the picture below and had it posted on Facebook for like 15 minutes. Then I took it down, because I thought it was too much like bragging. Hopefully anyone who cares enough about me to read this blog will be happy for me. I think I used to tell people (brag) about my accomplishments and expect them to be happy for me. If they thought it was annoying, I figured that was there problem. I don't really think that way anymore. I mean, people shouldn't be jerks about it, but there is no reason to judge people's feelings.
I think there are a couple things that determine whether someone will be happy for your success or happiness. One is the degree to which someone is happy with their own life. It is hard to be happy for other people if you don't have happiness in your own life, or be proud of other people if you aren't happy with where you are at.
I think the other thing is the degree to which someone sees you as part of their circle. If you are perceived part of someone's team, family, clique, or circle of friends, people are more likely to be happy for your success and happiness. I think there are some people who are more open and big hearted and more willing to be happy for someone that they don't know as well, and other people who have those feelings for people in tighter circles.
I kind of try to remember these things when people aren't as friendly towards me, or if during a workout or race someone is a little petty. Instead of dismissing them as jerks, I just think "I'm just not part of their team." (Even if I literally am.) It kind of helps me to not take things personally without labeling them either. I do sort of think I have a harder time getting people on my side than others do. It bums me out on occasion, but it is just one of those things in life I'll have to deal with. Mostly life is good, so I can't complain too much, especially when I do have plenty of great people in my life.
* I wrote this blog last night, and checked the results this morning. It says I got 5th, not 1st, which sounds a bit more reasonable, but still is probably wrong, because at least one of the people above me wore a wetsuit and should have been in a different division. Not bummed at all about not getting first, but I do admit I enjoyed the medal for a day or two. Now, like the rest of my medals and ribbons, it is used for putting on Rory's stuffed animals for when we play "Pet Show."