Oh Canada Day Swim
Since I was a little girl the Vancouver Open Water Swim Association has held the Canada Day Challenge swim race at Sasamat Lake in Port Moody. I would always compete in the 1.5km and wear my brothers old wetsuit. This year, I signed up for the 4km race and yes, I still had that very wetsuit with me! Surprisingly enough, however, I ended up swimming with no wetsuit! The water was gorgeous, clear, and warm!
The race takes competitors around the lake twice before hauling up the beach and through the finish. When the race began I jumped ahead of the pack, with two other women leading the way beside me. One of those women fell behind as the race went on. The second quickly got ahead of me, and within the first 200 meters of the race she was gone. I kept thinking I would pace myself and eventually catch up to her, but I never saw her again. She was a power house! For the next 3,800 meters I was on my own except to pass the odd swimmer from the earlier mens heat. I ended with a time of 1 hour, 1 minute and 9 seconds and a second place finish. It was a nice challenge. My arms began to feel tight rather quickly, but because I decided to pace myself I was able to hold a very steady speed without burning out. Vowsa also gives away awards and draw prizes at each event, which is lots of fun! The next race I am singed up for is the Kitsilano Challenge on August 2nd. This is a 6km and is held at the very beach where SwimMS will take place.
August 2nd will be a very different experience. This is partly due to the fact that it is 2km longer than the Canada Day swim. Also, because it is only 2 weeks before SwimMS I will need to be smart and avoid injury. I plan to be less competitive and simply use it as an opportunity to be in the ocean. After all, during SwimMS I won't need to swim fast but I will need to endurance. So far the summer has given me fantastic opportunities to train and prepare for the open water-gotta love Vancouver! There is now just about one and a half months till I jump into the ocean for SwimMS. It's scary, but exciting. The preparation makes me confident that my support team and I will be able to accomplish our goal!