Well, I’ve completed my first ocean swim. I’ve done open water before, but they were in lakes or rivers. I’ve “played” in the ocean before, of course, but that’s not quite the same. I must say, I don’t really consider 2.5 miles a “marathon” – but I suppose since the Iron Man only requires 2.4 miles, it’s close enough.
I was surprised at how well this went! My arms did get a little weary near the end, (but I didn’t run into any jelly fish or sharks) and I could barely see my hands and arms as they entered the water, so I wasn’t aware of an ocean bottom – or, unfortunately that I was about to swim on top of someone else!! The ocean swells weren’t that much of an issue AT ALL, the temperature (82-83*) was nice, and when we swam through cooler eddies it was divine.
And how did I measure up? Seventeenth over all for women. For masters age group (over 21 years of age) I was 8th. Not too shabby for a first timer.
Will I do it again (as in, this October)? I’m thinking yes. At first, I thought I would really rather not have salt water in my mouth for three plus hours, but I truly have no concerns about being able to finish the swim. Additionally, we anticipate cooler water temperature (74-76*) which should almost guarantee that the salinity will at least seem to be less. However, I do not consider myself a long distance swimmer. I just want to see if I can do it, and I am enjoying the journey – the hard workouts, and hope that the water will be clear so I can see the marine life while I’m in there. Plus, my workout buddies are training for the Iron Man Florida in November, so our workout needs are similar & we can push each other. I find that I feel more camaraderie with my workout buddies too, as I haven’t been much of a competitor outside of workout, and now we have more to talk about, and they have a lot of helpful tips for me. I’m not sure I’m going to keep doing these ultra long events much past this year, but I kind of want to do the Jacksonville swim again next summer – now that I know a couple of things – just to see if I can place higher.