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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, Ga
    Posts
    863

    4.5 Mile swim race report

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    Yesterday, I raced my longest open water swim race ever. It was the Chattanooga Rat Race in the Tennessee River.

    I have a strange attraction to races that I am 1. Not entirely ready to do and 2. Are too hard 3. Not many people want to do, so registration is still open.

    This one hits all three points, so of course, I find myself at the starting line!

    The rat race is supposed to be a downstream swim. I arrived at the start banking on that. The dam had been open ALL week....until 1am before the race. They said they would open it up again 1.5 hours into the race (at which point we would be farther downstream).

    Also the night before the race, my little brother (who is 8) asked me if there were river sharks in this river. Nothing like brotherly love to REALLY get you nervous for a race ;-)

    We showed up at the start, and I felt at home among all of the triathlon t-shirts. Yes! I am not the only crazy triathlete at these all swim races. But wait....they are all going to the 1.2 mile swim. y people left me for the short race. And I am on vans going to the start line with people who travelled from Baton Rouge and Cincinatti to get to this race. They all did 10K swims this year. Great.

    We pull up to the start, and the water is so still, I am not sure which way the river is going. Awesome.

    Then, we have to get in (and because of a short delay), we are waiting treading water and holding to to kayaks....going no where. Not much of a river!


    And we take off. I am terrible at sighting, but luckily in a river (even a huge one), there is really only one way to go. So I don't worry too much about my line and I just swim. The race was REALLY well supported. Mind you, this is a large river with large boats--but I felt totally safe. There were support kayaks and jet skis by my side for the entire race. I didn't feel like I ever had to worry about being seen, I just had to worry about swimming. And swim I did. Because of that, I would recommend this crazy race to anyone who gets the feeling that they need to swim almost twice an Ironman distance swim!

    In case you were interested, I am a slow swimmer, and I have done 5Ks before. What that means is that I have learned to bring fuel. I sipped on a electrolyte drink all morning, took a gel right before the race, and packed two in my bathing suits.

    I really wanted to beat the 3 hour time cut off. That was my goal. I came in at 2:15! For a while when I was swimming, my mantra was "no bike no run no bike no run." :-)

    You finish this race under a bridge, and people yell at you "you're done!" and that's the finish line!

    On the one hand, I was 34th out of 40 people, and the last woman in. That is tough for the ego. However, only 40 people did the race. I don't know a lot of people who are willing to jump in open water for hours. So I have to be proud of my accomplishment. Even though it's tough to come in SO much slower than other people.

    Also not my favorite picture ever, but I was feeling pretty good in this moment, so I figured it was worth sharing. And yes, my toes were VERY wrinkled after that long in the water!
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    Slow and steady (like a train!)

    http://kacietri-ing.blogspot.com/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    3,436
    Great race report, Kacie! Sounds like a cool experience, too. Congratulations!
    "My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved;I have been given much and I have given something in return...Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and an adventure." O. Sacks

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
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    5,251
    Seriously, kacie- you are amazing!!!
    That sounds so hard- and yet so much fun. I have never swam farther than an IM distance swim (during an IM) and my time was 1:40. You swam TWICE that far in only 35 more minutes. AMAZING!!! What is your normal IM swim time? I'm really impressed!!!!

    So did the current ever kick in to help you out at all?

    Great RR, great job, and major kudos to you!!!
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Mississauga -a "burb" outside Toronto
    Posts
    648
    Love the mantra!! And the tan lines. Way to go!


    "You can't get what you want till you know what you want." Joe Jackson

    2006 Cannondale Feminine/Ultegra/Jett

    2012 Trek Speed Concept 9.5/Ultegra/saddle TBD

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, OR
    Posts
    5,023
    Awesome job, Kacie! And thanks so much for sharing the report! I think I needed to read it after my lousy swim during my tri on Saturday. And I was only in the water for 22 minutes! You continue to be my hero.
    My new non-farm blog: Finding Freedom

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Hudson, MA
    Posts
    171
    Awesome Job Kacie! I am totally impressed. The one thing that holds me back the most from trying an IM is the 2.4 mile swim terrifies me.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, Ga
    Posts
    863
    Thanks!!!! It was a fun race! I got back in the pool today, and I could really feel it in my shoulders!

    My two IM swim times are 1:22 and 1:26. I really think I can go faster than that, but I am not sure what is holding me back...maybe I really do swim better where there is not a mob of people smacking and kicking me :-)

    Apparently one turbine came on after 9, but we were already well into the race, and the water had to travel down to us. I'm sure it gave me more of a push at the end than I am thinking it did, but I can say that I didn't feel it

    I am doing the same 5K swim I have done the past few years next weekend! That is going to be a real test of my shoulders!
    Slow and steady (like a train!)

    http://kacietri-ing.blogspot.com/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Little Egypt
    Posts
    1,867
    Kacie, you always amaze me. How awesome! Great job!
    __________________
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." George Bernard Shaw

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    2,208
    Congrats, Kacie! Great swimming. The women at the top were super fast, swimming 4.5 in what some people swim 2.4!!! But again, they don't get off and bike 112. I think your brain regulates you a little more when it knows it's got a long day ahead.

 

 

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