Great Chesapeake Bay Swim

I finished my ninth Bay Swim on Sunday!  For me, it was brutally hot.  I have been training in water in the low-mid 60s in anticipation for MIMS.  Prior to the swim, the race officials said the water temp was 78.  There were warm and cold patches throughout.  I feel I’m pretty in-tune with the range of water temperatures.  My guess would be that, for the bulk of the swim, the water temp was around 82-84.  The air temperature was in the upper 80s.  The first half of the swim was fine.  Right before mile two I started to get hot.  Knowing I had MIMS in six days, I decided to back off a little.  And, of course, at that point, the current kicked up.  I had enough in me to push through the current, correct my line and stay between the bridges.  By the end of the swim, I was very hot and uncomfortable and thought…it will be much better in the cold water of the English Channel or next weekend in MIMS.  Open water swimming seems to be about extremes sometimes. 

I finished in 2:41…not my fastest time but not my slowest time.  All in all, it seems the times of the people who finish at the top every year were about 10-15 minutes slower than usual.  There were significantly less people under 2 hours.  I am very curious as to why that happened.  Was it the heat?  Was it the ebb and then flood tide?  Were there winds from the east? 

Unfortunately thunderstorms popped up at the end of the swim and over 60 people had to be pulled from the event.  One of whom was Craig Deitz, a limbless man who attempted the swim.  By all accounts he would have finished but for the thunderstorms.  I thought about him a number of times during the swim and wondered how he was doing. 

This year was a different sort of Bay Swim for me.  Knowing I have the biggest event of my life coming up…it didn’t seem prudent to leave it all out there.  So, I swam safe and smart. 

Unfortunately, one participant died either during or after the race.  He was 43 and left a wife and two children.  His cause of death is a bit unclear from what I have been able to find…but, it certainly puts such events into perspective. 

I am packing and in the final preparation for MIMS and will post more prior to the swim this weekend.

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