I started this race two years ago and finally finished it today!!
To save a long and boring backstory, I’ll get to the point. I used to half-ass pretty much everything and swimming was no exception. I signed up for this event in 2015 thinking “how hard can it be?” While I was embarrassed of my failure, it was a great reality check. I wasn’t ready to revisit swimming last year, but decided in January of 2017 to finish what I had started.
The first thing I did was get some swimming instruction. I joined the Airdrie Triathlon Club and got some stroke help from Coach Sharon in three clinics I did with her. Then it was getting to the pool consistently. I always made it at least once a week and that seemed to work for me. My body can’t seem to handle doing the same intense activity three times per week-I always end up getting hurt, so I keep all activities (except for yoga) to two sessions in seven day period. My body has responded really well to that schedule over the last several months. Finally I purchased a wetsuit (and all my swimming accessories) from Richelle at Tri It Multisport. I met Richelle the same day I failed at the open water event in 2015 and she’s been a great help in getting me ready for today.
The event itself is well run. Registration starts at $50 and goes up to $70 as it gets closer to race week. Quarry Lake in Canmore, AB certainly isn’t a very big lake, but the scenery is top notch! I highly recommend this race.
Picking up the race package and timing chip were a breeze and there were a lot of sponsor tents set up, food and drink were available before and after the race. Fresh fruit/veggies/cookies/brownies/babybell cheese, etc. In our race packs were a cap, yurbuds, great ladies cut t-shirt, product samples, and we could grab a bottle of pop.
I had the choice of 1500 meters (3 laps of the lake) or 3000 meter (6 laps), but I just stuck with the 1500m distance. I knew I could do it and have fun at the same time…and I did just that! I didn’t push my pace and I swam more wide of the buoys then I really needed to. I was worried about getting run over by the faster swimmers as they started looping us slower folks, but I shouldn’t have. I only had one person touch my feet (scared the daylights out of me) and he gave me more then enough space as he went around. I stayed very relaxed as I made my three loops around and enjoyed every minute of it out there.
I knew I was going to complete it this time, but I was still super excited to run across that finish line. I really worked hard for this medal and was proud of my efforts to come back to this after failing so bad (and publicly) two years ago.
There was also a massage and NKT therapist named Heather Fellows from Koru Massage + Movement who was helping anyone with aches or pains after the event. My left elbow has been giving me grief these last couple of weeks, so she did a bit of work on it and my bicep. What she did was incredibly painful at first, but it felt so much better after she was done-thank you!
As for my time/placing, I was toward the back of the pack. That’s ok. This was about getting some success and experience under my belt-I did that. I will definitely sign up for this event again next year with the goal of staying closer to the main pack for a faster time. A big hug to all my online and local friends for support, tips, and encouragement as I prepped for this swim-you guys are the best 🙂