The day dawned…dark! Let me back up a bit. On Friday, I drove from Boise to Heyburn State Park to camp out the night before the C.A.S.T. Classic. I got to my campsite a little before sunset. As I ate my pasta dinner, I enjoyed this view from just outside my campsite.
Heyburn State Park Sunset
I got a good night’s rest under the stars. My alarm went off at 0500 hours PDT so I could eat and get up to Coeur d’Alene for the swim. (Thus…the day dawned dark!)
I got to Lake Coeur d’Alene at around 0640; just in time for check in.
C.A.S.T. Swim Sign
I took a look at the buoys lining the 2.5k rectangular course. Unlike the 1st time I swam in Lake Coeur d’Alene (for Ironman Coeur d’Alene in 2009), I thought to myself: “Heck, that doesn’t look too bad!”
The volunteers were great. I met some of my friends from Boise, and was introduced to some new friends from the swimming community! Safety and athlete’s briefing were completed and it was time to jump on in the water for the 0800 start!
Water temperature was a very comfortable 72 degrees. There was not a cloud in the sky. Before I knew it, the horn sounded and it was time to go. I was immediately dropped from the pack of more experienced swimmers. I was fine with that; this was my 1st swim of this distance and I was determined to “swim my own swim.” My goals for the swim: (1) Finish; and (2) Finish before they pulled me off the course! After all, I had never swum 10k before. A few weeks ago, I swam the Deer Creek 5k and felt pretty good after that, so I knew I could get 2 laps (5k) done without too much of a problem.
The organizers had nutrition and water available for all 10k swimmers. I took advantage of both on the 2nd and 3rd laps of my swim. I was sure to thank the volunteers each and every time they helped me!
The conditions deteriorated as the swim progressed. Unless you’ve swum open water, you have no idea what an impact boats can have on the conditions! The chop and waves created by the boats got pretty bad.
One lasting image I took away from the swim: As I was beginning my 3rd lap, I breathed to my right and saw a sea plane coming in for a landing on the lake. Unbeatable!
At the end of the day, I finished! Was it before the threatened cut-off of 3:30:00…nope! The race organizers did not cut me off; instead they let me finish my swim! For that I am thankful!
unofficial time: 3:45:41 official time: 3:44:36. That’s a long time in the water, my friends. I can honestly say I enjoyed each and every stroke. Everyone cheered me as I touched the finish line.
I know I will become faster this winter when I focus on speeding up during my pool time. Do I look forward to getting faster…of course. Am I enjoying each and every step of this journey, whether fast or slow? YES!
I’ll put the C.A.S.T. swim on my calendar for next year. Great venue, great organization, great swim! If you swim at all, I urge you to do the same. The swim has different distances 2.5k, 5k and 10k. Maybe I’ll see you there!
Until next time…stay focused on your goals and do everything in your power to achieve them!