This is my recap of my first experience in a competitive ice swim.
THURSDAY, MARCH 2
8:30 am – Depart Virginia Beach
5:30 pm – Arrive in upstate New York
8:30 pm – Dinner, Bed
FRIDAY, MARCH 3
8:00 am – Breakfast (Swedish Pancakes)
11:00 am – Depart New York
5:00 pm – Arrive Vermont – checked in, rest a bit
6:00 pm – Dinner/Social was great opportunity to network with other swimmers
8:00 pm – Bed
SATURDAY, MARCH 4
6:00 am – Light snow and windy, temperature was 3°F; felt like -13°F. Breakfast; eat, back to room. Had 1 serving each of Heed and Fully Charged, Emergen-C, and packed another Heed and Fully Charged.
8:15 am – off to the “pool”, but no one else showed up until 9:50 am – 40 competitors at the start
Race Time: Temp -3°F, feels like -21°F
Race #1 = 25m Hat Competition. Just for fun. Represented Sweden in my Viking helmet. Kind of fun…burning sensation begins
Race #2 = 25m Breast. Haven’t done that much breast so I did what I could and managed to get my face in the water a few times
Race #3 = 25m Freestyle. Now we are starting to kind of race. Tried to swim the whole 25m with my face in the water but after a big gulp I had to go back to the Tarzan stroke.
— LUNCH BREAK —
Windy – was the worst water on your legs, and your back would freeze. Colder than WTF (anything I have ever experienced) – meaning the wind chill was down to -25°F. The volunteers did a great job. Energized for the final race of the day with a Heed and Fully Charged.
Race #4 = 50m Freestyle. This is more my kind of race but I had to be careful with the platforms at the turn. I did well and managed to keep my face in the water the whole time (about 42 seconds).
Time to go back to the hotel to warm up and nap…dinner at 6:00pm with awards.
SUNDAY, MARCH 5
Up at 5:30 am; sinuses hurt. Heat pack. 0° feels like -15°F.
After breakfast, we packed up and headed to the “beach”. Heed x 2; Fully Charged x 1
Safety meeting was held at 9:45 am, and the 100m Freestyle began at 10:00 am. Since I had successfully completed the 50 on Saturday, I knew I could complete the 100m. Water temp 30.6°F; wind was down and sun was out. I got in and the first 50m was easy so I thought another 50 down and back and I got this. At 75m I thought my hands were going to fall off but I pushed through. I finished in 1:43.2.
The 25 can be compared to a Polar Plunge (plus some), 50 you have to train for, 100 was hurting. You then have to get in the right frame of mind for the 200, which is complete will power.
By the 200, the original 40 competitors were now down to 10. I was the last one paired in the 200 and I knew it would hurt but I had to focus on each 50 and on my breathing. At 100 I was a bit doubtful if I would finish but I just told myself “I didn’t drive 14 hours to DNF…suck it UP!” At 150 I was not sure how much I had left. People were screaming right next to me and I just focused 25 more = 175. When I did my last turn I thought “I’m NOT walking back!” My hands felt like lead, my body ached and I just focused on ONE MORE. At 200 I was not sure if I was done or not. I had to ask the helpers poolside if I was done.
25m Breast = 23.68 sec
25m Freestyle = 22.8 sec
50m Freestyle = 43.04 sec
100m Freestyle = 1:43.2 min
200m Freestyle = 3:44.11 min
Overall rank = 5th place
The recovery took a long time for me and even now 30 hours later my hands still tingle.
Will I do this again? HELL YEAH!
I arrived home after a 14 hour drive to find a nice package from Hammer Nutrition that included Recoverite, which was a huge help. Time to regroup and focus on next week’s Ice K!