Zoe (younger daughter) and I went to Phoenix for the Easter Weekend. It just so happens that there was a Tempe Town Lake open water swim that Saturday, April 11th. It was too much of a coincidence to let that one go. Zoe has not been in the water since she became a state champion swimmer last February then promptly retired. I find it rather heartbreaking that she's choosing not to swim in college but to focus on academics instead. I know she's making the right choice for her but I'm not ready to retire from being a swim mom. I want to keep on watching her compete and get stronger and faster. She's young, she started late and she still has a bucketload of untapped potential. But, alas, she can't do everything. She got an academic scholarship to BYU and wants to actually have time to study. It's hard to argue with that. But STILL! It's a little sad to see her swim career end so early.
Anyway, I did beg her to do this open water swim with me. It would be the first time we competed together and I thought it would be fun. She didn't agree and I'm not sure what was said to get her to agree but eventually she did. She may have been bribed with books, or emotionally blackmailed into doing this with me before she goes off to college and deserts me. One or both of those.
This race offered three distances: the 1000, the 2000 or the 4000 meter swim. She wanted the 1000 and I wanted the 4000 so we compromised with the middle distance. We got there before 7am so we could check in and get our official pink cap. It was chilly that time of day and we wondered why we had thought this would be a good idea. I was really regretting the whole idea of jumping into cold water but figured we might as well do it since we were here anyway. We also noticed that 99% of those around us were wearing a wet suit. Oops. I remembered reading that wetsuits were allowed but had no idea that there would only be a handful of us brave swimmers roughing it without one. We didn't even own wetsuits.
They send the 1000 meter swimmers off at 7:30am and then we all made our way into the water for our 7:33am start time. Zoe and I started in the back and on the outside. We did a few minutes of old lady breast stroke while we were getting used to the water. Finally we took the plunge and began swimming freestyle. The visibility was about 6 inches in the murky water and I wondered whether my hepatitis vaccinations were still in effect.
After a few minutes of swimming together (which was difficult since you had to raise your head to see where the other swimmers were) Zoe decided she'd had enough of waiting for her mom. She took off and swam her own race. She started to catch up with the swimmers ahead of her and then to pass them. She discovered how fun it was to pass people and decided she wanted to do a little more of that. I just kept plodding along and was finished before I knew it. Zoe swam the 2000 meters in 34 minutes 54 seconds and I finished in 37 minutes 32 seconds.
Zoe got third place in the youth 11-18 year old division. I ended up in second place in the masters 45+ age group. I also did the victory dance on my award's block but Zoe didn't get the picture so you will just have to imagine my best Rocky impersonation. She was too busy talking with our new friend Kepano Ream who won the youth 1000 meter race. We had some pancakes and then headed out. Zoe was excited and said she would like to do another race sometime. An open water swimmer is born!