First 5k Swim

One of my goals for this trip was to practice my first 5k swim.  I had set a goal for the Deer Creek swim this year to swim a 5k race.  This was a bold goal as previously I had struggled to swim a mile.  3.2 miles seemed out of my reach but I knew my friends had done it last year so I decided to set the goal anyways (what’s the point of goals if they aren’t a challenge).

More to calm my nerves more than anything else I wanted to practice my 5k as many times as I could before the Deer Creek swim. I’ve been training really hard and feel my stroke and stamina has improved greatly since the Great Salt Lake Swim. Originally I was thinking I’d do my practice 5k with the Sacramento Swimming Enthusiasts on their firecracker swim but I knew they were significantly faster than me and going a longer distance in cold water (60 degree).  It seemed to me that it was not the ideal combination for my first 5k.

With my parents busy with the reunion and having not grown up here, I figured my task was a hopeless one.  Then the idea struck me ‘What about my uncle Jeff?’.  He is a highly trained athlete and his family was all out of town.  He might be willing.  I gave him a call and luckily he was!  He even picked me up kayak in toe. 🙂

We started early- around 7 but that didn’t matter to me (probably wasn’t ideal that I went rafting yesterday and was pretty sore but Friday was the only day that worked for everyone).     Since it was so early the water was like glass.  Gorgeous.  There were geese out and only a few boats.  The water was warm and I kept a steady pace throughout the swim.

My plan was to go 200 strokes and then rest and for the most part I kept this goal.  I stayed along the outside of the lake following the levy until it ended.  The only major hick up was about 3/4 of the way through I got a leg cram that was pretty severe.  It would not relent without some serious effort. Finally I took an energy gel pack (had 2 ‘feedings’ on the swim and 2 water stops) and that seemed to help with the pain.

I pushed on through and finally made it to the homestretch.  It’s amazing how long that homestretch is.  It feels like you are never going to make it.  In fact, that’s how I feel with all open water swimming but then I do and it’s so exciting! I hope I never get over that excitement. Plus, to look back and see a huge levy that you crossed was thrilling.  It’s hard to believe I swam all that way!

Here I am at the end of the swim

It was such a thrilling thing to finish the swim! My first BIG swim!  I can’t wait to do many more.  Thanks to Jeff for paddling for me.  It was an awesome experience I could not have had alone.  I’m in awe of those that can do the 5k in such fast times.  I finished in 2 hrs 50 minutes which I thought was pretty good for a first time.  I’m happy with it and very proud!

After finishing the swim. That’s some goggle eyes for you!

I felt very peaceful while I was swimming like I could breath deeply for the first time.  Live truly under water.  I can’t wait for Deer Creek!  Bring it on!  Now I just wish I had a massage.  After 2 days of hard exercise I’m done!


7 thoughts on “First 5k Swim

    1. Thanks so much. I don’t know about piece of cake but I feel super confident. Crazy to think I had never heard of open water swimming this time last year and now I’m doing 5k’s!

  1. Great job, Rachel! Can you believe it was your very first 5k challenge and you didn’t just swim a part of it, you swam the whole thing! I like your strategy to count your strokes, I think it is a great way to break up a long long swim and it also keeps your mind occupied. You can be proud of your google eyes! You are a big swimmer!

    1. Thanks. It was funny I felt quite energetic for the first hour or so after the swim and then it hit me. My whole body was so sore but still worth it! I still can’t believe I did it.

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