Purple Swim- Baltimore

The salty sea air, the wind blowing in my face, ahhh, a perfect day to be at sea!  -Eric, The Little Mermaid.

It was a beautiful day for a swim!  Well, it usually is :-)  The water temp was perfect, there was a breeze to keep things a little cooler than usual, and there were a ton of people ready to dive in and swim.  What a great way to spend a Sunday!
The Purple Swim is actually not a swim involving the Ravens in any way.  This was a swim to raise money for pancreatic cancer, and you could do a 1 mile swim, 2 mile swim, or both!  I signed up for the race on Monday, with some encouragement from some teammates who were swimming it.  I decided to just do the 2 mile race, but Reg and Eileen showed me up by swimming both.  Cause they're beasts.
This is the 1 mile race about to start.  Reg and Eileen are in there somewhere!  Reg did really well and got 5th in this race, without a wetsuit!  A girl won it overall though, which I loved :-)
It looks kind of calm, but don't let that fool you...  It was just like swimming into a wall of water when coming back.  Well, lots of walls of water coming back- it was super wave-y and choppy. 
But I was excited to get in there anyways, duh.  We had to swim out straight past 3 buoys, turn left and swim along 3 buoys, then turn around and swim back along 3 buoys, and then turn in to shore.  It was slightly more complicated than that, but you get the general idea.
Swimming out felt great.  It was my first race in a long time without a wetsuit, and I enjoyed the freedom of movement!  I tried to stay with Reg, but a guy got between us and I just dragged off him for a bit, before passing him and trying to get back to Reg.  He was wearing a wetsuit though, so I didn't expect to get close, just keep him in my sights.  So we turned left at the 3rd buoy, and man oh man, we were swimming with the swells!  I was body surfin, it was awesome.  I don't have an even stroke, so I just changed it up a little to match the waves and just cruised, I was flying, it was so fun.  In the back of my mind I knew that meant trouble for coming back though...

I saw Reg turn the last buoy about 10 yards ahead of me, woot!  Had no idea I was so close to him!  But then sure enough, we turned around into a wall of water coming at us.  Sad face.  It was up and down and crashing waves and waves just catching your hand and not letting you pull forward and more up and down and I was starting to feel seasick and just wanted to raise my hand and have a kayak come get me.  I didn't see how I would make any forward progress in this water.  Then my ego got offended that I even thought about quitting, so I sucked it up and kept moving.  Well, 3 big guys swarm up to me.  The guys who got between me and Reg on the way out and that I passed easily within the .25 start.  It was so unfair, I was just not big enough to cut through the water like these guys could.  Wait a second....  And I realized I needed to get into their wake, stat!  So I fell between these two guys who were trying to match each other stroke for stroke, and let them sight and let them pull me a bit.  I'm not sure they did anything towards my race other than keep me moving forward and from forfeiting, but it sure helped to have some people around me and not feel like I was a little lost swimmer in the Bay.  These guys chased down Reg, and one other person, I think another girl.  I just kept moving with them.  We dropped one of the guys who initially had swarmed up with them too.  So then when we could finally swim in to shore, and I had a break from all the pounding waves, it was glorious.  I rode some swells in and just loved not feeling tossed around by every wave.  I got out of the water, and saw a couple people I knew at the finish- Jeff Strahota, from UMD club swimming days, and the girl who won the mile swim, and the guy wearing a pink polka dot suit who won the mile for males.  I figured this meant a lot of people had already finished, since I didn't know many people here, and I already recognized 3 of the people standing around.  So I grabbed some water and moved to watch Reg finish.  Well, the girl came up to me and started chatting, asking about my swimming background, if I did tri's, etc, so I asked her the same questions.  We chatted about open water and I was flattered she was talking to me, and only after she left did it dawn on me that that meant I must have done pretty well.  I turned to Reg (who had finished by now) and said "Reg!  I think I got 2nd female overall!"  And he goes "Good on ya!"  (He's Australian).  But there was nowhere to confirm this, no results posted, no way to ask around at this point.  And the awards were only for the top male and female finishers. 
Kirk, Me, Eileen, Reg
So finally, right before I left, I managed to find the guy with the timing system sheets and confirm.  Yes.  I was 2nd female overall, with a time of 50.35.  I was 6th overall, and thrilled with the results!  I think I'm getting faster guys!  Rio 2016 baby!  ;-)

**Update- official results here!!

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