NYE Swim – 2016

For the fourth year in a row, I participated in, and completed, the Dynamo 10k NYE swim. This one was a little different.

  • Due to activities at Dynamo on NYE, it was held the evening of December 30. We started swimming at 9 pm. December 30 is my birthday, and it was scheduled until 12:30 am. 3.5 hours to swim. Got it! What better way to celebrate a birthday, right?
  • There was an option for people who wanted to swim 17,000 to swim 7,000 in the am, and 10,000 at night. I think a few people did both (including Gretchen – who lead our lane last year). Many people did one or the other.

All in all, I think it is getting easier. And as usual, time flew. But I am ahead of myself.

I went in without a distance goal, but rather the goal of reading my body and if my form fell, I was done. I have been working hard on form and keeping the proper muscles engaged. This was s directive from Matthew, and where my brain was. It’s good.

I had my usual pre-race breakfast for dinner, knowing it would be OK. I was nervous and texting Rebecca. She, as usual, calmed me down some. It is all irrational stuff that gets in my brain. She was spinning that night, having swum in the morning. I was a bit jealous. But, Matthew said swimming is where I need to work. And he’s right. And so I swim. I know. I am all too eager to hop on my bike.

About 10 minutes before leaving, my stomach started to hurt. I knew what it was – gas. And it would pass one way or another in a couple of hours. But right then I was barely able to stand upright.

I drove to Dynamo, hoping things would ease. It was odd driving to Dynamo and there was traffic on the road. I am used to driving there at 5:20 am. Not a lot of traffic then!

I arrived early (as usual) and proceeded to lay down on the bench – taking deep breaths. Laura and Lora came in and they were fantastic. I told them what was up and they kept talking to me – trying to get my brain off of what my body was feeling. Libby came in and the discussion continued.  They headed out, and I soon followed suit. I ran in to Stacy who was doing the 3-hour spin. I joked about having gas. And she gave me a hug – trying to hug it out! And then I ran in to Shawna (swimming that evening) who did the same thing. Let me tell you – you know you have amazing friends when then do not run from you when you say you have gas, but rather try to help. Especially hugging it out! And they also wished me a happy birthday.

Soon we were gathered to swim. I knew where I should be – with Libby, Laura, Lora and (a little late but got it all in) Lynn. Chris Johnson joined us too. And someone I have met a few times before  – Anna. All in all a good lane. Very good lane. I knew I was comfortable swimming with everyone there which is amazing.

Maria, as usual, was on deck feeding us workouts, coaching, and making sure we stayed on task. With humor mixed in. Of course.

And so we started. And instantly my stomach issues were gone. As in I could reach and extend without pain. Some achiness and it was hard to really feel my core. But no pain or discomfort. And so we all swam.

The swim had a good mix of swim toys (pull buoy, fins, very little paddles) and plain old swim. And a little stroke mixed in for good measure.  It was also a great mix of longer intervals mixed in with some short stuff in each set so that it actually felt pretty good. I felt strong and comfortable to the end.

Libby lead most of the way. Which she is excelling at. I know I can just fall in behind her. At the start I felt things were a little fast, but it slowed down. It always goes that way.

We took one break at 5,000. And I ran to the bathroom. And I had to take a second bathroom break on my own around 8k. And life was good! It also meant I had to make up 200m after others were done. But, it worked out. Lynn had 500 to make up, and there were others still swimming. So we were never alone. We are one of the slower lanes. Most people doing this are faster, or set goals for a shorter distance. I think, this being our third year of swimming this together, we are good with that.

I knew going in to this my nerves were irrational. I knew I had at least 7.5k. Once I hit 8.2k, heck….it’s only 1,800 more meters. I had that!

After we took a picture of our lane, cleaned up, and celebrated with bagels, bananas and champagne.  More hugs from friends telling me happy birthday and saying that was a crazy thing to do on my birthday. But really – no place I’d rather be. It was a great way to celebrate something with friends, and accomplishments by all.

Lora, Lynn, Laura, me, Libby post 10k swim

While I getting a little champagne (or sparkling wine) and munching a banana, I saw Matthew and Rebecca smiling, and Matthew asked me if Michigan played in a bowl game that night. I knew Michigan had lost by their grins. You win some, you lose some. I had a little champagne, chatted with friends, and was pretty dang happy.

Birthday card from my parents. I was told a couple of times I was crazy to do a 10k swim on my birthday. Goal met and no place I’d rather be.

And I didn’t get home until almost 2 am. Which is unusual for me. OK – pigs flying rare for me. And I made it to 2 am on NYE! Two nights in a row past 2 am? What in the world?

All in all, every year I think NOT this year. And then I do. And then I am proud and really do have a lot of fun. And grateful I did it. And this year was even better.


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