My second visit to the Nike Swim Miami went much better than the first, even if my time (2:27:51) didn’t really reflect it. I felt strong from start to finish and held my stroke rate consistently in the high 60’s / low 70’s. Even accounting for slight navigational errors, 2:27-high seems way off – even more so considering the favorable (if somewhat warm) conditions and buoyantly saline water.
The course was probably a bit longer than 2K – and then compounded over 5 laps. But that’s just the nature of the game in open water. Who knows what times mean. Even, apparently, with a closed-loop course under neutral conditions.
So how else to judge my swim, if not by time?
My “2K” splits were consistent – 27:49, 29:37, 30:02, 30:07, 30:17. Almost certainly my best-split 10K OW.
I nailed my nutrition: 150-calorie carb drink at 2/4/6/8K, supplemented with 90-calorie gels at 4K & 6K. Plenty of energy throughout (thanks to my wife who spent 2+ hours sitting on a dock in UV-Index-10 sun with a bunch of coaches).
The 10K field was almost identical to last year’s. 62 swimmers, split about 50/50 between USA-S and USMS. 6-8 super-elite / professional / national-team types at the top.
Last year, I finished 27/62 overall and 9th among Masters swimmers. This year, I was 14/62 overall and 1st among Masters. (A 32-year old guy finished 3rd overall but didn’t swim with the Masters wave. He’s also a 4-time Olympian).
My 2011 open water season officially begins this Saturday, at the Nike Swim Miami. The 10K main event is scheduled for 10am EDT, and will be streamed live on the web at Swimming World TV (and syndicated here).
There’s a new venue this year – the Miami Yacht Club on Watson Island. According to the promotional materials, the Yacht Club offers “cleaner water and a more beautiful backdrop,” as well as the opportunity to “swim past homes of notorious celebrities, one of which is Gloria Estefan’s residence.” Wait…what?
Because, let’s be honest: The biggest issue with the previous venue is that we didn’t get to swim past Gloria Estefan’s house.
The course has also changed a bit – a 5 laps of 2K rather than 4 laps of 2.5K – to reflect the layout of the 2012 London Olympics course.
It will be my first race and first non-chlorinated swim (with one brief exception) since October. Time to dust off the cobwebs!
As some of you know, I did this race last year (my first 10K). Amazing what a comedy of errors it seems in retrospect. Should be plenty of room for improvement.
Two weeks ago a trip to Miami was not even on my radar. Then out of the blue an old college friend (both roommate and swim team-mate) emailed me about doing a relay for the Swim Around Key West. Sadly I had another commitment that weekend, but out of curiosity I went Googling for other races in South Florida (he lives in Miami) and — lo and behold — there’s a race in Miami April 17th!