Another weekend, another swim. No rest for the wicked. So straight off the bat from last week’s 10km swim, I did another swim just yesterday. Wasn’t going to take it too seriously. It was going to be a nice fun training swim. Since the 10km swim, I only swum once during the week, a slow 2km. It was mostly a recovery week despite yesterday’s 4.5km swim. It was a Hayama beach area, so pretty convenient from Tokyo. It’s also “our local” open water swim “club” venue. It was organised by a private triathlon group so entry was pretty pricey -10,000 yen for a 4.5km swim. But it was well organised. And you bet we got a t-shirt and swim cap included.
It was on ridiculously early. Decided an early Saturday night was in order. Was in bed by 9:30pm. Woo hoo. Hashtag: Painting the town beige! Was up at 4:30am and on the 5:30am train to get the train to Zushi and then the bus the race beach. Caught up with some fellow swimmers on the way. I had a few swimming friends who were also racing today.
Registration was until 8am with our race starting at 9am! On a Sunday morning! It was a really good turn out for the race. Atmosphere was good and a well-organised event. Water conditions were good. Weather was hot and humid despite being hazy.
The water was surprisingly colder than what I was expecting. It was only about 22-23. Very fresh but comfortable enough.
They had a lot of lifeguards and water support crew. More than I’ve seen at a race in a long while.
Warm up swim time:
It was nice that they had a wetsuit and a non-wetsuit category. This was a really professional race event. We even had ankle time chips! A rarity at a lot of swim races here. There were 3 distances – 1.5km/3km/4.5km. I went for the 4.5km swim sans wetsuit. It was going to be a good open water swim training session for the 10km open water swim I’ll do in about 7 weeks time. See how I go today and then double my time and then some. I also raced carrying two gels in my cossies as a practice run. I hadn’t planned on practising feeding, but I did end up consuming a gel during the swim. The course was a 1.5km triangular loop, with an land entry between each lap. Run up on the beach, cross the mat, pass the drinks table, and then back into the water. The drinks table didn’t have any water, only sports drink. I prefer water to get rid of the salty mouth. Pre-race photo op:
Hayama Open Water Swim:
Time to do our thing. The start was a bit weird. There was no countdown and I was expecting a horn, but all there was, was a whistle. Just all of a sudden we were waiting around and then it was time to race. Not much of a lead up. Anyway, you can see me here on the right side of the photo, just casually walking into the water:
Water was murky and not as clear as I would have liked it. I actually thought the course was clockwise, but it was actually anti-clockwise, so just as well I followed everyone else. There was about 300 of us all starting at once. It was definitely a more aggressive race. I took a few blows and probably gave a few too. I didn’t mind it so much. It gets you revved up. The distance from the start to the first buoy felt long. And it felt long on each of the three laps. After the first lap I took a cup of drink from the drink station. Was disappointed there was no water.
On the second lap, I took my gel instead of their sports drink. It was more time efficient for my to drink my gel on the run rather than stop by the table as well. On the third lap, going back out there was a lot more seaweed and debris that we had to swim through. I felt little stinging things in the water. I get very bad allergic reactions to the waters in Shonan. I usually make it a policy to not swim anywhere in the Shonan area – Miura, Zushi, Enoshima, Kamakura etc. Actually swimming in Kanagawa prefecture in general is not that great. I find that because it’s close to Tokyo, the waters are bit polluted and not so clean. Much prefer Shizuoka and Chiba prefecture. I don’t get as much of an allergic reaction. Am now covered in an itchy rash all over my torso. Just the usual, I guess. I should be used to it by now. Am somewhat concerned about the 10km swim I’ll be doing (the Shonan swim). It’s from Zushi beach to Enoshima beach (a point to point swim) in the festy sea lice waters.
I have a bad feeling I am going to get a crazy allergic reaction after swimming there. Mark my words.
This 4.5km swim was a fun swim to do though. I did it 1hr 14min which was good considering lack of training and during my recovery week. I would have liked to have gone a bit faster, and to have especially beat Youri but he beat me 3min. I really don’t do enough sprint/interval work. Got 5th place in my age group. And 68th out of 117 in the non-wetsuit category. And what a better way to end your race than with some free sazae (Japanese for turban shell. which we got as a post-race snack (it’s food, not a souvenir). I hate this stuff – it’s super chewy and salty and bitter and tastes very offal-ly.
July is gonna be a busy month and I don’t foresee much swimming training happening which concerns me. But hopefully will have lots of travel pics coming up soon.