Thursday, June 6, 2013

2013 Chesapeake Bay Swim Preview

It’s race week!

Most folks have some kind of triathlon this month, but I don’t. Instead, I’ve been swimming like mad so that I can make it the 4.4 miles across this thing.

Apparently you can actually drive across it, but that sounds boring, so a few hundred of us decided to swim on Sunday morning instead.

As impressive as it looks in the picture, it's hard to grasp the context of the distance in one photo. For scale, here’s a map of just what 4.4 miles in the Chesapeake Bay looks like compared to, say, the distance between DC and Baltimore.

In preparation for my longest-ever open water swim race, my left shoulder impingement flared up last weekend. It doesn’t hurt much while swimming – more while getting dressed or lifting something overhead – but I’ve been icing it and doing trigger point work on it anyway. It should be good to go by Sunday morning.

And really, a shoulder impingement isn't fatal. Not even close. I’m staying upbeat about it, I mean, it’s not like there’s a tropical storm headed straight for the Chesapeake Bay, possibly causing a storm surge or flooding of rivers feeding the bay to screw up the currents right around the start of the race.

Errrrrrrrrrrr…about that…

To summarize, I'm going into a 4.4 mile swim with a less-than perfect shoulder, in less-than-perfect water conditions. 

Life isn't perfect. You don't say?

Since the currents can vary so much under normal circumstances, it's hard to set a time goal for this race. At the beginning of the year, I settled on 2:10 as a goal time, based on the fact that I've done several 2 mile open water swims in the 57 minute range. If I make it, great. If not, I just hope I'm not in there much longer than 2:30, because I might get tired of looking at green-brown water in front of me and bridge pillars to my sides. 

Before that, you can find me tracking a storm and sitting with ice on my left shoulder. Race week ahoy!


  1. Good luck on Sunday!
    My first 10k was actually across the Bay Bridge back in 2006. If I could swim that far, I'd probably want to do this event too. I hope the currents calm down by Sunday morning!

  2. umm, yeah, here's to hoping that the tropical storm takes a path out wide...

  3. Even with just the first picture I was shuddering at the thought of swimming across that...add in those currents and that's one Hell of a challenge.

    If anyone can do it though, you can.

    All the best for the race!


  4. I really aspire to do this race. I've driven across that bridge several times. I can only wish you the best of luck and know that you'll do well no matter what. My dad still remembers you from the only time he has seen you and refers to you as the "powerhouse swimmer". I told him you were doing this race and he is amazed. Anyways. Good luck!

  5. RACE WEEK, RACE WEEK, RACE WEEK! If Andrew ruins our races, then there will be so much #rage. She wouldn't dare.

  6. Oh my god, you're crazy! Good luck, hope the weather cooperates. Seriously though, wtf. You're crazy.

  7. Holy crap. I can't even conceive of this swim. The Bay Bridge seems far to drive across. I am in shock. Good luck!

  8. Fingers crossed for the storm, shoulder and currents to be in your favor.

  9. GOOD LUCK! Your swimming endurance and speed is incredible ! I remember swimming the 500 at a high school swim meet once and feeling like it was for-ev-er.

  10. Even DRIVING across the Bay Bridge used to freak me out. Wow.

    1. It still kind of freaks me out. Swimming was much more fun.