Sun is out, air is clear, and the 60-degree water is NOT AT ALL like Hawaii!
I am here for tomorrow’s Trans Tahoe Relay – and I can’t believe it’s finally happening!
Five teammates and I will be swimming across the lake, from Sand Harbor, Nevada, to Skylandia Beach, California. Each team member will swim a 30-minute leg, followed by repeating 10-minute segments until we complete the 11-mile point-to-point. Every one of the 239 (!) teams competing has a support boat accompanying for the swim. With six-person teams, that's 1,434 competitors. The event is an institution in lake swimming – this 2016 event marks the 40th year. (A friend of mine has done it 36 of those years!)
Last year, I looked into it but didn’t think there’d be a chance I could participate: cold water? wetsuit? mosh-pit start? getting in and out of the boat? 3 or 4 times in the water across the lake? Too much uncertainty. NO WAY was I ready.
This year though? I drove myself up yesterday – that’s right, I came up alone – to make it to the North Bay Aquatics practice swim at Commons Beach in the evening. There’d be a pier to negotiate, maybe some gnarly foot-ramps down to the water, but not a problem, I thought, I’d have help getting my wetsuit on and would test out the water for 20 or 25 minutes…which would be about 20-degrees colder than my last month of swimming in Hawaii.
Well, I got to the pier and, with Now-or-never! on my mind, decided to forget the wetsuit for some Maui-tested board shorts, had some help down the ramp, got in the water, and made it through a 40-minute swim. The best kind of wakeup call.
I did something similar this morning, opting for the good ol' speedo for a 30-minute dip down south with the team, in Tahoma.
Not only do I feel immensely refreshed (and pretty exhausted), I still can’t believe my body handled the water as it did.
Changes. My own expectations: shattered.
The captains meeting was tonight – replete with the frenzied energy at check-in that I know from national swim meets.
We board the boat at 6:30am tomorrow to motor across to the start line, and I can’t wait to reunite with some old swim buddies tonight from my three club swim teams, as well as a couple newer friends, for this majestically-placed relay.
The race is on.