I like this race; a 1 mile swim around the Santa Cruz Wharf. It's a chance to see old swim friends, and a course that's ALWAYS exactly the same and so is a good opportunity to see progress over the years. This day we had cool foggy conditions, but water warmer than it's been lately; 59F, which is just fine for wetsuit weenies like me.

The night before, I had two big bowls of Trader Joe's organic flax seed cereal with vanilla soy milk and heaping handfuls of nuts and dried cranberries just before bed. In the morning, B complex, D, CaMg, E vitamins/minerals, a banana and a cup of chocolate soy+1 scoop of MetRx high protein, 90 minutes before the race. 20 minutes before the start I had 2/3 of a bottle of Accelerade.

Commiserating before things get underway

A confident smile pre-race

All eyes are on the race director as he gives instructions. Right? He's the guy in back with the microphone.

It was a colorful group of characters

The trek under the wharf to the start in front of the Cocoanut Grove. I rush to stick my camera back in my gear bag at the finish and then get some acclimation in the ocean on the way to the start

My left rotator cuff had been getting sore this season in swims, forcing me to reduce intensity, and I figure its been because I have been doing my recovery reach pretty much completely out of the water, trying to minimize drag. But last night when talking with Delucchi, I realized by keeping my arm out of the water, I was only making the rest of my body ride a bit deeper, neutralizing the drag argument. I also remember watching those endless pool ads with Roudy Gaines and how his recovery hand slides just under the water surface. So today I vowed to focus on practicing this recovery and upping my intensity and see what would happen.

I love open water swimming... except for swimming into someone's kicking feet. I'll swim a more round about line just to avoid that. I took an outside line and never came close to contact, and had a good line after rounding the end of the wharf. My PR for this course is the '96 race: 23:59. Never come close to that before or since, 26+ at others. But, I felt I could put in a second best ever today with a little luck. My goal was to break 25 minutes. Water-entry-to-exit was 24:55. Chip timing (sand start to chip beep on the carpet up on the sand) was 25:28, (a little slow as I toppled over the first time I stood up, when the undertow hit me). My second best swim, and I'm an old geezer now! So I'm happy, and best of all, no soreness in my rotator cuff; either side. After, I drank the rest of my Accelerade and grabbed my camera to photo some random finishers.

After the race.

a bit of added salt-water weathering have I


...and friends, clearly all endorphine'd up

The Santa Cruz Masters contingent...

...took home...

...more than their share of the medals

Coach Wilson... CRUSHed the competition in my age group

sans wetsuit, at home on my deck. Yeah, kinda self-promoting I suppose. But some day my body'll fall apart and it's nice to remind myself I'm not washed up quite yet


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