Not quite, but pretty dam close to, dead fucking last. Consider this a warning, the expletives are coming.
I watched the radar all day, literally. In the morning I thought there was no way it was going off. By noon I wasn't sure, about 2:00 or so I knew I'd end up swimming tonight. Dam the luck.
As I'm pulling up to the beach I see the buoys. My first thought, "Holy fuck those are a long way out there." 1000-m doesn't sound like much, but the first time you see it stretched out as a triangle in the water it kind of blows you away.
Fast forward to pre-race. Pull new wetsuit 1/2 way on, let's go see how the water feels. Holy crap that's cold. Get back out, mill around for awhile, time to try again. This time I pull the wetsuit on the whole way, don my pretty red swim cap, and try again.
Dam, still cold. Finally get fully in, float around for a bit, take a few strokes, it's not cold, it's frigid. Getting out again.
Conversation that ensued was kind of humorous:
Random dude in transition area: "How is it?"
Me: "It's like bathwater."
Me: "No, it's fucking cold."
Got back in again and swam some more just prior to race start. I can do this.
Gun goes off and I let all the crazies run in from the beach. I wade in and start swimming only when pretty much every one else is. First 100-150 yards aren't bad, I'm following some feet, banged into a couple folks, nothing too drastic. Then it went to hell in a hand basket, and quick.
Turns out I don't swim straight, AT ALL. First I got off course, way off course. I'm not really sure what happened after that. Every time I looked up I was heading in a different direction and it messed with my head something fierce. Breathing and heart rate got all out of whack, and I wound up floating on my back.
By the time I made it to the first buoy it was just me, one other guy, and two kayaks. Despite it being just the two of us, we ran into each other at least 3-4 times. I swam the second leg primarily on my back trying to relax and get my breathing under control. Sometimes I'd do the backstroke, sometimes I'd just kick with my hands together on my stomach. Whatever it takes.
About 1/3 of the way in on the last leg I finally rolled over and swam again. Still couldn't hold a line to save my life, but the beach was getting closer. When I got to waist depth water I stood up and walked in. Enough of that.
The rest of the race was uneventful. I was going to wait for my swim buddy and run the 5k with him but he was taking way to long in transition and I was a little antsy and imagine this, cold. Oh, and it's raining now. I don't know when it started, but I first realized it about 1/2 way in on the last leg of the swim.
I didn't wear my watch again, so I have no idea where I'm at time wise in the race. As I cross the finish line there is a big clock at roughly 58:30.
Me: "that race time?"
Race Volunteer Chick: "yup"
Me: "no shit"
And at this point I'm totally astonished, I wouldn't say thrilled, but completely shocked that I broke an hour.
RVC: "Well at least you finished"
I don't think she understood my position.
Deep breath, almost done.
Other than not finishing or ending up as fish food on the bottom of the lake, the swim went about as bad as I could have imagined, but at least I know where I'm at, and that's something. I'm actually in pretty good spirits. I had no expectations going in, so it's hard to really be disappointed.
When race times get posted I'll post them here, if I had to guess, I'd say 25 in the water, 3 in transition, and 30 on the run. I felt like I was in the water a lot longer than that, but I doubt I ran a 5k in less than 30 with all the running I've done lately.