I dove into the cold waters of Ilanin Bay. It was a long way to the first turn buoy, about a kilometer, but I wanted to break free of the struggle happening around me. I surged ahead and fought for position.
The swim work I’d done started to pay off. Sure, the fast ones still got away, but I didn’t get stuck amid flailing arms and thrashing legs in the back. I felt pretty strong through that whole first stretch despite pushing against the current. The new Roka swimskin also contributed a lot to my feeling secure because of less drag (it covered my trisuit pockets) and its compression reminding me to get my legs up higher in the water.
(I also found myself chuckling inwardly as I saw a huge cluster of fast swimmers going off-course ahead of me while I was safely following the buoy line by my lonesome. What use is speed if you don’t sight for yourself, ey?)
The giant red turn buoys made sighting easy even in the morning glare, and it was so easy to find a rhythm I could sustain. The last 300 meters were a joy to swim because I could feel the current now working in our favor, pulling us in toward shore. I managed to shave six (!!!) minutes off my previous swim time on this course, which is actually about 2.1 instead of 1.9 kilometers long.