Race Report: Jim McDonnell Lake Swims

I didn’t do any grappling this past week, since the Jim McDonnell lake swims were this Sunday. After the Nanticoke race, in which I was still really sore on Sunday from a hard class the Wednesday before, I decided to give BJJ a rest for a full week before this one. I had some good swim workouts, and I was optimistic that I’d beat my times from 2007 in both the one mile and two mile.

No dice. In fact, I was considerably slower. So much slower that I actually wondered if the course was measured differently this year. I suppose it’s possible. but it’s also completely possible that I tanked spectacularly.

The water was just about perfect, about 71 degrees. I definitely didn’t need a wetsuit for this one. I ended up warming up late and getting to the start line late for the one miler. In fact, everyone had piled up at the start so that I had to jump over several ropes to get past the scrum and into the line for my correct wave. Then, as soon as I stepped in the water, my timing chip floated free from my ankle. Ack! I was furiously treading water and trying to knot it into place (I had no idea where the velcro part was) and praying they wouldn’t start us before I had it in place. I didn’t kick with my right leg pretty much that whole race.


Site of the McDonnell Lake Swims

Site of the McDonnell Lake Swims



The two miler was an exercise in pain. I had stiffened up pretty well after the one miler, and I couldn’t seem to get into any kind of a rhythm for about the first half. The second half, I found a rhythm, but it was a slow one. I also found one heel jammed into my right eye at the first buoy first lap – my eyeball just about popped from the socket, but at least the goggles would have caught it if it did! That one was accidental, so no hard feelings. But I also found, second buoy, second lap, one elbow, hard, to my solar plexus. That one pissed me off. Seriously, think of stroke mechanics. You can’t elbow someone in the solar plexus like that unless it’s deliberate.

All that aside, the best part of the race was the fact that Sister and Nerfy did the one miler as well. Sister placed second in her age group (hardware!!), and Nerfy, in her very first ever open water race not only finished it, but flew past the people in her wave and several of the waves that left before her.



Sister, Grappledunk, and Nerfy post race(s). Note those still finishing in the background!

Sister, Grappledunk (sporting the drowned rat look), and Nerfy post race(s). Note those still finishing in the background!


Next stop, Bay Swim! I’ll need try to figure out what happened with this one and get back in gear, but no matter how fast or slow I go in the Bay Swim, it should be a blast.

This entry was posted in family, Great Chesapeake Bay Swim, Swimming Links and Other Cool Sites and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Race Report: Jim McDonnell Lake Swims

  1. Nick says:


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