I never like getting up at 5:30am, but today it worked out OK. I swam 1.7 miles across Narragansett Bay in 50 minutes and it felt great! The water temperature was ideal - somewhere between 68 and 70 degrees. And without a wetsuit, being in the water for an hour can be a dicey situation. But it was just right - not too cold and not too hot. Once I swam long enough without running into any jellyfish, I stopped thinking about most of the outside influences. I may as well have been in the pool. The only two thing I struggled with were the lonliness and the chaffing. When you swim (or bike or run) for any great distance, it's really just a mental test. And for whatever reason, I found myself in a spot ahead of the group I started with and behind the wave of swimmers that started earlier. There was nobody around me, and it lasted for probably half the race. I couldn't see anything in the dark water and there weren't any swimmers around to look at when I was breathing either. It was flat out boring. Right about the same time I found myself in this void, I also started to develop nasty chaffing in my arm pits. I am not use to swimming in the salt water and the constant rubbing of skin under my arms started to get pretty darn annoying. Mental note for next year.... bring the vaseline! Many thanks to the kayaker assigned to escort me across - Kathy Natareno. Also a big thanks to all of my sponsors who helped raise $500 for this great cause.