The VOWSA Canada Day Challenge

Happy Canada Day!

I celebrated the true north strong and free this weekend with a getaway to Vancouver with my kiddo, the lovely Scarlet. We hung out with some best pals, ate some great food, saw my favourite band Belle and Sebastian on Friday night, and capped it all off with the VOWSA Canada Day Challenge event this morning.

This was my first open water event of the season. I am very pleased to say that I think I got most things right for this this swim! I didn’t burn out in the last 3 weeks – partly because I was sick, partly because I had a whole bunch of work travel, and partly because I’m trying to be more aware of overtraining and how it affects my body and my metabolic syndrome. I’ve been averaging around 10K each week, and I did sneak a few short sessions in while in Comox and Chicago on business, as well as a workout in the Trail Aquatic Centre to test out my new Orca Alpha wetsuit.

My pre-swim day prep was pretty standard and included getting the back of my head shaved (prevents my hair from getting caught in my zipper – which is the absolute worst torture during a swim), eating pho, and watching a (terrible) horror movie. This morning we were up early to drive out to Port Moody for check in at 7:30 am. The Canada Day Challenge is an event with several distance options, including a 1K, a 2K, and a 4K. I had never done a 4K event before, so I was curious to see how I’d feel. I usually find 2K to be slightly short, and I don’t really start to get going until near the end of the race. I’ve been much stronger in 3 or 7. The shorter distances just feel too “racy” – which is what I’m trying to get away from, right? To swim for the love and fun of it in as many cool places as possible.

No racing. No stress. No anxiety. No negative self talk. No bathroom on the way there (a close call, but that’s a story for another time).

As it turned out, 4K is an excellent distance for me. Sasamat Lake was a perfect 19 degrees and calm. I went out smooth and strong and stayed relaxed for the entirety of the swim, which was 2 x 2K loops around the lake. Although I bought new goggles yesterday, I opted for an older pair just to avoid any surprises with leakage (having already avoided leakage issues on the way to the race, as mentioned previously). I was pretty fogged up the whole time, but the big bright buoys were easy to sight and I had no issues.

I had lots of gas in the tank at the end of the race and other than some pretty severe neck chafing, I felt amazing crossing the finish line. Amazing enough to check out some Port Moody real estate, take a nap and a shower, and then stuff my face with sushi.

I would definitely return to swim this event again. But first I need a good sleep.


  1. Martine Bedard · July 2, 2018

    Congratulations on your swim Aerin! That’s awesome! You rock!!!!!!


    • Aerin Guy · July 2, 2018

      Thanks Martine! ❤


  2. Sandy Bowers · July 2, 2018

    Awesome start to your summer Aerin!! Looking forward to all your updates and adventures…❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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