The getting-in was pretty brutal - it was cold, I'm not going to pretend it wasn't - but once we all got going, it was okay. We finished in about half an hour. We all had issues with getting blown off course by the waves, but beyond that, I actually found it to be really easy. The only physical issue I had involved my breathing - in the beginning, I found it hard to breathe bilaterally, but whether that was due to the cold or the mental factor of not being able to see through the water or a combination of the two, I'm not sure. At any rate, that straightened out after the first few minutes, but I still found it easier to breathe on just one side (every two strokes, instead of every three) because it made it easier to 'sight' over the water and stay on course.
Anyway, I know half an hour in 63-degree (or whatever it was) water isn't all that exceptional in the Channel scheme of things, especially since I was among the last to finish, but I was still really happy with how I did, because once we were all out of the water, I had no issues at all. Everyone complained of being cold, even the five of them who 'cheated' by wearing either a wet suit or a surfing rash guard, and of the three of us who just wore normal swimsuits, the other two were really cold afterwards, shaking and breathing a bit heavily. I was taken aback by how absolutely fine I was - I wasn't worn out, wasn't breathing hard, wasn't cold, didn't shake at all, didn't even need my towel or clothes. The other seven people were TriGators, so everyone was in pretty good shape, so all I can think is that I did better because I naturally carry a little more body fat than most of them, which insulates against the cold. When I first got the marathon swimming 'wild hair', I predicted that naturally having the right body type would help me out, and I seem to - so far - have been proven right.
Okay, N and I are going to stuff ourselves at Broward Dining now, and then I'm going to Jacksonville for work tomorrow. My sister's in Italy with her school trip, so it'll be pretty quiet at home.