I got in the pool and immediately swam 900 yards non-stop (no hanging on the wall or fiddling with my goggles). 900 yards is a little more than the distance of the Ice Breaker. If I had the chance, I would have gone back to Folsom Lake and done the swim there (but not in this wind!). I think my biggest problem was the rough water and not so much the distance.
I have been doing a lot of reading about swimming in rough water. Most of what I have read (and what James has also said) is that it is ok to roll over on your back and catch your breath. This is exactly what I did on Saturday, but I don't think anyone intended that the whole race should be swam that way! Oh well, it worked, but a little more freestyle would have been nice :-)
I found the following video on YouTube about swimming in rough water. I should have watched this before the race, but up until 9:25am Saturday morning, I had no idea that the water conditions were going to be so different than what I was used to. No, I didn't expect it to be like the pool, but my previous open water swims at Camanche and the American River were relatively calm compared to Folsom.
Saturday's race was definitely a learning experience. I've got a month before my next triathlon, so I have time to practice. Honestly, I don't want to have to work on rough water swimming techniques. I just want to swim in a nice, calm lake where I can concentrate on simple things.
My goals for my next open water swim are as follows:
1) Remain calm
2) Swim my race
3) More freestyle!