Sunday, June 24, 2012

Green Lake Open Water Swim- Race Report

The Green Lake Open Water Swim (GLOWS) is always the "early" swim of the season. This season it seems to have come too early. I've swum it two of the last three years, and finished in 22-23 minutes.  The course is a short half mile course. This year I felt under-trained-- I've been in the lake, what, 5 times so far?? Not a lot of swimming!  But I knew I could do the distance, if not at the speed I'd done in the past.

Going to the start on the bus (it's a point-to-point swim) I was amazed at the number of people who seemed to be doing it for the first time. Turns out the first year I did this, about 65 people finished (the half mile), and this year over 80 did (just in the half mile), so there must be more and more first-timers each year.

The water temps were cold, and the race organizers encouraged us to wear wetsuits.  I would have anyway.  I hung out at the start until about 5 min before gun, then got into the water.

I started at the back of the pack, but in the middle, not off to the side. It wasn't planned, it was just where I was when the gun went off.  The water was cold, but not as cold as Lake Washington had been so far this season.  I started swimming fine, then a few minutes in, couldn't control my breath.  It was similar to the Whidbey Island swim in that way. I didn't panic. But I couldn't control my breathing.  I switched to head up breast stroke and kept swimming, knowing that when I caught my breath I'd be fine.

Sure enough, two or three minutes later, I was.  I got into a rhythm, and could swim.  I could feel my shoulders getting tight (ah, the joys of under-training) but just kept swimming. By half way across the lake I was alternating 10 strokes of crawl with 10 strokes of breast.  I was in a grove, and fine.  I wasn't loving it.  I felt slow. And the distance felt long. I was happy when I saw the finish.  I crossed in 25:26.  My slowest time ever for this swim. That just teaches me that I have to get in the water more!

Not my best race ever, but I'm glad I did it!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I should have known...

I should have known this wasn't going to be a great swim when I got to the lake and saw white caps.  But I was determined. I'd rested my shoulder this weekend because it was sore from tumbling class, and I really wanted to swim.

I should have known it wasn't going to be a great swim when my goggles strap broke. I'd left my spare pair at home, trying to streamline what I carry with me.  I was able to make do with the stump of the strap, but they didn't fit quite right.

I should have known it wasn't going to be a great swim when my Vibrams started irritating my toe with the missing nail.  The nail is growing back slowly.

I should have known it wasn't going to be a great swim when I kept getting hit in the head by my swim safety buoy.  Usually it floats behind me and I don't even know it's there.  Today the wind kept blowing it at me and it got in my way.

I should have known it wasn't going to be a great swim when the waves started making me sick.  I swam north, as I usually do, with the wind coming from the south east, the waves crossed me in a way that made me ill.

But then I turned around.  Into the waves.  And swam back.  And suddenly, it was a great swim.

35 min. Water temp- 64* Air temp- 62*