Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Greenlake Picnic an Swim

I typically have dinner with my brother and his family (wife, two kids) on Monday nights.  But this week the kids are at camp, so instead of going to their house, we went to the lake for a pic-nic dinner and a swim.

This was my first swim without my wet-suit.  My sister-in-law was going "in skin" so I thought I'd try it too. The lake was the perfect temperature.  I used the prescription goggles again, and my swim safe buoy.  The guys, who sat on shore and talked while we women swam, said they could see the buoy most of the way across the lake.  Unfortunately, I managed to screw the valve cover on crooked, and when I went to unscrew it, the whole cap mechanism came out.  So the buoy is useless now.  I hope I can fix it!

But back to the swim-- almost a mile, easy and pleasurable!

Swan Swim

It is amazing how my emotions change over the course of a few hours.  Even though I swam the night before, I had a swim scheduled for last night, so wanted to complete it.  I spent the day at work looking forward to it, but by the time I got home, I was tired and less sure.  By the time I got to the lake, the wind had picked up, and standing around was cold.  I almost went home. I waded into the water (without my wetsuit) and the water felt cold.  Again, I almost went home.  I stood, thigh deep in the water for a good 3 or 4 min.  Then finally said to myself, "What are you waiting for." With a laugh, I answered, "August, when the water warms up" and plunged into the water.

The waves were strong from the wind.  And blowing, as they often do, towards the north west. So I knew my standard out-and-back swim was going to be much harder on the way back.  I figured I'd take it easy for the out, and go short, then turn and hammer into the waves and wind.

Again with my prescription goggles, I could see EVERYTHING.  One of the things that this new prescription gives me is much better depth perception (to the point that one rider in my car commented that my driving was off the first week with the new glasses). Everything looks like a 3-D movie to me-- hyper clear and deep.  That included the underwater views.  I felt like I was in a 3-D movie of space, with things floating in front of my face.  Though there typcially isn't milfoil in space.

At one point, I thought I saw a dead fish floating near me in the water.  I swam away as fast as I could, totally skeeved out.  Then, as I paddled further, I realized that "fish" was most likely the reflection of my hands below the water on the surface of the water.  Nothing like being creeped out by your own stroke!

I was going to do the full mile swim, but with the waves at my back, started to worry about exhaustion on the swim back. So I turned around a few yards early.  The swim back was harder.  But I got into a great rhythm and just swam. It felt smooth and though it was hard work, it was easy to keep going.

When I finished I took a quick shower in the outdoor shower at the beach.  I realized how, after a hard workout like that, I am totally comfortable in my skin.  There is no sense of embarrassment or body consciousness about wearing just a bathing suit in public. Instead of fretting about body hair or my tummy size, I felt strong, powerful, and graceful.  It was a swan swim.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Gear Review- Prescription Goggles

As I've aged, my eyes have gotten progressively worse.  In anticipation of the recent Yellowstone trip, I wanted new glasses, so saw my eye doctor (I wanted to be able to spot those bear!!). New prescription in hand I ordered new glasses.  Then I realized that prescription goggles were a possibility.

So I ordered the Speedo Vanquisher from Swim Outlet. For $13 plus shipping it seemed worth a try. You can only order them with both eyes the same prescription, and they don't do the prism for astigmatism.  But for $13, why not?

Yesterday was my first swim in them.  It was AMAZING what I could see. Sighting off features on the other side of the lake was easy. Seeing my fellow swimmers was a breeze. The only drawback of seeing so clearly is also seeing what's under the water clearly.  Ick.

I thought I was ordering goggles similar to what I typical wear, with the rubber gaskets that go around your eye socket.  Instead, these are the kind that fit inside your eye socket.  I find them a little uncomfortable to remove, as the suction is tight. But that discomfort is worth the reward of clear vision while swimming.

Bottom line-- I'm thrilled to have them!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Moses Lake

The family spent a week in Yellowstone and the surrounding areas. I didn't get to swim, but I did spend one day on a horse.
The horse really did spend most of its time eating!

And one in a raft. 

I'm in a raft, here, not that you can tell.
And I got to see things that looked like this:

On the way home it was over 100* in Missoula, and in Spokane it was 97.  So I stopped to swim in Moses Lake.  We asked a local at the DQ where people swam in the area.  She pointed me to two local parks.  I couldn't find one, so went to the other. It was Cascade Park. There were a lot of teenagers jumping and diving off a pier, so I figured I would join them. 

Turns out the dock said "no swimming from this dock" on it.  I ignored, it as the kids were.

The water was warm, and a bit mucky.  It stank and had an algae bloom or something else suspended in it.  Small bits of mud or dirt or algae.  But it felt refreshing.  I swam about 1/4 mile out, parallel with the shore, and back.  Easy. Refreshing.  Then got back in the car for the ride home.  A stop in Ellensburg at the brewery made the day complete.