For the past two years, and many summers prior, I've swum for fun. I swim when I want. Stop when I'm tired. Skip it if the weather is bad or there is some other tempting event to go to. My swimming was purely recreational. Although I often did a "race" or two each summer, I never worried about my finish time and my longest event was 1.4 miles. Since my typical Lake Washington swim was 1 mile, it wasn't hard to push on that day.
Now I'm contemplating putting together a summer swim "season" with two events that will challenge me-- a 1.5 mile swim in salt water and a 5k swim in the lake. The first will challenge me in conditions, the second in distance.
The idea of doing a 5k swim is a bit daunting. I would actually have to focus on training for that. As I've been researching what the training would look like, I realize I'll have to commit to a lot more time in the water. This may mean earlier mornings or swimming later in the day, neither of which are ideal.
So this raises the question-- is training going to suck the fun out of swimming? And if so, do I not even want to sign on?
The plan right now is to ease into the training, and see how I feel, before signing up for any event. If I continue to like the ramp up and formal training in about a month, I will pay my fees for the "big" events.