Saturday, June 06, 2015

Need More Open Water Practice


Outdoor Temp: 67F
Estimated water temp: 57F  (according to http://www.fishingnotes.com/fishing-report/nh/Mascoma-Lake.  I don't think it was that cold as I wasn't really uncomfortable)
Wind speed: 10MPH
Distance:  Not sure.  I was swimming in East Nowhere, New England and GPS is spotty enough it kept blinking out.  Between 400-550 yards.  Not very far at all, but at least 100 yards further than this map shows.
Time: 22 minutes.

Because it was cooler and windy, I almost blew off the open water swim today. I didn't blow it off for two reasons: My kayaker tried to remember when he'd last been in a kayak and it had been a few years.  The other reason was that I wanted to see how I'd do in less than beautiful conditions, since there's no guarantee the conditions for the swim I'm doing in a couple of weeks are going to be any better.

You can't swim from the boat launch and you can't put a kayak in from the swimming area, so my kayaker (my husband) put in and kayaked under the bridge to meet me at the swimming area.

The swimming area has lifeguards and I asked if there were any rules against swimming past the buoys, and explained I'd have an escort kayak with me.

He said he wouldn't get in trouble if I did swim out, but that he couldn't be responsible for me past the buoys.   Fair enough.  I just didn't want to get the kid in trouble.

So, I swam out to meet my husband and see if we could get a rhythm going.

What I learned from this swim:

1.  57 F is chilly, but not really all that uncomfortable to swim in.  It's about 45 minutes after the swim, and I'm in a cotton robe.   My exterior skin is still cool and it was tingly warming up, but inside I'm perfectly warm and comfortable.
2. I need to get a feel for how far I've been swimming so I can get an appropriate open water pace going. Thinking in terms of pool lengths isn't going to cut it.
3.  My sighting skills, while not great, aren't as abysmally bad as I feared.  Practice, yes, but the way you do it makes sense to me.
4. Swimming into wind and chop is hard.  I need more practice doing that so that I can be comfortable.
5.  My kayaker is good swim support, and I need to stop checking in with him to make sure HE is okay! (I see myself as the water baby, and I know my husband isn't entirely, so I have this mental switch where when we're in the water, I need to be looking out for him.  I can't do this and focus on the swim.  Besides, it's his job to look after me if he's kayak support and I'm swimming, and he does it just fine)

It all boils down to the fact I simply need more open water practice. I think I'm going to be doing some more sessions after work in the evenings over the next couple of weeks.





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