Monday, October 12, 2015

Conquering the Mighty Mascoma Lake

This morning as I was doing my swim, I got to thinking...

I always get to thinking when I am doing a swim. Ever notice how many swimmers are also writers? 

Yeah.

Anyway, I was thinking about what I would need to do, and what kind of training I'd need to put in.

Right now, I'm doing a full body freeweights workout twice a week and am swimming four times a week. I'm sleeping really well, boy howdy, let me tell you what!

Saturdays are my longer swims, as that's when I have the time to do them. I'd like to work up to swimming three or four miles at least one Saturday a month to get myself used to the volume for the six miler.

As I was swimming this morning, I was thinking about the advice a website was giving about attempting a six mile swim, what one's training volume should look like when and what sort of open water experience one should get in before the swim.

One of the suggestions was doing a four or five mile swim early in the season before the Big Swim. As I was thinking about it, I realized that Lake Mascoma is four miles long. As I was thinking more about it, I got to wondering if anyone has ever actually swum its length. I mean, probably someone has. Four miles isn't exactly an epic swim by the standards of people from whom I take advice about stuff like this. So I am sure someone has tried it.

But it isn't Official. Nor is there anything I can find online with people talking about it. So, that's going to be one of my swims for next summer.

I love this lake. It's where I first spread my open water wings, so to speak. It's where I conquered my fear of cold water. Shoot, it's just plain a beautiful place to swim. It's a small lake (about four miles by about a half a mile) and doesn't frighten the new open water swimmer with unrelenting vastness, but kind of cradles you between green hills.

I still need to work out the logistics of swimming the length, as I'll want a kayaker with me, and we'll want to figure out how to handle the car and other things. I have no idea if there is a place at both ends of the lake where one can put in, so it's possible we'll need a larger boat than a kayak to get to the right place.

In the interests of not having any controversy around my not-at-all-epic swim, though, I'll post a GPS report of it. :) Unless there's some sort of Mascoma Lake Swim Association that has an independent observer to verify it or something. (There totally isn't. It makes me want to start one in fun)
*grin* That almost makes me want to turn this into some sort of swim challenge with some locals. There are open water swimmers in my area, and the pool where I train has someone on the Master's team who won the SF Sharkfest one year.

But then it would turn into a race. They're a competitive bunch, which is more or less what keeps me off the Master's team. I swim to complete, and the only person I'm competing against is me yesterday. (Winning so far!)

So, maybe not, as a race would suck the fun out of it.

But barring bad weather, or bad water (Mascoma has been known to have problems with e. coli and algae blooms), probably the second weekend in June is going to be my target day. It'll be a good way to make sure I've been training enough.

I'm feeling a little sad about the close of open water swimming right now. Last summer was such fun and I really had a blast doing these swims. I'll get in the pool to train and the water is too warm, and I feel too confined and it's just not the same.

But that being said, I also love the pool. It's where I can concentrate on getting stronger and faster, it's still swimming (Swimming>NotSwimming. Very important equation), and I can let my mind free to think about things, and no, it's not always thinking about my next swim!

Still, I think it would be cool for swimming the length of Lake Mascoma to be a local Thing. It'd be fun, it's a nice, attainable challenge, and it's a beautiful lake to swim in.
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