Friday, May 08, 2015

It's Just Wednesday

In doing the fifty mile challenge for my gym, I’m cranking up the volume on my workouts so that I don’t get behind this month.  I’m going to be training while on travel, but it won’t count for the purposes of the gym challenge.  So, to stay on track for that, I need to get in about 12.5 miles this month at my gym.

That’s not really an issue.  I have about 13 training sessions to do it, and volume will be good for my swim at the end of June.

Back last fall, I was swimming between 1000 and 1500 yards a session usually close to 1000.  I didn’t challenge myself to swim 2000 yards until quite late in November.  The intent, barring weather and car troubles, is to swim every weekday morning with the occasional weekend challenge thrown in.

So, 2000 yards was a challenge that I saved for the occasional weekend swim.


It’s just Wednesday.

My challenges are over twice that.  It’s also still a laughably short distance for the stuff I’m aspiring to.  But that’s okay.  It’s consistent progress and fortunately distance swimming is not a sport only for the young.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Spring Scream

Okay, I finally got in open water today.

I was visiting a friend who is letting us have an old kayak, and was talking about conditioning myself to swimming in cold water, and mentioned that I was planning to do a cold water swim this weekend.  A short one, obviously.  I might be crazy, but I don't want to hurt myself.

She lives on a small river and we are of a size.  She asked me if I wanted to borrow a bathing suit and we'd go for what she calls a Spring Scream.  (You jump in cold water and you scream)

My best estimate, from checking on fishing reports of local lakes and taking into account that a shallow, but flowing river is probably a little cooler, is that the temperature was about about 50F (10C), give or take a degree.

The day was unseasonably warm for Vermont, and there was little wind, so I agreed to go for it.  I got in three times, swimming a few yards (breaststroke) each time and getting out -- just to acclimate myself and test how I could handle it.

Was it cold?

My word yes!

What it wasn't was miserable.  I'd been turning the showers to cold occasionally and sticking my hands in cold water all winter trying to brace myself.   Instead of acclimating myself, I think I was psyching myself out for it to be awful.

It wasn't awful.  It was exhilarating!  

It was also comforting.   My open water swim is in a month and the lake is going to be a lot warmer than the water I was in today.  I freely admit I'd been scared of how cold it might be.


Not so much.  I was worried it was going to be awful rather than exciting.

It's exciting.

Monday, May 04, 2015

50 Mile Club

Like many gyms with pools, my gym has this little challenge they put out every year where you try to swim a certain distance over a period of time.

Ours is the 50 Mile Club.  From May 1 to August 31, you log the yardage you swim and try to log at fifty miles over that time.  The head of the aquatics program is the lifeguard on Monday mornings.  She came up to me with a card already filled out, presuming I'd be doing it.

Yes, I will.  Probably will even complete it for the first time.  The times I've done it in the past I've run out of steam. But I have an event in September I need to keep training for.

In reality the challenge is about 12.5 miles a month, so it's not really all that outrageous if you're training for something. Even in a crap month, I've been doing that, so yeah, I'll be making it this year. They do count 2000 yards as a mile, so the real challenge is more like 56 miles all told. But who's counting?

Yeah, you guessed it.  Me.

This is really gotten me thinking about bumping up my pool yardage for my training sessions, because no open water swims or swims I do that are not in my gym count.  I'm going to be away for a fair whack of May, and while I'll be swimming, it won't be in my usual pool.   Weekends, I'm going to be in the open water, getting used to colder water, learning sighting, training with my husband who will be my kayaker for a swim I am doing in June and getting a feel for lake swimming.  I figure a few sessions out on a lake will give us a good idea of how we work together, 

For all that I will be doing the 50 Mile Club thing, what I am really itching to do is finally get out in the open water and see what more I need to learn and train for.  I feel like I've done 'most everything I reasonably can in a pool, other than keep up my form and fitness.