Thursday, August 8, 2013

That moment when you lose yourself

Earlier I wrote about the slump I've hit since my race.

But I forgot about one shining moment.

Monday I did my longest open water swim yet: 90 minutes. It was mostly nonstop though I did have to touch a few times since the sun made sighting very difficult.

Kershaw Park

Kershaw Park in Canandaigua is a haven for triathletes. They have buoys set up for open water swimming and any time of day you'll see people there swimming back and forth. It's very safe, the swimming area is in between a guarded beach and the boats/kayaks. The water is calm and you can always touch.

I'm not on a plan but knew I wanted to get a longer swim in. I had subbed a weights class and planned to jump in the pool after.

The problem was, ever since I started swimming in open water I've equated lap swimming to running on the dreadmill, and feeling like being a fish pinging back and forth in a tank that's too small surrounded by the silence that is the DFC pool in the late evening was not exactly the motivation I've been seeking. (If you're reading this John, I'll take the silence of your pool above the sound of screaming kids and inattentive parents any day, but some music would be nice :)!)

So I jumped in the car and headed east, listening to O.A.R. and Bob Dylan (I'm a weirdo) full blast and singing along to songs I didn't quite know the words to. The embarassing ones always seem to be playing just as I go through the toll booth. I should get one of those EZ Pass things.

(OK, given that I had thought to put my wetsuit and an extra towel in my car "just in case" maybe I did have it in the back of my mind, and the trip wasn't quite as spontaneous as I would have hoped).

"How's the water?" I asked a guy getting out of his wetsuit.

"Perfect," he said.

And it was.

Normally I'm the biggest baby about getting in the water. I inch in slowly. I'm nervous about Saturday's tri because it's a beach start! But getting in was easy Monday.

The swim started out tough because the sun was in my eyes. I had this problem at Musselman, I'm sure someone sells goggles that are better equipped to deal with glare.

It takes me about 16 minutes to go from one end of the buoys at Kershaw to the other. On the first lap, the sun was killer, and I kept touching to get myself back on track. I made it to the end and swam back easily. On the way out again I had a brilliant idea, why not just spot the sun? I found that if I aligned myself to just the left of the sun kept me pretty much on track. I made it out to the final buoy again, about 45 minutes in, realized I wasn't even remotely tired. That's when I decided to see if I could go for 90 minutes.

The lake was really crowded at this point. There were a ton of swimmers, people on the beach and people on boats. It was peaceful though, and I felt comfortable and at ease in the water. I got back to the beginning and like clockwork went out again.

I got back out, maybe a half hour after I noticed how crowded the beach was, and everyone was gone.

There was one other open water swimmer, one kayaker, and a bunch of people walking dogs and running along the beach. There was a slight moment of panic followed by an incredible calm. The sun was going down quick, but I only had 15 minutes left, plenty of time.

Coming back was an incredible, peaceful, serene feeling.

I got out of the water and dried off. Before I got into my car, this happened.

So beautiful.

I made it, a 90 minute swim. Sure I felt like my dogs were going to yank my shoulders out of their sockets when we went out after.


1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a beautiful day! Maybe I should take up swimming ...