By the time I got to the lake tonight, I was sort of not in the mood for a swim. There were a few things that I needed to do before I got in the water, so it was almost 5 PM by the time I got in the water. Overcast clouds shaded the extreme heat that’s driven me into the water over the last month, so I was a bit tentative about a cooler swim.
But no matter, once I was in, I warmed up and fell into a pace. I tried to do one stroke per second, so that I could fall into the average pace. The books I read are starting to give me an idea of where I should be and I’m pretty sure I’m on the slower side of the scale of open water swimmers.
At once point in my trek toward the end of the jetty, a young kid (about eight years old) kayaked up to me to see what I was up to. We traded “hi”s and off he went and off I went. Little exchanges like that are fun and break up the solitude of the water.
Once I reached the end of the jetty, the water turned warm, thus signaling a monster or dead body, or something scary in the water, so I hightailed it back towards the fisherman at the other end of the jetty, where I’d started.
I had a feeling that I was short of a mile, but with all of the lines from the fisherman, cast into the water, I didn’t feel like I wanted to deal with it, so I headed toward the rocks.
It was a good swim, over all. I concentrated on keeping my body rotation to a reasonable turn, not allowing exaggerated movement. Also I tried to keep my arms in line with my shoulders, not allowing crossover in front of me. I also concentrated on “spearing fish” with my hands as they entered the water, as the Swim Smooth book has been describing. As I got toward the end of my swim, it was harder to concentrate and I think that I lost some of that form.
One other thing that I’m working on is breathing all of my air out when my face is in the water. Several books have advocated for this practice, because it allows you to dispel co2, which allows for more oxygen when you take your next breath. It’s hard to do, because if a wave hits your face when you go to take a breath, you’ve got nothing in your lungs to hold you over. But at one point, if actually felt comfortable, so I’ll probably be able to develop that habit, soon.
By the time I got out of the water, I’d gone almost .8 miles. I feel like I need to rest a bit before Patrick orders me into the water on Saturday for over 4.5 miles. I’m pre-resenting Saturday.
It’s a weird thing to write about, but it’s part of my swimming experience: My arms, shoulders are becoming defined (which is cool), now that I’ve been swimming for a while. I’ve hard lower back pain in the past when I stand up too fast, or pick up something too heavy, but apparently, swimming has remedied much of that. My back is much stronger than it used to be.
Open water swimming has become my fountain of youth.