What’s been on the schedule the last 6 weeks? Cold Water Training Vermont Style
Yip, that means snow, frosts, rain, oh and did I forget to mention it is not unusual for Mother Nature to toss a 80 degree Fahrenheit day at you for grins, and of course there are those special spring time extra considerations like, if you lay your suit outside before your early morning Open Water swim it will freeze……….not fun to pull that suit on.
The last 6 weeks has been a mixture of distance training in the pool and fast frantic open water swims in the lake
Why fast and frantic?47 degree Fahrenheit water that is why.
Once I get myself in I swim hard to generate warmth in my mid section, once I get out it is a mad dash to shore to get out of my wet suit and pull on warm cozy clothes, followed of course by my regular bout of Hypothermia, the aching, the shaking and the shivering and the slow painful return of feeling to the feet and sometimes the hands, and the reward Hot Chocolate, Jelly Babies and hanging with my swim buds on the shore reflecting on the swim…..always memorable.
Time for a swim meet are you kidding me?
My schedule over the winter and spring months has included…….
40,000 meters of swimming each week
2 sessions of strength training
Teaching 3 fitness classes
2 classes of Yoga
……….. AND then along came a swim meet just 2 weeks ago , I was skeptical of pool racing after all the distance swimming over the winter, however I mailed in an entry and decided that the ” Beat the Tide” sprint sets I have included in my workouts would help me punch out some fast freestyle and it would be fun to enjoy the meet with my teammates
The first challenge is tugging on my speed suit, the extra 8 pounds of fat and 2 pounds of muscle I have gained over the winter are very welcome in the Open Water but squeezing it into my race suit is proving to be a bit of a challenge. Regardless I get the suit on and roll up for my first event the 500 Yard Freestyle, it is a mixed event and I am in the final and fastest heat, up on the blocks I step, ” what will this feel like?”, I wonder to myself on top of the blocks, at that point I set my intention…..”FAST, this will be fast”, I say to myself, the starter blows his whistle, ” Take your marks, BEEP”, I am off.
I explode of the block, no thinking required, instinct takes over, all cylinders are firing, the first wall is there, then the next and the next, I feel myself pulling away from the rest of the swimmers, I push with the top possible effort I can muster without blowing up, I am verging on feeling tingling in my hands and feet but manage to keep my intensity under control, and then I hear the bell, ” last lap bell, WAHOO”, I think to myself, I punch out my last 50 and smack the wall, BAM! I hold on to the wall heaving, air sucking in deep, then rushing out, my body is reeling from the effort, I glance at the clock, 5 minutes, 48 seconds, 1st overall and a meet record, I am pleased, my body remembered fast and snapped me back in to the ” thrill of the race mode”, what fun.
Next up, the 200 Free, 2 minutes and 14 seconds, snagged me a second place finish and my final swim the day the 1000 Free, a wonderful smooth swim, my strokes felt long and controlled, my time 11 minutes, 53 seconds, fast enough for first overall but not fast enough for the meet record, some swimmer swam 11 minutes and 44 seconds last year keeping a new record from my grasp. Who was it….that Charlotte Brynn!
Back Out Doors
And now the schedule is about to change, June is here and I am no longer swimming in the pool at all, it is Out Doors only and I couln’t be more excited, just over 2 months until my English Channel Tide window of August 8th-16th and I sense that many more adventures are just around the corner.
Will my next adventure include another swimmer? A hint YOU BET
Closing Thought: Real love of a hard battle