Sunday October 3rd, 2010 – The day after the swim meet
Air Temperature 46 degrees, windy
Water Temperature 59.5 degrees
It got cold last night, I wake up excited to take my ice bath swim today, I know it will help reduce any potential muscle soreness from my all out race effort yesterday, the ice will help reduce any intracellular swelling, I calculate that a 59.5 degree total body submersion will do the job nicely.
Today Deb is my kayak support, Paula is there too with Picard to hold down the fort on shore, that comforts me knowing that she and Picard are on shore ready to help us land at the end of the swim. I struggle with even the most simple tasks after a cold water training swim, putting on slip on shoes
or boots is near impossible it takes a few tries, I can normally pull on my possum hat and wrap a towel on myself pretty easily, sweater is OK too but getting those thermal fleece lined leggings on is a real brain teaser, actually it is quite hard getting the ear plugs out too!
I arrive early today to get my gear ready and let the turtle tell the tale of what to expect today with regard to the water temperature, as I walk down to the canoe launch I notice the leaves tumbling from the trees, yellows, reds and orange leaves all falling so beautifully, it is like they have rehearsed who goes in what order so it looks like a rainbow of color gracefully floating down to land on the path to the canoe launch, I wish I could film it, but my mind is elsewhere I stride down to the shore and mercilessly toss Turtle in for a swim, it seems like turtles eyes are getting wider by the second, ” how did I not notice that white around his eyes before?” I ask myself, “sure must be cold today”, it is colder 59.5 degrees at the shore, I compute the information..that puts it at 57.5 mid lake.
|The Green River Reservoir canoe launch path|
Paula covers my arms, shoulders and back in baby oil, Deb launches the boat and we are off, a few hundred strokes out and I am feeling on top of the world, comfortable even, our plan is a 1.1 mile lap around Blueberry Island, we will stop at 30 minutes to practice a fast feed, if we are on task it is 2 laps of the island, the goal an hour in the water. We complete 2 laps strong and fast, it is the best I have felt in the water, my stroke rate is 70 for my first 20 minutes then a build of speed to 72 strokes per minute and a 25-30 minute pickup at 74 strokes per minute. Good stuff, our only snafu in all the excitement was over shooting the canoe launch, we were swimming so fast during our last pickup that neither Deb or I noticed we went right by the canoe launch inlet. We swam on then stopped, ” we are at the dam” Deb said, I was disorientated and try to navigate ( not well ) ” are you following me?” Deb asked, I put my head down and swam, you bet I am I think to myself, I obediently follow Deb back to the boat launch. Poor Paula heard us and had seen us go the wrong way but we couldn’t hear her, she had to patiently wait on shore until we got our bearings and landed, we did and with a smile….we ended up swimming 1 hour 17 minutes, longer than we had hoped to swim and the longest time in sub 60 degree water, Hooray!
One thing was a miss today, the Loons were absent, I have been swimming with the loons all summer, I used to alarm them, after a few months they seemed to get used to me, just 6 weeks ago I was swimming a 4.5 mile solo training swim and when I turned to breath I found myself eye to eye with a loon, I stopped, I had never been so close, we stared at each other for what seemed like a lifetime then I continued to swim, for the next 3 stroke cycles every time I turned to the right to breath the loon was right there with me, then in slow motion I saw him dive down under the water….gone. The loon is an unusual bird, it is an amazing and powerful swimmer, it’s feet act like divers fins and it’s wings steer and it can stay under water for up to 5 minutes, some people say even 10. The loons are not around today, normally they dive under me while I am swimming or under the kayak, I have noticed fewer and fewer loons at the Reservoir over the last month, I am curious, I want to know where they are, they comfort me when I swim. I do some research and find out that the Loons are headed south, unlike geese that fly in large flocks the Loon migrate singly or in small groups, when they first depart they go from smaller lakes like the Reservoir to larger lakes, from there to traditional fall stopping places on the way south where they get together for short term loon conventions, a bit like a family get together, super fun but after a while time to move on and get back to life as you know it. How fast are the loons out of the water? I wonder, I have seen them swim and they are snappy, in the air I discover they are also quick, 108 miles per hour as they head south, they often leave their summer hang out when there is a north wind that will give them help moving south. The final thing I discover from my borrowed book of Loons is that departure may begin as early as the the beginning of August. The reservoir is quiet, the loons are gone and I swim on, the solo swimmer.
Next up pool training until Thursday, then it is an outdoor dip in the lap pond, rain in the forecast, How much? I’ll keep you posted
|Deb launching the Kayak…not a loon in sight|