Thursday September 30th Peak Foliage
Dark Skies, heavy rain and a water temperature of 62 degrees greeted me this morning, there has been a flood watch in effect due to the heavy rain over night, by the time I arrive at the lap pond the rain was bucketing down, ” raining cats & dogs today” I was always told as a kid in New Zealand, in my mind I imagined cat and dog shaped rain drops pelleting from the sky. Today I have a 2000 yard swim planned, a quick dip, if counting goes as it should I should be back in my car warming on those heated seats in less than 30 minutes. The water feels warmer than the air today, I am more comfortable below the surface than above, it is murky from all the rain and filled with leaves, some I swim through like a barge pushing through ice and some I see a few feet below me suspended in the water, hanging like they are in limbo between their summer life on the trees and where they go next, a somber feeling swimming over them, summer is gone.
The swim goes well, I am most pleased about swimming straight today and feeling relaxed, before I know it I am back at the car pulling on layers of clothes. After the lap pond it is back to the 82 degree indoor pool for a workout with the Masters swim group, it is hard to get back in the water, the idea of skipping the second swim for a hot shower is so tempting but I have found the hot shower to be a superficial heating tool and a short term fix, after it I am still cold inside, when I get in the pool and swim my muscles contract demanding oxygen, my heart pumps blood back out to the extremities no longer ignoring them as it had been in the cold water where the priority is taking care of my vital organs. The tactic works yet again, after only 500 meters of chasing down my lane mates I am actually starting to feel too warm, it works a charm, I start feeling warm from the inside out.
Practice wraps up and we all laugh as we discover leaves, pine needles and sap stuck to some strands of hair that has slipped out from under my swim cap, a fun memento from my early morning foliage dip.
Next up a light swim tomorrow in preparation for a Masters swim meet on Saturday morning, it is a half day meet, I am swimming the 100, 200 and 400 Freestyle and also the 100 Breaststroke and 400 Individual Medley, I have not raced in a meet in 5 months and am curious to see how I go after a summer of training geared towards preparing for an attempt on the English Channel, 100 meters of swimming vrs the shortest distance across the Channel which is from Shakespeare Beach, Dover, England to Cap Gris Nez, France, a cool 21 land miles which is 18.2 nautical miles, there are 2,000 yards or 1852 meters to a nautical mile. Pilots do start from other places depending on the tide, the weather conditions, and the swimmers ability.
I have now been gearing my training towards preparing for the English Channel for 10 months, how will my pool speed compare to the same time last year, we’ll find out Saturday….I’ll keep you posted.
Today’s course…….leaves and pine needles, look bleak?