Thursday September 16th ~ Today on the training menu is a double swim, an early morning 4000 yard outing in the lap pond, followed by a short drive to a 2000m Pool workout.
I awake at my usual 5:15am time to the sound of heavy rain and pull the covers firmly up around my neck for a few seconds before I launch out of bed to get my gear together for my early morning dip. I am an “up and at em girl”, I hit the ground running.
It got cold last night, colder than it has been since the early spring, the air temperature is 46 degrees as I drive to the lap pond, it is a calm morning, overcast skies and a definite chill in the air, as I drive across the field two young deer are grazing, they look up at the car then continue to graze, after a few more moments they decide the field is not big enough for my green mini wagon and the two of them, they dart across the field and leap into the air just feet in front of my windscreen, exciting today already even without the swim I think to myself as I pull up to park at the top of the hill, from here it is just a short 25 meter walk down to the pond.
The pond is steaming, good sign I think that means the water is warmer than the 46 degree air temperature. I walk down to water and put my turtle thermometer in for a swim to let me know what I am dealing with today with regard to the cold. I scan the surroundings, the canoe that marks my turnaround at one end is still in place, the raft that marked my turnaround at the other end has drifted, rats I have to move that back so I can sight, I drag the raft back down to the shallow end of the lap pond, it takes a few minutes which is long enough for the turtle to give me a temp check and for my toes to start to turn white from the cold, time to get moving I think as I hurry to situate my post swim clothes on a rock near the pond ready for my exit after the swim is complete.
The water is 61 degrees, the air46 degrees, I think how much warmer the water will feel than the air today, I am wrong, the water feels like a thousand needles piercing my skin as I swim my first lap, why did I declare swimming twenty 200s today, I curse myself for doing so and quickly decide that taking 10-15 seconds rest between each 200 yard lap was out of the question, I will have to keep moving to have any chance of enduring this.
I am concerned about swimming too fast, when I do I tend to pull left and I am not interested in swimming into the dock if I deviate off a direct route from the raft to the canoe and back, lap one, lap two, lap three, lap four, this is OK I think to myself, 20 may not be as bad as I first thought, lap five, lap five, lap five, did I already count lap five I think to myself, I’m not sure, another lap goes by as I am going back over the swim to figure out where I am at, OK I decide straight to lap 6, if I miscounted it will be extra distance and extra good training I justify to myself and keep swimming.
Lap nine, this is tough, I forgot to put my ear plugs in and my head is feeling the cold, lap 10 can I finish 20 laps? I talk myself into swimming just 2 more, number thirteen arrives and I am still swimming, soon it is number nineteen and my last lap is within my reach, I turn for the final lap, the sun has reached the far end of the pond saluting me, I lap it up feeling a glimmer of warmth on my back as I head for home sun on my shoulders, my final lap is complete, I look at my watch as I climb out, 58 minutes, 30 seconds, a good swim.
I struggle to pull on the Merino jacket, pants and a hat, the 25 meter walk to my car seems like a hike up a mountain, I fire up the mini, heat on high, heated seats on high, then it is hot tea from my thermos and I am off to my pool swim. I am shaking uncontrollably as I park, I sit for another 10 minutes in the car. I can get back in the water, I can, I tell myself over and over, the last thing I want to do is get wet again but I know the water is a balmy 81 degrees and it is Cara’s birthday swim workout, I promised her I would swim, I am late but I make it for the last half of the workout. I get in the water, it feels like a hot tub yet I am still frozen, 10 x 50’s Cara shouts followed by a 50 fly, swim fast, I am off instinct kicks in and I push hard, 10 minutes later with my heart rate up, we blow out the final 50 butterfly, I have finally warmed up, in fact I am over heating, I am too hot!
Training swim complete, was it hard YES, today’s lesson learned?
” Very few things are impossible to achieve if we put our minds to it, there is nothing more powerful than a mind made up” quote from English Channel Swimmer 2010
Tomorrow’s task : Green River reservoir Cold water Acclimatization
Training Crew Member sporting a Kayak and lots of supplies = Cara
Calling for 32 degrees tonight, chilly water predicted tomorrow, but isn’t that what we want!
I’ll keep you posted
The Lap Pond, a view of the shallow end and dock.