Tuesday October 26th, 2010
Air Temperature 68 degrees
Water Temperature 50- 56 degrees
I was due to complete my final open water Vermont swim on Sunday October 24th, Sunday’s weather was grubby, it was raining, damp and cold and the temperature dropped down to 32 degrees overnight. I had just flipped through a few paragraphs from the 64 page post English Channel Swim report synopsis, I had previously highlighted areas that contained approaches that I wanted to explore and experiment with myself.
I glanced on this:
” You have to try and stay healthy and be flexible with your training”…….flexible with your training, I read it again then glance outside at the rain pelting down, I pull up the Stowe weather forecast on my laptop and discover that the upcoming Tuesday and Wednesday look mighty fine, in fact an ideal day for an end of season cold water acclimatization swim, I also look up my training log…….last day off training 34 days ago, that’s it ” I declare today as a rest day” and postpone my final out door swim.
I email my training crew to see if they are willing to join me on Tuesday October 26th, it’s a yes, fantastic. Tuesday is here before I know it, I am up at 5:45am for the first of 3 training swims, into the pool at 6:40am for a workout # 1, a 3500 meter swim, out to teach a 30 minute Kranking class, then back in the pool for workout # 2, a 4500 meter swim, later in the afternoon, after a sizable lunch I meet Paula and Deb at the Green River Reservoir, it is a beautiful afternoon a ” she’s a real beaut” day as we’d say in New Zealand.
Down to the water wearing only my suit, a Tshirt and a towel, “this is decadent” , I think to myself, soaking up the warmth and heat from the sun. Picard is with us today, he is beside himself with excitement as we near the canoe launch.
Today Paula is kayaking and Deb is holding down the fort on shore, while Paula launches I tip turtle in for his last Vermont dip in 2010. Picard stops whizzing around and intently watches the Turtle Thermometer with me, we pull the turtle out, ” 56 degrees Turtle declares “, can’t be I think, that’s too warm, Lake Champlain is reading 50 degrees today and I know the reservoir should be the same if not a degree or 2 cooler, I toss Turtle back in, ” defiant little monkey”, I say under my breath, ” go take another reading”, he does and comes out a shade under 56 degrees, so be it I decide, I should be feeling relieved, but instead find myself feeling disappointed that it is not colder.
|Paula paddling out to wait for me to take the plunge….no more Fall colors to warm me up today|
Baby Oil on and into the water, I am off, a fast 50 or so strokes then I relax, ” this is feeling lovely today, 56 degrees is delightful, I am going to relax and savor this last swim today, then came the change……..I got out from the canoe launch inlet and the temperature plummeted, it dived like a submarine, I couldn’t believe how dramatic the drop was, ” this is intense, better pick up the strokes and get this done FAST”. I don’t know what my stroke rate is, early in the swim my right eye glass filled with water and I can’t see Paula’s face or hands, I can make out the boat though and stick to it like glue, I consider stopping to fix my goggles but am unsure if I could stand being still in this frigid water and know it will be hard to put my head down in and start swimming again if I stop….so I soldieron and ignore the water in my right eye and the fact that I can’t see. Ahhhh complete heaven, we are nearing Blueberry Island, I can feel the water warming back up, I savor the warm waters of the Island and then prepare for the cold of the main lake again, the water gets choppy, I have to work harder to swim through the rougher conditions and this distracts me from the cold. What a sneaky deal I think to myself, the reservoir has put me right back in my place, I was complacent today, cocky even, ” 56 degrees , how disappointing, that is not challenging enough today”, I had told myself once I saw the shoreline reading, then I got a ” sit up and take notice” order from the reservior when it unleashed the colder water in the main lake on me, the 50 degree water that was predicted today was delivered to me like a slap on the face with a wet fish.
Soon I felt the water warm once more as we neared the inlet, it felt like silk, like I was wrapped in a down comforter, the sun was warming on my back and shoulders and I feel strong, Paula and I power in to the shore, I am amazed that 56 degree water can feel like this good.
We land, I walk up the ” the rock” that I always leave my swim bag on and start wrapping up in warm clothes, immediately I am able to communicate and function and I very proudly help Paula and Deb carry the Kayak up to the car. Into the mini heated seats and hot tea, then off home. Today’s swim was a treasure.
What’s up next? Tomorrow it is up at 5:15am and back in the pool for a training session, later in the day I am meeting Peter, he has asked me to demo his company’s Hytainium Aquatic timing system to give him some feedback, the system has a wall mounted touch pad and an in water display screen that shows times, heart rate, counts laps and has training video feedback , it is essentially a digital training tool that views and records data with real time feedback, heck sounds so good maybe it can toss me a feed bottle too, will it? I’ll keep you posted.
|Today’s swim cap and my goggles which snapped ( fortunately at the end of the swim)|