In the end, I swam over 50 miles in 18 days for my Swimapalooza, I can hardly believe it. My final day was Saturday, culminating in my first 6 mile/10 kilometer swim around Hagg Lake. It was nothing short of glorious. The water was calm and the boats were sparse. Couldn’t have asked for a better day.
Honestly I’m not sure that I have any lessons from that swim; I feel like I pretty much applied all the things I learned throughout the last few months. I took in my feeds as planned (although I needed more calories then was in my bottles and needed my back up gels). This was the first time I had my own paddle support, so the first time I spent the whole swim just sighting off the pilot and not sighting forward. I found it difficult not to swim into him or away, since we were hugging the ever-changing shoreline. I think if we were going in a straight line it would have been much easier.
I also peed while floating/swimming for the first time _finally, _so I’m feeling better about that. However, as it turns out, I can’t pee in a kayak, which I’ll fully describe in an upcoming post (on the edge of your seat, aren’t you?).
How much have I swam since then? Um… not much. Honestly I am a little burned out. Not on swimming, but on planning to swim. Trying to find people to swim with, support, find a place and a time that will work with schedules, etc… so I’ve mostly been back in pools. I attempted a swim at a newly reopened outdoor public pool near my house. It’s nice and all, but all of Portland’s public outdoor pools are heated to 84 degrees, so it feels like swimming in sweat. No thanks.
I think I’m going to start a regular morning swim at Broughton Beach, since the Columbia is never warm, it’s near my house, and I can get out at a moment’s notice so I feel OK swimming there alone. This morning DJ and I went, and the beach was deserted. It was also very windy, so the waves were about as high as they could be without having white caps. The wind was pushing opposite the current, which made for an interesting swim; the beach is about 500 yards across, and usually it takes less then half the time to swim with the current back as it does to swim against. With the winds and it being near to high tide, it took nearly the same amount of time both ways.
Fighting the waves was fun; I really had to dive my front body down to get under them, but that made sighting tough. By the time we left, white caps were forming in the center of the river, and my shoulders were hurting. I’m not sure what’s going on, but my shoulders haven’t been feeling great since my 6 mile swim. Boo.
I have to find some motivation in the coming weeks for a last push to Nek Week; I think I need some long days in a row to feel fully prepared. Probably I should have made some sort of training plan to help when motivation is low, but that’s not really my style 😎
(winging it and hoping for the best, and then it’s not the best and I’m angry at myself for not training better given all the time and expense that went into this thing, and then telling myself I’ll do better next time is really how I like to roll)