May 26, 2014
Today Greg and I met for an open water swim and a run at High Cliff State Park. My training plan typically has me do a long bike and a long run on the weekends, with no swimming. We wanted to swim because neither of us was very happy with our open water swim on Wednesday. This was mostly due to the weather and waves I think. AND because today it was BEAUTIFUL at the beach!
Greg *loves* when we take selfies…here’s us before gettin in:
A few notes on open water safety
Swim early…most of the irresponsible boaters out there looking to get drunk and speed around like crazy people are still sleeping/working off last night’s hangover before going out again. Take advantage of this. The ultimate in open water safety is having a kayak support with you. In the absence of that, at least wear bright swim caps people! The rest of you is black…not super visible to boats! Just to be safe, I also brought along another safety tool – my Safer Swimmer:
This a GREAT piece of gear for open water swimming. It’s a dry bag that inflates:
And there’s a strap that goes around your waist. You have to position the strap right or it can slide off of you (learned this the first time I used it) but otherwise it works perfect. Your keys, phone, etc can go in the drybag so you don’t have to leave anything behind unattended on the beach. But the biggest advantage though is making yourself much more visible to boats. Here’s a pic from DC Rainmaker’s more in-depth review of the same product:
Imagine if you were a boater and you didn’t see that orange dry bag!
Greg and I decided to try to replicate the High Cliff Half Iron swim course, which swings out left (from standing on the beach, looking out on the water), then long leg out to the right towards the marina, and then back into the beach in a giant triangle. So our first part of the swim is the yellow arrows below. Yep my Lie Detector (Garmin 910xt) also does GPS for open water swimming – how cool is that?!
I am a stronger swimmer than Greg, so I let him set the pace so we could stay together. After a little ways though, he reported he was more tired than he expected he would be, compliments of our century ride yesterday. This is a safety issue – even though we had on wetsuits which are really buoyant, never open water swim when you’re tired – so we headed back towards shore until he was where he could swim and touch if he needed to. It was at the point that we turned around that a boat passed us – and they clearly saw us because they gave us plenty space and a friendly wave. Excellent.
When we got back to shallow water, he then insisted I do a longer swim, since I love swimming and I was feeling great and having a great time! I took a sharp left, headed towards the marina, and then a right back to the shore to meet Greg who continued to swim in shallow water (I am the yellow arrows continued). Then we met back up at shore I realized I had only swum 0.67 miles. I wanted to get in more than that, and Greg said he was fine with it, so I headed back out (blue arrows). He made me promise I wouldn’t swim too far out where the boats were.
So I was swimming way out like I promised Greg I wouldn’t, and the one scary moment of the swim happened. I had just turned left and was swimming parallel to the shore happy as a clam (wait…clams don’t swim, do they? hehe) and I was bilateral breathing, and when I took a breath from the right I saw a speedboat coming right at me. I kept breathing from the right, and was thinking “See the orange bouy….SEE the orange bouy…SEE THE ORANGE BOUY!!!!” and it finally turned. Whew!! I kept going a little ways and turned back toward the beach. Greg saw the speedboat incident and I sorta kinda got a little yelled at. It was deserved.
(Pro tip: It’s best not to tell your mom about these kinds of incidents when you text her that your swim is over and you’re fine. Let her read about it in your blog instead, moms love that. I love you Mom!).
Then we started the run. My training plan called for a 90 minute-ish run. But man, my legs were realllllllly not happy about running. Probably something to do with a century ride yesterday, lol! We stuck to roads, because neither one of us wanted to deal with rough terrain or the millions of people who had suddenly descended on the park. The only hiccup that happened was when we started up the big hill, and half way up the hill a runner who shall remain nameless informed me he forgot to put on his new calf sleeves that he wanted to try out, and we had to go back to the cars. HALFWAY UP THE HILL. He was serious. I get it, actually, so we turned around.
Then we started the run for the second time. We went up the hill, went left to the tower area, up the little service road, continued to the campground dump station, down to the marina, and back to the cars.
This run sucked, people. It got a little better as we went along, but it never really left “sucked” territory. I wanted to do at least an hour or 6 miles, but when I got back to the parking lot with the cars, my legs couldn’t be talked into going back out for more. They were done. I think we kept a good pace though, considering the hills.
Well, I give today a “B.” I should probably have run longer. But, I swam before it, so really I think it’s ok with the bonus swim. And I wasn’t exhausted, really. Just definitely done with running for the day. Seriously, afterwards Greg and I even went to Menards to get fencing for his garden, and that all went fine. I didn’t do much the rest of the day. Hope you had a good day!