View RSS Feed

swimsuit addict

3 days, 3 lakes, and more

Rate this Entry
I’m back home today after my little Arizona adventure. I wrote briefly about my swims in Saguaro and Canyon Lakes on Friday and Saturday—they were both dam-to-dam swims, and turned out to be maybe 9 miles each. By late Saturday afternoon, after a wonderful lunch with Kent and the SCAR series gang, I was feeling pretty tired and arm-weary, and was beginning to doubt if I had another swim in me. But a brief nap followed by a delicious and engaging dinner with my wonderful hosts revived me. A trip to the local gourmet ice-cream parlor afterwards ensured that I was fully re-calorized for the next day’s adventures, and I fell asleep early with visions of a third lake swim the following day dancing in my head.

Sunday was another early start—local swimmer Brad kindly picked us up for the 2-hour drive to Roosevelt Lake at 4:20 am. We learned a lot about the water system and local ecology as we drove out—this is definitely a fascinating area. I thought going into this that the three days of swimming might all blur together, but the three lakes we swam in were so different that that didn’t happen. Unlike the previous two lakes—Saguaro with its flowering desert vegetation on the rocky banks, Canyon with its sheer canyon walls on either side—Roosevelt was more open. The land around it was fairly flat, with some mountains and cliffs visible in the distance. Because it was so exposed to the sun, with many shallow areas (we swam over some swampy treelike vegetation that looked like it was periodically exposed when the lake level was lower), this was the warmest of the three lakes.

This swim was part of a 6-lake series of 10-mile swims organized by Gia Kolack. We swam a ten-mile out-and-back course that took us by the dam that separates Roosevelt from Apache Lake. It was a lovely day, with a few clouds in the blue sky, and I felt very content as I swam along beside my ever-cheerful paddler, Andrew. There was minimal boat traffic, and I enjoyed just settling into a pace and listening to my armstrokes as I swam along. The other four swimmers quickly got ahead of me, and I just settled into my own rhythm and thought about how wonderful it was to be out doing what I love on such a pretty day.

The only glitch with this day’s swim is that when giving feeding instructions to the kayaker I forgot to ask if he had a watch to time the planned 30-minute feeds. Turned out neither of us did, so instead of 30-minute feedings I just stopped whenever I felt hungry or thirsty. That worked pretty well—at one point I started cramping a little in my right forearm, but that went away after I stopped and drank some water, and otherwise I felt I had sufficient energy during the swim. But I will stick to the 30-minute schedule in the future (and make sure there’s some way timing them!), because I realized I’m reluctant to stop even when I start getting a little thirsty/hungry—I had to keep reminding myself it was important, and that I would probably regret it later if I didn’t take in fluids regularly. Also, I think the fewer decisions I have to make while I’m swimming, the better I like it.

My blissy “I can’t imagine anything better that this!” mood lasted for about the first 8 miles—during the last two I started feeling some muscle fatigue and was eager to get to the finish. Still, there was never any point where I wasn’t enjoying the experience, and since it was the last day I was especially keen on savoring and taking in everything. Finally I did finish, and Andrew and I arrived back at the boat and climbed gratefully on board, where a bounty of baked goods and other treats awaited us.

So ended the third and last day of lake swimming, but I wasn’t quite done with my Arizona aquatic adventure. On Monday morning Dave, Clare, and I drove over to Skyline for a Paul Smith workout! I finally got to meet Paul, who was friendly and gracious as could be. I also got to see aztimm—in fact, I swam in the lane next to him, and he schooled me on the small portion of the workout I even attempted. Here’s what I did:

200 lcm warmup

8 x 50 drill/swim @ :15 rest, various strokes and drills

100 kick

1 x 100 IM

Then I moved over to the other side of the bulkhead and did about 150 yards of more sculling and stretching before rejoining the main group for the rest of workout.

200 pull

4 x 200 @ 3:15 [I made (barely) 1, 2, and 4, but flipped mid-pool on the third one to catch back up to Tim, and to demonstrate to him what proper cheating during a set looks like. ]

400 IM

100 warmdown

I had thought that going to practice after all the weekend’s swimming—28 miles in 3 days, for goodness sake—was overkill, but it turned out to be a good idea. I felt much better afterwards, and the IM and sculling felt especially great. The only thing that didn’t feel good was freestyle—I felt as low in the water as I ever had, and could really feel the fatigue in my arms and lats.

After workout I got to have breakfast with Kent, Tim, Dave, and Clare, then we chilled out a bit before heading back east that afternoon. What a great trip! Today I feel surprisingly good—I have some muscle soreness (deltoids, lats, triceps, forearms, quads), and the sinews in my wrists and elbows feel a little overstretched, as if I’d been carrying heavy luggage (maybe partly from carrying heavy luggage). But my shoulder joints and neck and back feel fine, and those are the body parts I was most concerned with.

From a training point of view, these swims were very helpful, and gave me a sense of where I’m at now and what I need to work on. I wasn’t having my best swimming days ever—I think I got a little too fatigued the week before I headed out west, and by the time I realized my body needed more rest it was too little too late. In the end, it’s good to realize that I could manage these swims even when everything hadn’t gone perfectly in my preparations—I learned something about my capabilities and about how I need to manage my preparation for future long swims.

And there were so many other highlights to the weekend: meeting Patrick and his wonderful family, seeing the desert for the first time, getting to be part of the whole bold adventure of testing these lake swims, spending some time with Clare and Dave and getting to know them better, finding out that I can run into a dead fish without dying from cooties (apparently I head-butted one on Friday’s swim, and didn’t even know about it until my kayaker told me over lunch!), enjoying Bella’s wonderful meals and Phoenix’s great restaurants (and ice cream parlors), and most of all being welcomed so graciously and completely by the Arizona masters swimming community. Swimmers really are some of the greatest people on the planet!

Submit "3 days, 3 lakes, and more" to Digg Submit "3 days, 3 lakes, and more" to del.icio.us Submit "3 days, 3 lakes, and more" to StumbleUpon Submit "3 days, 3 lakes, and more" to Google

Categories
Uncategorized

Comments

  1. aztimm's Avatar
    Glad to hear that you made it back ok and that you're still alive after 27 miles of swimming in 3 days!

    I really enjoyed your write-ups about the lakes. I've been to several of the area lakes, but never on consecutive days, so I've never really compared them with each other. And it is always interesting to hear how someone who doesn't live here views the area.

    Too bad you couldn't get a swim in Tempe Town Lake, so you could see how murky it really is. I hope Patrick at least pointed it out to you while driving you around town.

    Now I definitely want to get out to the lakes more often...and not just Saguaro. It is just 30 min or so from my house, open to swimming whenever you want, so that's where I go the most. I'll have to see what kind of biking adventures we can do near Roosevelt so I can actually get in the water there for a swim-bike swim (I'm not sure I'd want to bike through the tunnel between there and Globe, but it would certainly be an adventure). I just saw that while driving (on a biz trip) between Globe and Payson; all I remember was that it took a long time to pass it.
  2. qbrain's Avatar
    Glad you made it home safely after some dam good swims!
  3. knicholas's Avatar
    What a pleasure to meet you and swim the lakes. Glad you enjoyed your time here. See you in N.Y. & Vemont later this summer.
  4. swimsuit addict's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by aztimm
    Glad to hear that you made it back ok and that you're still alive after 27 miles of swimming in 3 days!

    I really enjoyed your write-ups about the lakes. I've been to several of the area lakes, but never on consecutive days, so I've never really compared them with each other. And it is always interesting to hear how someone who doesn't live here views the area.

    Too bad you couldn't get a swim in Tempe Town Lake, so you could see how murky it really is. I hope Patrick at least pointed it out to you while driving you around town.

    Now I definitely want to get out to the lakes more often...and not just Saguaro. It is just 30 min or so from my house, open to swimming whenever you want, so that's where I go the most. I'll have to see what kind of biking adventures we can do near Roosevelt so I can actually get in the water there for a swim-bike swim (I'm not sure I'd want to bike through the tunnel between there and Globe, but it would certainly be an adventure). I just saw that while driving (on a biz trip) between Globe and Payson; all I remember was that it took a long time to pass it.
    I think visiting the lakes on consecutive days really highlighted their differences. And while the drives there were longish, they were also very beautiful. You could definitely get in some good hill work if you cycled on the roads we drove on!

    Patrick did point out TTL as we drove past. I was fine not swimming there--murk I've seen. but if these two series become an annual thing it would be cool to come out again and see the other lakes that are part of them!
  5. swimsuit addict's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by qbrain
    Glad you made it home safely after some dam good swims!
    Thanks! it was a dam good time!
  6. swimsuit addict's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by knicholas
    What a pleasure to meet you and swim the lakes. Glad you enjoyed your time here. See you in N.Y. & Vemont later this summer.
    It was such a wonderful experience Kent--thanks for making it all possible! I'm looking forward to seeing you again soon. And I'm proudly wearing my SCAR tshirt today:

  7. Sojerz's Avatar
    "The other four swimmers quickly got ahead of me..."
    You must have been in very rare/good swimming company.

    "so instead of 30-minute feedings I just stopped whenever I felt hungry or thirsty. That worked pretty well—at one point I started cramping a little in my right forearm, but that went away after I stopped and drank some water, ..."
    For hydrating, thirst perception/sensation decreases with age and obviously when swimming you can't tell how much water you are sweating. I think you aren't old enough to also be concerned about increased kidney function and impacts on electrloyte balance too. But for me it seems hard to tell when i need to drink anymore, or take in electrolytes and/or carbs -- waiting for signs like muscle twitches, cramps, or mental confusion doesn/t seem wise or to make any sense. I guess timed hydration and feeding seem like the best plan in an endurance activity. Seems some cyclists and runners use audible alarms set on their watches.
    I took a USAT webinar last week titled "the aging endurance athlete: -- nutrition and training data and recommendations." The webinar author defined "aging" endurance athelete generally at about 35+ yrs. and banged home the hydration issue, among many other interesting reccomendations and conclusions. Send an email/PM if you are interested in slides or redirect link.

    Really cool trip and swims for you and Dave.
  8. swimsuit addict's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sojerz
    You must have been in very rare/good swimming company.


    Definitely! I got to swim with (or behind) the stars all weekend long!



    Quote Originally Posted by Sojerz
    For hydrating, thirst perception/sensation decreases with age and obviously when swimming you can't tell how much water you are sweating. I think you aren't old enough to also be concerned about increased kidney function and impacts on electrloyte balance too. But for me it seems hard to tell when i need to drink anymore, or take in electrolytes and/or carbs -- waiting for signs like muscle twitches, cramps, or mental confusion doesn/t seem wise or to make any sense. I guess timed hydration and feeding seem like the best plan in an endurance activity. Seems some cyclists and runners use audible alarms set on their watches.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sojerz
    I took a USAT webinar last week titled "the aging endurance athlete: -- nutrition and training data and recommendations." The webinar author defined "aging" endurance athelete generally at about 35+ yrs. and banged home the hydration issue, among many other interesting reccomendations and conclusions. Send an email/PM if you are interested in slides or redirect link.

    Really cool trip and swims for you and Dave.
    Interesting. Obviously if I got any cramping at all I was probably low on something (I've never had cramps in OW before)--and since drinking water fixed it fluids was probably what it was. I think I do a better job of sensing thirst in the pool than in ow--I certainly tend to drink more in pool workouts, and am often thirsty there. Not sure why that is. That presentation sounds interesting--I'll contact you for a link.

    And thanks! It was a great experience for me.
  9. qbrain's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by swimsuit addict
    I think I do a better job of sensing thirst in the pool than in ow--I certainly tend to drink more in pool workouts, and am often thirsty there. Not sure why that is.
    Probably the 20 degree temperature difference.
  10. swimsuit addict's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by qbrain
    Probably the 20 degree temperature difference.
    Oh yeah--that.