In the Hudson's healing waters
by, May 13th, 2012 at 09:47 PM (905 Views)
Today I had a really great swim in the Hudson near Poughkeepsie. It was a marked contrast the rest of my swimming this past week, and served as a welcome relief from some of the fears that have been gnawing at me. Ever since I returned from Arizona, I had been having a hard time feeling excited about swimming, and felt tired and unmotivated whenever I was at the pool. Yesterday I went to Brighton, and it was a gorgeous day, but I found myself not even wanting to get in. I told myself I would just swim a mile, but then ended up hesitating for ages in knee deep in the water, thinking “This is just too hard!” I finally forced myself in, but ended up swimming just half a mile—barely a dip.
Since a lack of enthusiasm about swimming at the beach is very uncharacteristic for me, I began to worry that I might have gotten myself into an overtrained state, not just from the AZ lake swims but maybe even before them. Many of the symptoms were there—feeling slow and sluggish in the water, lack of motivation, general fatigue, disturbed sleep. Although all these could be easily attributed to simple fatigue from the last weekend’s efforts plus a bit of lingering jetlag, once I lit upon this overtraining hypothesis my anxiety started running away with me—I have a travel meet in less than three weeks, what if I don’t recover, will I ever feel like myself again?
But that was yesterday. Today, with a good night’s sleep and a happy swim behind me things look totally different. I awoke this morning excited about the 2 Bridges test swim I was slated to be a part of. This swim is slated to take place in 3 weeks, and a few of us got together to swim the course ahead of time to test out the currents and river conditions. A pleasant ride upstate with my friend John got the morning off to a good start. We arrived to find Dave (with boat!), and soon were joined by the fellow test swimmers Willie, Hannah, Carolyn, Andrew, and Terry, Jonathan in his canoe, and Barbara, who stayed ashore and kept an eye on us and our stuff.
The 2.5K swim course went south, wrapped around the easternmost stanchion of the Mid-Hudson Bridge, the headed back north, around the eastern stanchion of the pedestrian bridge, then back to the dock. The 5K course included two such loops. I wasn’t sure when I splashed which distance I would go. I started the swim tentatively, but as I went along I started to feel good, began swimming a little stronger, and decided I wanted to swim the whole distance. Since we were circling bridge stanchions, sighting was extremely easy. The water was quite flat, and even just from goggle-height above it you could see the opposite shore mirrored in its rippling surface. It was a glorious morning to be out on the water.
We were soon done, and I stroked in the last length of the course with Hannah and Willie. It felt great to be back in the Hudson again. I feel lucky that I got to be in on the dress rehearsal for this new swim, and think that everyone who will not be in Iceland on June 2 should sign up for the main event. It’s gonna be great!
And me? I think I'm going to be ok too. My goal between now and Iceland is to make sure I stay healthy, get enough rest, and do things at the pool and in the open water that leave me feeling excited and energetic.