Three miles on the lake...
by, July 15th, 2012 at 04:54 PM (297 Views)
The postponement of the Crystal Lake OW swim until early August saw me back at Lake Andrea in Pleasant Prairie, WI, this morning. I got there a little later than usual, but the water was beautiful (warmer sections probably still in the 80s, but I could feel some of that deeper, cooler water cycling in regularly; surface very calm). There was a bigger group of swimmers this morning than the last few Sunday mornings; and I think most of this group was a beginner triathlon class.
They hadn't been briefed on the concept of circle swimming in the swim area and so I never knew where they were going to be. Three of them seemed to be swimming abreast at one point (a sort of side stroke-breast stroke combo I couldn't figure out exactly). I heard the instructor, who was standing in shallow water about 20 feet away, yell to a doggy-paddler "You are going to waste a lot of energy doing that" (apparently she had asked if this was acceptable for Tri swim). I saw one swimmer doing elementary backstroke... the survival stroke!
I was getting a little frustrated after my first few laps, but I told myself they can't be in here too much longer. I was wrong. They had been given the task of swimming a quarter mile (eight lengths). I was on my second mile before the last of them cleared out. My two-mile split was two minutes off of my two-mile swim time from yesterday... not bad, considering all the dodging and weaving I had to do to avoid stray torpedoes.
After mile two I got out for a 2-minute bathroom and gatorade-swig break... then back in for another mile. A solo swimmer again. The water was beautiful, as I mentioned before, so this was a truly blessed experience. Then as I was coming in to the last half mile of that third mile I was joined by a young age-group swimmer. She swam behind me for several lengths and I noticed here gaining on me (doing fly and breast!); I stopped at the turn and told her to go ahead... I was worried she might not want to pass me out of politeness. She switched to free and was pretty quickly ten yards ahead of me; totally smoked me. After a couple more lengths she was stopped at the start of the course and I asked here if she was doing a 400 IM; she said "No, I have zones coming up, and my coach wants me to swim a mile in this lake." She emphasized the "this lake" part in such a way that I understood she would much rather have gotten her laps in at the pool.
I chuckled and swam on; she had to be maybe 12-13, good kid. I think she passed me one more time before I got out. So I started off the swim annoyed by the middle-age crisis traffic in the swim area and ended the day humbled by a talented tween. I'm laughing (inside) as I write this... humanity is fantastic isn't it?!