Showing posts from November, 2019

Sunrise swim (a little late...)

Today we had planned to swim right at sunrise, but in characteristic fashion I was late. The drive to the beach was gorgeous and full of pinks and lavenders. Gazing up at the sky through the windshield made me long to see the same sky from the water. The fog on the water rolled in shortly after sunrise and I watched it's approach as I cruised down Marine Drive. Getting in. Since the water and the sky melted into each other so completely we agreed to stay close and swim in as shallow of water as possible alternating support and swimming. When it is this cold, and especially when visibility is less than ideal, my preferred support is to have one person on shore pacing for each swimmer in the water. I took first shift doing shore support, steadily pacing the swimmer and keeping my face to the water. In contrast to the clouded sky, the water was about as clear as one could hope for. As I swam, looking down I could make out the pebbles and water plants a hair's breadth away

Correction: it is now *balmy* πŸ˜‰

Beautiful sunset swim last night. Water was hovering between 47-48 and the air was a warm 54. This was an especially meaningful swim. The woman responsible for getting me into this crazy open and cold water community and I got to support one another. Almost three years ago now I met her in the locker room at one of our community centers. We joked and always said 'hello' to each other and then one day she mentioned she wanted to do the Roy Webster swim across the Columbia in Hood River. I looked at her and said, "Oh! You can do that!" At this point, neither one of us had much open water experience so we attended a local triathlon club intro to open water swim clinic. It was glorious and we were hooked. She is now one of the biggest rocks in my life and keeps me levelheaded and true to myself while encouraging me to dream big but remain humble. There are people that come into your life unexpectedly that forever change it for the better and help you become t

Weekly recap 11/11-11/15 (Escapism)

Holy cow. What a week. My swims are getting shorter and more infrequent as I get closer to finals week (just shy of a month away, but still). I've found myself waiting until the end of the week to get my swims in, with the logic that:  " I swam too much at the end of last week and over the weekend, time to get my head down and catch up." BUT THEN... somewhere around Wednesday or Thursday its like: "OMFG. Too much. Too much. Too much. THE WHOLE WORLD IS GOING TO BURN and me with it! What to do?!" umm... duh. Get your butt to the pool and swim. This week was so bad for anxiety that one of my friends at school cornered me, "You need to go swim. When was the last time you swam?" long silent awkward pause, me with eyes down of verge of tears, "Ummm. okay then. Go to the gym. Like right now. Okay?" That was Thursday. I swam. I told myself that my goggles were leaking and that is why they were so full of water. The concrete box felt like a

Still "brisk"

I swam yesterday with four other Yetis. It was cold and lovely. We warmed up on the beach surrounded by friends and enjoyed an impromptu picnic. Swim time: 30 minutes Water temp: 51 f Air temp: 52 f It seems like the week for hovering right around air+water>100, so we're still in the "brisk" category and have yet to reach "balmy". Maybe next weekend.

Yeti Feet

Yeti feet. Today was the first shore support swim trade-off I've done this winter swimming season. There were three of us and I elected to stay on shore and support first and swim second. (I guessed it would be getting dark out by the time of the second swim so I had packed my swim lights.) Watching my two friends get in the water and as they took their first strokes I remembered why I find shore support so satisfying. Once they were all the way in their bodies moved rhythmically through the smooth glass-like water. The moment their bodies relaxed and surrendered to the slight undulations of the river I felt my heart exhale. It's almost like my soul could pinpoint the moment they entered flow. I paced the bank of the river during the swim and escorted them out of the water as they finished. Rewarming is super entertaining when you're not the one whose teeth are chattering. Sitting in the car sauna listening to their exuberant laughter and watching their shakes become

Pyramid City

I am really proud of the work I'm putting in the pool right now. For the first 2/3rds of the semester when I made it to the pool I just mindlessly crunched laps. Running away but at a slow and lumbering pace. I was lazy and uninspired. The last few times I've been in the pool I've made it a point to push my pace. I started using my Tempo Trainer again. Today I had it set down to 22.75 seconds per length. Today's set: 4 x 400 m pyramids up and down by 25's 1 x 400 m free cool down I am really really really really happy that I was able to negative split these and that on my last pyramid every step was faster and the ones before. My body is starting to remember how to swim fast... maybe because I am so stressed out that I want to run away. I had gotten so lazy in the pool that I'd forgotten what it felt like to pull myself effortlessly through the water to reach that sweet speed where you feel like your being lifted out of the water. Yesterday was a dark h

Wednesday schmendsday

I am really lucky. When my heart forgets to feel and my brain forgets to think, my body still knows how to swim. There are less than five weeks left in my first semester at OT School. Every day for the past week it has gotten just a little bit harder to get out of bed in the morning. It's gotten just a little bit harder for me to get on my bike and mash pedals to the train station. There's a lot of days where I contemplate not getting on the train. Sometimes, I think about taking the train to the Amtrak station and buying a ticket for the first departure. All of these things are really unreasonable to think about because I am living my dream. But still, it's hard. There's this nebulous that hangs around me. Sometimes it is full of fireworks and the whole world sparkles with every step and every day is the 4th of July.  Other days it is full of the great gaping gravity of nothingness, a black hole I can't outmaneuver. Most of the time I can keep this overwhelming exp

A "Best swim EVER" kind of day.

There haven't been a lot of days lately where I get out of the water and feel like, "OMG! Best swim EVER!" Today, happily, was a best swim ever kind of day. The water was still hovering around 51F and the air was cooler than yesterday coming in at 54. There was something about the crispness of the air and sailboats on the water that made it perfect. Oh, yeah. There were sailboats everywhere . Nowhere near where we were swimming, but they were in the main channel just doing what sailboats do, tacking, turning, looking splendid. Something about the whole atmosphere today, since my vocabulary isn't stellar we'll just have to settle for... I don't know. Whatever word describes the feeling of a perfect moment, when anticipation lines up with reality and everything just feels right . Bliss is so blasΓ© compared to today. So, if you have the perfect word, let me know. Sailboats!  The water just felt right . My body felt powerful and in control. My arms sliced thr


If you know this beach, you know what a treat today was. No wind, no boats, crystal clear water. Today was a special day, an intimate swim with a small handful of people and excellent shore support. We had the most perfect conditions imaginable on a November afternoon. The air was a lovely 60 F and the water was well... that's up for debate. Thermometers read 51 F but three hours after getting out my right big toe is still protesting. My goal with today's swim was to get in without pausing longer than to splash water on myself. My typical entry involves using my buoy as kickboard for the first few minutes until I put my head in. But I did it! I got in and started swimming right away, only a brief pause to ah... um... make a warm spot. Getting in. My swim was fantastic and exactly what I needed, but I set myself up for success today. I bagged an impressive 10 hours of sleep last night, had a big breakfast, and was well hydrated by the time we got in the water at 4:

Time Machine

When I got to the pool this morning, the two-story waterslide was turned on. Oh. My. God. YES! I swear, that slide is a time machine.  The line up the stairs was entirely   made up   of folks from the water aerobics class. Standing on the platform looking down at their faces was like catching glimpses of the children they were decades ago. Little kid happy for sure. Two rides down the slide were the perfect way to start a Friday morning workout. I built a pyramid up by 25s to 200 and tore it back down for a total of 1600m, followed by 4x100 IMs and then a decadent 1000m at pace just for kicks. The extra 1k was a gamble, but I skipped drying my hair and made it to class on time. Whew!