Late season fun
Fall swimming is in the air in Portland, but not in the Gorge! The past two weekends I've made the short trek out to Hood River to swim 5 miles from Mosher to the Best Western in Hood River. It is such a gorgeous swim and the water remains a balmy 68 Fahrenheit while the rivers in Portland continue to cool down to the mid to low 60s.
On both weekends there was a moderate current assist, but the locals insisted "there's not any current right now." Well, I know my 500 m splits and sub-7 minutes is not my usual pace in open water. Regardless, the water and scenery are lovely and the company wasn't bad either 😉. The first weekend was a bit rough for me, I hadn't been sleeping well and was feeling burned out from studying. The swim was fine the scenery was beautiful, but I was tired before I got in and so it was less enjoyable than a swim in the Gorge usually is. BUT! Week 2, wow. It was GREAT. I was better rested, Sue from Corvallis joined us, Brianna came, Eivind swam instead of paddled, and more locals joined us too. It was playful and relaxing. We practiced drafting, spent time back floating and laughing while watching the barges go by, and then played in the rollers from their wake. It was everything a shot swim should be, little kid happy for five miles.
The only downside is the nerve pain in my neck and shoulder is back. It's not bad, but it's there. I got hit in the neck by a flying umbrella in June and it's not been right since then. (I know, seriously, I can't make this stuff up.) So, rather than continuing my progress toward my 500-mile goal for 2022, I'm going to back off the yardage, hit the yoga mat and gym more, and do my daily nerve glides with diligence. I'm also studying for OT boards and have been spending a lot more time at my desk and writing out my notes to study, which I'm pretty sure is contributing to my shoulder problems. Boards are later this month, so hopefully, with some rest from swimming and some self-inflicted therapy, I'll be right as rain in time for the winter swim season.
I'm working on scheduling Angel Island for August 2022, and hopefully the Jessica Kieras Waldo Lake route for later the same month. Rest is important. Recovery is important. I haven't prioritized these things in the past and it's catching up to me. Don't worry. I'll still be in the water, just wearing fins and floating more while I ride the thermometer down.
See you in the water!