Yesterday I went for an almost two mile swim with my friend Keith. We planned our swim to leave from a beach on the New Hampshire side of the Connecticut River (in a reservoir) and then to end at a beautiful beach on the other side of the river in Vermont. The stretch of water that we were swimming is in between two Hydroelectric dams, The Comerford Dam and the Moore Dam. This is a gorgeous stretch of water where Bald Eagles can be seen nesting along the banks. I forgot to wear my watch so I don’t have an accurate distance but we do know that the distance was close to 2 miles. This distance while sounding especially long excited me. I had been wanting to complete this open water swim all summer as I have gotten much more confident in the open water and also feel a lot stronger when swimming.
The weather couldn’t have been any more perfect for our swim. We have been in a hot spell having the hottest weather of the entire summer with temps topping out around 90 over Labor Day weekend! The water temperature is great although has cold pockets and is cold when you dangle your legs down into the deeper water. The water was calm when we entered the water and free of much boat traffic. I opted for my wetsuit for the added buoyancy and to ensure that I wouldn’t get cold. I also brought along my new Kiefer Safer Swim Buoy to make sure we were visible while we were swimming. Keith’s wife Laura also met us at the end of our swim to guide us back to shore.
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Since I have begun swimming to train for triathlons a lot of my swimming has taken place in a quiet pool with either no one else present or perhaps one other swimmer. While great fro training and improving endurance and speed, practicing in a pool does not help when it comes to race day. It has been a goal of mine to get in more open water practice to try to quell the nerves. I also need to get used to swimming with others in close proximity as well as to changing water conditions. The water at the Timberman 70.3 was calm at the start and then super choppy and filled with thrashing arms and legs. To say I felt nervous during the race was an understatement. Swimming when you are nervous or anxious does not feel good and can actually be a little scary. Practicing in the open water is giving me an opportunity to try to find calm and to settle into a relaxed breathing pattern. I am also working on being more consistent at breathing on both sides (1, 2,3 breath pattern).
Swimming yesterday was a huge confidence builder. I was able to settle into a stroke/breathing pattern and to think about stronger arms and stronger kicking. After the first ten minutes of the swim I felt relaxed and was able focus on gliding through the water and it felt good. I found an even rhythmic pace. Keith and I were pretty evenly matched pace wise too which helped us to navigate a straight course. We only stopped briefly twice to make goggle adjustments. The water remained pretty flat until the point where we needed to cross over to the beach. At that point I was feeling tired but excited that I was so close so I picked up my kicking speed and just swam. Our finish time was 1:12! I was psyched! Dream summer swim accomplished!
At the beach we were rewarded with family smiles and our delicious picnic lunches. The food was well needed after that swim! The rest of the afternoon was spent swimming with the kids, paddle boarding and watching the kids adventure in their kayaks.
Organic Runner Mom’s Training Aug. 30th-Sept. 7th
- Sunday: Endurance Run 1:30
- Monday: Recovery
- Tuesday: 1 Hour Bike, 30 minutes strength training
- Wednesday: Run with 400’s
- Thursday: Recovery Bike 14 miles
- Friday: Brick with Steady State, 1:30 on Bike, 30 min on run–Total distance 17 miles
- Saturday: 30 minute open water swim
- Sunday: Rest
- Monday: 1:12 minute open water swim close to 2 miles
What was the biggest goal you accomplished this summer? What goals do you have for this fall?
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