I’m back in the lake!
Last Sunday was my first lake swim of the year. It’s much later than usual, due to the heavy snow pack in the mountains creating colder than usual temperatures. Or at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
I swam out at Nancy Greene Lake, which is a smallish lake about 30 mins drive from my house. I like training here because I’ve mapped the distance quite accurately. Swimming the “triangle” gives me approx 1000 metres, so it’s easy to track my progress and accomplish a practice goal. Swimming in a triangle is also nice, because triangles are one of those shapes that just do not get enough love.
The lake is cold and deep, and the weeds grow long and thick as the summer goes on. I don’t mind the weeds at all and actually find the surreal underwater green-ness to be quite thrilling and interesting. There’s always a chance that a big ugly fish face will emerge from the depths to say hello. I also like to take my dogs along on swims at Nancy Greene, because they can run alongside me on the shore. I can keep an eye on them and vice versa. Sometimes they swim with me, and we become a battle fleet. I’m sure they feel this way too.
I wore my oldest, thickest wetsuit for my inaugural lake training swim. It’s a 4 mm Blue Seventy Sprint, so I figured it would be the warmest option. I wore it for my first 2 years of events before I decided to upgrade to the Blue Seventy Fusion, which didn’t work for me at all.
My stroke is not well suited to most women’s wetsuits, because I am broad of shoulder (or hulking, depending how you phrase it) and I swim with an extended catch. I am working on my elbow technique to correct this, but I have found that most wetsuits haven’t provided the shoulder flexibility that I need to feel comfortable and strong. I started swimming at an early age, so I don’t have the body position problems that many late-bloomers experience. A wetsuit with a lot of buoyancy is not necessary for me and actually works against my natural stroke. At a graded buoyancy of 3:4:4, the Blue Seventy Fusion suit was a problem for me the first time I wore it, and after a few temper tantrums, I ended up doing all of my 2017 swims in my bathing suit only. I spent a lot of time researching the best suit for my body type and swimming style, and coughed up the dough for an Orca Alpha for this year’s events. It is supposedly designed for the “natural swimmer” and at 0.5 mm, is one of the “thinnest” suits on the market. I plan to train in it this weekend and use it for my first event – the VOWSA Canada Day Challenge event next weekend.
I’m selling the Fusion, in case you are interested in a very good quality suit or just want a unique and sexy Halloween costume.
My training has been slightly sidelined while I get over a nasty head and chest cold, but I have been getting some shorter training sessions in and am focused on maintaining my solid base distance of 5k, with a goal of doubling that through July. My next few weeks involve a lot of business travel, so I’ll have the chance to visit some pools in Chicago, Toronto, and Colorado. I am not obsessing with falling a bit behind in my schedule because it’s so important to remain flexible and positive. Right??!
May you also have a flexible and positive weekend, whether you’re encased in rubber or not.