Friday, August 31, 2012

Qausapa quasa..something

Tomorrow will be my first open water races here in Connecticut. Also the only race that I didn't find through the USMS site. Lake Quassapaug. It's nice to be able to day trip to a race venue. Most of the time I need to make overnight arrangements.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Late Summer

The morning here in New England is nice and cool this time of year. In a low-lying place, like the one I  live, there is fog every morning. By lunchtime it will be warm. This means I need to wear my bicycling gloves on my way to work in the morning. And I think it also means that the water temperature in all the local lakes is starting to trend back down. The water is still fine. I should get another month or so of swimming outside.
But it makes me glad I got in two lake swimming sessions this week. This weekend I've got more events.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

10k thoughts with photos

The official Lake George results were posted this morning. My time is 3:19:10. This is only a little faster than my pace for kingdom swim.
The 10k Swimmers start
I'm going to have to race some more 10k's because I think I can bring that time down a little bit.
Jogging up on shore. This seemed to take a long time.
In any case Lake George is a fantastic place for a swim. The event was very well run, and I had a great time.
After the finish with my son.

Monday, August 27, 2012

10k Start

The 10k swimmers lining up for the start. The raft the lifeguard is standing on is also the refueling station.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Lake George 10k

The course is a 2.5k loop. So the 10k race is 4 loops around. The out portion of the loop has us swimming generally south and the back portion north. The course is most of the way across a large cove in the lake.
We start in water about waist deep. We follow the yellow buoys out and the orange buoys back. The 2.5k swimmers start first. Then it's our turn. We wade out to the starting buoys. This would have been the time to place our gatorade/juice/water on the little refueling raft. They didn't leave us to mill around in the water very long. As soon as everyone got up to the start chute they blew the siren to signal our start. From the mass start the group spreads out pretty quickly within a hundred yards or so I have all the room I want. I can still see swimmers out in front or me and off to either side. Pretty soon we start to overtake some of the 2.5k swimmers. They started only 5 minutes ahead.
The water is incredibly clear. The bottom is probably 30 feet away when I finally lose sight of it. On the way out I didn't notice much chop in the water but I was consistently drifting to my right. On the way back I was drifting left. My first loop seemed to take a very long time. I had to keep reminding myself that I should be expecting each loop to be 45 minutes at least. Just before the last buoy the bottom came back into view. Turns out that buoy is in only about 4 feet of water. I swam through the shallow water back to the start chute and the re-fueling raft.
The race provided some bottles of water and gatorade. I took a bottle of orange gatorade, drank most of it, and, following the advice of the lifeguard on the raft, placed it carefully so I would be able to find the  same bottle my next loop around.
On my second loop I could feel a little bit of chop in the water. Not too bad but I wouldn't want it to keep getting more intense. I got a look at few other swimmers on my way out but no one very close. I actually overcompensated for the wind and went too far to the left before the turnaround buoy. On the way back I felt like the waves were pushing me along. I just had to make sure they didn't push me onto the wrong side of the buoys. When I got back around to the re-fueling raft I saw there were whole bunch of swimmers in red caps. It was the 5kers. I found the bottle of orange gatorade that I had left last time and drained it. The siren blew for the 5k swimmers and they took off in a mass.
I took off after them and soon I was right in the middle of the 5k pack. I got a new burst of energy from having so many swimmers around again. I also got a little help navigating. The 5k group opened up pretty quickly but I had red caps in sight all the way out. After the turnaround I felt fantastic. My stroke felt strong and smooth. The waves seemed to be pushing me along. Just before the last buoy I saw a woman fly by me. At that pace she must have been on her final loop.
As I turned the last buoy into the shallow water suddenly everything felt terrible. My stroke felt choppy, the waves were tossing me around instead of pushing me along. Everything was a mess.
I got to the re-fueling raft, and I was disappointed to find there was no more gatorade available. Note to self: next time be sure to bring my own supply to stage on the raft. I grabbed a bottle of water and drank about half of it. A guy in a red cap, wetsuit and beard popped up. He said "I've been stalking you the whole way back from the turnaround but I couldn't catch you"
This made me feel pretty good. I told him I'd see him at the finish, or maybe out in the middle and I took off. I felt like a mess. I was starting to get hungry. I could feel a little bit of chop in the water. I was still being pushed to the right. I was having a lot of trouble finding the buoys. I had to keep stopping and swimming breaststroke because I couldn't find to buoys with my normal spotting. The folks on the kayaks were very helpful, pointing me in the right direction. I swam and swam and swam and the buoys never seemed to move. And then I was passing one on my left. I never saw it until I was past it. Eventually, with a few more directions from the kayakers, I made it to the turnaround buoy.  Heading back I felt much better. Not quite as fantastic as my last loop but better.
I overtook another swimmer on the way back. I didn't see the color of his cap but I figured considering how quickly I passed by he had another loop to go. I was trying to keep my stroke steady. My sighting was much more effective on the way back. I wanted to give a push to the finish but I was afraid if I tried to push too soon I would wind up finishing that much slower.
I caught up with another swimmer just before getting to the last buoy. I decided to go for it. I did my level best to pick up the pace. I couldn't see the difference but I think I passed one more person on the final swim into the finishing chute. The ground was just out of reach. And then the ground was in reach. Once my fingers were touching bottom I swam a few more strokes and then I finally stood up. The beach had a very gradual slope so it was still a long way into the finish line. Well I decided I was going to go for it right? I did a high-knee jog the rest of the way in and right up onto shore.
Someone read off my number and someone else handed me a finishers medal.
As soon as I got past the finishing chute I saw wifey on her way over. She had our little guy with her. Also she had a snickers bar for me. I sat down right there in the grass to eat it.

Lake George

Lake George is a fantastic location. The water quality was very impressive. So, as per usual, the basic info:

Who: Green Leaf Racing
What: Lake George Open Water Swim. (offering a 2.5k, 5k and 10k)
When: Saturday Aug 25 2012
Where: Hague NY on Lake George
Why: To have one more big swim this season.

Friday, August 24, 2012


Today I'm heading to Hague NY. Tomorrow it's the Lake George Open water swim. I'm signed up for the 10k. This is a pretty big swim for me. 10k is just a bit more than the 6miles I did for Son of a Swim in June. As a little twist, I've actually been to Lake George. Although last time I was there I swam no more than a few hundred yards total. I believe I was 14 at the time.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Goose Pond

Yesterday was a lovely swim at Goose Pond up in MA. We spotted quite a few fish while swimming over the weedy parts. Out one side, across, and then back the other side to our starting point. I had a lot of trouble navigating when we swam the leg across the lake. We were swimming directly into the sun and I could not see anything. Certainly not the landmark I should have been swimming for. Still a fantastic swim.
Today I skipped my usual run because I don't want to risk my calves being sore for the big swim this Saturday.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Wifey and I got to do our Saturday morning yoga again. Then at the very end I sat up in a bad way and wrenched my back. This left me very sore for the rest of the day. Not to mention feeling foolish. Get through the whole yoga class feeling great and then tweak my back during what should be a restful period. I was still pretty stiff and sore on Sunday but I decided to try a pool swim. I did a one hour swim. No intervals just a nice easy swim. About 50 minutes into the swim my back finally loosened up and started to feel better.
On monday the pool was closed. So my regular speed work was out of the question. I decided to do a trail run. I did three miles on an out and back on a local stretch of the appalachian trail. Everything felt great except for stubbing my toes on a root a little more than a half mile in. Interestingly although it hurt it didn't interfere with running. So I finished my out and back. The result of all this is my back is almost completely back to normal and I have a very sore foot.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Richmond Pond

Another new lake for me. Richmond pond. Much smaller turnout than last week. I estimated 1.3 miles based on my mapping. Wifey came, along with our little guy, and joined us for the picnic after. As a note to self: air temperatures in the late afternoon are cooler than they were just a few weeks ago. I should remember to bring some warmups for before and after.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Yoga Party

Wifey and I got to do our Saturday morning yoga this week. We haven't been since before all my open water swims. This summer has been pretty busy so far. Just a few more events coming up. The studio had a new room, which was really nice, and the class was much bigger than usual. Come fall I hope we can make it routine again.


On friday I did 300 yards worth of butterfly. This is 50% more than my usual workout. I found myself very sore in the lower abdominal region. Almost to the point that I thought I had hurt myself. People are always trying to figure out how to develop their lower abdominals. Now, of course, all the muscles in the midsection are connected. But everything seems to focus up at the top, just a little below the solar plexus. Except for the butterfly. I really have got to do more. This fall or winter I should really do the 100 and 200 fly in some pool meet or other. Lets mark that as a goal for this season.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Last night's swim was at Queechy lake. Biggest turnout of the summer. People were there from nearly an hour north and an hour south.  Another fantastic lake. We swam across up one side then back across and down the other side. We stopped to regroup 4 times. This gave me a chance to play around with my pace. On the shorter legs I picked it up to swim right at the head of the group. The rest of the time I went along at a more normal pace. That put a few people ahead of me on the longer legs.
After the swim, a beer and a burger. It doesn't get much better.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sunday Stroll

This weekend wifey and I took a run together. We haven't done for a long time. Wifey is still keeping her distance very limited so she actually walked the last mile of the loop. But it was still really nice. Back when we were planning to run the NYC marathon we would go off on long runs together. We could run and talk for miles and miles. Maybe we'll be able to do that again.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Big Pond

Wednesday was a swim in Big Pond in Otis MA. Weather was a little iffy. But it turned out just fine. We swam into the wind on the way out and then swam with the wind behind us on the way back into the beach. I usually prefer it that way. If the wind is blowing across my path it will be constantly pushing my of course.
This is now six different lakes just to the north in Massachusetts that are all new to me.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pile it

I finally added some weight to my weight training. A little on the deadlift, a few more reps on the bicep curls, and a little bit on my wrist roller. No extra soreness. That could mean I should have added some weight earlier. But I've done it now.