Sunday, July 9, 2017

Long Open Water Swim

Sally and I went for a long swim yesterday, me actually in the water and her following in her kayak.  We started at the Boat Club about ten minutes before high tide with the idea that we'd swim with the current out from the club, through the mouth of the estuary, past Short Beach to Stratford Point, and on to Russian Beach.

Route mapped via MapMyRun.Com.
As planned, this was supposed to be about a 3.2 mile swim.  We wound up at 3.35, so I guess we must've done a decent job of sighting and staying on our line.  Better than I had any right to expect, at any rate.

The tides out of the estuary can be very strong.  By way of comparison, we were at about 28 minutes/mile off the dock, but then the tide turned, and my per-mile pace dropped to nearly 18:00/mile.  That's incredible!  As we approached the point, however, the effects of the tide wore off, and my pace dropped back to a little over 25:00/mile.  Breaking it down, our first mile was 24:39, second was 19:21, third was 27:56, and our last .35-mile were at a whopping 34:00/mile pace, basically back against the current again.  We averaged 24:59 overall, including occasional water and navigational breaks, all of which was basically respectable but nowhere near race pace.  To be fair, it can be very tough to sight in open water without buoys.

I climbed out of the water at 1:23:50 feeling very much like a wrung sponge and grabbed my running shoes from the back of Sally's kayak.  I then climbed up off the rocks of Russian Beach and ran the 3/4-mile to where we'd stashed our car while Sally paddled forward another half-mile.  She'd reached the concrete stairs by the time I got back with her car, and from there we carried the kayak back up the stairs, loaded it into her car, and took it back to the Boat Club.

Stratford Point Lighthouse as seen from Russian Beach, per Bob's Pixel's.
A nice day overall, but as you might expect, I'm was tired afterwards.  I'm still tired today, but I am slowly but surely shaking it off.

If you're wondering, my buddy and former Army Swimming teammate Dave also swam open water yesterday, putting in a full 8k in an Indiana lake yesterday morning.  That gives Dave the unofficial Class of 1995 Army Swimming Ironman Award for the weekend.  He went a full 3K further than I did, and honestly, I can't even imagine tacking that on top of yesterday's workout.


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