This week has been very encouraging, in some ways, but very tiring and very busy. I worked out on Sunday with the Triangle Team in Training triathletes at Jordan Lake. It was a breezy day, and sunny, so the boats had been out on the lake. It was very choppy and rough. Not good conditions for a first-timer, but the team did well– our coach sent this message out today:
We had our first open water swim last Sunday, and the wind at Jordan Lake was kicking up some sizeable swells. I’ve only swum in conditions like that one other time at Jordan Lake, in a race many years ago. The swim course we used for training is out & back along the shoreline, about 500 yards each way, and the turn-around point is marked by a dead tree trunk, 20-30 feet tall, jutting out of the water about 10 yards from the shore. From where we start, the dead tree is easy to see against the horizon, but as swimmer’s approach it, the viewing angle changes, and so does the background, and the dead tree becomes more difficult to pick out among the other trees on the shore.
When we started swimming, I swam at the back so I could keep an eye on everyone. The swells were challenging, our group spread out, and the lead swimmers arrived at the turn-around spot well before I did. When they got there, they didn’t see the tree marking the turn-around, but they did see another tree 500-600 yards farther away that was positioned in the water very similarly to the one they were supposed to swim to, and they continued swimming to the more distant tree.
When I got to the turn-around point, I tried to wave them back, but they were focused on the more distant tree and on navigating their way through the rough water, and they didn’t see me until they stopped.
The way back was easier, swimming with the swells instead of against them, but the entire swim was over 2000 yards, and considerably more challenging than a pool-swim of that distance. I know our team has been progressing nicely in the pool, but they impressed the h*ll out of me in the lake last weekend. For those who swam, if you can do that, you can easily do your swim on race-day, no problem!!
That was very encouraging to hear– our coach is a very fit older guy, and he knows a lot about endurance sports. He has done a good job adjusting to a new teammate with a very different training schedule, and he helped me with my shoulder injury in one practice. So I have a lot of faith in his assessment of our readiness. And more so than ever, I feel like I could be ready by September.
But I did have a problem this week that I surely did not expect until the Hudson– after swimming in Jordan Lake since I was eight, I had some sort of awful reaction and could not stop itching for two days! It was agony. I’ve always heard the Hudson was a good place to get sick, because of all the stuff in the water, but I think they’ve cleaned it up quite a bit, and we’ll be swimming in a spot cleared for swimmers, and now I know what to expect a little more so if it’s not clean! Nothing a little prednisone can’t clear up, and it’s for a great cause!!
Now that our fundraising letters have gone out, we’ve been getting DAILY words of encouragement from friends and family members. And when the itching was just wretched and I was absolutely miserable, I had to say to myself, we’ll, Carrie, you can’t give in because of a little rash. People are counting on you! (Not that I would have– but the idea of jumping back in the water was daunting). So keep those notes coming! Maybe I’ll post some on Facebook!