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Tag Archives: open water swimming

a SwimOutlet delivery of goggles makes you do the happy dance

happy-dance1

I just bought 6, count ’em 6! new pairs of goggles!

I was in a rut with my TYR Nest Pros.  We’ve been together for years, various colors, clear, tinted.  They’re fine and all, a good go-to goggle, but the excitement was gone.  I’m ready to move on. I want to experience, I don’t know, something different.  I want more.  I want polarized goggles for OW swimming, I want lower profile ones for pool racing (not that I’ve raced in a while, but still), I want to try ZOGGS.  Life is short, goggle lines get old, and there are so many options!

Breaking up/change is hard, and who knows if I’ll find anything better, but there’s no harm in trying.

6-goggles

 

Do you have favorite goggles?  What works for you?

Reviews of the 5 new-to-me styles to follow in the next month or so.

 


Landshark towel

Landshark ½, 1, & 2-mile swim, Saturday, June 4, 2016, Lake Gardner, Amesbury, MA  

I’m a fair-weather racer, so I waited, waited, waited, and checked the weather obsessively through the week.  I’d been planning to swim this event for months, and was hoping for optimal conditions.  I was willing to pay the extra $5 to sign up on race day rather than take the chance of crappy weather.  Unlike triathlons, swim events rarely sell out!

Race day promised to be beautiful, and it was.  The early morning clouds cleared off and the sun came out.  The water was reported to be 68 degrees – I was perfectly comfortable in my shorty wetsuit.  Most participants, but by no means all, opted for wetsuits.

The course was a ½ -mile loop, so the ½-milers did 1 lap, the 1-milers did 2, and the 2-milers did 4 laps.

19 half-mile racers went off at 10am, followed by 71 two-milers at 10:05am, and 49 one-mile swimmers at 10:10am.  The participants’ ages ranged from 11-72.

I did the 2-mile swim.  The first lap was pretty crowded (in other words, I got kicked, pawed, bumped, and probably did my fair share of kicking, pawing, and bumping – unintentionally, of course!) but we spread out by the second lap, and spread out even more on the third and fourth ones.  We were instructed to yell out our numbers as we swam around the last buoy before going off on the next lap.  That wasn’t nearly as disruptive or disorienting as in races where you have to run out and back in the water.  I have such a hard time recovering from standing up, running and flopping back down.

54:24 and done.  Good enough for 1st in my age group – aging up has its benefits!

Landshark podium

This is a nice, fairly small, local race through B&S Event Management.  I’ve done some of their other races (runs and swims) and they run a good event.  Keep ‘em in mind!

Next up?  Maybe the Mashpee SuperSwim (3 miles) on 6/18, and the Lake Terramuggus swims in CT on 6/19.  Hello, summer!


Sprint triathlon on Saturday, 2-mile swim race on Sunday?  Sure!

A couple months ago I started thinking that maybe it was time to do another triathlon.  SPRINT triathlon, that is, nothing too crazy.  Heck, it had been a couple years since I did the whole 3-event thing on my own.  Last year I stayed Escape the Cape 2015in my swimming rut and only did relays.  In, out, done, hang out and cheer.  I really like swimming on tri relays!

What changed?  Why now?  Well, I AM on a tri team after all… I guess I decided a tri was possible since I started running again a few months ago.  Not much and not fast, but enough to make it through a 5k.  How bad could it be?  As I often tell people who balk at running, you can always walk if necessary!  Would I walk?  No (although it probably looks  like I’m  walking and not running sometimes), but it’s nice to know the option exists.

The tri:  Escape the Cape put on by Max Performance on June 13th.  LOVE Max Performance races.  Really well run.  This one took place  in Onset Beach, MA, right at the beginning  of Cape Cod.  Point-to-point 1/3 mile swim, 10 mile bike, 5k run.  Other than a short hill on the run, both the bike and run courses were  flat, flat, flat.  It was a little windy this year, but not too bad (oh right, blame the wind).

I did this race 3 years ago so I could compare that race to this one.  I expected to be a little slower, and I was, but only by about 2 minutes.  I can live with that.

The swim:  The next day was sunny and beautiful.  I signed up to do a  2-mile race at Lake Terramuggus in Marlboroughduck buoy, CT.  I swam  this event last year without a wetsuit, but it was a month earlier this time around, so I decided to wear my shorty.  I was kind of sick – or maybe it was allergies – and just wanted to cruise the course as a recovery swim from the tri the day before.  Best laid plans… First loop, nice and smooth and strong, passing people here and there.  And then.  AND THEN!  I noticed I was pretty even with another woman for most of the first loop.  Well!  That just wouldn’t do.  So much for not racing, I HAD to stay ahead of her.  Damn competitive tendencies!  Granted I was wearing a wetsuit, and who knows if the course was exactly the same, but I was about 7 minutes faster this year!  Where did that come from?!

So what’s next?  I’m thinking of doing another swim event next month – Pig Iron Swim  in Vernon, CT.  Maybe more than just the 2-miler.  We’ll see.  And there are a couple bike rides coming up – the Rapha Women’s 100, and a century in the Fall, so I need to start doing longer rides.  Sounds like a fun summer to me.  Happy Solstice!


Last I posted, I had just completed a 3-mile swim at the end of June. My first! Now it’s the end of August and I can check a couple more things off my Summer to-do list.
SWIM! I swam a 2-mile race in CT in July. It was an interesting event: one could swim 1, 2, or 3-miles, or any combination of 1, 2, and 3 miles! I opted for doing only the 2-miler due to time constraints. I was happy with my time – just under 53 minutes – which was good enough for a 3rd place finish overall AND in my age group (40-59).  The water was perfect:  no need for a wetsuit.  Ahhh!  Maybe next year I’ll do a couple of the swims.  Or all 3!  We’ll see how my shoulders are doing before I commit to that.  Oh, the best part?  The buoys were big yellow rubber duckies!  How cool is that?!  ALL races should have such fun buoys.  I wish I had a picture.

Cathy and me w/o our runner

Cathy and me without our runner, Diane

After that, I took a break from distance and swam 1/2 mile in a triathlon relay with my sister (on bike), and another Team EnVision member (for the run). We won! The award was a pint glass. Can’t have too many pint glasses, right?
And finally, the swim that got me thinking about competing in open water races in the first place! This past weekend, August 23rd, was the Race for Swim and Fin in Salem (MA) harbor.

Race for Swim & Fin start

Race for Swim & Fin start

I was worried it would be too cold. It wasn’t – I was comfortable in my wetsuit. I was worried it would be really rough. It was pretty choppy, but not awful.

What was tough was the sighting. The buoys were far apart, so it was too easy to sight on the wrong buoy, which I did for a little bit but figured it out before it was too late. Phew.  There was another small mishap, but I still managed a 1st place

Showing off our medals!

Showing off our swim and fin medals!

finish for women 50-54 (w/wetsuit). I can live with that.

Rapha 100 pic 2014

Some of our Rapha 100 group

BIKE!  In July, some friends and I took part in the Rapha Women’s 100, a worldwide event promoting women and cycling.  Our event was hosted by The Ride Studio Cafe.  We had a choice of distances – 100km or 100 miles – and speed.  We did the 100km at a leisurely pace.  It was a great day of riding with friends.  Next up?  The Honey 100 in mid-September:  100km on cross bikes! It’s an off- and on-road adventure, thanks, again, to Ride Studio!  I heard such good things about this ride last year, I decided I HAD to do it.  And it was a good (?) excuse to buy a new bike!  

Giant Invite 2

Giant Invite 2

After that, I’m joining some friends from high school for a charity ride in CT.  The Calhoun Cancer Challenge Ride and Walk  takes place on October 5th.  Some of us are doing the metric century (that would include me) and some team members are opting for the 1/2 metric.  90% of the money raised goes to the cause, so I feel good about taking part. I don’t usually do charity rides because I don’t like fundraising, but the obligation for this one is very manageable.  Thanks to everyone who helped me reach my goal!

READ!  I’ve read a lot this summer.  LOVED Chris Bohjalian’s newest:  Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands.  But then again, I love everything he writes!  I’m currently reading Sally Ride, by Lynn Sherr, and Love Letters to the Dead, by Ava Dellaira.  Both are great.

and EAT!  Unfortunately, I have discovered Ben & Jerry’s Salted Caramel Core ice cream.


After hemming and hawing for a couple weeks and obsessively checking the weather and wind speed, I decided to go for it.  On Saturday June 21st I did the 3-mile Mashpee Super Swim at John’s Pond on Cape Cod.  The conditions were perfect.  The water was reported to be 68F – warm enough for SOME to go sans wetsuit, but not me!  There were male/female Wetsuit and male/female NonWetsuit divisions.

Going into it, I told myself I’d be fine with finishing in about an hour and 1/2.  Who knew I’d end up doing it in 1:13.46?  Good enough for a 3rd place female wetsuit division finish and 15th overall.  Thank you, wetsuit!  Well, except for the almost cramping calves part…

And swimming the three 1-mile loops wasn’t so bad.  Maybe a little boring for some, but I didn’t really care.  It was so nice to stretch out and just swim, swim, swim.  I’m even kind of looking forward to doing another one!

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SWIM!  I’m hoping to do a 5k swim “race”, maybe 2 of them, over the summer.  The first opportunity is on June 21st (Mashpee Super Swim), the second is in August (Race for Swim & Fin).  We’ll see.  I got a 2-mile swim in yesterday, so doing 3 miles in another week could happen…  I’m a little nervous, not so much because of the distance, but that it could be choppy, and the water might still be a little chilly.  I wore a shorty wetsuit yesterday and was shivering for quite a while after being in the water for an hour.

Yes, I’m a bit of a cold wimp – I think the water temp was around 73F

I figure the 3 miles (3 x 1-mile loops) will take me a about an hour and a half.  I just want to settle into a forever pace and not blow out my shoulder (thus the quotation marks around race).

BIKE!  I signed up to do the Rapha Women’s 100 on July 20th.  I’ll be doing the 101km ride through Ride Studio Cafe with some friends (unless it’s raining).  It’s my anniversary, so that’s my husband’s present to me:  I get to ride all day.  I’ve got the best husband ever!

READ!  Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes.  One of the best books I’ve read in a while.

and Eat!  nothing too exciting in the eating department, but we have greens coming up in our garden and it’s grilling season!

I LOVE SUMMER


I haven’t written anything lately mostly because I haven’t had much to say.  I survived my 4 TRX classes.  They were good and I really liked the instructor.  I can see how doing it regularly would help with strength and tone, but then again, it doesn’t seem like it would be that hard to do similar exercises with weights or body weight in the gym.  I still would need to actually GO TO THE GYM (see previous post on gym aversion)!

So…  it’s finally race season.  I watched a sprint triathlon on Mother’s Day – poor racers.  The water was maybe 59 and it was cold and rainy out.  So glad I didn’t sign up for that one!  My first event is coming up on June 8th – Escape the Cape:

SWIM:  That’s all I have to do.  Hurray for relays!  1/3 of a mile.  Easy.  Cold.  I did the whole tri last year (water was 64.  Yikes!), but opted to be part of a relay this year.  My goal is to beat my time, but I’m not swimming quite as well this year so we’ll see.  Swim time to beat:  7:24.  Last year it was a small women’s only tri, but this year it’s co-ed.  I just hope the relays don’t get put in the same wave as the Clydesdales – it hurts when they swim over you.

swim exit

Exit the water at a run!
2011 Title 9 tri

On one of my swims last week, I was lucky enough to have a kayak escort.  I say “lucky” because it was foggy and I couldn’t see beyond the first buoy.  But my kayaker could.  Pretty cool! He just positioned himself so I wouldn’t go off course. The kayaker is planning to escort a swimmer for the Manhattan Marathon Swim in a couple weeks.  Now that’s a serious swim.

BIKE:  I ended up going to a spin class last week, but for the most part I’ve been riding outside.  It’s so nice to be on the road again!  I did 41 miles with a friend on Memorial Day and hope to get out a couple more times this week.

READ:  Being Henry David, a young adult book, but suitable for adults.  It’s set in Concord, MA and some of the action takes place at Walden Pond, where I swim, so I couldn’t resist. I also read two books by Gillian Flynn:  Gone Girl and Sharp Objects.  Dark and twisted.  Creepy good.

and… EAT!  A while back I wrote about what I was eating for breakfast.  I was on an  oatmeal kick for a bit – it was good – but I needed a change.  Hello, Smoothie!  But what to put in the smoothie?  EVERYTHING (see below)!  I consulted No Meat Athlete’s perfect smoothie recipe, and then went wild.  I’m not vegan so I’m using BiPro protein powder – it’s whey protein isolate.  It dissolves really well, no weird grittiness or taste.  If at some point I decide I don’t want to eat whey, I’d probably use Hemp protein.  Tons of options when it comes to smoothies.

Smoothie ingredients

Ingredients may varyfinished product

green goodness!



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