Sunday, June 16, 2013

Back in the Big Wide Open

On Saturday, my friend Matt support kayaked for my first swim of the year at Branched Oak, the largest lake near Lincoln. The forecast called for a 50/50 chance of rain and we got lucky. 

I told Matt I'd like to swim about 2 hours or so. Turns out, he kind of thought I was navigating and I kind of thought he was navigating, so the "or so" racked up another hour.

The weather whipped up some impressive waves at about mile 2 to 3. It reminded me of the washing machine waves off of Manhattan Beach at the ocean swim clinic. I think it was harder for Matt than it was for me.

I was surprised my shoulders held up as well as they did for nearly 3 hours and 5.25 miles of swimming. I felt tired and my arms and back were a little sore, but not in pain.

We celebrated with lunch at the marina. Matt's wife Cynthia joined us and Paul had been waiting for over an hour. He jogged while I swam, putting in about 8 and a half miles. We are such jocks ;-)

One of the nice features of Branched Oak is the hot showers. For a dollar in quarters, you get your own shower room and enough hot water to get shampooed and whatnot. It felt great to get cleaned up.

On Saturday evening, I was delighted to get a call from my friend Sarah Dunstan, who is scheduled to swim the English Channel the first week of August and inspired my leap from dreaming about that goal to actively pursuing it. Sarah also has had shoulder troubles lately and wanted some info about what I've been doing to get mine back into working order. She's doing everything right - same PT exercises, backing off on long yardage and taking it easy. I think she'll do just fine. I told her no matter what happens, she's going to have a fantastic experience in Dover, meeting other swimmer friends and taking part in history. Nothing can take that away from her. And, I told her I could totally visualize her on the beach in France. Maybe that's a little weird, but I believe it. 

Today, I jog walked a little more than 3 miles while Paul did about 5. It was surprisingly humid and we were both drenched. Then I tackled the laundry room - digging through bins of shoes, caps, dog leashes, jackets and cloth grocery bags and sorting stuff into keep, donate and pitch piles. It's been a long time since I've seen the laundry room floor. It looks so much bigger now.

After that, I went to Master's swim team practice where Coach Gary prepared a whoop-ass sprint workout. Really? On Father's Day? I think my spleen or kidney is probably still drifting around near the deep end. It was brutal.

And then, I came home and made a fantastic Daddy's Day feast for Paul. Audrey came home and presented him with pork rinds and Milk Duds. Good stuff.

I only have 4 weeks left until the 26.7 mile Red River marathon swim. I wish I had more time, but I'll do the best with what I  have. Lots of yards to squeeze in. I hope I can find some more friends to kayak for me the next few Saturdays.

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