Jul. 10th, 2016

siglinde99: (Default)
I went swimming with friends this morning. It was cool and cloudy, but not rainy. We thought we had a plan. Apparently we did not all have the same plan. That's what happens when we make the plan in the late evening, and then go swimming at 6 am. We parked at the boat launch, which is near to the mid-point in the long narrow lake and headed out for the first loop. There were four of us, with a fifth person planning to join at 7:30. A sixth person who said she was coming never showed up. When the first folks got back after the first 3 km loop, they headed out for the 2nd loop (5 km). Unbeknownst to the slightly slower swimmers, a seventh person arrived without advance warning and joined the faster group. Michelle and I, the two slowpokes, had decided to go part way and then head back a bit earlier so we would all end at the same time.

Then things got disorganized. Michelle decided she had done enough before I was ready to head back (my clothes were locked in Nadine's car, so I wasn't keen to stand around waiting for the faster folks to get back). Therefore, I kept swimming. When I could see the others heading my way, I turned around, figuring they would catch up with me about the time I hit the boat launch. Instead, they were still quite a ways back, and the only person who caught up was Laura (the seventh, surprise swimmer) who was wearing a hot pink floatie just like Nadine's. I mistakenly thought it was Nadine, Laura and I both missed the boat launch, and things went downhill from there. Laura's partner spotted her, so he drove to a spot where the road was close to the water and she hopped out. I saw this happening but was so tired and without glasses that I thought I must be hallucinating because Nadine had somehow gotten skinnier and switched into a black bathing suit. So I kept swimming. When I spotted the beach at the far end of the first loop, I knew I had really messed up.

The water had been quite choppy so I blamed that on my tiredness, not the fact that I ended up swimming a good 1-2 km further than planned. I felt a bit panicked that I had no idea where to find my friends and I was starting to get a bit chilly. I did not relish getting out and convincing someone to give me a lift (though I could have done that). I did not want to blow my whistle and signal that I needed help (though I was darned glad I had it with me).

I turned around, and things went very well. I was no longer fighting the wind and waves, and I got a second burst of energy so I could do front crawl instead of breast or backstroke. I spotted the boat launch easily (it's much easier to see from the north than it is from the south). One of my friends was on shore in a bright red shirt, and that helped too. She called the others who had headed off in their car to see if they could spot me.

We had a good debrief afterwards and will be putting new guidelines in place for future swims. I swam about 7.6 km, my second-longest distance ever, so not shabby for someone who rarely swims more than 2 km a week any more. I'm a little sore and I was very tired in the afternoon, but now I'm looking forward to going swimming again tomorrow - in a pool, where I definitely won't get lost. Now that I'm getting more comfortable with longer distances, I want to build up my endurance and speed with shorter swims before work each day.

Here we are at the beginning, when it was still all smiles:


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