Yeah, I know it’s nothing close to what it will be like at Wisconsin, but we do what we can.
Today’s swim was a series of “out to the buoy and backs” that left some of us overly familiar. Racer K and I spent a large part of the morning beating the shit out of each other and, I think I can speak for him when I say, it was awesome.
The front line in this picture was given about a 20 second head start, then the back line of today’s stronger swimmers ran in to chase them. We did this several times and the net result was a nice little cluster-f*ck at and around the buoy.
Sighting is huge, as is dealing with currents and waves, but for my money, the most valuable part of our open water clinics is scraping flesh . . . or worse.
When someone is running next to you, you will likely talk, size them up, or dig a little deeper to hold them off, but swimming is another story. Especially in a lake.
You can’t see much of anything other than a horizon so whenever someone slinks up beside you or touches your feet, your first thought can range from simple “annoyance” to “holy fuck, there is a sea urchin trying to kill me right now at this moment.”
(side bar . . . I just extended that last sentence far more than I needed to by adding “right now at this moment. It’s super redundant and frankly clutter, but I thought it may make it funnier, which I suppose it would to some, but certainly not linguists).
Yeah, so now that I’m getting stronger, I actually get a kick out of running into people on the swim. Annoyance, yes, but it’s like solving a tactical mission, which doesn’t always go your way, but is still pretty cool.
Today alone I got punched in the ribs, kicked in the face, had my goggles ripped off and got dunked at the buoy, and that was all by Racer K.
On one of the “out and backs” I got pinned by two people as I tried to pass. I had two options. Go over the top or drop off and swim around them. I chose the second but noticed how much effort it took to bump around in there before falling back, then restarting. Clearly the best decision in the future is either veer off earlier or just dig in for all I’m worth and split the seam.
In the end we broke into two groups and had our customary session-end relay race. Most of the time they come right down to the wire and there is no time to relax. You are RACING with people all up in your grill and doing anything to beat you to the beach. It wears you down, is often brutal, and I am very glad I’m getting that experience.