Memorial Day Weekend: A time to honor the fallen, parades, barbecues, and shimmying into a wetsuit so you can jump into a lake! What, just me on that last one?
I approached this weekend with a mix of excitement and fear since I knew I would be doing my first open water swim of the year - and my open water issues are well documented. Mr. R&R and I packed up all of our stuff (and our paddle boards and the required stuff for that) and headed up to the lake near Yada Yada's house. I think I've described it before, but I really like this lake because it is a) small b) does not allow motorized boats (and therefore tastes like a lake rather than like gasoline and oil) and c) usually has sighting buoys set up in a 1000 meter course around the lake.
We got to the lake mid-afternoon and prepared to be stared at and peppered with questions - which is what generally happens when people see you pulling on a full body wetsuit, donning a swim cap, and strapping a trailer/rescue buoy around your waist when most people there don't venture more than 10 feet from shore. As it turns out, we weren't the only weirdos that day. Another couple was fully suited up and on their way back from the other side of the lake! We waded into the water as they came in and the four of us chatted for a bit about wetsuits (this was their first wetsuit experience), water temp (cold, but not as bad as I expected), and weed levels (really high already). I think just hanging out, talking, letting my suit flood, and getting used to the water helped a lot. Finally, it was time. The buoys weren't out yet, so Mr. R&R took the lead and I followed him. We took it really slow, but I'm happy to report that I swam 800 yards and DID. NOT. FREAK. OUT. In fact, we were bobbing around in the middle of the lake and I said something like, "I'm ready. I want to race - soon!" I'm not saying that my open water issues are cured, but this was by far the most successful first open water swim ever.
Post-swim we dragged our paddle boards down to the beach, inflated them (holy arm-burning workout), and took them for their maiden voyages. I was a little concerned that an inflatable board would feel different/not be as stable as the ones we rented last summer in North Carolina. I had nothing to fear. The boards were rock solid, speedy, and easy to maneuver. We paddled all over the lake, checking where the buoys would likely be and seeing just how weedy the lake was (answer: very) for over an hour. I can't wait to take my board out again.
I also took the figurative plunge this weekend and registered for some B races leading up to Steelhead. I'll be taking on a 8k (that ends at a pirate festival) next weekend, a sprint tri a week later, and my first olympic triathlon three weeks before Steelhead.
Other weekend activities included a long run (didn't go well) followed by a really fun bike ride with Mr. R&R - complete with setting a new PR on the 'Til Death Do Us Part segment. I recall glancing down and seeing a speed of 23.9 mph at one point!
Week 5 Stats:
Swim: 3401 yards (1.93 miles)
Bike: 30.68 miles
Run: 12.11 miles
Strength: 1 session (30 minutes)
Total Time: 6 hours, 41 minutes
Total Distance: 44.73 miles
Cumulative Distance: 969.62 miles - that would put me somewhere in the vicinity of Regina, Saskatchewan!