Friday, May 27, 2011

Open Water Swim and Sauna Run

In two weeks, I will participate in my first swimming only event ever. I am signed up for the 3K race at the 17th Annual Death Valley Open Water Swim Meet in Lake Hartwell, Clemson SC.

Dock for the Rowing Club on East Beach Lake Hartwell

I haven't done any swimming in open water since doing a sprint tri last August. So last Wednesday, I ducked out of work a little early and made the drive down to Clemson to take advantage of the open water swim, that takes place on the East Beach every Wednesday night.

East Beach Lake Hartwell
You won't see any people on the pictures, because I took them once I was done with my run, so you just have to believe me here: There was a good amount of people out for the swim. They officially have two waves (5:30pm and 6:15pm), but it seemed like everyone just got in the water whenever. I got there late (despite getting out of work early, it's just quite a haul from Duncan to Clemson) and most people were already in the water, but a small group just got there around the same time, so I headed out with them.... After one girl from the group gave me a couple of pointers (line to choose, the different buoys, watch for people coming back in, the kayakers etc), since this was my first time swimming there.

View from East Beach
The goal was to get to the furthest buoy which was supposed to be between 1 and 1.2 miles out and back. I am claiming that my swim ended up being 1.2 miles, because my line was not a line but a lot of zigzag. My sighting was bad and I had some goggle trouble and swallowed some lake water at the beginning, but after that, I got into a nice groove and was able to handle the slight chop without too many upsets.

One of these days, I will put together a post about "how to not freak out in the open water" with strategies that I seemed to use each time I am out there. Given, that I can still count all my open water swims on two hands.

Car = Transition Zone

After I got out of the water, somebody told me that they normally go to Mellow Mushroom after the swim... That sounded great, but I had a 4-miler on tap, so I put on my shoes and headed out right away.

As you see, I brought my wetsuit, but the water was like a bathtub (that's says much coming from me) and I am glad that I decided against putting in on, otherwise I would have been very uncomfortable.

From the parking lot it was a straight shot on a grass trail right along the lake for a while, that turned into a paved trail after that.

After a little over a mile, the trail was done, so I just added another mile by making a couple of random turns.

After I hit the second mile, I turned around to retrace my steps.

It was hot and humid that evening and I had a miserable run.

I guess, it's going to take me another couple of weeks until I am used to these kind of conditions again.... Or, I just have to get my butt out of bed earlier and avoid sauna running as much as possible.
Clemson Football Stadium

It was quite a drive from work to Clemson and then back home, but I am glad I had the chance to do this. I feel a little better about that 3K swim coming up and running in a new (to me) place with something new to look at is eventually still fun, no matter how hot and humid it is.

1 comment:

  1. there were trails in the woods near the boathouse when i rowed (we had to run on them sometimes) not long ones, but if you stumble across them you could add that on to the dike mile.

    owsing scares the beejeebees out of me. :)