The Great Open Water Swim Plan of 2013

If you know me well, you know that I looooove to plan (and execute on that plan).

I had a good (enough) open water swim yesterday. It was a beautiful evening at Harry Todd Park. The days are getting much longer in Seattle now. The sun comes up at 5am now and sets at 9:30pm. (Give it a few months and the sun will be up at 4:30 or 4:45 and setting at 10:30!) So, even though I arrived a bit late for my clinic, the sun was still out and the water was glistening half past six.

See? It’s glistening! American Lake, Washington

There’s a small dock area that I keep to during the swim. Everyone else goes into the lake and does the 1K swim around the buoys. I stick to the dock area because 1) it reminds me of a pool and 2) I’m too chicken to go out with the group.

My safe area of American Lake

My first open water swim experience of the season was good — I had something to look forward to after (the half marathon in Portland). There was a bit more panic inside of me than usual, and I wondered if I was hyping it up to be more scary than it actually was. My second time was a little better, because I brought along a co-worker of sorts to join me. He served as a good distraction. My third open water swim experience yesterday was littered with children. Quite literally LITTERED with children! That in of itself was distracting but I used it as an opportunity to sight and to steer away from them in the water.

Saturday is my first swim, in the deep end. Fingers crossed! I think the more exposure I get to open water swimming, the less scary it seems. Here’s my plan:

1) Attend a few group clinics with open water swim coach: +2 swims (+3 already)
2) Attend a few group clinics with Seattle Open Water Swim: +3 swims
3) Attend some free Sunday clinic series (all of them seem to like scheduling them at 9am on Sundays): +11 (estimated)
4) 2 races this season in open water before IMLOU: +2 swims

I think the key to it is kind of obvious: focus on the task at hand and I won’t have any time or brainpower to really be scared. I’ll try to employ that strategy on Saturday and report back!

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