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Last swim at Shadow Cliffs

Posted Sep 22 2008 11:07am
I was almost looking forward to jumping in the lake at Shadow Cliffs last night. Almost. It was hot as heck here, in the lower 100's. We were having another Spare the Air Day because the pollution was at levels dangerous for sensitive individuals. And I wanted to have one last swim in a wetsuit to see how I've progressed.

Claudia and I met up early since Phil was taking a well deserved night off. We decided that we'd melt if we tried to swim in wetsuits so we just wore bathing suits. The lake was crowded with people sitting in the shallow water, hanging out. It looked like one person was swimming in the lane and from the shore it appeared that the lane had shrunk down to mere inches.

We were scheduled to swim a short warmup and then a 40 minute continuous swim at race pace. To us that translated to 6 laps. We waded out to the lane in the surprisingly cool water, dove in and started swimming. I stood once in the lane and it was only about as deep as my chest. The bottom was gross, slimy, icky with green yucky stuff so we didn't want to stand at all.

The width of the lane wasn't an optical illusion, it truly was only about 3 feet wide in the middle. We started swimming outside the lane but collisions seemed imminent so I swam in the middle and Claudia swam outside. I worked at form, worked at swimming straight, worked at trying to breathe. I had hoped that since I was breathing right at water level I'd have less trouble with the air pollution but it wasn't to be. I was floundering and sputtering and working way harder than I should have been. It was as if I hadn't spent the last several months swimming and was starting all over again.

I quit early, after only 5 laps. I'd had enough of the shallow, stinky, gross water and just wanted to be finished. Since I'd been swimming so slowly I was almost at 40 minutes anyway so I didn't feel too bad about not swimming the entire thing. Also, all of our swimming this season has been at the highest training levels for the Olympic group and the intermediate group (where we probably belonged in the first place) was only swimming 30 minutes so it wasn't as if I was totally under-performing. Yeah, excuses are wonderful things.

We had originally thought we'd be able to go back to Shadow Cliffs one more time next week, after it cooled down, with our wetsuits. After swimming there and seeing how low (and slimy) the water is, we won't be going back. I'd rather just go with the training I have than jump in there again. As the coach says, we're fully trained now and we can't make up for lost training opportunities at this point.

Hmmm. I'm not sure I feel fully trained!
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