The Big Day is almost here!

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With just a couple of days left to go before the Sun City Swim up in Orillia, I have to think that I am all set and ready to swim that four km. I signed up for it near the start of the year and in a way have been preparing for it ever since. For the last month and a bit my three weekday mornings have turned into five. I’ve done a bit of lake swimming this summer, but not as much as I would have liked. The most recent lake swim was in Simcoe Saturday Aug 3rd.  

It was actually too windy to have an enjoyable day of fishing out there … so I figured it would be a great opportunity to see what it’s like swimming in semi-rough water. My son Izaak was my safety spotter in his kayak. Water temps were an even 70 degrees F - a full 10-12 degrees cooler than the Bradford Pool I am so used to.  We were in a semi-protected bay (there really aren’t any fully protected bays in this big bowl of a lake) and I headed out for the other side … about 1 ½ km away - same distance I swim each day. As I headed out into the waves I almost immediately realized something was way off … as I quickly gulped in a mouth full of water and then another. Crap!

It dawned at me that my usual horizontal position was just not working with these waves.  My mouth was just way too close to the water’s surface; hence the unwanted free drinks with each breath for air. I instinctively began to swim in a more heads up position … which is a chore unto itself. Additionally my body compensated – and my legs sunk well beneath the surface. This poor body positioning is taboo – as it is far more labor-intensive, less efficient because it creates way more drag - resulting in very slow process. I trudged along though- keeping an eye on my son and his kayak off ahead of me a bit and slightly to the left.

I ended up doing far more breast stroke than I am used to. In the pool, I typically do 4 laps (8 lengths of 25 metres) front crawl in about 4 minutes followed by a lap of breast stroke. I use that breast stroke to slow my heart rate down a bit, relax and get rested for more front crawl.  In the pool- that system works like a charm for me and my game plan for the Aug 10 swim, was to emulate that pattern for 4 km.

Ha! Just like when fishing tournaments ... you have to have an open mind and adjust to changing conditions, the same can be said for lake swimming. With any kind of wind, I know I’ll have to have an open mind and adjust with whatever conditions we’re faced with on August 10. My son even noted that I was quicker when doing the breast stroke in those winds – so more of that stroke might have to be part of the plan... even though I get bored awfully quick while swimming it.

Anyway- I managed to swim across that little stretch and back … but let me tell ya it was no fun and hope we don’t have wind on Saturday.

Tuesday morning of this week Lake Simcoe Living Magazine editor Johanna Powell visited the pool while I was there – video camera in hand. She wanted to take a few photos and do a little filming of me swimming for this blog. In between huffing and puffing there’s a little message in there for blog readers and you can check it out at this link

Still an opportunity to supply a small donation for the Neonatal Intensive care unit of the Memorial Hospital in Orillia.  Just log onto this secure “Giving Pages’ link and donate away!