Here in Calgary swimming in open water is a treat. Firstly you have to wait till well after you can't walk on it anymore. That's most of the year shot, right there. Next, all the lakes in Calgary are private, well, except for Sikome. I'll get to it. These lakes are put in by the developers who then sell very, very expensive housing around them. The community association takes care of the lakes, and typically only residents and their guests can get in. I, unfortunately, do not know anyone that has lake privileges, or if I do, they haven't mentioned it. Sikome is City owned, and is famous for the diaper catch and release program, and recurring episodes of various ailments infecting the water, and is tiny. I suppose, technically, one could swim in the Bow River, but it's glacier fed, very cold, and very fast moving. Plus you'd get the fire department rescue squad all excited. Nobody willingly swims in the Bow. The Glenmore reservoir is huge, but you aren't allowed to swim in it. The City has all these funny rules about protecting the quality of our drinking water supply.
However, the various triathlons cut a deal with a community to host the swim, and they graciously open their lake to the athletes that want to practice their open water swim. Here's a big thank you to the Midnapore Community association!
Sat am at 9:30 I showed up, along with maybe another dozen swimmers. The water was cool, but not cold, at least not once you got in. My buddy Lori was supposed to join me, but I never saw her. Perhaps she went to the other entrance where transition will be and I missed her. I swam about 45 minutes and did two semi-circumferences of the lake. Note exactly hugging the shore line, not just swimming to the middle and back. It took a while to settle in, and had a few good minutes of swim.
Sunday evening at 5:30 Shannon and I met up and we did essentially the same swim again, with a bit more of a tour of where the actual race start will be. This was another 45 min on a beautiful evening. Mostly steady pace swimming trying to tweak my stroke. For a while I tried to draft, but he gradually pulls away from me.
I have decided there is no way I'm getting the same reach as the pool swim and will only tire myself trying, so I've come up with a slightly shorter, choppier stroke that keeps my elbows up and my hands on their own side of the body. As for actual speed compared to last year, I have no idea at all. I am reassured that last year I was breathing one side and barely keeping up with breathing. Today I can breathe bilaterally and carry on just fine, though my direction becomes a bit erratic. So if I get out of the water in the same time as last year, but with a lower heart rate and less energy expenditure, I'll be happy.
What's making me happy, and unhappy at the same time, right now, is that I'm drinking the very last bottle of a Riesling Auslees that I bottled Dec 7, 2003. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Picture diluted liquid gold. That's what colour it is, and it's going down smooth as silk. Oh my goodness.
Swim 3.75 hrs
Bike 2.75 hrs
Run 2.6 hrs (I ended up counting Monday's run that was so horrible.)
Total 9.0 hrs.
Next week I'll be tapering hard, looking forward to the race.