Tonight Pam, Zoe and I decided to brave our first open water swim in Calgary this season. If you remember correctly, we had off and on snow, hail and rain on Saturday. It was still pretty cool on Monday, then it warmed up on Tuesday but it was a pretty cloudy day. So…who knew what the lake would have in store for us today! Luckily it was warm and sunny all day here. One of Pam’s friends lives in a community with its own man-made lake. Only residents are allowed in, although they can bring in a few visitors. We were signed in, then headed off to the bathrooms to shimmy into our wetsuits. Since both Zoe and I had new suits (well, new to me anyway), we were both keen to get in a bit of open water practice.
First thing I realized…must trim my fingernails before the race this weekend! Fingernails and neoprene are probably not a match made in heaven. Pam taught us a trick that if you put plastic bags on your feet it is a lot easier to get your feet into your suit. I timed how long I needed to get into my suit and yeah…15 minutes is about the time.
Once we were safely ensconced in neoprene we made our way to the lake. It was so beautiful out there! So quiet with picnic tables, tall trees, even a small beach. I decided to try out Rainmaker’s suggestions for swimming with the Garmin. I wrapped my Garmin up in a Ziploc bag, tied it into my ponytail and pulled the swim cap over. We all had neoprene caps as well, but opted to give things a try with just swim caps on. Finally we decided to brave the water.
It felt cold initially, but as I was treading water I realized that I actually felt really warm under my wetsuit. We picked a dock across the lake to swim to and took off. The aim of the game was just to practice sighting and to see how the wetsuit fit. My swim experience in this lake was so different than the lake in Oliver. The water was clear and I could see all of the green stuff growing up out of the lake bottom nearly the whole time. It was amazing! I realized that I need to make sure I’m really pulling up my sleeves to make sure I have plenty of mobility in my shoulders and the chest doesn’t feel too tight. When we made it to the dock Pam helped me adjust a sleeve, then we picked the edge of an island across the lake to swim towards. I felt like I was sighting pretty well to here and the small adjustment in my wetsuit made a huge difference. When we were about across from the beach that we started from we decided to head back. According to the Garmin we swam about 670 metres.
I was worried about how cold the lake would be, but it turns out the lake felt so good! And I am SO happy with how my new wetsuit fits. This one is definitely so much better! Will it make a difference in my swim time at Wasa Lake on Sunday? I guess we’ll see!
*In case you aren’t reading this in Google Reader, scroll down to the post below. I’ve been a prolific writer tonight!