Training has been going well…mostly. So here is the updates.
On Friday afternoon I decided that I wanted to get in my long swim and get the training weekend underway. I convinced Tim to join in. Now why Tim keeps deciding to join, I’ll probably never know, but it is nice to have someone there that holds me accountable. So we arrived at Hagg Lake around 3pm-ish and got ready to start the 4 hour swim. We were planning to swim our normal loop and pier to pier as I call it. That route typically takes us about 2 hours, so 2 times through and we would be good. (Picture: The 3 dots on the top line in the middle mark the beginning of the swim and then we head to the right to the top 2 dots (Boat Ramp C and the Victory Tree), back past the beginning into the cove. Then up the other side of the cove (bottom line), then comes the pier to pier across the lake).
What we didn’t plan for on Friday was the wind. We headed up to Boat Ramp C it was pretty choppy, but we were doing well. On our way back to the starting spot, we noticed what we both thought was someone in a floating tube. Then I noticed Tim swimming right for that person. I took a closer look and it was an overturned canoe with a gentleman hanging off the back. I then swam over and Tim and I swam the canoe and fisherman back to the shore. We helped him out of the water and he was glad that his fishing vest with all his flies was still there. He was a little disappointed that he lost his good fly fishing rod. (Note to fisherman: We never found your pole that day. Sorry about that). After the rescue Tim and I continued on our way.
Heading up to the first “pier” Tim and I noticed the waves were getting bigger. We were swimming about 6 feet apart, but I only infrequently saw Tim as we both ended up in the troughs at the same time. When we got to the first “pier” we looked across and made a decision that swimming across would not be a good idea. There were a lot of fishing boats and I wasn’t wearing a balloon or anything to make us more visable, so we headed back into the cove. (Note: Cutting out the pier to pier cuts out about an hour of the route, so we would have to do 4 “U”s to complete the swim).
The swim progressed without much fanfare after the rescue. Again the fisherman thought we were nuts, but it was all good. The only mistake that I made was not bringing enough food for the 4 hour swim. Dang it. Something that I planned to remedy the next day. We did end up only swimming 3 hours and 53 minutes, but I figured with saving the fisherman we were actually good for the day.
Often I wonder if other marathon swimmers think about the same things that I do. I usually focus on songs and/or food. Lately I’ve been running through speeches that I have to give in my mind. Early on in the season, I found out that Tim had named the tree at the first “pier” position, KT. The tree is some sort of cherry or apple tree and it reminded Tim of the KT Tungsten song “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree”. Now I’ve started to call that spot KT. During one of our bobbing moments, of which I take more than Tim, I asked Tim if he had named any of the other locations that we swim to. I thought he would say no, as I’ve been swimming at Hagg 3 years and I’ve never named any of the positions except for Sain Creek and Boat Ramp C, which are what the locations are called. Boy Tim had named many of the places we swim past. Names are as follows:
Start location = Sain Creek Pavilion. Not very exciting as there is a pavilion there and it is called Sain Creek.
Bend on the way to Boat Ramp C = There are 3 trees, you can see them at the base of the parking lot. The big tree Tim has named the “Mother”. Not exactly sure why, but I have since named it the “MoFo” tree which hopefully people know what it stands for as my mom would be upset if I explained further. Now I call it the MoFo tree as often we have to put in a short jaunt to this tree at the end of the swim as we are 15 minutes from our end time. Now I would typically just like to get out as we are right at Sain Creek, but no we have to swim to that MoFo tree and back before getting out. I know it is good for me.
Boat Ramp C has a tree out on the point that has been named the “Victory Tree”. When the leaves are off the tree the main branches from a V and look like someone raising their arms up after a race.
Back into the “U” on the top side of the map. We have the Double Barrel. These are 2 garbage cans on the beach that we use as a landmark before we start to swim across the cove to the other side. Apparently to Tim they look like the double barrel of a gun.
At the end of the cove there is the “Bat Cave”. There is a spot in the trees where there is a small path that cuts in. It is always dark and kind of mysterious looking in the bat cave.
I don’t think that Tim has named the spot directly across from “Double Barrel” that we swim to.
Now on the other side of the cove (sort of W shaped based on the beach). At the middle point of the “W” we have Balthazar. Tim explained this to me about something to do with greek mythology and something of the like. As you can tell, I’ve forgotten the reasoning. Plus “Balthazar” doesn’t roll off the tongue so I called it “B”.
At the end of the “W” (4 dots marked before KT), we have the “Kids”. There are a bunch of trees here that are leaning towards the water and it looks like kids rushing into the water.
Then you all already know about KT at the first “pier”. Across the lake there is a downed tree that Tim and I must touch before heading back. Apparently this log wasn’t named, as I asked Tim, but he quickly came up with “Lincoln” Gotta love the Lincoln logs.
So now after 2 years of just boring swimming at Hagg, the different locations have names and we use them to map out our course.
Back to Training stories for June 13-15.
Saturday I had planned for another 4 hour swim. I also had brought plenty of food for the day. I again have gone back to last summers fuel program of CarboPro and Shot Bloks. I’ve also incorporated CLIF Builder Bars at the end of the swim as I find they really help me recover. We took our food and bags to the waters edge to mark off a spot, so that the fishermen wouldn’t pin us into the lake by taking up all the shore property. We set up a chair and I placed my food on the top of my bag for easy access. We went out for our typical route for 2 hours. Again things were going well, it wasn’t as windy today which was nice that we weren’t fighting the white caps (white horses for those in the UK). We got back to our stuff and my food was gone. Now this is the 2nd time that this has happened to me. The first time I figured that someone had grabbed my Shot Bloks as they are a good fuel source. But I had 2 bags of Shot Bloks for today and some apple sauce and my CarboPro/Water mix. All that remained was the apple sauce and the water. Now I was super upset because now I was again down on food and someone/something was stealing mine. Tim looked up the beach a few feet and there was my Lemon Lime Shot Blok package. Well one of them at least and it had been gnawed through and all the Shot Bloks were gone. Dang those squirrels. Now I figure the squirrels are lying in wait as Tim and I arrive and plan their scavaging strategy. “No wait we must wait until the pier to pier. She can’t see us then and we have 1 hour to complete the mission” STUPID SQUIRRELS! They don’t take any food from Tim and he carries the Nature’s Valley Oat n’ Honey granola bars. Those squirrels find my Shot Bloks every time and whisk them away. I’m sure that the squirrels at Hagg Lake have a ton more energy after I’ve been there. Granted they do have good taste.
The last 2 hours of the swim I was cursing those little fuzzy creatures and planning my new strategy for having food on the beach. Tim of course thought that this was quite amuzing, which it is but it still irritated me.
We managed to get in the 4 hours, but I don’t remember much past the squirrels stealing my food.
Sunday – We took the day off. YEA day off!
Next weekends training session would take me back to Minnesota.
P.S. My mom will be helping to keep my blog updated because as Mark has so kindly pointed out…I’m behind. I can’t seem to find enough hours in the day. Now I don’t know if giving my mom my password is a good idea, but if it gets the info out then it is worth the risk. You know I love you Mom! So watch for the Mom Posts coming to this blog soon.