July 23, 2020 - More Covid Extremes
My swim buddy, Scot, made an off-handed comment a few months ago for an idea when we realized racing wasn't going to be an option this year. Why don't we swim the entire shoreline of Guilford Lake? Sounds dumb was the response I remember telling him. We do our OWS primarily in this lake which is a shallow and pretty warm swill of a lake that grosses me out to tell you the truth. But, like most dumb ideas Scot shares, I said I was for it.
He did most of the work finding support for the day of the swim, while I mostly just pushed others to come out and "do what you can". Race morning we had a hell of a nice support crew of kayaks, a canoe (that eventually swampped in the chop), and a pontoon boat to troll around us and carry a bottle of fluid and pull anyone out that had enough.
Like all other hair-brained ideas this season, we opened it up to anyone else that could swim as fast as the first kayak or as slow as the last one and encouraged them to push their swims... if you never did a 1/2 IM swim, do that; if you've done IM, do a little extra. Most opted to do thier first IM swim or be content with that distance if they were IM finishers previously. Dale, who did his first olympic the week before, finished his first IM distance swim.
We had 2 others that wanted to "start out with" us on the full swim. One was a 21 year old lifeguard and the other never did a swim longer than 3000 yards (also in his 20s).
The threat of T-storms is a way of life in NEO and this forecast was no different. The thought of postponing this a day didn't excite me so as I watched the first rainstorm of the day roll onto the lake I said if we have no thunder, we go. So we went. The rest of the folks set out 5 minutes ahead with a rough idea of what a 1.2mi turn around point would be across the lake. The four of us started off with no real excitement either. At about mile 2 the wind picked up and the chop was real. The canoe that was always a few yards away disappeared and we found out from the pontoon they had swapped from the waves, got to shore, and called it a day. We carried on and swam through the chop and rain which calmed eventually.
The last mile the skies cleared and the sun came out and as the saying goes here in Ohio, wait an hour and the weather will change, held true again. It was like a different day when we finished. It wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be; life lesson - set the goal high and then do it.
Again, so many people hit PBs. IM swimmers went 3 miles. Others who never considered a 1/2 IM were starting to talk about "I can think I can do it".
Mission accomplished - more PBs and new goals set.