This morning, while 45,000 runners sweated through an unseasonably warm October morning in the Chicago Marathon, I went for a nice long swim in Lake Michigan.
I was joined in this outing by my new friend Thomas – ultra-distance cyclist, fellow Point swimmer and, it turns out, owner of a sea kayak! After a recent Point outing Thomas had suggested that if I ever wanted to explore regions of the lake outside the swim buoys, he’d be glad to provide an escort. With the last blast of summer weather, the stars were aligned – I took him up on the offer.
Continue reading “Kayak Escort Practice Swim!”
One more from our swim last Sunday. Thanks, Louise, for the wonderful photo.
The schedule of 2011 USMS open-water national championships is now available. I did the “grand tour” this year – and it was fun – but I had no plans to replicate it next year. Unfortunately, this schedule makes it look as if USMS is trying to prevent people from doing them all:
- June 12 – 10K – Fort Myers, FL
- June 18 – 25K – Noblesville, IN
- June 25 – 5K – Coney Island, NY
- July 3 – 1 mile – Sweet Home, OR
- August 13 – 2-mile (cable) – Lake Placid, NY
- August 20 – 2.4-mile – Madison, WI
That’s right – 4 of the 6 national championships are on four consecutive weekends! Even better, the marathon, ultra-marathon, and half-marathon distances (10K, 25K, and 5K) are on three consecutive weekends.
Some other interesting co-incidences (in the literal sense), especially relevant to marathon swimmers:
For open-water swimmers, it always seems like the days of summer are too few. This really takes that sentiment to an entirely new level!
In order to apply for a spot in the 25-person field of the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, one must have recent, documented cold-water marathon swimming experience. In practice, that means either a channel crossing (English or Catalina) or a completion of one of NYC Swim’s two ultra-distance events (MIMS itself or the 17.5-mile Ederle Swim).
Otherwise, one can do an “observer documented qualifying swim” – which in the case of MIMS means a 4-hour continuous swim in water 62 degrees F or colder.
Was I ready for a 4-hour, 62-degree swim? Not really. The longest I’d swum continuously was the Miami 10K in April (2 hours, 34 minutes in 75-degree water). The coldest I’d swum was 58 degrees, a few weeks ago at the Point – but that was only for 25 minutes. The closest thing to a “long, cold swim” I’d done was this year’s Big Shoulders – 71 minutes at 63 degrees. Then, this past Monday morning, I swam for 53 minutes in 60-degree water (2 laps of the 57th Street Beach).
But I was as ready I was going to be, given my narrowing window of opportunity. Lake Michigan had already begun its Fall turnover. Any day, a strong west wind could blow in and drop the lake into the 50’s – from which it might not return until June!
Continue reading “A long, cold swim”
And now, for a belated report on the Diamond Lake Open Water Challenge, in which I partook two Saturdays ago, September 18. I had been waiting on the official photos from the day, but no such luck. The images below I either took myself or scavenged off Facebook.
I hadn’t planned to do this race, but late last month I had one of those “Oh, what the hell” moments, and that was that. Even as the official Olympic marathon swim distance, 10K’s are still pretty rare below the elite level. And this one was less than a 2 hour drive from Chicago. I saw it as an opportunity to see what I could do in a casual setting, where I probably wouldn’t be racing anyone, in water that wasn’t 84 degrees – in other words, everything the Noblesville 10K wasn’t.
Continue reading “Race Report: Diamond Lake Open Water Challenge (Cassopolis, MI)”
The more I think about it, the more I suspect that the Cascade Lake Swim Series & Festival was the highlight of my Great Summer of Open Water. I was reminded of this when I recently discovered Bob Needham’s report, which includes some gorgeous photos — and even a video! The video captures the frantic finish of the 1500m race. You can see me stumbling in at the very end (I’m the one without the B70).
It should be obvious why I prefer in-water finishes 🙂