Thursday, August 7, 2008


My training buddies abandoned me while they went off and partied (happy birthday Linds!) so I headed off to Scum Lake Shadow Cliffs all by myself. Sing it now: Allllll by mysellllff. Ha! Now it'll be stuck in your head all day. Anyhoo, Shadow Cliffs by myself. And about a half dozen team members. Fine, I wasn't alone. But I missed my cohorts!

This was supposed to be another test of swimming in my wetsuit, since there won't be any more weekend open water swims except for our practice in Pacific Grove. I got to the lake and the weather and water didn't really warrant using the wetsuit, but that was the purpose of being there so I suited up. I heavily Body Glided my neck to try to avoid the kind of nasty welt I got on Saturday. A few other places to coat then into the suit. In some ways it's getting easier to pull on but it's still a struggle to place it so I can move my joints comfortably.

I headed out into the water, intending to dive in as soon as the water got over my knees. As soon as the water gets over my knees. As soon as the ... huh? Why's the water so shallow? I was able to easily walk right out to the swim lane which used to be, I dunno, at least 15 feet deep or more. And the bottom of the lake was urgghhh nasty plant life and ickk slimy stuff and ew I'm not touching that again!

As I swam along trying to figure out why they had moved the swim lane in closer I finally remembered reading this. Our drought not only means I have to take shorter showers and water my yard less, it's causing the water levels at Shadow Cliffs to drop 2 to 3 inches per week. That means it's possible that we can only swim there a couple more weeks. We could probably walk across the lake at this point.

So I started swimming, paying attention to using complete arm strokes, sighting and kicking nice and easily. We were scheduled to swim about 35 minutes at race pace. Which is pretty much my normal pace. I realized that yes indeedy Ms. Claudia was right: I do in fact zig and zag when I'm swimming in a wetsuit. It's not just the lane markers in pools that keep me straight, I swam straighter all the other times we've been at Shadow Cliffs. Somehow my arm movements while wearing the wetsuit are so lopsided that I'm going back and forth and back and forth and I probably swam twice as far as I had to.

On my return during the first lap, one of the coaches who was hanging out in the (shallow) (yucky) water told me that I was crossing my right arm in front of me and that was causing me to go left. Which is strange because earlier in the season it was my left arm doing the same thing and causing me to veer right. So I straightened it out and it didn't help in the slightest. Sighting didn't help, keeping an eye on the lane rope didn't help, zip nada nothing helped.

Add to that major cap malfunction. I've had that problem before and have remedied it by putting baby powder in my dry cap. Oops, I forgot. I've also been trying a different hairdo in anticipation of the race, trying to keep the shorter hair out of my face. It's long enough that I've been braiding it. No, not one long one in the back, since the front hair is too short for that. No, not nice little French braids; I don't know how to do that. These are good old fashioned Pocahontas braids. Pippi Longstocking braids. They look faintly ridiculous on someone my age but they're doing the job. Except they didn't help me keep my cap on tonight.

About every hundred feet the cap had drifted so high on my head it threatened to fall off. I'd roll on my back, tug it down, re-settle my goggles, flip over and start swimming again. Then it was every 50 feet. Then I just couldn't get the damn thing on at all and I ripped it off and stuffed it down my wetsuit. The braids kept most of my hair out of my face, but without the cap the goggles didn't fit right and water kept leaking in.

I finally gave up and called it a night, 37 minutes and 1400 yards later. Despite being scheduled for only 35 minutes, I really wanted to get at least 2000 yards (we've been swimming much more than that in the pool). But my frustration level was deeper than the lake so I stood up and walked out. At least I got good practice in ripping off the wetsuit.

Now everything itches. I'm pretty sure it's all psychological at this point, but ick.

You're probably wondering about that "Desserted" and no, I didn't forget how to spell. That refers to my lunch treat. We had a field trip at lunch to check out a new yarn shop, the Yarn Boutique in Lafayette. After billing and cooing at the yarn (and buying some, of course!) we stopped at the Teacake Bake Shop and ohmigosh they have the best cupcake I can remember ever eating. I had their Thursday special, a moist, light, spicy and sweet treat and I wanted to go back for more. I might have to make that my Thursday regular lunch!

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