Day: July 6, 2012

First 5k Swim

One of my goals for this trip was to practice my first 5k swim.  I had set a goal for the Deer Creek swim this year to swim a 5k race.  This was a bold goal as previously I had struggled to swim a mile.  3.2 miles seemed out of my reach but I knew my friends had done it last year so I decided to set the goal anyways (what’s the point of goals if they aren’t a challenge).

More to calm my nerves more than anything else I wanted to practice my 5k as many times as I could before the Deer Creek swim. I’ve been training really hard and feel my stroke and stamina has improved greatly since the Great Salt Lake Swim. Originally I was thinking I’d do my practice 5k with the Sacramento Swimming Enthusiasts on their firecracker swim but I knew they were significantly faster than me and going a longer distance in cold water (60 degree).  It seemed to me that it was not the ideal combination for my first 5k.

With my parents busy with the reunion and having not grown up here, I figured my task was a hopeless one.  Then the idea struck me ‘What about my uncle Jeff?’.  He is a highly trained athlete and his family was all out of town.  He might be willing.  I gave him a call and luckily he was!  He even picked me up kayak in toe. 🙂

We started early- around 7 but that didn’t matter to me (probably wasn’t ideal that I went rafting yesterday and was pretty sore but Friday was the only day that worked for everyone).     Since it was so early the water was like glass.  Gorgeous.  There were geese out and only a few boats.  The water was warm and I kept a steady pace throughout the swim.

My plan was to go 200 strokes and then rest and for the most part I kept this goal.  I stayed along the outside of the lake following the levy until it ended.  The only major hick up was about 3/4 of the way through I got a leg cram that was pretty severe.  It would not relent without some serious effort. Finally I took an energy gel pack (had 2 ‘feedings’ on the swim and 2 water stops) and that seemed to help with the pain.

I pushed on through and finally made it to the homestretch.  It’s amazing how long that homestretch is.  It feels like you are never going to make it.  In fact, that’s how I feel with all open water swimming but then I do and it’s so exciting! I hope I never get over that excitement. Plus, to look back and see a huge levy that you crossed was thrilling.  It’s hard to believe I swam all that way!

Here I am at the end of the swim

It was such a thrilling thing to finish the swim! My first BIG swim!  I can’t wait to do many more.  Thanks to Jeff for paddling for me.  It was an awesome experience I could not have had alone.  I’m in awe of those that can do the 5k in such fast times.  I finished in 2 hrs 50 minutes which I thought was pretty good for a first time.  I’m happy with it and very proud!

After finishing the swim. That’s some goggle eyes for you!

I felt very peaceful while I was swimming like I could breath deeply for the first time.  Live truly under water.  I can’t wait for Deer Creek!  Bring it on!  Now I just wish I had a massage.  After 2 days of hard exercise I’m done!

White Water Rafting

The great thing about this family reunion is it has been very water based, which of course is just up my alley.   The highlight of the week was yesterday- a whole afternoon of white water rafting in the American River.  It was a company called All Outdoors California White Water Rafting and they have tours all over California.  Everything was very professional.

The course covered 12 miles for around 3 hours.  It was pretty intense with up to class 3 rapids.  I had gone white water rafting twice before but this was a lot more intense than either of those experiences.  There were 10 of us that went on the trip but the boats weren’t large enough for such a large group so they divided us into 2 groups, one of 6 and 4.    I ended up in the raft with my Dad, Megan, Anna, Madeline and Isabel.  We weren’t sure if Isabel would be scared but she proved to be tougher than any of us grown ups!

Everything went really well until the rapids called ‘Bouncing Rock’.  The raft took a edge and out I popped.  It was quite dramatic.  I was flying through the water over rapids.  It all happened so fast and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous.  Luckily I was able to keep my head and I didn’t hit  any large rocks. No damage done.

The scariest part was getting back into the boat.  I guess I didn’t have my vest on tight enough and it took quite the effort on everyone’s part to get me back up on the boat.  I felt like I was never going to make it back.  It was intense!

I was winded and overwhelmed when I got back inside so our guide said I could rest it out.  Luckily it was almost over.  The guide was impressed that I held onto my paddle through it all!

The whole trip was exciting and the perfect thing to do on a hot afternoon with friends and family.

Isabel was super brave on the white water rafting
I had quite the throw from the boat but made it out with a smile on my face
Our rafting crew. Quite a pretty lot!
Megan and Madeline
Sam, Azriel, Ben and Nahanni were on the other raft so I wasn’t able to get many photos of them but like this one of Anna and Sam.

I’m grateful everyone was safe and had a good time.  We had a great guide who was a lot of fun.  She did a very good job with a small crew.  I recommend going with this company for white water rafting in California.

Sacramento Swimming Enthusiasts

So this week I am taking a break from my vacationless summer with a visit to my folks house for a ‘family reunion’.  There is such an age gap in my family that in order for us to be together we have to schedule time.  There has never been a time when all of us lived in the house at the same time while growing up.

I’ve had to work quite a bit (nature of my job) but I’ve still tried to have some fun.  I’ve also gotten lots of swim time in.

On facebook there is a group called Did You Swim Today where people from all over the world post about their swimming each day.  It is a lot of fun to share your swimming goals and to get to know other swimmers. One day as I looked at the posts I noticed a group from Sacramento called The Sacramento Swimming Enthusiasts.  As my parents live in El Dorado Hills, near Sacramento, I contacted the group Shawn to see if I could join them.

Sacramento Swimming Enthusiasts.

They were very nice and went out of the way to make things accessible for me. On Monday I met them at Folsom Lake and we had a great swim. It’s amazing how one thing like swimming can bond people together.  I think sometimes we make friendshipping too hard.  All it takes is one thing in common to form a friendship.

The lake was crowded but it was still beautiful.  A lot of fun.  I swam my longest distance up to that point of 1.6 miles and the other swimmers were much faster than myself.  Gave me something to work towards. I think I have a pretty good stroke.  It’s just getting the cardio up and that makes the difference.

Meeting up with new swimmers gave me an idea.  Wouldn’t it be fun to travel to swims? I was thinking you could make a list of places you want to go to and find swims and swim groups at those places.  It would be a fun way to make new friends and get to view beautiful lakes all over the place.  Who’s in? We could even swap.  You have me and I’ll have you.  Lots of great lake swimming in Utah!