My dad and I decided to do something a little different for my training swim yesterday. Instead of swimming up the coast like usual, we went out to the oil rigs, which are about 5 and a half miles offshore. This way, I could get more experience with swimming in deep water and it could be a nice change of scenery for both of us.
We got out to the oil rigs at around 6:20, right before the sunrise. I was a little concerned going into this swim because I could feel myself starting to catch a cold the day before, and I didn’t want to be miserable during the swim and make it worse. I had been looking forward to this swim all week, though, so there was no backing out. I felt okay besides being congested and feeling a little more tired than usual. I jumped in at 6:30 and I immediately noticed how choppy the water was. I struggled to find my rhythm for a while in the swells.
After about 30 minutes, though, I started feeling warmed up and more confident in the choppy conditions. I focused on having high elbows and rotating as much as possible so that I could take the load off my shoulders. I fed at 45 minutes, which gave me a burst of energy.
After my first feed, I really started to enjoy the swim. I had gotten over my initial fear of the deep water and started to enjoy the beautiful orangey glow the sunrise was casting over the water. The water was about 63 degree, so it had dropped about 6 degrees in the past 2 weeks, but it still felt very warm and comfortable for me. I started to have fun in the swells, but I felt bad for my dad and Vito because the boat was rocking around wildly.
I felt a slight twinge in my shoulders but it wasn’t enough that I was concerned. I fed every 45 minutes on Carbo Pro and a small bite of a peanut butter sandwich, which felt perfect. I think I’ve finally gotten my feeding schedule down right.
I made it to the swim buoys at Leadbetter after about 2 hours and 45 minutes. The water was much calmer there. We then decided to start swimming up the coast for the last hour and 15 minutes, so I was going with the current. I felt like I was flying! And my shoulder pain had almost completely disappeared, so I felt amazing – like I could swim forever.
After swimming up the coast for about 15 minutes, I saw Vito and my dad pointing at something and talking. I wondered what it was but I kept on swimming. A few seconds later, I hear squeaking underwater! The squeaking lasted for about 5 minutes. I never actually saw the dolphins, but hearing them underwater was still really exciting. Vito got a good picture of them and you can see 2 of them swimming within a few feet of me!
I finished about 2.5 miles up the coast from Leadbetter. I felt incredible at the finish – my shoulder felt fine, I never got cold, and I was barely tired. This was such an empowering and fun swim for me and it really boosted my confidence about Anacapa (one month from today! Woohoo!). I have one more 4.5 hour training swim next weekend and then I’m backing off on the yardage before Anacapa. I’ll update you on my training sometime this week!