Friday afternoon (3rd June) again saw me keen to get out for an open water swim in Loughrea. I had been tempted by Renville a couple of evenings on the way home, but just didn't seem to make time for it.
Anyway this time crunched triathlete is enjoying the doubling up of training sessions where possible so a cycle out and back was on the cards.
This is more about the swim so I'll leave the bikey bits out of it, the details are in the Garmin mapping below.
There was a definite need for the sunscreen for this afternoons cycle to the lake. It was a bit like the beach sceen in Jaws where everyone was in the water up to their waist with plenty of people sitting on the shore watching the shark circling off shore. The difference was this is Ireland, all the watchers were getting sunburnt and the shark turned out to be Laurent.
I was later than planned getting down so missed the options of joining Laurent in his swim or Damian on a run.
We still had a group of five for a swim and rather than going from the jammed beach & pier we opted for a start around the point and out round the first & second buoys, round the rock & back. All told 1200m or so of a swim.
I had brought my fins, not for propulsion, instead I wanted to use them to help float & stretch my feet so that I could focus entirely on getting a steady, controlled rhythm of reach, catch, pull, (breathe every now and then!) push and recover.
During the first leg out to beyond the pier, I was all over the place, I didn't settle down at all, was lifting my head, breathing wrong, pulling stronger on one side, not controlling body roll to point out a few things. I stopped, looked around and regathered my thoughts and dumped them all in the mental "trash folder".
Face down again I admired the clarity of the water, spotted some fish, felt the warmth of the day and relaxed.
After this I found a groove. Nice and easy, slow and steady. In the shallow parts I was really conscious of the glide effect through my stroke cycle, I could see my shadow moving deceptively fast. This felt good!! I got to the 2nd buoy and chatted to the lads before we set off on the return leg. I let them go. I was slow and steady, reach, catch, pull, push & recover. Again and again. I was breathing out under water, not blowing like a surfaced whale, which meant I simply breathed in naturally when I was ready not when I felt forced to do it.
All too quick I was around the rock, heading for the pier, the 1st buoy, the spectacular shallows again. I was so far in my relaxed zone I swam straight into a guy who was minding his own business, probably frightened him half to death thinking he was being attacked. Apologies! We did have a laugh about the size of the lake and all that. And that was that, out, on the bike & home.
I really, really enjoyed that swim and need to repeat, repeat, repeat to keep the groove.