GSL Swim and "Open Water" Practice at Fairmont

Yesterday afternoon I met Gordon, Chad, Sam, Sarah and Lisa at the GSL Marina.  It was a bit windy, but the water didn't look too bad from the parking lot.  After greasing up, we walked down the ramp and waded in.  It's been a while since I have been able to make a group swim and the water felt a bit chilly.  To those who have been swimming more regularly, it probably felt pretty nice.

My elbow has been bothering me since the State Championship meet and, after an IM workout that morning, I didn't want to put much more strain on it and decided to just swim a mile.  Everyone else planned to do 3+ miles.

Once we got out of the marina, we were slapped in the face with waves.  We all headed out towards Black Rock.  Gords, Lisa and Sam were a ways ahead of Chad, Sarah and I.  After swimming about 1/4 to 1/3 of the way to Black Rock, I stopped and looked back to see Sarah just floating in the water.  I swam back to see if she was ok.  She was not used to swimming in the chop and I gave her a few tips to try out.  When the water is rough, I tend to lengthen my stroke; it seems to help stabilize me in the water.  I also told her to breathe away from the waves, since she had taken in some salt water.  I left her there and headed back to the marina.

There were quite a few boats on the water.  A few of them went out and then turned right back around and went back to the marina.  There were some pretty good sized waves at the first red buoy and it was fun riding them back into the marina.

After I got out and rinsed off, I noticed Sarah coming back into the marina.  I guess she decided that the waves were too much today.  She and I watched the rest of the group finish their swims.  Gords, Lisa and Sam went out to the end of the buoy line after getting back from Black Rock for a total of about 3.25 miles.  It was Lisa's first time in the Great Salt Lake and I was really impressed that she stuck it out for so long in the windy conditions.  She ended up with some pretty bad chaffing on the back of her neck because she didn't put on any grease.  Chad came back to the first red buoy and then turned and swam straight out into the middle of the lake against the waves for a while before turning back.

It was a fun swim.  The weather is going to be pretty warm for the next few days which should be good for raising the water temp.

This morning was "open water" day at Fairmont.  We take out the lane lines and swim laps around the pool.  We also practice starts, swimming straight, sighting, drafting, etc.  Today we did one of my favorite drills where our coach put out four cones and we had to swim a pattern between them, while he moved them randomly.  It is good practice for sighting.  On the last drill, we added a "worst case scenario" where we had to completely take our goggles off and put them back on each time Max blew the whistle, all while swimming the same pattern and sighting on the moving cones.  It was a blast!

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