I’ve been out of the water for a little bit due to some disagreements between me and my shoulders. After doing a swim lesson on Wednesday my body let me know that it wanted a break… I felt it best to listen, especially when the shoulders hurt even while driving! My hypothesis as to what set them off is that the extra float in the Great Salt Lake modified my body position enough that it messed my stroke up a little bit. Multiply that by 4 1/2 hours and all of a sudden you have a problem. Well today I was back in the water and got right down to business with 2 open water swims!

Swim number one was out at Lopez Lake at 8am with the Central Coast Tri Club. Earlier than I wanted to be conscious, but gotta take swims where you can find them right? :) I drove out there and proceeded to get a little lost trying to find the right parking area. I have two places I usually swim here and the designated meeting spot wasn’t either of them. A few misses and educated guesses later I was on the right piece of lakefront. It’s actually a good little pocket to swim circles in, out of the way enough that most boats wouldn’t think to cruise in there.

I hung out in the parking lot getting ready and meeting people as they showed up. At our peak I think we had 9 swimmers plus a kayaker. I was the lone non-wetsuiter, but I think a lot of the others could have ditched theirs because it was really nice in the water. I measured 68 which is pretty tropical for around here. It was pretty much neutral feeling to me when I stepped in.

The general plan was to swim back and forth across out little cove with the kayaker marking the outside boundary of our route. We swam straight out to meet the boat and then cut left towards the point that made up the end point on that side. I let the other swimmers get out in front of me a little and then swam up through the group. I shot a little too far to the right towards the actual point because I didn’t know there was a rock that you could stand on a little further in. I’m not used to sighting on secret underwater rocks so that was new for me :)

From here we basically swam back to our start point and repeated repeatedly. Every time we’d regroup I’d let the others get ahead a bit before I’d start swimming. Once we lost our kayaker I changed things up and slowed way down. I hung with the back of the group to make sure I could keep an eye on things since we had a lot of newer less experienced open water swimmers in the water. Once Sam was back from helping take the kayak out of the water I got back to swimming up towards the front.

Once we finally decided to bring it in my GPS had us at about 2600m which was a pretty good reintroduction to the water after a bunch of days off. Back on the beach I changed and dried off and talked with the other swimmers a bit while they got ready to either go home or take a trail run.

After a quick peek at my phone to see what time it was I decided to hustle over to Avila Beach since I had enough time to get there before the regular Sunday swim got moving. I lucked out and scored a good street parking spot and then hurried up to hit the beach. Niel was already there and Sylvia and Yvonne were out swimming early. Chad joined us soon after.

There was a hawaiian outrigger event going on today so we decided to hang close to the buoy line. Although the locals are used to dodging swimmers the other teams probably aren’t and no one wanted to get run over by a festively hawaiian boat with lots of paddles. We planned to swim out and then follow the buoy line (now with 3 buoys!) to the end and then aim for the point.

Getting in was exciting since I’d just gotten out of 68 degree water within the hour. The ocean was 55 today which is nice, but my body did not enjoy dropping 13 degrees within an hour. There was lots of whining and fidgiting coming from me on the way in. A big wave ultimately got me all the way wet and we took off shortly thereafter.

I lagged behind a bit as I acclimated. I was probably 85% there by the time we hit the buoy line. We took a quick pause and then set out for the point. After 100m or so I started to find my groove and swam up about even with Niel most of the way down. Chad was a little ways out front. A little past the last buoy Chad and I stopped to see if we were regrouping but then Niel swam right past us so we figured it wasn’t quite time to stop yet :)

We stopped maybe 25m from the point although it looks a lot further on the GPS map for whatever reason. We floated around for a little bit and I was feeling good at this point. The water was nice and glassy with a slight current pushing towards shore. We had a little debris in the water though, I swam through a little more kelp and sea grass than usual. After drifting a bit we set back in motion with our sites set on the pier and intentions of deciding if we were going to swim any further once we got there.

I tried to stretch out and relax on the way back. Make sure I was swimming well and not putting any undue pressure on the shoulders. Over at the pier we decided to call it a day which was cool with me since I already swam once. Plus I saw a dude drop a hook from the pier right on our line so swimming underneath it to the other side of the buoy line had potential to be unpleasant. We turned back to shore and swam it in. I stopped part way there to try and grab a wave to body surf. I got a little piece of one but didn’t time it quite right. I spent most of my time under the wave as opposed to on top of it! Haha, oh well… still fun :)

We swam just shy of 1400m which put me at about 4000m for the day. Not a bad start to getting back in the water post shoulder displeasement. Tomorrow I should be back in the water but not to swim. Dani and I will probably go “surf” a bit. Tuesday I’ll be in the pool again though. We’ll see how the joints do in water warm enough that I can feel what’s happening inside of them :/

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