Monday, May 9, 2011

Scratching, Clawing, Grabbing, OW Pool Swimming for a Good Cause!

This past weekend I participated in a fun event that I had never tried before - open water swimming, but in the pool. Ok, so it isn't open water exactly - but it didn't involve lane lines and it did involve a lot of navigation skills, turning around buoys and a long time in the water. In my mind, it qualifies!!

On Saturday I was up at 6:00am sharp, excited with anticipation for the Ballou Skies Charity Swim!! The Tree's Pool at Pitt was set up with four buoys making it a giant square'o'fun and the choices involved a 3k, 5k, 7k or 10k straight swim (look Mom - I spelled it right, not like George Strait, the singer! She always tells me that!).

Last week was a brutal training week. I thought by Saturday I would be totally recovered, but I really wasn't. I was still feeling the miles of swimming, biking running that were done Monday through Friday!! I decided the 5k made the most sense considering I still had a five hour bike and a t-run to do after.

We had around 25-30 people show up and donate which was wonderful. The Ballou Skies Team was out in full effect so we had lots of representation which was fun.
Beth was really, really excited (as excited as I've ever seen someone be) to swim 10k! Maybe next year! I need to really prep if I'm going to attempt something like that!
Jen and Meredith were ready!!

Joc was feeling that 5k with me so that was good. Especially considering we planned on riding afterward! We look like we just woke up.. oh.. that's right.. we did!
Overview of the pool! What an awesome facility!
I started off feeling really good and strong. There were bodies everywhere and there was really only about 10 or so feet between the buoy and the wall so it was tight when we would end up packed up getting around the corners! Perfect practice for open water!
See what I mean! That's someone (probably faster!) swimming close to the buoy on my left! I did stop a few times to take in some water and somewhere in there, I definitely lost count of my 33 laps. To be totally honest, I wasn't concerned with my time. I just wanted to swim strong, feel good and finish happy with the effort and brushing the rust of my skills.
It was a great day to raise money for Ballou Skies (We raised $1000), see friends, and make some new ones!

After we were done, we hit up Panera and I ate a LOT of food. Swimming makes me so hungry! I still had high hopes for the ride, but it was also raining a little, and it seemed pretty cold. On top of it, all that food had me wanting to nap more than ride. By the time we loaded up, drove to North Park and started it was 11:30am. Based on the weather, I did the math, and there was just no way we were going to get everything in before the next wave of rain moved into town.

Jocelyn, Jen and I headed out and had a wonderful ride despite a few mishaps with my tire / tube (another slow leek). We stopped three times before finally changing it. By the time we made it back to the park to drop off Jen, the dark storm clouds were looming and I knew we were going to get dumped on any second!

After a few more quick laps, the rain just let lose, soaking Joc and I right to the bone. So we road back to the cars, and hour short, no t-run, and covered in dirt. It was just one of those days where sometimes, as hard as you try, you just can't make your training plan work! Sorry coach J! I tried! Have you ever had one of those days? What happened? Did you feel guilty or did you just "brush your shoulders off" and let it go!??

All in all, it was a great weekend and I was one tired girl on Saturday night! I'm so thankful to be part of a group here in Pitt that picks me up when I am down, supports me and loves to do things that help others.

This week may be the best weather Pittsburgh has ever seen! So, I'm getting out there to enjoy it! I hope everyone is having a great week!


Christi said...

Now that is a massive swim! Congrats to everyone who participated!

ADC said...

That pool set up looks awesome. As for the ride - you tried but sometimes you just can't fight the external factors.