Shoreline Swim {Race Recap}

Good afternoon!  Yesterday I participated in the first annual Shoreline Swim in Madison, as part of the Clean Lakes Festival.  

I was equally excited and nervous leading up to the swim; I had chosen the 1.2-mile option (there was also a 2.4-mile and a 200-yard guppy swim), and it has been a few months since I've swum that far.  I knew I was capable of swimming that distance, in a pool especially, but this would be my farthest open water swim (OWS) ever!  I have been getting weekly OWS practice with my swim group, but we don't focus on swimming continuously, often focusing on drills.

So there I was, excited and nervous on Saturday morning - I got up super early (5:25!) and headed out of the house by 6:00am. I also got this really great picture of the sunrise over the capitol - 

Love my view of the capitol! 

Love my view of the capitol! 

Then I walked to Law Park where the race was held.  There were just over 80 people signed up, so check-in was a breeze. I found an area to set up my things, and started the (arduous) process of putting my wetsuit on!

I just purchased a new pair of Speedo Women's Vanquishers, and i'm very happy with them so far!  They fit my face well with no leaking, and I could see pretty well.

I just purchased a new pair of Speedo Women's Vanquishers, and i'm very happy with them so far!  They fit my face well with no leaking, and I could see pretty well.

Then it was time to warm-up in the lake, and then get out of the water for the pre-race meeting.  They explained the course, the 1.2-mile swimmers were to make one lap around the course, while the 2.4-mile swimmers would be making two laps.  I sometimes have trouble seeing the buoys from the shore, and figuring out which way to go, so I was a little unsure of the course.

We headed back into the water for the in-water start.  The countdown began, the blow horn sounded, and we were off!  I didn't line up on the edges like we discussed in OWS practice because I didn't really realize how we were lining up until right before we started.  However, it wasn't too crowded in the middle, and I only got swiped a few times before everyone settled into their own space. 

It seemed like it took FOREVER to get to that first buoy!! I kind of thought the course was more out-and-back, so I kept telling myself, just make it to the buoy and you're halfway done. Nope, it was a rectangle, so a left-hand turn to the deeper part of the lake to the next buoy.  From this point on, I was kind of swimming solo, so I started to lose confidence that I was going in the right direction. I had to stop swimming a few times and kind of bob up and down to see the group of people in front of me or the next buoy.  I was also pretty tired and feeling the lack of distance swimming!

When I finally made it to the next to last turn, I asked the kayakers if I all I had to do now was swim to shore. Yep. Thank goodness! I turned my head and saw a group of swimmers behind me, so I tried to pick up the pace and make it shore as quickly as possible.  I haven't quite gotten the swim/run out of the water down yet, I kind of lumber out of the water and try not to slip on the rocks near the shore haha.  As I made it out of the water, I hear the race director announce, "And that rounds out the top 3 of the 1.2-mile swimmers!"  Woohoo, that's me!

After stripping off my wetsuit and grabbing 1/2 a banana and an orange slice, I headed to check out the results.  I was indeed 3rd out of the water (2nd female) out of 30 finishers, with a time of 39:03.  My pace was 2:02 per 100 meters (I assume meters).  I'm a little disappointed by my time, because I KNOW I can swim faster (I did the Madison aquathon swim of 1000 meters in 17:17), but I also know I'm still getting used to swimming in open water, and I haven't swam long distance in a while.  So overall I'm very happy with the experience as a whole.  It was a great way to spend a Saturday morning, a really organized event, and really great open water swim practice.

Celebratory brunch with a peach mimosa was definitely in order! (drinks after any kind of fitness event is definite a Yes in my book.)

~Megan

Getting to Know Madison

Well, we've been in Madison for about 6 weeks now.  So far, I really, really like it here. On the fitness side, I've bought a wetsuit, joined an open water swim clinic, competed in an aquathon (my husband ran), and gone on a few bike rides and runs.  We've also gone to a few free concerts, gone to the farmers' market and cooked meals from our market finds, and drank lots of Madison beer.  Consider this a photo dump of our time thus far. 

That's it for me today! Just stopping by with some pictures, and hopefully I'll be back up here before 2 months go by (again).

~Megan



Getting Stronger {Hip Update}

I was finally able to schedule Physical Therapy for my hip about 3 weeks ago.  My PT thinks the groin/hip pain I've been experiencing since late February is more psoas tendonitis than pain from a possible hip labral tear or the minor hip impingement I've got going on, so that's a positive. 

The therapist is working on calming down my angry hip flexor muscles, and I'm working on stretching, stretching, stretching, oh and also - some glute and core strengthening.  Hurray!  That's one of the reasons I was really looking to get into PT before I moved; I didn't know what lower body exercises would hurt me, and which would help.  Coupled with recurring knee and piriformis pain, I had stopped doing a lot of core and lower body exercises, and it was making me feel like any muscle and strength I had was dwindling away.  I was feeling pretty unfit to be honest.

When I was instructed to do one-legged deadlifts and walking lunges for the first time, I was scared of hurting myself, but also super excited to try.  I've been performing these types of exercises (plus a few standard PT exercises such as bridges and planks) for 2 weeks now, and I already feel stronger and better about myself.  So that is definitely a positive.  I should get a list of exercises to do on my own when I move, so I can hopefully continue progressing.  

 With every lunge I do, I feel like I am accomplishing a variety of things - from the very obvious building muscle, to working to fix and prevent muscular imbalances, to making me feel like a stronger person. I'm going to get through this injury and come out the other side stronger.  

Feeling happy and determined on my ride home from Physical Therapy last week.