Today I completed a 4 hour (8 mile) training swim, which is my longest swim to date. When my training buddies Gino and Natalie, my paddler Tess, and I first arrived at Redondo Beach at 6am, the water was a flat grayish green and the sky was overcast and cold. My friend Tess came to paddle so that we could worry less about navigation and also be able to feed mid-swim. The water temperature was not too cold, ranging from 63-65 degrees throughout the swim.
We swam south for one hour, but decided to turn around near the tip of Palos Verdes due to an abundance of kelp. Swimming in the shadow of the peninsula is so beautiful, I am reminded how lucky I am that I have the opportunity to train in such a place. The views make the grueling training a little more bearable.
While I was initially worried about the logistics of three swimmers sharing one paddler, it turned out fine because we are all similar speeds and therefore can swim near one another. To avoid the kelp we turned around and swam back north toward Kings Harbor for another hour and along the way stopped for a quick feed from the paddle board.
For the next 45 minutes we swam small laps so that we would be back at the start in time for Gino to leave at 9am. Because Natalie and I wanted to complete 4 hours and we didn’t start exactly at 6, we need another hour and 15 minutes at this point. We swam back South for 40 minutes and the chop had picked up significantly such that we were being slapped in the face and Tess was bouncing on the board. As a result, we were all very happy when it came time to head back, with the waves pushing us rather than fighting us. At the end of our swim, we exited the water, tired but elated that we had met our goal.