What a wild ride 2020 has been! I have been resisting blogging because I have been practicing living in the moment and focusing on enjoying every day and opportunity to swim. The time has come for me to reflect on these last few weeks of training and the exciting opportunity to train at home rather than in Lake Michigan. I am still in California (surprise!) and have the unexpected chance to participate in some really cool swims in the coming months!
For the first block of weeks that I was home, I did the majority of my training in my parents tiny backyard pool. This pool was great for maintaining my mental connection to the water and some endurance, but I certainly felt constrained by the space and my lack of creativity with tethered workouts. I am so grateful to be mixing ocean swimming back into my routine, since the beaches are back open!
My training buddy Hannah and I have been slowly building our weekend swims, alternating between my home beach in Santa Monica and her local beach at Shaw’s Cove. Santa Monica is usually flat and we can push our distance and speed, while Shaws provides the opportunity to practice swimming in challenging conditions. Each swim feels so special because it was only a few weeks ago that beaches were off limits to even swimmers. I was also pleasantly surprised by how much my tethered training seems to have maintained my swim endurance and technique.
COVID has also presented unique challenges to my normal training routine, but open water swimming also lends itself more naturally to social distancing than some other sports. I’m sure some people are curious about the precautions that we are taking so I will explain. My training group is small and we are very careful to maintain our distance, both in and out of the water. We park on the same street, put on our masks and get completely ready to get in the water at our cars. We walk down to the water, all wearing our masks and don’t share gear the way we normally might. Our training walks the fine line between staying close enough to keep eachother safe from a water safety standpoint and far enough to keep eachother safe from a COVID standpoint. As most swimming events have been cancelled this year, we are embracing our training and enjoying our time together!
I will reviving this blog to chronicle my training for the rest of the summer. Stay tuned for some exciting announcements in the next few weeks!