The San Diego Open Water Swimmers Facebook group has an excellent spreadsheet listing all of the regular swims in any given week. I checked it out last night and saw that there was a coach-led open water swim through Swim Open Waters meeting from 7-8 am at Ventura Cove in Mission Bay.
Kathleen was my early morning buddy again and we drove out to Mission Bay through foggy June gloom. It was nice and cool at the beach, even a tiny bit drizzly, and the water was still and calm. It was a beautiful scene if you didn’t look too closely at all of the litter spilling out of trashcans and strewn across the beach; the leftover detritus from a busy weekend. This morning it was peaceful and quiet.
I joined a group of people gathering in the parking lot. Most everyone was wearing a wetsuit, which surprised me, but then I realized that most of the crowd were triathletes, whom I am learning are devoted wetsuit-wearers whatever the temperature. It was an eclectic group of a dozen or so swimmers, friendly and diverse, all eager to get into the water.
Coaches Sidney and Stephen ushered us into the water. From their perches on their paddleboards, they led us through a warm-up, drills, and then a pretty tough set around a series of buoys not far from shore. While I have swum further this year and endured certain challenges that were more daunting (cold, fear); this was the hardest I’ve worked. Rarely do I push myself to swim fast like I did today; nor do I usually pay such close attention to my form. It was like the Albany Master’s workouts I used to do years ago and reminded me how valuable coaches are. I wouldn’t want every swim to be hard like this, but it would be great to integrate something like this into my regular routine. Plus, I had the sense of vital wellness that always follows a good workout (or a dip in very cold water, but I think it will be a while before I experience that again).