Open Water Swimming!

Three reasons tonight why I love my wife –

1. Bathtime is Daddy time (provided he’s not working late). She thinks I do this as a favor to her. I think she lets me do it as a favor to me.
2. The comment a couple of months ago about “Hey, you don’t look completely ridiculous in those (bike clothes)” after I’d dropped the first fifteen-ish pounds.
3. ‘Cause even though my mother is arriving for a week tomorrow (and is apparently trying to eat gluten free!), she says “Sure, why don’t you go swimming tonight” and means it when I mention it after the boys are in bed.

Not pausing to ask twice, I threw the wetsuit in the car and boogied on down to the Mystic Y. Parked at Williams Beach, stripped down to the compression shorts, pulled on the wetsuit, walked past the sullen teens sneaking cigarettes on the beach towels while trying to figure out if anyone will mind if they start making out on the beach before dark, and waded out into the water.

Wetsuits rock. This being my first swim in the wetsuit, I didn’t know what to expect. Well, I did, kind of – I’ve been in over the top of my neoprene waders enough in my fishing days to recognize the slow, cold, creeping wet as I waded out to waist deep water. But once I took the plunge and started swimming, things were much better. The suit was really nice – kept me toasty, and had exactly enough flotation to ease my fears of drowning. I could concentrate on figuring out how to navigate and breathe without remembering not to sink all at the same time.

I swam for about 20 minutes. Not sure how far, my guess is 500 yards or so. There’s a row of pilings in the river about 20 yards off the beach, about 25 yards or so apart. I swam the length of the row four times, then out to a collapsing structure twice, and back to the beach.

After last week’s tri, durteemartini mentioned “You have to go all arms on the swim so you can save your legs”. I think she’s completely right, especially in a wetsuit. I was getting next to no results out of my kicks, but the pulls felt really good.

Back to the car – for tonight, call it the “Transitionmobile” – out of the wetsuit, pull on shorts over the other shorts and a shirt, pull on the sneaks (no socks!) and hit the road. The idea was to do about 20 minutes total, since the wife was thinking about heading to the grocery when I got back, and it was quarter to nine as I was getting out of the water.

Head south towards Mason’s Island – what a spectacular evening for a run! The temperature was perfect, the humidity was perfect, there was a total lack of annoying insects, and the first fireflies I’ve seen all season. As I crossed the bridge to the island, a guy and gal were fishing, and had actually hooked a fish! Good on them. Turning south to run along the east side of the island, I looked out past Dodge’s island, out towards the mouth of Fisher’s Island sound and the open Atlantic.

The moon was large and red coming out of the summer haze on the horizon. The sun had set, but it was still very much twilight, so the effect was almost one of a second sunrise. I almost came to a complete stop as I tried to take in the evening – the green of the land, the indigo of the sky, the muted blue-green of the sound, and the moonrise.


Glance down at my watch, and I’m approaching the 10 minute mark. Almost time to turn around, ‘cept not quite. The legs feel good, so I continue “out” for another minute, and turn around at about 11:15, and pick up the pace on the way back.


Or at least feeling that way. Slow down to chat with the folks fishing – they lost the fish, but are using freshwater trout rigs with like four pound test line. Poor them. Pick up the pace again.

For some reason, I remembered there being a hill on the approach back to the Y, but I haven’t run on Mason’s island for a long while. There’s not a hill, maybe a slight rise, and before I know it, I’m back at the Y. 21 minutes round trip. So I did cut a minute off of the trip back, which is all good.

Got home, cleaned the bathroom, and rinsed out the wetsuit. Chocolate milk and a couple glasses of water – pshew, I’m ready to sleep. Night y’all.

7 thoughts on “Open Water Swimming!”

  1. wow, that was a quick workout. good for you to have a sweet wife. I’ve never seen a real firefly, i need to come east to see one.

  2. That was a sweet swim and run. The first day of summer worked out to be just perfect in the evening time. I’m hoping for many like it the first two weeks of July.

  3. wonderful workout, jank! swim, a run and a wonderful view to take in, it doesn’t get any better!

    mmm…fireflies. haven’t seen those in ages.

  4. wonderful workout, jank! swim, a run and a wonderful view to take in, it doesn’t get any better!

    mmm…fireflies. haven’t seen those in ages.

  5. What a great workout, Jank. Its gotta be so cool doing tri workouts just because you are mixing it up so much. The fishing story makes me want to get some fishing in this summer. Maybe I’ll bring the pole on a long run day at the park.

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