Home Stretch

When I think of the word “home stretch” I think of beautiful thoroughbreds galloping down the “home stretch” of Churchill Downs in the Kentucky Derby.  While I am clearly not a thoroughbred or an elite athlete nor am I finishing my big event (I haven’t even started) I am in the home stretch of my training for 20 Bridges.

With a couple weeks before the big swim I was going to compete in a couple of open waters swims that I look forward to every year. The Charles River One Mile Swim by the Hatch Shell and the Doty One Mile Swim in Southie both on the same day~a double! Unfortunately, due to heavy rains and run off the couple days before the swim the Charles River swim was canceled.  Happily the Doty was still on.

I have a blogged about the Doty in the past so I won’t carry on. Its is low key one mile swim with a very local feel in Southie that starts and stops at the L Street Bath House. The water was a bit brisk at 58 degrees (I fared well with the temp) which was good as this will be the extent of my cold water acclimatization except for some cold showers. The best part of the Doty is that it’s the first swim of the open water season to see new and old friends.  I did get my double in as I went to morning swim practice at Wayland before.

(Swim friends)

(Me pretending I beat Eric)

The next day, Fathers Day I was solo as kayaker Shannon was in Seattle so I decided to volunteer at the Wayland 1 & 3 mile swim on Lake Cochituate.  Coach Jen runs the event and its a pleasure to help her out despite the torture she puts us through in practice. Early on I helped set the buoys to mark the course.  My primary responsibility ended up being a kayaker for my friend Dave in the 3 mile swim.  While I have kayaked plenty it this required a bit more focus than my usual lackadaisical kayaking.  It was a lot of fun as I was with the lead pack of Wayland Masters swimmers Dave, fast Jen and Breno as they jockeyed back and forth for the whole race.

(Fast Jen toying with the competition)

In the end it was fast Jen that prevailed. Uber fast swimmer Eric was effectively in his own division taking a commanding lead with in minutes of the start. He also won the Doty swim the day before by a meaningful margin.

It was record participation for the whole event in particular the 1 mile swim where most people signed up. It was fun to think back to when Ryan and his buddies did the swim years ago and to see other kids and swimmers I know from the area race.  Special treat was to see the ladies of the C family from Weston ready to accept the challenge all together (well at least at the start). It was a great day and fun weekend being both a participant and a spectator.

(A swimming family)

Today, I had my last long swim before 20 Bridges. I met fast Jen at Pam’s Pond (Lake Cochituate) and we swam for 2.5 hours and just over 5 miles.  The first two hours were pretty focused and the last part of the swim was pretty social swimming with the regulars from Pam’s place.

With only a week and counting till 20 Bridges I am certainly in the home stretch. One of the goals was to get to the starting line injury free and with only a week left I think I can pull it off!

Tomorrow is a massage…ahhhh!!!

Taper time (of sorts).


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