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Long Swim

The routine of regular ocean swims has taken hold and now my days revolve around getting to the beach. My goal was to get a long swim in (90 minutes) and I pulled it off. I finished my long swim a little tired and feeling awesome and accomplished. Interestingly, it was a distance and course I had swam just over two years ago in about the same amount of time.

Workouts for the Week of May 4 - 10, 2020

Monday, May 4

My day started late so a swim wasn't in the realm of possibility. I logged a 3.3 mile run instead, building on my very limited number of runs logged this year. It was difficult, and I was not surprised by that.

Tuesday, May 5

It was a perfect day to get out for a swim. The air temp was 75F and the water was supposed to be a tad bit warmer. As I was getting in the water some of my fellow swimmers were on their way out of the water. I focused my efforts on stroke and technique, specifically my head position.


The water was clean and cool and wind was mild. I swam my rectangle, getting a sense of what it would look like to swim across to the Cal Poly pier solo.

Wednesday, May 6

Boy howdy was it chilly today. I head to the end of the pier, normally warmed up mid-way along. Not this time! I swam across to the 4th buoy and decided to just swim the buoy line and try to get at least 30 minutes logged. The air temp was rather warm so it was nice to have the sun warming my back, though the cold water regularly rushed down my tattered wetsuit. On my way back to the beach I practiced breathing on my off side and, while it felt awkward, I was pleased with how my stroke looked.

Thursday, May 7

Long swim day! I was a little nervous about my energy level, having done swims the two days prior and having played an hour of tennis with my best friend the evening before. But, it was time to do it and the conditions were there. I loaded up water and my floatilla and headed into the water.


The water temp wasn't too cold and at times felt rather nice. I headed out along the buoy line to buoy 4 and assessed the wind and currents. The wind was offshore and not creating any meaningful texture on the water. The current was headed in to a high at 11:10 of 4.2 feet (coming off a low of -1.2), which would be mid-way through my swim. I could feel the tide as well as the small swell that was pushing in.


After buoy 4, I head to the end of the Avila Pier, a distance I was well accustomed to. I covered that distance smoothly and easily. From there it was across the expanse to the Cal Poly pier. It would be my first solo trek all the way across. I knew I could do the distance easily, but I was still tepid on the idea. So, off I went! It took me 13 minutes to get across the 650 yards, and I ended up at the third cross bar of the pier. At the cross bar, I took a deep breath and looked to the end of the pier and head out to the end of the pier. The pier is 1000 meters long so I knew I'd be quite far from shore. I breathed on my off side on my way down and counted pilings as I went (to occupy my mind).


At the end of the pier there was a water discharge pipe going full charge so I didn't go near it (what was that about?). I focused my sights on the Avila Pier and knew that I'd be crossing wide-open waters to get there. I scanned the horizon for boats, listening for them as well. I can usually hear them before I see them. No boats. I got a good swig of water and head on my way.


I kept my head down and plowed along, keeping my sights on the end of the Avila Pier. At times I thought I would over-shoot it and the current would put me at a 90 degree angle to the pier. I kept re-orienting and eventually made it across the 750 yards to the end of the pier in just over 15 minutes. Yay!


I wanted to log 90 minutes, so I did another triangle route from the Avila Pier to the creek mouth and back into shore. Total time of 1 hour 26 minutes and 4,187 yards. Success! I now know I can get to a 3 mile swim and will make that my next goal.

Friday, May 8

I was toasted after yesterday's swim, so I went for a run. That toasted me even more since it was 90F when I went out for my run. I was quite hot and most certainly not fast. I just plodded along uncomfortably until I finished. Nothing special here!


Total Distance: 3.3 miles

Total Time: 40 minutes, 13 seconds

Saturday & Sunday, May 9 & 10

Rest days. I thought about swimming on Sunday with the Avila Dolphins, but opted for mother's day brunch with the family (I was sort of the key attraction at brunch).

Totals for the Week


Total Swim Distance: 8,665 yards

Total Swim Time: 2 hours, 56 minutes


This upcoming week, I want to try to swim just a little longer than this week for my long swim.

Oh look! Water! Let's swim in it.

The water draws me in like a moth to light. What is the temperature? What is the visibility? How far is it to swim across? It is time to find out.

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San Luis Obispo, California

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