The best spots on Saguaro Lake are only accessible by boat. Lucky for me, one of my friends decided to take a group (four swimmers, plus both of our husbands) out on her boat to check them out. Try not to hate me.
We started out cruising east, towards the other end of the lake.
© 2011 Kathleen Bober
The far end of the lake looks like a river. The water is much colder (mid-high 60s vs. mid-high 70s), and there's a strong current. This was our first stop.
I have to admit I dreaded getting in. No matter how much time I spend trying to get used to cold water, it's a challenge every time.
As long as I kept moving, I didn't feel cold. But, I could feel the mental affects of the chill. I got that "I can't do it" feeling. In my mind, I was going thru my list of long-term goals and telling myself to give up. I quickly got myself back in the moment and dismissed the negative thoughts. (Thanks for sharing, Katie. Now shut up, please.) But I never felt happy or comfortable during that swim.
Here we are swimming upstream--it looks like we're barely moving. In the video, you can see that my sighting is a little awkward. I'm pausing as I look up, and the current knocks me around. (I'm on the right.) This was good practice--my rhythm got much better as the day went on.
After that swim, I got back on the boat, bundled up in a sweatshirt, and stretched out in the sun. The air temperature was 100F, but it took me awhile to get warm.
The next stop was a No Wake zone somewhere in the middle of the lake. The water was nice and warm (mid 70s). We swam back and forth to this tiny beach a few times. Fun and easy. There were some big waves from the passing boats, and the winds kicked up a few times. I like the feeling of being lifted up by the wake. We did a little sprint work on the last trip back to the boat.
At this point, I couldn't wait to get to our next swim destination. What a difference a few degrees make.
© 2011 Kathleen Bober
We headed back across the lake.
Next stop: Butcher Jones Cove. This is a popular spot for open water swimmers. It's easily accessible from the road. The beach itself isn't the greatest--very muddy and lots of crowds. But once you get out a hundred yards or so, the cove is great for swimming.
I felt tired getting in, but I got happy right away. Once I got going, I wanted to swim forever.
After two loops around the cove, we got back on the boat and cruised over to the last stop:
Stewart Mountain Dam. You can barely see our three bright caps against the last sunny red buoy (slightly left of center). Very exciting to swim to a landmark like that.
Here we are swimming back to the boat. Against the current again. You can hear the guys talking about how we look like synchronized swimmers--people always say that. (I'm in the middle. Can you see how much my sighting has improved since the first video?)
Between the four swims, I put myself down for 5,000 yards. I estimated that based on a worst-possible 100-yard pace for the number of minutes I was swimming.
All in all, not a bad day. Great company, amazing scenery, plus a few bonus yards toward my annual goal. I even felt like a better swimmer at the end of the day.
Do you have any plans to get out in open water this weekend?