So last night I did my first official “lake swim.” OMG it is so much HARDER than a pool. After 30 minutes of doing laps, I was exhausted, dizzy and just felt like crap. Lake swimming has lot of factors you have to deal with that you don’t have in the pool.
The Ick Factor
The first major thing to get over is the ick factor. Let’s face it, our lakes are gross. When my goggles actually worked (I was having malfunction issues) I couldn’t see anything except green water (and not the pretty green) and particles floating around me and the occasional plant and Eric’s feet if I got too close. It really took a lot to get over the lack of seeing anything thing. And then having random things rub against your leg wasn’t cool either.
The Cold Factor
The lake was freezing at first. Yes, you eventually get used to the cold but that first dive in is torture. The pool is usually cold, but not this cold. The first 5 minutes of the swim I was shaking because it was so cold.
The “No Wall” Factor
In a pool, you benefit every 25 yards by kicking off the wall which thus propels you faster down to the other end. Over and over you kick the wall and you shoot off. In the lake there is no wall. You have to rely on you alone. You kick harder to keep going. It makes a huge difference. This is probably the hardest factor to overcome except for maybe…
The Waves Factor
In a pool, rarely do you have to deal with “wave.” Every so often you have somebody that makes a big “wave” but for the most part it is smooth sailing along the water. The lake, even with the No Wake Restrictions, is very wave. You come up for air and bam you are hit in the face with a wave and you get a mouthful of water…the gross water…welcome back the ick factor. Not only that, you have to increase your stroke and push yourself through the waves. This is not an easy task. No wonder I was exhausted!
I’m sure I’m missing something.
Part of my problem with the swim could be that I haven’t been to the pool in almost 3 months so I was rusty which could explain some of the fatigue afterwards. But after the swim, I felt really dizzy and had a major headache. I don’t get headaches often so this was weird. I thought to myself the whole drive home, “How on earth am I going to get on a bike after that?” I know it was only my first try at legitimate lake swimming so maybe it will get better. This first time was tough. I came home, made a simple dinner and fell asleep on the couch at 8pm. It really took a lot out of me.