Post-race blues and Where do we go from here?

Post-race blues and Where do we go from here?

Racing is fun, but it can exact a toll – physically but also psychologically.

The combination of long distance and high intensity in open water races can deplete one’s glycogen stores dramatically, and the result can be temporary lethargy in the water. In my experience this summer, while I wasn’t noticeably affected by races up to 5K, the four 10K’s I did (not including the current-assisted Little Red Lighthouse “10K”) all messed me up for a while. It was typically about a week before I felt back at full strength in practice.

While the body needs time to recover from a long, intense race, I also found that the mind may need time, too. It’s not often discussed, but for me the “post-race blues” are very real. The longer the race, the longer it takes. The more important the race, the longer it takes. The symptoms: Basically, a lack of desire to swim. And if I do drag myself to the pool – a lack of joy in swimming, and a lack of motivation to work hard.…

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OWS: no idle pastime

OWS: no idle pastime

UPDATE: Daily News of OWS remembers Fran Crippen: [1], [2], [3]

In the span of only about 24 hours, the open water swimming community has been reminded twice – in the most tragic way possible – that our sport may have more in common with mountain climbing than it does with pool swimming.

Open water swimming can take many forms, but at it’s heart it’s an extreme sport – with extreme dangers. These dangers are both external – as in Lucas Ransom’s fatal encounter with a great white shark off the Central California coast – and internal – as in Fran Crippen’s sudden death from (apparently) heat exhaustion during a FINA 10K race.

When we immerse ourselves in the open water we put our lives in the hands of powerful, conscience-less forces, from currents and waves to sharks and toxic microorganisms. When we push ourselves to physical extremes – in distance, effort, or both – there’s no guarantee our bodies will be up to the task.

We love the open water for the freedom, the challenge, the adventure.…

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2010 Open-Water Season in Review

2010 Open-Water Season in Review

Despite my best efforts, the 2010 open-water season is now over! Like Rob, my original plan was relatively modest compared to the end result (though it seemed ambitious at the time). At first, I aimed to run the gauntlet of USMS open-water national championship series – North Carolina, California, Colorado, Virginia, and Indiana – and finish off the season at Big Shoulders in Chicago.

As the year wore on, I found excuses – one by one – to add more events. For the Nike Swim Miami, it was an excuse to visit an old college roommate. For the Cascade Lakes Festival, I got to meet up with my parents and visit my grandmother. For Madison, the drive from Chicago was too short to pass up. Ditto for Diamond Lake. For Little Red Lighthouse, it was a chance to try an NYC Swim race before applying to MIMS. For Swim the Suck, it was a chance to try a true marathon swim and extend my season into October.

And now here we are, 17 races (in 12 states) and 57.4 racing miles (92.4K) later.…

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Race Report: Little Red Lighthouse Swim (New York, NY)

Race Report: Little Red Lighthouse Swim (New York, NY)

RESULTS here.
Preview post here.
Daily News of OWS article here.

The phrase “little red lighthouse” may evoke something quaint and isolated – possibly in Maine – but make no mistake: This is a big, urban swim. After a summer of so many rural lake swims, I was looking for an excuse to try one of NYC Swim‘s well regarded events. Most were either too short to justify traveling to New York or, as in the case of MIMS and Ederle, longer than I was ready to do this year.…

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