Monday, November 05, 2007

Lucky's Lake Swim

This past weekend I heard that the Central Florida Tri Club was doing a practice swim at Lucky's lake. I'm not usually able to train with them because they mostly work out at the downtown YMCA, which I'm not a member of, but this swim was open to anyone. Lucky is an avid local swimmer who encourages people to come swim in the lake at the back of his beautiful home. No lifeguards but wetsuits, pullbuoys, noodles, etc., are all allowed. Just make sure you can swim the 1km round trip distance.

To greet swimmers at the edge of the water, there are two small decorative alligators. Though Lucky's website FAQs mention that it'd be unusual to have a real one over 5 feet, it does say there have been some gators in the past and there may be now, as well as fish, turtles, snakes, etc. Great motivation to swim fast if you needed some.



But, really, no one was too worried. There are folks who swim in the lake every morning. I, for one, was much more concerned with whether my wetsuit would still fit (next Sunday's race, Miami Man, is usually wetsuit legal but I'd not worn the wetsuit much since last year when I was in Ironman shape -- gulp!). And being a full wetsuit (one with arms) and having a new swim stroke, shoulder fatigue was another issue in question.



So off we went into the dark green yonder. It's 500 meters to the other side if you swim in a straight line, which few people do. There were no marker buoys along the way so great practice sighting off landmarks. Both out and back I definitely noticed that I veered to the left (no line at the bottom to follow!). I'm not sure why since I'm right handed and pull stronger with my right arm but suspect it has to do with having better balance on my right side, hence the right arm will stay out in front longer, and also always sighting with my right arm forward, both of which will cause my right hip to dip down, in essence giving me a rudder effect of turning left. So this week in the pool I will do some swimming with my eyes closed to test my theory and work on swimming straighter. The lifeguards will probably get some amusement watching me. Why the heck is she all of a sudden swimming into the lane lines?



But after 2 round trips (2 km), essentially the 1.2 mile distance I will swim in my race, I was happy. The wetsuit fit fine, my shoulders were not overly fatigued, and I got some additional experience swimming in open water. It would have been nice if I had set my watch to keep track of my swim time but I forgot (doh!). I guesstimate it took me roughly an hour including the rather lengthy breaks I took on both ends to talk to others.



Before leaving I went to sign the wall in Lucky's backyard. Since 1999, it's been a tradition for swimmers who had completed at least one 1km round trip and the wall was quite full. I managed to find an empty spot towards the bottom and received a patch (first photo). After 98 more crossings, I can get a cap. As Lucky says, "the best things in life are free."



But, can you believe I later bought some leftover Halloween candy that was on sale at Walmart? I should be banned from shopping right after Halloween (and Christmas), especially the week before my period. Did I mention that I've got to squeeze into a little black wetsuit this weekend?!?

15 comments:

Cliff Tam said...

The lifeguard might think..'why is she swimming diagonally' j/k :D

I close my eyes during my lane swim and next thing I know i start hitting the buoys on the side.

Susan said...

You crack me up!

Congrats - that sounds like a fun swim!

Brent Buckner said...

Good work!

Funny post - "the best things in life are free" says Lucky - ha!

Maddy said...

It sounds like it was a great time! And quite a swim. good practice for Miami too! Who could ask for anything more?

As far as the candy goes - those Payday bars are full of protein. and the other ones are fruity - those don't really count. As far as candy goes, you could have done a lot worse!

ShirleyPerly said...

Yeah, thankfully, the really good (I mean, bad) stuff, was already gone.

CewTwo said...

PayDays I like and appreciate! What a find! Oh wait, maybe I was supposed to say, "tsk, tsk..."

I appreciate Lucky's sense of humor. It was evident in the 'alligators,' the patch and the wall. Pretty cool!

All that fun, one would barely know that you were in training!

MarathonChris said...

I had just read about Dr. Lucky and his lake in a local magazine. He is a dermitologist by trade and is in the Guiness Book of world records for the largest collection of yo yos - over 4000 of them!

Cool swim and a nice tune up for Miami Man. You are ready to show your new swimming stuff!!

Petraruns said...

Lucky sounds like a great character - don't you love how your sport puts you in touch with people like this. And Shirley - I am just RELIEVED to see you eat candy - you're such an amazing powerhouse superwoman all-round rockstar that it's good to see you succumb like the rest of us to the appeal of (Homer Simpson voice) SUUUGGGAAAARRRRRR.... Just eat it with your wetsuit on ;)

ShirleyPerly said...

Chris -- Dave said he saw a big yo-yo in the garage. I met a couple but don't think they were included in the count ;-)

Petra -- Oh yes, sugar, I love, as well as salty snacks and salads. But real meals (meats, dairy products, starches, etc), not so much. Thankfully, endurance sports forces me to eat better!

TJ said...

the best thing about halloween is the candy!

Rural Girl said...

My motto; 'Eat the candy, I earned it.' Bad motto, I know.

Are there really alligators in the lakes. I don't know if I could ever swim with that fear hang in my mind! You are brave.

Iron Eric said...

Made me think twice about swimming in Florida. I am glad things went well.

lizzie lee said...

Shirley, nothing would've put me to swim in that lake where there is any probability of gators around. Even if is 0.001%, yes I am a wuss....

Thanks for your advice. I appreciate your thoughts and I will think on the warm-up with the 10K race at the end...

sincere-lee
lizzie lee

ShirleyPerly said...

Florida is gator country and being migratory creatures, there's no sure way to keep them out of any unfenced lake. But like other wild animals, they're generally scared of humans and cause no problems. In city lakes with surrounding car traffic and frequent human use, like Lucky's lake and Disney's Bay Lake (FL 70.3), large ones are very rare and the chance of getting seriously injured by any gator is very slim. You're much more likely to get hurt in a car accident!

Anonymous said...

When gators are around, all you have to do is swim faster than one other person.