Dylan... leading me off into the wild blue yonder!
Dylan... leading me off into the wild blue yonder!

So when all of you were out on this gorgeous Sunday doing your long runs or long rides… I went for a long swim.  I’m treating this much like I would training for an ultramarathon… given the fact that there aren’t a whole lot of other people around to confer with about marathon swimming… seems like the right approach… I hope.  So 13 days out of MIMS I did my longest swim of the season, 4 1/2 hours.

Swimming by a few nice little pads...
Swimming by a few nice little pads...

I took the sleep in until 8:30 and then took the college kid inhabiting our house and went back down to the site of our first LOST swim of the season yesterday.  You never know what you are going to get with open water swimming… but I got lucky again… the air temp was… I don’t know… hot… and not a cloud in the sky… the water temp started at 64F and was as flat as glass.  Perfect.  Dylan was nice/stupid enough to volunteer for an nice long paddle in the kayak we borrowed from Peter.  I didn’t really have a plan… just something long.  If it was really cold (50’sF or so) then only 2 hours and if it was nice (60’sF) then 4 hours… or somewhere in between.  I was perfect, so I was aiming at the long end.  So off we went.  Headed east towards Toronto… past our turn around for LOST swimming… past the 3.8 km start for the LOST Race at the foot of Maple Grove… I’d never swum past there, so it was kind of interesting (probably more for Dylan as he got a great view of all the beautiful homes from an angle most people never see)… and kept going until I hit the pier for the St Lawrence Cement Plant the comes out about 500m into the lake.

The turn-around at the St Lawrence Cement pier.
The turn-around at the St Lawrence Cement pier.

  Perfect timing, 2:02… which would bring me in around 4 hours, return trip.  If the water was the same going back… but it wasn’t.  The wind picked up almost exactly when we turned around and built all the way back.  It made it much more difficult, but that’s okay, it was training… and I was feeling good.  One interesting thing is that we saw probably about 2 dozen large carp… maybe 2 feet long and, I don’t know, 15 lbs.  I found this one place where they seemed to call home and swam withing about 2 feet of one and we both stopped for a few seconds and stared at each other in amazement… then we both swam away.  I was feeding on bars and gatorade/carbo pro mix every half hour from Dylan and everything went well.  Dylan had a cell phone and called Joanne who had just got back from Maisey and Jillians swim meet and the 3 of them kept popping up along the shore to wave to us along the way back.  The water was a very comfortable 66F by the time we finished and we made it back in 4:37 and ended up going 13km.  A bit tired, a little bit sun burned… but none the worse for wear.  A good long swim… tough but do-able… and hopefully well prepared for the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim in 13 days!

A nice 4 1/2 hour, 13km swim in the books!
A nice 4 1/2 hour, 13km swim in the books!

Cheers,

Rob

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I founded LOST Swimming because I like open water swimming and would like to see it grow and thrive in Lake Ontario. I started as a competitive swimmer as a kid and ended up getting as far as a silver medal at Nationals and going to the Olympic Trials in 1988. But I retired after that, I was sick of swimming. So I got into running marathons and have run over 35 to date, as well as a few ultra marathons, including the Marathon des Sables (7 day, ultra across the Sahara Desert). I also kind of fell into triathlons and have done a handful of Ironman tri's too. This gradually got me back in the water and in 2006 I took the plunge and attempted swimming the English Channel. I didn't quite make it across, but the circle was now complete and after 17 years I was a swimmer again! Although I still do plenty of pool swimming, I now much prefer open water swimming and like to say that open water swimming is to pool swimming, what trail running is to treadmill running! As a result I hope to encourage more people to join me for a dip in Lake Ontario as often as we can!

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