This might be one of my favourite spots to open water swim now… on the west side of Loch Lomond, about a half hour drive from my house. It’s nice and handy, with a short walk from the car to the waters edge, it’s a nicely sheltered bit.
I came here in the middle of August with Vanessa and Linda, and I came back today for a fin assisted swim. The weather looked ok, and I planned an early morning swim, leaving the house about 8am, I was ready to be in the water for 9am.
I took my bagful off stuff… and wore my new zone 3 changing robe to keep me warm, over the top of my wetsuit and hoody.
In the bag included my shirt fins, goggles, neoprene socks, and pink hat… my safety bouy and Tony the turtle (thermometer)… a dry bag of warm clothes, and a dry bag of a couple of towels, and some water. I also had my swim watch, and my waterproof camera and my safety whistle. I left my coffee flask and some food in the car for after I’d changed after my swim.
The sun was just up as I drove to Loch Lomond. As I drove up I saw a rain cloud ahead, and a shimmer of a rainbow int be sky over where I’d be swimming. I smiled and wondered what my Granny would think of me doing this…
Known for my gadgets, Tony the thermometer was my most recent one… tied to my safety bouy, he showed that the water temperature was just under 14’C – about 2’C lower than the other weekend in Lochan Spling.
I put my phone and car keys on my safety bouy, and left a couple of bagfuls of my other gear tucked away on the shore. having my phone in the bouy would enable me to use it if I needed to, but it also enables my other half to know where I am on find my iPhone – the image below is where I was at 9:31 this morning. 🏊♀️
When I got to the waters edge I was a bit taken aback at how pretty it was… so tranquil and quiet, with the sun just risen, casting over the water which looked like glass.
It has been raining very lightly on my short half mile walk there, but since I was in my dry robe (waterproof on the outside) it kept me nice and dry.
I decided this time that I’d use my fins for a bit more power and strength in the water. I was going to aim for between 45-60 minutes in the water, depending on how cold I got.
My watch alerts me every 250m, so once I’d got in and submerged and warmed up a bit, I swam south along the shore towards the next bit of headland. The 250m were ticking off nicely, and I felt comfortable. I was breathing 3/4 3/4 to each side.
I looked up every now and again and saw some lovely scenery, the sun splitting through the clouds and through the water. After 1,000m I decided I’d go another 250m, and got closer to the end of the headland. I think I was swimming in front of the golf course. I tried to stick close to the shore as much as possible for safety.
At 1,250m in I was about 20 mins in I think… and I decided I’d start to head back, so that I’d end up doing around 2,500m or maybe 3,000m if I felt good near my exit point.
I was feeling good, and enjoying the water and the whole experience. I was very convoys of the cold and not wanting to get too cold… and before I knew it I was close to the entry / exit point again.
Once I got there I was 2,500m in, or about 45 mins… so I decided I’d swim a further 250m north and back, getting up to 3,000m by the time I was finished. (see my companion Tony keeping me company).
As I finished off, the rain started… the loch and surroundings went all grey… and I didn’t really fancy changing in it, but it was ok as I was able to change fine and dry under some trees where I’d left my stuff.
I kicked into the shore on my back, and noticed two other swimmers who were in for a quick dip (in their costumes!) their chatter sort of ruined the silence and tranquility, but it was good to see others enjoying the rain… I mean loch.
A faster open water swim than normal due to my fins, but I’d rather use them than not and be safe and strong in the water.
My average heart rate was 142 and max 171… the 171 seems a bit high, but it seemed to steady off once I got going. ❤️ 🏊♀️
I was out of the water by about 10am, and I text to let Fit Girl know I was good and finished.
Then I was careful to get dried off and changed at the waters edge, before going back to the car for coffee, water, a rego milkshake and a muller rice.
I hadn’t had breakfast, but felt good on it, and this was to refuel. I left not long after and I was home by 1130 for a warm shower.
My feet were really cold again, even though I’d worn my neoprene socks (and fins)… and it took about 2 hours after the swim for them to get back to normal. I didn’t have gloves on though, and my hands were ok.
Afterwards we went a walk in the west end and went to 279 where I had another coffee and a vegetarian breakfast (halumi and mushrooms instead of meat!).
It was a good wee day, and I hope to maybe do this once a fortnight until I decide the open water is too cold (then I’ll stick to the pools). We will see how it goes.
It’s world mental health day today, and I’m sure that did wonders for my health. There’s something indescribable about swimming in those surroundings, in the cold, but not being too cold and being protected by the wetsuit and neoprene. It’s magic. 👍🏻🏊♀️😇