Motivation Monday: The Bay edition

About a year ago, I swam across the Chesapeake Bay. On Sunday, as a couple hundred people made the same 4.4-mile journey as part of the Great Chesapeake Bay Swim, I swam back and forth across the shoreline at Sandy Point State Park, where the race starts, as a routine open-water swimming workout.

The Chesapeake Bay at Sandy Point State Park, as it appeared on Sunday.

It was my second real swim workout in months. I thought it would hurt as much as or more than my first real swim workout in months, as my triceps and lats and other swimming muscles sprang back to life after a long winter hibernation. Instead, it was like the Bay lent me some special strength, and I easily slipped into the rhythm that carried me through the race last year.

This is one of my favorite parts of distance racing of any sort—the way the race course remains infused with special meaning, even once the aid stations are packed up and the mile markers gone. City streets seem friendlier after you’ve run a marathon across them. In the same way, jumping into the Bay for a swim yesterday felt like greeting an old friend, and reminded me of why I like open-water swimming to begin with. It left me motivated to swim again, even if that means some laps in the pool to help prepare for more open-water fun.

Are there streets, parks or bodies of water that hold special meaning for you because you’ve raced there?


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4 responses to “Motivation Monday: The Bay edition

  1. Ah… The Bay… What great memories of perpendicular swimming (who knew that to move forward you had to swim sideways?)… So great to hear you had a good swim yesterday. I am already dreaming of a swim challenge for 2013. Monte Cristo anyone?

  2. Glad you had a good day! I need to get up there for a workout sometime soon, I’m sure I’d have a lot more fun than I would in the pool.

  3. Wow, I’ve never really thought about it but now that you mention it, yes! I absolutely loved running Philadelphia half marathon a couple of years ago and will always adore that city because of it. I once ran a 5K in Baltimore that finished in Camden Yards…I’m not a baseball fan but that ballfield now has special meaning! And I don’t think I’ll ever look at Lake Audubon in Reston in quite the same way after swimming in its stinky water last year, after years of running around it! So glad you have a good swim. Those make all the not-so-good ones pale into insignificance!

  4. That’s pretty impressive that the Bay is like an old friend to swim for you!
    Glad you had a great swim.

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