Another day, another lake: Lake George Open Water Swim

Since moving to Upstate New York in July, I’ve delighted in nothing more than swimming in the lakes that dot the landscape here.

Every Thursday, I swim in Moreau Lake with the Saratoga Triathlon Club. The lake is small enough to be pleasantly warm in the summer. When I breathe, I see green mountain ridges along the shoreline.

LakeMoreau

On a recent weekend trip to Lake Placid, I swam in lovely, chilly Mirror Lake. Getting there and finding the cable course already set up felt like seeing a red carpet outside a party. (For me? You shouldn’t have!)

LakePlacid

Last weekend, I swam in Ballston Lake with a new swim buddy (you know you’re a swimmer when you go to a party on a Saturday night and leave with plans to swim across a lake with a stranger the next day).

And on Saturday, Aug. 24, I’ll swim a 5K race in Lake George, in the annual Lake George Open Water Swim weekend.

You may recall that a few months ago, I promised myself that I wouldn’t sign up for another event until my training was already pointing in that direction. That’s totally true of this event, which I’m looking forward to mostly as a fun way to spend a Saturday morning.

The course will consist of two 2.5K-long, diamond-shaped loops. That’s four 1,250-meter stretches. For my 5,000-meter swim this week, I did four 1,250s, imagining yellow buoys on my left on the way out, orange buoys on my left on the way back. I feel pretty good knowing that, thanks to everything I’ve done since the beginning of the summer, I’m ready for a strong, happy race on Aug. 24.

There’s only one question that remains: To wetsuit or not to wetsuit. The water temperature for the 2012 swim was 73 degrees—normal for this time of year. Yesterday, it was 74 degrees.

Photo credit: Lake George Triathlon Festival.

Photo credit: Lake George Triathlon Festival.

So, I need your help.

On the side of “to wetsuit:” I’m wimpy about the cold, and 74 degrees is right on the cusp of my wetsuit-or-not line for a swim of this length. I’m not worried about buoyancy, but I am worried about heat conservation—I’ve felt a little hypothermic during shorter races in warmer water.

On the side of “not to wetsuit:” Both divisions are offered, but non-wetsuits outnumber wetsuits by a 4:1 ratio. I am already signed up for this category (though I’d feel no shame about requesting a switch). Also, my swim will start at 9:30 a.m., which means the air temperature should be relatively warm. Also, as Victoria of Obligatory Tri Blog says, there are two rules: No wetsuits. No whining. (Looking for a good read? Check out the Outside Magazine story this awesome phrase comes from here.)

Thoughts? Advice?

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Another day, another lake: Lake George Open Water Swim

  1. Can’t help with the wetsuit … just love Lake George and want to wish you the best. A friend posted this link on Facebook, and it struck me – because today is my 21st wedding anniversary and our reception was at the Fort William Henry overlooking the lake …

    • How totally lovely! The main reason I’m doing this swim is the beauty of the lake—it must have been a gorgeous place to celebrate a marriage. Happy anniversary!

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