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Open Water?
CREATED: 06/11/09 by jpacovich REPLIES: 22
jpacovich's ravatar jpacovich    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 27
Open Water?
POSTED: 6/11/09 1:48 PM

Anyone interested in doing some regular, scheduled open water swims somewhere? I'm open to suggestions on where this can be done - I've only done event-based OWS before so I'm at a loss, but could definitely use the practice!

I've heard of Lake Anna, as well as Sandy Point State Park...

~ John

juliemcdowell    JOINED: 5/13/09    POSTS: 19
RE: Open Water?-Help
POSTED: 7/07/09 10:33 AM

Hi, John--did you get any responses or help from your post? I'm also in desperate need of some open water swim experience. I am training for the Irongirl in Columbia in August. While I've been training regularly at the pool, I attempted my first open water swim practice while on vacation at Deep Creek over the weekend and it was miserable. Correction, I was miserable--got totally unnerved by the nearby boats, murky water, etc.
So therefore, I'm in some desperate need of OWS practice--and unfortunately, am not able to do the clinic this weekend at Gunston Manor.
Any information on places around here--including Lake Anna and Sandy Point, would be great...thanks.

tgrollman's ravatar tgrollman    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 226
RE: Open Water?
POSTED: 7/07/09 11:10 AM

I'm right there along with you! I'm doing IM Cozumel in November and my swim is just embarrassing. I'm taking some Master classes starting this Sunday, but it will not help the fact that my 2.4 mile swim is in open water.

I'd love to get regularly scheduled trips out to either Sandy Point or Lake Anna.

Please keep me posted.

Tania

dsgrunning's ravatar dsgrunning    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 1313
RE: Open Water?
POSTED: 7/07/09 11:13 AM

I'm currently training for IMFL. I do my long swims at Sandy Point every Wednesdays ... 4:30-6:30 PM rain or shine. I plan to do so until the end of October. I'll be there tomrrow. You all are welcomed to join me but I should warned you that dead fish can swim faster and better than I can. My stroke can be described at Pee-wee Herman break dancing in the water. Children run away from me after my swim is over. Fishermen throw their catch back in the water because I've been in it ... etc, etc. You get the idea :)

The good thing about Sandy Point is that you can swim near shore and parallel to the beach if you are scared of the deep end. If you have a little bit more confidence, there are small bouys out in the deep end for you to practice sighting and being in a place where your foot will never touch the bottom. From one end of the bouy to the other is about 500 meters with a bunch of others in between.

There are lifeguards on patrol in the summer but they leave around 6:00 PM. On a weekday, there maybe 1 or 2 lifeguards on patrol for the entire beach. I'm usually the only one there swiming back and forth between the bouys so it'll be hard to miss me.

I can tell you that after spending litterally Wednesdays there that hands down OWS is now a lot easier and more enjoyable to me than pool swimming. I'm still a vertical swimmer but ther verticalness is a lot more relaxed these days :) I think that the more you go out there, the more that you will enjoy it over the pool.

Tuan

   JOINED: 5/24/13    POSTS: 0
RE: Open Water?
POSTED: 7/07/09 11:14 AM

Julie, your experience this weekend at DCL should not be an indication of how you will react to all open water swims. I also was out at DCL this weekend and had a total freak out in the water. The waves created by the boats are unlike most open water conditions that I've experienced during races. I cannot speak to the swim at Iron Girl since I've never done it, but I imagine it has to be calmer than DCL on a holiday weekend. As for the murkiness, that's one thing you have to get used to. I know that there are swims regularly held at Gunston Manor, and there are some forum threads about these opportunities. Sandy Point is also good, though I hear the jellyfish are out these days.

dsgrunning's ravatar dsgrunning    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 1313
RE: Open Water?
POSTED: 7/07/09 11:20 AM

I have yet to see a jellyfish at Sandy Point this summer and I'm there regularly. They were quite prevalent there last summer. Let's hope the little bundle of joy stays away for a bit longer.

dsgrunning's ravatar dsgrunning    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 1313
RE: Open Water?
POSTED: 7/07/09 11:22 AM

I have yet to see a jellyfish at Sandy Point this summer and I'm there regularly. They were quite prevalent there last summer. Let's hope the little bundle of joy stays away for a bit longer.

juliemcdowell    JOINED: 5/13/09    POSTS: 19
RE: Open Water?
POSTED: 7/07/09 11:24 AM

Tuan: we can have a slow swimmer race--I truly think I could give you a run.
I'm looking on the map, and assuming that you all are swimming at South Beach: http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/southern/sandypointmap.html?
I plan on being there tomorrow.
Thanks everyone! This is so helpful.

juliemcdowell    JOINED: 5/13/09    POSTS: 19
RE: Open Water?
POSTED: 7/07/09 11:30 AM

Also, thanks, dsg, for the post on the jellyfish, although that is another fear I need to confront.
All of these childhood open water fears--jellyfish, murkiness--are coming back to haunt me!!

dsgrunning's ravatar dsgrunning    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 1313
RE: Open Water?
POSTED: 7/07/09 11:44 AM

Julie ... there is only one beach so you should be ok with location.

Anyone else who wants to come out ... make sure you bring fluids with you. It's hot out there and you will be dehydrated.

trithis73's ravatar trithis73    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 525
RE: Open Water?
POSTED: 7/07/09 1:14 PM

Don't forget the Gunston OWS is this weekend. So you can get an OWS and a bike or run... which ever.

juliemcdowell    JOINED: 5/13/09    POSTS: 19
RE: Open Water?
POSTED: 7/09/09 8:49 AM

Wanted to pass along that I went to Sandy Ridge yesterday and had a successful 30-minute swim that I feel good about. Tuan--I think I saw you out there. I didn't get there until 5:15pm, and then I left once the lifeguard did.
But it's a great park and once I got in to the groove of the current/small waves and the buoys, I was able to relax and just go with it. I hope to stay out there longer next week.
I definitely encourage anyone who is looking for open water workouts to give Sandy Ridge a try, especially during the week day, if possible. I think it could get very crowded on the weekends.

dsgrunning's ravatar dsgrunning    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 1313
RE: Open Water?
POSTED: 7/09/09 9:01 AM

Julie,

That was me out there. You should have flagged me down :) It's not hard ... my stroke is more float-ish than swim-ish. Those waves yesterday were the biggest that I've seen this year. It's usually like a pond or a small lake with tiny ripples.

By the way, it's Sandy Point not Sandy Ridge. You must be new in this part of the woods ;)

Tuan

juliemcdowell    JOINED: 5/13/09    POSTS: 19
RE: Open Water?
POSTED: 7/09/09 9:05 AM

You appeared to be very fluid and on a roll--didn't want to disturb your groove :)

Ahh...Sandy Point!! Sorry! Now I'm in the know.

Anyways, you were right, though--it was a lot more fun than the pool. Once I got relaxed and got in to it, I liked it a lot, more than I thought.

trithis73's ravatar trithis73    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 525
RE: Open Water?
POSTED: 7/09/09 10:27 AM

Dude,

Where the heck is this Sandy Point??? Only one I found was like an hour away from my place.

dsgrunning's ravatar dsgrunning    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 1313
RE: Open Water?
POSTED: 7/09/09 10:37 AM

It's 30 minutes from Silver Spring on a clear little or no traffic work day. 45 minutes on a normal traffic day. I think that it took me 35-40 min yesterday on a normal 3:30 PM traffic.

http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/Southern/sandypoint.html

juliemcdowell    JOINED: 5/13/09    POSTS: 19
RE: Open Water?
POSTED: 7/09/09 12:56 PM

Coming from Capitol Hill yesterday, leaving at 4pm, it took me about 50 minutes, I hit a bit of traffic getting out there.

It was totally worth the drive. Only took me 40 minutes to come home.

gracetheterp    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 1
RE: Open Water?
POSTED: 7/09/09 9:49 PM

I'm pretty new on this site but if anyone is ever headed out to Sandy Point, esp on the weekends, I would LOVE to catch a ride!! Will give gas money :)

ShannonO    JOINED: 7/10/09    POSTS: 17
RE: Open Water?
POSTED: 7/10/09 9:09 AM

I'm a completely new person, to these forums and to triathlons, but I'm hoping to come up to speed quickly.

Is there a way to determine how far you've gone by the buoys or otherwise at Sandy Point? My first scheduled tri will be a short pool swim, but I am eyeing a 1000m open water ocean swim.

dsgrunning's ravatar dsgrunning    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 1313
RE: Open Water?
POSTED: 7/10/09 9:30 AM

The lifeguards tell me that it's "about 500 meters" from the first buoy to the last. There are 5 or 6 of them out there. I was there earlier this year with some of the better swimmers within DCTri and they also estimate it as such.

FYI: Determining the distance in the open waters is a bit tricky. Even in a real race, the distance sometimes come up a bit short or a bit long. The first ever CA Ironman was 600 meters too long because they used nautical miles instead of regular miles. Last year the Longhorn IM 70.3 was about 200 meters short. Current and wind also throws off buoys in a measured course.

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