A Taste of Lake CDA (Literally)

There was just enough rain this morning to keep the dust down as I drove the gravel roads from my secluded cabin to the paved roads that lead to the Interstate that connects Spokane Valley with Coeur d'Alene. It's a little more than an hour from starting the car out in the woods to parking it near City Park, but these accommodations are cheap and quiet and those are two good things: sleeping well, and I've got "extra" money to blow at the Ironman Store.

I came in early this morning for the 7 a.m.–10 a.m. lake swim window. By the time I got into the water it was nearly 8:30 and the wind was really whipping up the water—although toward 10 in might even have been worse. This was a south wind and the swim is big long rectangle that goes south for about 850 meters, turns left for 50 meters, heads back in for 850 meters … do that twice, 3800 meters, 2.4 miles. It was that heading out portion, into the wind and the chop, that was most challenging. Simply swimming it wasn't too bad, but if you wanted to glance up and forward to make sure you weren't too wayward—always a necessity in an open-water swim—a sudden and large drink of water was in your immediate future. I didn't like this, not a bit, but the more I swam the more I got used to it. Not that I was ever going very quickly; I was slower than usual, and if the conditions are similar on Sunday morning I will be slower than last year (think 1:30 on the swim). But at least now I know two things: how to deal with rough water, and that I'll survive it. On the bright side, with the chop moving toward the shore the leg back in wasn't nearly so bad.

Heading back to the cabin now to do a little run and then get my transition bags set up. I need to bring them in tomorrow with the bike check-in and don't want to leave that for tonight, since the mandatory meeting doesn't get done until 8:30, meaning it'll probably be 10 p.m. before I'm "home."


  1. The waves really through me for a loop. But I did get used to it and loved that they helped on the last 850m.
    Good luck to you. See you at the finish line.

  2. Glad to hear someone else thought those were choppy seas! I kept hearing people say how much they liked their swim and was beginning to wonder about my wimpiness.... I suspect the waters will be calmer at 7 a.m. tomorrow morning....

    Have a great race, Kristen!