Carter Lake Crossing ("Race" Report)


Point-to-point swims are such a treat. No turns, easier sighting: just keep the shore on one side and the sun on the other. This was my longest open water swim to date. I’ve done a few 2.3-mile swims, but let me tell you, 3 miles is a lot. And, like all things, there is a distinct culture around long-swim events. Young and old, Northern Colorado has a lot of swimmers who can haul-ass!

The swim was briefly postponed because the bus to shuttle participants from their cars to the other end of the lake, broke down. Instead of launching at 7am, it was more like 7:25am. It was a deep-water start, which I prefer. The last thing that Douglas said before the gun went off was, “I’m sure I’ll lose you so I’ll see you at the finish.” It can get a little scary (for me) to be in the middle of a large body of water “alone,” so I decided to do everything I could to stay on his feet. Generally, he’s a stronger, faster swimmer than me, but I was wearing a wetsuit and he was not. I kept up.


The water was remarkably clear, and Douglas kept a good, steady pace. I actually couldn’t believe how calm Carter was — either people slept in, or the boats kept their distance. Only a few moments of bobbing. By the time we passed the 2nd buoy, I had figured each was placed around 500 yards apart.

Because the bus broke down, we were the last group to reach the start, and thus missed all of the instructions. So, they probably covered this, but when we reached the end of the lake, I wasn’t sure if we were supposed to circle the last buoy or go straight in. Douglas opted to go straight in, and I circled the final buoy. I think he was right and I was wrong. In any event, we still finished within about 30 seconds of each other, and he had no idea that I was on his feet for the entire swim.

We kept a pace of just under 2:00/100, which isn’t fast, but we weren’t out to prove anything. Great day, great conditions, great swim. The post-swim snacks were less than impressive — a bowl of Oreos and some Nuun hydration. We were also surprised that the t-shirts weren’t included in the price of the event. Still, an all-around fun morning.

Go Outside: Do Epic Shit

sunrise bike commute

sunrise bike commute

I’ve never fully understood Daylight Savings. In theory, I guess I understand wanting to best use energy/light for working purposes, but why don’t we adjust the work day instead of the clock? Like most people, I enjoy having lighter mornings, but find it wildly depressing to have it completely dark at 5pm. And we still have over a month before days start getting longer again. Regardless, I’ve been trying to commute to work (35 miles) by bike as much as possible. For a while I was doing one day a week commuting both to and from work, which made for a 72-mile, 12-hour day, but man…seeing the sunrise and sunset was pretty great.

after work sunset rides

after work sunset rides

Now that we’ve changed the clocks, and we’re setting into winter, I likely won’t commute home until the spring. I don’t like being out at dusk when the air drops drastically with the loss of the sun. But I hope to still bike to work when we get above-20-degree mornings. And I’ll sneak in some quick after-work rides as often as possible. At People For Bikes, we’ve got a standing Thursday (and sometimes Friday) group lunch ride.


My other method of battling seasonal depression is swimming at a year-round outdoor pool. After swimming all summer/fall outdoors, the prospect of moving indoors seems awful. Luckily, Boulder has a great little old-school gym, with die-hard swimmers who love cold air matched with the heated water. I’ve done a few really cold/snowy swims, and it’s like being a kid. Plus you get to dash to the hot tub immediately after your set.

I’m still contemplating different ski-ticket packages, and setting plans in motion for some trips to the mountains to snowshoe/fat-bike/winter adventure. One thing I’ve come to love about Colorado is, you’ve got to embrace what the day gives you, because tomorrow will almost definitely be totally different.