Lake Tahoe 1.2 Mile Swim - 2015

I just returned from our third trip to Lake Tahoe this summer and my second official 1.2 mile swim with Big Blue Adventures. Once again it was an absolutely perfect morning for the swim, temperatures steadily rising, the sun out, and the sky clear. The main difference this year was the haze - Tahoe was hazy the entire weekend and it was hard to make out the mountains from the water. Last year I just locked my eyes on a peak and spotted towards that while swimming the course. This year was a little tougher since I couldn't see the mountains and the water had a bit of chop to it. Regardless, it was still an amazing time.

Tahoe Swim

I had been training for the swim since June. Some days it was hard to stay motivated just swimming back and forth and back and forth in a 25 yard pool, and some days the swims went by in a flash. I ramped up to swimming 2000 yards nonstop (the 1.2 miles is about 2100 yards). Then I built up to about 2500 yards and swam that distance for about three swims before the race. I tapered back down to 2000 yards the week of the race and felt pretty prepared. 

Maybe since I had felt good about my training, or maybe because this wasn't my first time in the lake, I felt completely calm the morning of the swim. It just felt like I was going for another swim that morning.

Big Blue Adventure hosts the race and it is part of the Sierra Open Water Swim Series. They host swims in Donner Lake, Sugar Pine Point, Lake Side Beach, and Sand Harbor. 

We camped again at Sugar Pine Point State Park the night before the race. The swim is at Ed'ZBerg Park and the campground is just across the street. It was about a 25 minute walk from our campsite to the swim start and made for a great warm up. This was our first time car camping since we'd gone on our three epic backpacking trips this summer, and let me say, I felt incredibly spoiled! Running water! Flush toilets! Luxury Therm-a-rests that weighed five pounds, but it didn't matter - we didn't have to hike them in! Camp chairs! Fire pits! Picnic tables! I really did feel spoiled and felt like we were glamping.

The morning of the swim this year was just as beautiful as last year. Blue skies and sunshine. This year there was a haze that hung in the air most of the weekend that shielded the mountains from view. It was definitely harder to spot the buoys in the water and swim straight compared to last year. Last year I just locked my eyes on a mountain peak and headed straight - I had to stop and search for the markers more this time. There was also more of a wake in the water this year, something I hadn't trained in, but I just told myself to not fight the waves pushing me around and just swim through them.

Scooping out the swim course in Tahoe

It was great not having to count lengths of the pool on this swim and I found myself singing Beatles songs in my head as a paddled along. The lake also felt warmer this summer than last summer and was down a lot due to the ongoing drought in California. I'm really hoping we get a strong winter this year that can replenish some of the water. 

If you're looking for a a fun open water swim event and live in the NorCal area I highly recommend this swim! This event is in conjunction with a sprint, Olympic, and half-ironman triathlon over the Saturday and Sunday so if you want to up your game register for one of those as well! Just remember you're starting at about 6000 feet of elevation and the bike and run course looked GRUELING! Happy Swimming!