I asked the hubby to go out to Millennium Park beach with me to swim in the lake last night. I felt like just having him in the water with me would get me over the hump of discomfort about the open water.
As we walked into the surprisingly warm lake, we started talking about where we were going to swim. The beach had a long, very shallow buoyed off swimming area along the shore. The occasional sign warned not to swim past the buoys where the bottom dropped off. But we thought that swimming across the lake and back would offer the best practice for the race. So even though I was worried about what the park officials might do if we passed the swimming buoys, we decided to give it a try.
As we started out past the drop off, it didn’t feel as strange as I had thought it would. It’s not that I’ve never been in the deep area of a lake before. I have. It’s just that this time, I had to perform an athletic activity in that water. Not being able to see very far due to the stirred up sand actually made it seem less scary.
After a about a minute of swimming, I heard a whistle and knew that someone must be calling us back beyond the buoys. We turned around, swam back and walked up to talk to what turned out to be a bicycle police officer.
Apparently this particular lake is unique in that a number of people have died swimming in the deep areas, so the city decided to make it a Misdemeanor offense with a fine of $300 to swim past the buoys. Holy cow! The hubby and I explained that I was practicing for a triathlon and that we had had no idea that swimming across the lake was punishable by criminal charges. And of course, we promised not to do it again!
After that scary conversation, I swam up and down the shallow area a few times and called it a day.
The police officer took our names but did not charge us. Thank goodness! A Misdemeanor would not be a good thing for the hubby’s community organizing job. I suppose the police department may still mail us a couple citations, but I don’t think they will. I get the feeling that we got off with a warning this time.
Can you believe that?! A Misdemeanor for swimming past the buoys?! Wow.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Swim approx. 300 yards in a lake
This swim wasn’t much of a workout physically, but it allowed me to do a lot of mental preparation for the race – getting comfortable in the water, practicing sighting (because apparently I swim quite crooked without lines to look at) and finding my pace for the long distance. If I don’t get criminal charges out of the deal, it was a good, productive day!