Saturday, August 18, 2012

Practice swim

Its a week before the Super Sprint Triathlon, my wetsuit is here, and its time for an open water swim. I haven't swam real laps in months. Will I fail? Will I freak out in the dark water again? What have I gotten myself into?!?!?!?

I was feeling very very anxious. Look at the bottom picture.... where I'm sitting is Start. I couldn't see End. All I could see was "There is NO WAY I can swim that far. No way." I couldn't even spot the buoys that marked quarter mile and a half mile distances. Fortunately, my sister has swam here before and pointed out the landmarks near the buoys, and I had my goal in sight.

The Super Sprint swim is 375 meters, or about a quarter of a mile. My goal was to swim to that buoy, climb out, and walk back.

I got in the water, started swimming, and panicked. The water is dark. Murky. When I turn my head to breath all I see is sun and more water. My swimming went like this: swim 5 strokes, stop, stand, look around, calm down, repeat. My sister is wonderful, she stayed with me. I even had her watch my stroke to see if there was anything obvious. I am happy to report that, while I feel like I have no clue what I'm doing, I fake it very well, and I don't look like a thrashing dying dolphin.

I am also proud to say that when I was swimming freestyle, I was easily able to keep up with my experienced swimmer sister.

I made it to the quarter mile mark eventually, and there was no place to climb out, unless I was brave stupid enough to step over rocks and who-knows-what-else.

My sister continued on the the 1/2 mile marker, and I faced the swim back. My iPhone was around my neck under the wetsuit it its trusty waterproof case, so I decided to time myself going back. I set two goals: 1) no stopping. If I had to do the backstroke the whole time, so be it, but I was not stopping. 2) 20 minutes was my aim.

I'm sure I was a sight. I'd swim a little freestyle, roll mid-stroke (TY swimming lessons for that skill), swim a little backstroke, roll again, and repeat. But I didn't stop until my hands kept hitting the sandy bottom.

Drum roll please.... 12 minutes and 10 seconds. Not a record, but way, way better then I expected.

I'm going to ROCK on Saturday!

I surived!
I've got my toes in the water, @ss in the sand...

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