Sunday, May 31, 2009

Scopin' out my nemesis

Friday's workout: Day off
Saturday's workout: Run 60 minutes (~ 4.5 miles)
Today's workout: Open water swim (I think I went about 350 meters)

We made our way over to Highline State Park today to check out the course. My husband (we'll call him "M" because I'm tired of typing out "my husband") couldn't swim with me because he has stitches that won't come out until this week. We found a spot for him to sit with my bag and I made my way to the water.
Now, I knew the water was going to be cold. The race website says that the average temperature at 7:30am is 67 degrees. I have no idea how warm the water was today. We went around 12:30, but it has been overcast all weekend so I didn't think it would make a huge difference. I expected the water to take my breath away; it was just a bit shocking the first time. I can't imagine ever doing a polar bear swim after feeling that water today.

There were two other lap swimmers in caps and wet suits. I made small talk with one; his name is Ryan. This is also his first race, he watched it last year and told his friend Dave (the other one in the water) that he would try it out this year. We chatted about water temperature, why he's choosing to wear a wet suit (buoyancy mostly), and the bike course. I guess the bike section is hillier than he expected, and he hasn't trained for hills at all. The next two weeks will be no fun for him.

I made two laps around the outer edge of the swim beach, that way if I got freaked out I could grab on to the rope. I have no idea why, but I couldn't breathe out under water at all. Every time I tried, it felt like there was too much pressure. I ended up swimming two laps (~350m) with my head above water. That was definitely not a good idea. I was so dizzy by the end of the second lap I was sure I would lose my lunch right then and there. We left today with me dizzy, nauseous, frustrated and a little freaked out. I came home tonight, broke down and bought a wet suit for buoyancy and warmth. Every bit of psychological advantage I can get in the water will help. We're going out next weekend to try the underwater breathing again. Wish me luck!

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