Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My First Open Water Swim!


I swam my first open water swim!!

Last Sunday, the LB Tri Club held a swim clinic at 8:00am.  I met my friend Lisa down there, who is also doing the Long Beach Tri.  The clinic consisted of a quick overview of the race with a discussion focusing on the swim leg (rules, tips, advice for newbies-that’s me!), followed by a practice swim on the course.  I learned a lot, like sighting off of building (assuming there is no heavy fog), staying in the back and to the left, and I was reassured that I WILL get kicked and hit during the swim…that is inevitable.
LB Tri Club discussion
Me and Lisa before the swim
After our Q&A sesh, we all walked down to where we will exit the water, then walked along the beach to the start.   They put us in waves (to mimic race day), and since this was my first ocean swim, I was put in the “newbie” wave, or the last wave.  It was great because I was able to watch how the veterans enter the water.  Then I heard “GO!” and my wave was off!
The 800m swim course + the run to the transition area
Before I knew it I was in the water, and let me tell you, the first half of the swim was so tiring!  First of all, I haven’t swam competitively in over 2 years (training fail), second of all, I’ve never swam in the ocean before (aside from leisurely days at the beach), and third, I was tired from running in the water.  Swimming the first 400m was tiring, but then I found my groove and alternated between freestyle and breast stroke for the last 400m and I felt great!  I took my time, and went at a pace I could maintain.  I thought it was going to take me 20-30 min to swim that leg, but I exited the water in nearly 15 min flat!  I was impressed with myself considering that was my first swim for this Tri.  Then came the tiring part…like on race day, we had to run to the transition station after exiting the water in order to get the full “what to expect on race day”.  Well, the exit to transition is 400m of dry sand, ugh.  Lisa, who is a much more experienced swimmer than I am, was waiting for me and cheering me on as I entered the transition area.  After that run I was exhausted.  Surprisingly it only took me a minute or two to catch my breath, which will be good on race day since I can compose myself during the transition to the bike.
Me and Lisa post swim :)
I’m so happy I swam the course because now I feel a lot more comfortable and I know what to expect (sorta).  Like I’ve said before, I’m doing this Tri for fun, and if it’s something I fall in love with after next Sunday, then I’ll actually train for the next one.  But for now, I’m going to go have fun with this Tri! 



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