Last night I made my second attempt at open water swimming with the Tri Club.
And I did it.
I may not have been the fastest, but I did it. I swam about a mile, and could have gone farther. The only thing that stopped me was the fact that the workout was over and that my wetsuit was chafing the back of my neck.
I still have a lot to learn, (like putting Glide on the back of the neck.) But after about 15 minutes, I managed to get rid of the panicky feeling that I had before. I started being able to breathe every three strokes bilaterally like I do in the pool. I got into a zone. We weren't breaking any speed records, but that wasn't the point. I wanted to get to a point where I felt like I was actually swimming rather than flailing around like a freak.
I started to feel like....I will be able to do this after all! I wasn't so sure after my first attempt a couple weeks ago. I'm getting my bearings in the open water. I was "sighting" much better. Rather than lifting my head up and out of the water, I was able to just peek with my eyes forward on the object in the distance I was sighting on. In this case, it was the Hyatt Islandia in one direction and the Belmont Park roller coaster in the other. If you don't sight, you end up swimming crooked, off course, and end up swimming way more than you have to. Sighting is open water swimmings version of that darling black line that graces the bottom of the swimming pool lanes.
This is where the swim was. The cove is behind that row of palm trees-if you look you can see the line of white buoys we were swimming around to make a "lap."
I even felt like I was getting it in relation to coordinating my gear and stuff. I got a large plastic bin to transport my wet wetsuit which worked like a charm. Bonita cove had showers, so I was able to rinse my suit (and myself) right there.
My first triathalon is 2 weeks away. The swim portion is off of the beach in Encinitas. I need to practice some beach entries! Fortunately, the race organizers are hosting a course preview next weekend. I'll probably go to that so I can get a sense of it. I've done some scuba diving from the beach in La Jolla, so I'm hoping that it won't be too stress inducing for me to get out there.
Tri Club also is starting a weekly beginner swim at La Jolla Cove that I would like to go to as well. Once I feel more confident, I think I'll be able to participate in some open water swims that happen in Carlsbad off Tamarack beach....much closer to home!
This triathalon stuff is a ton of fun! A totally new challenge. It feels a little strange not to be running 5 days a week, though. I'm trying to get at least 2 swims (1 pool, 1 open water), 2 bike rides, 2 runs and a bike/run brick workout in each week. A brick is when you ride your bike and then immediately run afterwards. I've signed up for an olympic distance event in September-the San Diego Tri Classic. (1,500 meter swim, 40 k bike, 10k run). Before that, I've got my first sprint distance race in 2 weeks. I'm also going to do a second sprint in Carlsbad in July. Whee!!
Thanks for all of your support!
About this blog
I was diagnosed with breast cancer on June 11, 2010. As a result of my treatment, I have lymphedema in my left arm. I draw my strength from the Lord, as well as my family's Scots-Irish heritage. Our Graham's were a tough and scrappy bunch of fighters on the Scottish/English border. They came to America and continued to fight when necessary: in the American Revolution; the Civil War; and my brother is a Captain in the U.S. Army. My ancestors settled this country against all odds. My great-grandmothers on both sides of the family were pioneer women who settled the West. Along with that heritage, and the full armor of God, I am walking the walk and fighting the good fight.