Sunday, July 27, 2008

open water swimming

so, this is my wetsuit:

sometimes (im not going to lie), it makes me feel like a superhero. i know how ridiculous that sounds.  but truely, this thing is amazing. 

i like to think that i am a pretty good swimmer.  i even like to think that i am significantly better than a lot of other triathletes, especially since triathletes are (seemingly) naturally land animals. i mean, i was a competitive swimmer for about 8 years as a child, even reaching provincial level, and winning a few medals there... in the pool, i feel so good.  

 however, that being said, open water swimming is a whole new ball game

when i put on my suit on the shore, i feel like a superhero.  i do a land warmup, and i get into the water.  i start swimming.  and, then, out of nowhere, i start breathing deeply, my heart rate soars, and i start panicking.  and, this lasts for about 500-750 meters. i feel like i am going to drown, die, and end up on the bottom of the ocean at kits beach, never to be found again. and, i have no idea why.  it did not happen at lake stevens, it did happen at squamish, and it does happen when i do my open water swim practices with vancouver open water swim association. and, one of the annoying things is because i am so panicky, i end up wasting a ton of my energy, and imagine up painful joints, etc, and by the end of my swim, it seems a ton harder than i imagine it would if i didn't go through the whole situation at the beginning.

so, in order to solve this problem, i asked one of my clients, a 3 time ironman-distance triathlete.  she says this is completely normal.  and, why it happens, is because your body goes through a mini-shock in adjustment to the cold water...  thank you sympathetic nervous system for working (ooo, hear that MCAT studyin' coming out!).  so, i googled it, and this great article about open water swimming came up. and i realized that even though the water at kits is quite warm these days (about 19 degress C, or 66 F), for comparison, that is quite cold.  (i just looked, and at lake stevens, the water was 77degrees F)

solution steps: get into water before starting workout.  let water into superhero (i mean, wet) suit.  swim about 100meters.  get out of water, get mentally ready for swim practice/race.  have a strong, consistant, long stroked swim.  

ask me next week how it goes.  

in other news:

tour de france is over.  another great bike race, with a deserving winner.  im quite glad that Cadel evans did not win.  i'm just not a fan.  he cries a lot, and seems not to be a very nice guy. the final stage was a good watch, with amazing sprinting, and a close finish.  my adrenaline was running for the short 15 minutes i watched.  i could just imagine being there, when i know that a friend of mine is over there watching in person.  yep, im pretty jealous about that one.

i got a mole removed last tuesday...  from the back of my leg.  it was amazing to me that she cut it out right there.  now i have a new scar.  and, a biopsy being taken.

the next post i write, is going to be about Dove Chocolate. and what i thought about it.  a little taste (ha ha, yes, pun intended) of my opinion is that the Dark Chocolate tasted good with red wine.  

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