Monday, June 16, 2008

OPEN WATER SWIM


Tonight there was an open water swim at Naperville's Centennial Beach. It was being coached by Experience Triathlon. My main reason for going was that the Tri I am doing this weekend is there.

When we began, we swam in the lap lanes to warm up. Next we divided into 2 groups: 1- A group comfortable with the deeper, open water and 2- Another to keep swimming laps and work up to the open water. I went with the group to the deep water without a second thought. Coach Patty told us to swim to the other side of the swim area (about 250). The group took off. I looked up and they were swimming so much faster that I was left by myself. OMG. Anxiety & panic began taking over. Coach Patty came back and stayed close. I made it with everyone else waiting for me. It was time for the swim back. We all took off again. I got about 2/3 of the way and did not think that I would make it. I treaded water for a minute. One of the other guys swam out next to me. He explained that he knew how I felt and would just stay beside me until I got back so I was not alone. What a blessing. I made it back with much appreciation. I headed to the lap lanes to swim and calm down. I felt better and went back with the group. I swam across several more times not panicing.

I was glas that I went to the swim. I can't say it gave me a world of confidence. I wish water wings were legal. I am able to wear my wetsuit but there is no need. I am not sure what I am going to do.

Waddling...........

10 comments:

amybee said...

Hey Waddler, I know how scary it feels to be "dusted" in the middle of the lake by all those other fast swimmers.

I hate that!

I also hate when we do kicking drills in the pool and, although I kick with all I have in my hefty, middle-aged thighs, I am always WAY behind every one else.

I can not figure that out!

Anyway, good luck with your Tri and look forward to reading your race report.

Irene said...

It just occurred to me that you probably live in relatively close proximity to my sister, who lives in Wheaton...

That was really nice of that guy to swim with you.

You're doing great!

Joe said...

You are going to conquer this swimming thing yet...this is progress. I'm thrilled you jumped in with group #1 and headed for the open water.

You have a great Dad...as did I. He was a cattleman and had a great saying "You gotta get back on that horse after you get thrown off."

You keep riding this horse...and you will again this weekend in the Tri. Each one will get better...enjoy it!!!

J~Mom said...

Yeah, I get dusted at almost every OWS practice that I go to. It's so mental being in the water alone.

the juice said...

Way to go for hanging in there! Swimming is an extraordinary thing for humans to do, so let's be patient with ourselves as we get used to it. You're doing great!

Duane said...

Open water swims? How far you have come! Yay!

21stCenturyMom said...

Wear the wetsuit! Never mind the water temp - the security is well worth it. I have a friend who is a multi-time Ironman finisher and she wears her wetsuit always in open water, regardless of the water temp (unless it is over 78)because she feels more secure that way.

Have a great race!

21stCenturyMom said...

Another reason to wear the suit - you won't have to kick much. You don't want to spend a lot of energy kicking and the buoyancy of the wetsuit lets you just do little timing kicks. You'll have more 'legs' for the bike and run.

Mary Sunshine said...

Dear Waddler,

It's actually rather a blessing to have the anxiety attack during a practice. I think everyone has one of those moments. You did exactly the right thing to steady yourself and realize that it was just an irrational fear in your head. My own panic attack, similar to what you describe, happened and I learned that comfort and smoothness are always first and speed is second. Keep getting out there! Think about the beauty of world and your wonderful healthy life!

Siren said...

I LOOOVE Centennial Beach! That's the only "open" water swim course I'm not afraid of. : D

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