Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Open water swimming. Help!!

I was very happy to get two nice trail runs in this past week.  My beloved Garin is turning green (finally).  Look at this beautiful single track trail.  Aaaaah - heavenly!

And Boomer was having a great time on the soft ground, shortly after one of the light rains we received.  


Last week's Cinderella training went remarkably well.  There were 11 of us on the ride and we completed 50 miles with a little over 1,200 feet of elevation gain.  There weren't a lot of hills but the ones we did have were pretty serious.  Each week the rides either get longer or have more climbing.  This coming Saturday we have less miles (45) BUT twice as much climbing (over 2,400 feet).

I've been starting some double workout days.  So far they consist of swimming in the morning and a spin class at night.  I've done this twice now and then throw in a "rest" day the next day.  Yesterday was one of those days.  I swam 2,850 yards in the morning, mostly 200's.  I used my buoy and I used my paddles.  I really worked on pulling a lot.  I love that feeling!  I am working up to (as I said before) 100 lengths without stopping.  A couple of weeks ago I was feeling good about completing 8.  Yesterday I could do 20!!!  That's 500 yards folks.  Little by little, I'm improving.

A very special someone GAVE me her full body wetsuit (she's upgrading).  She GAVE it to me.  I am so blessed to have such great friends in my life.  I don't know how I got so lucky.  Now I just need to get into the open water.  I was looking at doing a sprint triathlon (in the bay) at the end of this month.  I am just too scared of the open water.  I thought if I had a wetsuit it would be easier to think of getting in.  I'm still so scared.  I have two friends that are willing to take me out, it's just a matter of timing right now.

Does anyone have any advice or hints on how to get over the fear of open water? Please share with me, even if it's something small. 

On the baby front (as of last Friday):  At 14 weeks, Sara is now in her second trimester.  Her baby can now squint, frown, grimace, and possibly suck his or her thumb!  Baby is 3-1/2 inches, about the size of a lemon.  Sara is actually starting to show a little bit.  :)

Until later.............

11 comments:

Lisa said...

We should chat about open water sometime. My first open water event was quite the experience! I didn't even know that I was afraid of open water until the day before the event when I tried swimming at the event venue. I was terrified!!

My main advice is to get time in the water. Go with someone you trust and practice. Remember, you can always flip over onto your back if you need to (that helped me tremendously). But nothing helps overcome open water fear like time in the water.

Jo Lynn said...

I'm sure you're right Lisa BUT how do I get over that fear of getting in and moving around in the big, open, empty dark space?

jen said...

I used to swim out at Shadow Cliffs (??) in Pleasanton often. There is a roped off lane just on the perimiter of the roped off swimming area and I found that to be very welcoming- it's open water without being OPEN WATER.

I'd say just get in the water a few times without the pressure of swimming any significant distance, if at all. Put on the wetsuit, wade in, and just go under and float around a bit. Maybe swim a bit, but stay close to the shore. Just let yourself BE in the water and especially put your face in the water. I think the getting-in part (cold!) and the putting-your-face-in part (takes your breath away!) are the hardest parts. Start with that!

Yay baby. I feel like my belly has grown a LOT in the last 3 weeks since 14 weeks. Big changes are coming for both of us! So exciting. :)

Molly said...

I honestly just tune out all thoughts of what is in the water and the scary stuff. I have to! It does wander in sometimes during training swims - in which case I must prefer to have buddies around - but in a race I'm too busy just trying to keep moving forward and stay in the mix of things to worry about it. I figure I'm slow enough my job is to worry about the swimming and keeping forward motion and I'll let my friends worry about what's going on around me :)

René said...

What is there to fear? Deep water? You are floating in a wetsuit. Darkness? There's not much to see. Wildlife? They usually keep their distance. Knowing what the conditions are (tide, temperature, weather) helps to ease fear of unknowns. The fears subside after awhile and then you can relax, own your space and have a pleasant swim. Counting strokes helps, and I like to pretend I'm a sea turtle. Things to be aware of are hypothermia, strong currents and big waves. Swim like a fish!

Jo Lynn said...

Shadow Clifs is one of the places my friend wants to take me.
Great words of wisdom Jen, Molly and Rene'.
I really appreciate you taking the time to comment. ;)

Looney said...

I would say Shadow Cliffs. It is best to join one of the clubs, then have a partner to swim with you across and back - about 1 mile. Do it a few times under different conditions and the fear will gradually diminish.

That reminds me that I need to get back in the water now that my long sickness is coming to an end.

Kris said...

Practice, practice, practice. The more you're able to get in, the more comfortable you'll be. I'd be happy to hit Quarry Lakes with you any time and just work on getting comfortable in the water.

I'm glad the wetsuit will work out! I still need to try on my new one.....

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RoadBunner said...

I did ONE sprint tri so am not a wealth of advice. I did all my training in a pool for it and the swim for the tri was in a really calm lake. Even then, I freaked out. So my advice would be to definitely go and do an OWS (or two or three) before your event. I'm told it is common to be freaked the first few times so better not to deal with that on race day.

Irene said...

Everyone had such great advice. I'll have to really pay attention to what they all said and use it myself.