Saturday, May 24, 2008

First Open Water Swim

I got a call from my group that they were going to head down to Yorktown Beach and swim about 1200 yds open water. Perfect! My first OW Tri is next weekend so this will be great practice. I grabbed my bag and my wetsuit and got ready to go. The wife and kids were going to meet me and I was excited. This will be my first time in the water with my wetsuit and my first open water swim without a surf board.
We got to the beach around 10:20 and watited for the whole group to show up. The plan was to swim outside of the beach goers swim area. We were going to go 400 yards down and then turn around and come back. We would do this a couple of times.
I put on my new Blue Seventy Reaction wetsuit. It was tight but the girl a the store swore that it was just right. The water temperature was 64 degrees and man was it cold. We waded out into the water and then it was time to start.
Well the waves were bigger in the water than I had expected, around 18 inches tall. I faced down and started swimming and then I couldn't breathe. Between the wetsuit, the cold water and the waves I just couldn't get my breath. I tried again and it didn't work. I started swimming breast stroke with my head out of the water. I tried freestyle again. One stroke, breath, OMG I gonna die. I rolled onto my side and started sidestroke. A couple of guys yelled at me and I said that I was ok I was going to cut the whole thing short. I tried freestyle without putting my head in the water. Ok that's too exhausting. I gave up and headed in towards the beach.
After a few moments on the beach, I regained my composure and tried again closer to the shore. I finally was able to get about 15 strokes together before having to stand up, but this sure isn't swimming in a pool.
So I was completely humbled but not broken. I am determined to get this OWS thing down. I'll be heading down to the beach every day this week to try to get comfortable with the swim. At least I know what to work on.

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