Thursday, June 12, 2014

Warm Water Breathing, She Helps Me Here.

Photo credit Dawn Gibson

 So, I did the Pigman Spritn Triathlon on the first day of June this year. Before I did one, I always thought that triathlons would be the perfect race for me. I'm strong on the bike and the run, and everyone says the time in the water doesn't hurt you too badly. Plus, I grew up swimming in open water, so I didn't think I would have the panic issues other people had, who were only used to swimming in pools. Boy, was I wrong.
Photo credit Joanne McKillip.

I had no idea what it would be like. I'm a sloppy swimmer at best and then when I try to go faster, I pick up my breathing and, then when the water gets all choppy from people swimming around me and swimming into me, and after I lift my head and take a face full of water at least twice in a row, I start to freak. And once I swim with my head out of the water, I can't get to a better place, where I am able to get it back. So, I start rolling over on my back and kicking, or doing the side stroke or just dog paddling - all things that slow me way down and take up WAY too much energy.

This year, I made an even bigger mistake of forgetting my wetsuit. Many people think triathletes wear wetsuits to keep them warm in colder water, but really it helps us to stay buoyant, especially our legs, especially for us sloppy swimmers. In other words, without the wetsuit, I was at least 2 minutes slower than I was the year before. Oops!

I am checking into some things and think I will have people help me train in open water. I think the stronger I am at swimming, the less I will panic. I'll let you know how that works in September when I do my next triathlon...

The good news, is that after the swim, the rest of the triathlon is pretty great (in that, kicking my own ass kind of way). I have the fancy aero bike with the aero helmet. I don't wear clipless pedals, so I throw my running shoes on after the swim and have very little to do to get ready after I finish the bike portion.

This year, I was definitely strongest on my bike. I was over 3 minutes slower on the running section than I was the first time I did it, because my knee has still been bothering me, and I'm not getting to run much. As it was, I got 5th in my age group and John got 2nd in his. Nothing to sneeze at, but plenty to work on.

Thanks to Greta Songe for the photos.


silly rabbit said...

Oh my gosh! I think you did fantastic and I think its great that you keep track and work toward improvement.

I know I would panic in open water, though I do swim very well.I have a phobia about being able to see the bottom of any water I'm in.

As always, you look so happy and that makes me happy for you!

silly rabbit said...

Oops! I forgot to say, congratulations to you both!

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