Saturday, August 9, 2008

Fear of (open) water

It was 58 degrees and drizzly this morning, nearly talked myself out of attending the Mary Meyer triathlon/ open water swim clinic. Have been avoiding water since March, would much rather run 30 miles or bike 100. Time to break out the Zoot Suit.
The water was not too cold but choppy due to wind. Did the drills OK, but when it came to doing the 350 yard loop with 100 other swimmers, I did what everyone talks about, panic. It looked like this photo but swimmers closer together. All it takes is 1 mouthful of water, some seaweed tangled around your leg like tentacles, and limbs kicking in your face. The worst was the rolling waves which reminded me of the Wisconsin Dells wave pool. I got motion sick and felt like I would vomit, the wet suit was choking me, etc. etc. The coaches shaking their heads, just concentrate on the stroke and slow it down, it's all in your head.
So I got 1/2way through and bailed. Elderly people more than 50% of my body weight skimming past me with ease. Even if you fall on a bike (something I'm very familiar with), once you have stopped moving you're OK. In swimming you either drown or you don't. Danskin next week is 800 yards, more than twice the distance I failed today. It's all in your head, and that's what I'm afraid of...


  1. You're going to do fine. You're going to do fine.

    From: Susie's Head.

  2. On that thought, I was going to suggest to the planning committee that it might be a good idea to do the swim portion of the CDT in a pool since we won't necessarily have lifeguards around if something happened on an open water swim. Just a thought I wanted to throw out there...

  3. CDT will be at Madison Beach in shallow water. Noodles/ kickboards allowed, and you can stand up if the water gets rough. So far it's looking like 300 yrd swim, 18 mile bike, 6 mile run. The swimming won't be punitive, but the running of Madison and 23rd street hills will be.

  4. Punitive running in the central district? i say bring it on!