Dang that's Cold!

When I signed up for a swim clinic on June 19th way back in February, I figured the water would have had time to get nice and warm. I mean by mid June last year the water was already 60 something and I had gotten in multiple open ocean swims. This year, not so much. We have had a cold spring and as a result the ocean is still COLD. Like mid 50's. So I have not been able to convince myself to get in on my own.

It looks so pretty. But it is SO DARN COLD.
 All day yesterday I was dreading the swim clinic. But I suppose that is one of the reasons for the clinic? To force you to get in the water? I got to Spring Point around 5:30, checked in and spent some time getting ready and talking to the other ladies there. What I noticed was that EVERY other woman there had on a full wetsuit with legs and sleeves. And then there was me in my little shortie. The organizers had sent out an e-mail the night before warning us about the cold and offering recommendation for the cold: wear non-cotton socks and double or triple up on bathing caps. So, I sported some nice smart wool running socks with my wet suit and tripled up on bathing caps. I looked pretty silly.

Before the swim we had a chat session where the race director and a swim coach spent about 30 minutes going over the logistics of the swim, the swim to run transition, the format of the swim waves, and some swim tips. Even though I heard it all last year, it was good to hear it again.

And then it was time to get in the water. We all waded in to get our wet-suits wet and then came back out on the shore to do the mass start. There were a lot of new swimmers who all wanted to be near the back, so I was pretty near the front. 

And go. I ran right in, but I just couldn't make myself put my face right in the water so I breast-stroked for a minute before taking the plunge. It was putting my face in that was really miserable. My body wasn't that cold, but my face just ached. I couldn't keep it in the water for more than 2 strokes. And I forgot how gross salt water in your mouth tastes.

I also couldn't find a clear space. I kept bumping into other swimmers and getting kicked and hit. It felt like an eternity out to the first buoy. I developed a little rythm to keep myself moving. One, two breathe; one, two breathe. I'd do the crawl for 4-6 breaths and the let myself do the breast-stroke for 4 strokes. It wasn't the fastest, but it was forward motion. I made the first turn and the second buoy seemed so far away. (It was! They were worried about the cold so they moved the first buoy in and the second buoy wider to keep us closer to shore). I could hardly see it, but I figured if I stayed with the pack, I'd be okay. 

What felt like hours later, but was actually only 8 minutes, I finally reached the shore and stumbled up. Done.

Does anyone look good in a swim cap??

The clinic did not give me a lot of confidence. The swim felt really hard and uncomfortable. I know the only way to overcome this is to get back in the water, but it was so unpleasant that I just don't want to. Why did I sign up for this?? 

And finally my shameless plug for the day. Not only do I need to work on my swim, I also need to work on my fundraising for the race. If you'd like to pledge me, please visit my fundraising page.

Do you ever wonder why you signed up for an event? Any swim tips for me?


  1. I think you did really well - you improvised on the scene to figure out what worked for you - alternating the two strokes so you wouldn't freeze your face off! :P


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