With 3 weeks away from our first Sprint Triathlon of 2014, the Smiths Point Triathlon, Irene and I braved the waters of the Connetquot River with Bryan Krut and a bunch of brave triathletes for our first Open Water Swim. After a few miles logged in the pool for me and Irene needed to get her swimming arms going, it was a great change from looking at a line in sometimes clear warm chlorinated water to murky chilly water.
As Irene and I looked at the calm water, Bryan from Open Water Swim Long Island hopped off his paddle board and said, "the water feels like 60 degrees!" While that was better than the 58 degrees from the water temperature map, I was a little apprehensive and thinking, what did I sign up for? The water temps were cooler than normal due to our harsh winter a few months back.
Irene and I headed back to the truck and squeezed into our wetsuits. A few months ago, I got a full sleeved wetsuit in the next size down in anticipation for Ironman Arizona. Thank goodness for Focus T25 for helping me drop 16 lbs, but I plan on losing another 10 pounds to help slip in the suit a little easier. With a little help from Irene, I zipped up and I reciprocated the zip up on Irene. We were ready to swim.
I stepped into the river with a few other veterans and a rookie, there were plenty of rocks before we floated over to the red buoy. The feeling of pins and needles eventually went away on my feet and I could feel the cold water seep into the seams of the suit, but the suit kept me insulated and next time, I will be wearing booties and gloves.
Irene was still on the shoreline, hesitating from what I can see, but she moved into the water. I felt bad because she has a sleeveless suit. Sleeveless provides a better range of motion.
Enough hanging and floating. Time to swim, and I put my face down into the water and started. I did my best to remember my technique, but everything I learned in the pool was tossed out the window. Since I could not see anything, I had to lift my head up quite often to make sure I was headed to the white buoy located about 160 yards away (as per my GPS watch).
On my way back, I noticed Bryan giving some tips to Irene. She's gotten so much better and will get better everyday. While she did not swim as much as I did, she did enough to build her confidence to continue on.
During my second loop, I started to get seasick, and I said to myself I need to get into Open Water more often and I felt like VOMITING a little. Sipping on some river water did not help either. So I put my face back in and started swimming again back to the red buoy. I felt my technique completely falling apart and I was swimming all over place.
I finally reached the starting buoy and when I stopped, I was really getting nauseous. I saw Irene heading back to shore and Bryan paddled over. I told him how I felt and he noticed that my head was going back rand forth to much and said we need to work on keeping my head straight and turn my body more. Doing catch up drills will help with that.
Over all, I know I will get better and better at this! Time to rinse off the wetsuits!