Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Open Water Mystery

In less than two weeks, I will be swimming in an open water triathlon.  For. The. First. Time...EVER. Sure, I've swam in the ocean but in those cases, there was a snorkel involved and I had tons of personal space and likely, visibility too.

My mindset about this has been to just find my inner peace.  Breathe and draw on those meditative moments from yoga.  Focus on getting in, around and done.  Stay on the outside, towards the back...don't panic.  Go slow, don't be afraid to flip onto my back for breath.  It'll be over in less than 15 minutes.  I can do this.  That's it. End of thought.

I left it at that.  I had really put this race in a drawer in my brain to deal with next week because I just haven't the time to think of it now.  Until, they posted the current lake temperature on the race facebook page, that is.  Now, my mind is racing.  Should I have practiced this?  Do I need a wetsuit? Can I just rent one?  But won't my arms feel heavy?  My noodle arms are not strong enough! But wait, what about a sleeveless one?  Where do I go? But I don't have time. Ahhh!!

So.  I'm gathering the wheels that momentarily fell off the bus.  Reading a few articles from both experienced open water swimmers (that still feel the same as the first time) and newbie reports of their first time learnings.  Lots of tips and guess what?  Panic over.  It'll be fine.  I also found that I can pick up a rental next week and worst case, practice in the pool with it the day before.  That's all I got.  I'm going back to my initial zen strategy.  The tips I picked up are pretty much aligned with my game plan so I am sticking to it.

The whole OWS (open water swim) concept seems to be the one piece of the triathlon puzzle that gets most people every time.  Luckily, it's the shortest part of the deal!

As with everything else, practice and going out there and DOING it are the only things that will remove the veil of mystery.  So...stay tuned, I'm sure I'll have lots to say when it's all said and done.

Happy hump day!

Valerie