Whoah Nelly was today a day for the nerves and emotions.
I signed up for a 1 mile open water swim to validate that I was, in fact, ready for my upcoming triathlon in the Poconos.
Todays “race” will have been the longest open water swim I have attempted ever.
This is also the longest contiguous swim I have attempted ever (in the pool you can hang on the wall when tired…)
I am not an upper body guy; and while swimming is a whole body sport, you need some upper body muscles…😨😰
To get ready for the swim portion of my triathlon I have been working on shoulders using some exercise routines on my oculus and of course old school push-ups. I have also been jumping in the pool when I can get a lane at the local YMCA.
Some commentary on the event before I talk more about me.
Steelman Racing put on a fantastic event. Between pre-race communication and covid-related social distancing and precautions, you could not have asked for a better scenario.
The athlete guide was emailed and covered (in detail) on a Facebook live event.
Parking was marked and easily accessible.
Heats were well timed and allowed for the flow of people to remain socially distanced.
There were masks provided to all participants, one for pre-race and one for post-race.
The swimmers were paced 10 seconds apart when going into the water.
All post-race refreshments were individually wrapped.
Redundancy was built in for swimmer protection, but it wasn’t imposing on the swimmer.
On to me..
To be honest, I was a hot mess going into the water. I was nervous about the distance. The course was looped so in the back of my mind I had an exit strategy. There were also a ton of rescue personnel…but I really didn’t want to rely on them as an exit strategy 😕.
I had a hard time getting into my wetsuit. Well, not into, but getting it zipped up. It got caught on the tri kit I was wearing beneath the wetsuit. Thanks to a random person nearby, I was able to get everything squared away…ish.
I ripped my wetsuit… stupid finger nails.
I got into the water and immediately realized I was ill equipped for wetsuit swimming.
The water was wonderful and it was a suggestion to actually wear a wetsuit, but I brought it because there was a high probability that the suit would have been required.
I felt super constricted, not in the arms but my breathing, and really my throat.
I was ready to throw in the towel a quarter mile in. Just roll over and raise my hand. I’m glad I didn’t, but the thought was there.
I couldn’t get my legs to work with my arms, I couldn’t get my breathing under control, my legs were aching…like I said…🔥 hot mess.
I pushed on.
You don’t get anywhere from quitting. I knew I could get to the half mile mark. I just kept swimming 🐠
A the half mile mark, I had finally fallen into a groove. I realized that I could finish the mile and I kept going.
I was actually really feeling good once I hit my stride. I was keeping my head under water longer, actually had the hips moving. It’s like I knew what I was doing out there!
I had no expectation of racing. I was participating.
I wanted to find weak spots and work on them over the next 20 ish days.
I have to work on hip adductors, probably more than my shoulders, but I’m going to keep working those as well.
I did however finish 3rd in my age group.
Out of three. But whatever. Its still podium lol.