Less Than Two Weeks Away…

My next fitness event has really been sneaking up on me. Yesterday, while looking at my calendar, I realized it was less than two weeks away. Gulp.

In less than two weeks, I’ll be participating in my first open water swim. It’s 1.2 miles, off the coast of Venice Beach, and, on paper, I’m prepared. I’ve stuck to my training plan of swimming laps once a week since I registered, in addition to my other workouts. I’ve bought a wetsuit, and went to the ocean to try it out. I’ve done practice swims where I’ve built up to swimming over 1.2 miles without stopping. I should feel ready. And yet I don’t.

I’m probably just overthinking it. There probably won’t be a huge difference between swimming in the deep, dark, vast ocean and a bright, contained pool with walls and lane lines. Swimming over a mile in a body of water that’s thousands of miles across probably won’t be a big deal. Or maybe it will be. Or maybe it won’t be. I don’t really know.

And I suppose that’s the point: I have no idea what to expect. I have the skills, the strength, the endurance. But there’s a mental component that I feel woefully unprepared for.

I’m sure I’ll rock this stupid freakin’ open water swim. I’m sure it’ll be over in the blink of an eye and I’ll laugh at how much I fretted over it. But until then, I feel it looming over my head. I can’t wait for this event to be over.

My most recent swim practice was on Saturday, when I returned to the Olympic pool that I’ve officially fallen in love with. The plan was to start with a 2,000 yard swim without stopping, but after completing less than a quarter of it, I completely lost count. I let my mind wander too far, and all of a sudden I had no idea if I’d swum 14 lengths of the pool, or 16. Or had I already swim 18? or 12? So I just swam. And swam. And swam. I didn’t worry about numbers, or time – I just swam until I was tired, and needed to stop. I bet I didn’t come close to making it 2,000 yards, but that’s okay, because after a little break, I swam 1,000 more yards, broken up, before calling it a day.

Keep it up, David!

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4 Responses to Less Than Two Weeks Away…

  1. Cereza says:

    I did a triathlon for the first time and was nervous about the open water swim. Just remember to take it slow – wearing a wet suit makes it a little harder for move your arms and you will use more muscle to do so. It’s worth it though, for the extra boyancy :) Just start slow and get into a rhythm, THEN try to increase your speed when you feel comfortable. Good luck!

  2. Nurse Karen says:

    My son grew up surfing all the beaches in SoCal: Seal, Anderson, Mission, Manhattan, Hermosa, Zuma, Redondo…he said when I asked his advice: get thee to the ocean to practice, especially at the actual event area. He cited getting used to salt water buoyancy versus fresh water, tides, rip currents that surprise even seasoned surfers, and as Cereza noted, wetsuits feel very different from skin-swimming, use more muscles–kinda like those rubber cords used in physical therapy–. The water is cooler and therefore more exhausting as you expend energy from your muscles on keeping warm with shivers…Once you do the real-world practice –he recommends minimum of three times–because rip currents vary with the tides & weather–, your anxiousness will fade and you can enjoy the challenge. I’d study this webpage for information: http://www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov/overview.shtml The lifeguards are wonderful, and have tow-jetskis, and that does not negate the need for informed practice. My kid was surfing prior to a storm [not recommended!] as he loved the happy high feeling from the storm{negative ions, ya know!}, when a sudden current pushed him out to sea from Seal Beach to Long Beach…he is very strong, but he knew to not fight the feelings, keep afloat, avoid floating debris, got a free tow that day to shore. Only time ever in a decade of surfing, but Nature Happens, and sometimes, she’s a Mother… ;-D

  3. Tavi says:

    I’m so excited to hear all about it! I’ll be cheering you on from sunny and warm Alaska!!

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