Tweet Okay, well I’m back from the swim and sipping a lovely coffee before going and having a shower to clean up. It’s been a morning of lessons for me, and I have to say first up “I’m happy with my achievement – gutted, but happy”. I arrived at the start and realised the vast majority [...]
Okay, well I’m back from the swim and sipping a lovely coffee before going and having a shower to clean up. It’s been a morning of lessons for me, and I have to say first up “I’m happy with my achievement – gutted, but happy”.
I arrived at the start and realised the vast majority of people where in wetsuits. Standing in my swimming shorts & rash top I had an inkling I was under dressed for the event. However I did see others in swim suits and even a brave couple in bikini’s.
While I knew it was a deep water start, I didn’t realise the start line would be a wee way (maybe 50 to 100mtrs) off shore. We were instructed if unsure swimmers, we should hold back – which I did. Not realising that I was only halfway to the start when the start hooter went off. Panicking a bit I picked up the pace (mistake number 1 or is it 2).
The water was far colder than I anticipated, which meant I was cold and struggled to relax to breath. I also made the mistake of swimming with the goggles they gave us rather than my usual ones. I actually felt claustrophobic swimming in these ones – maybe they have smaller lenses than my usuals.
So, about 300mtrs in, struggling to relax into a rhythm, unable to bring up my body temp and just completely overwhelmed, I raised my hand and took a lovely cruise on the harbor – along with a blanket & a hot drink. I had plenty of company – I wasn’t the only one on the boat.
While I am completely gutted I didn’t even make the first 400mtrs, I am stoked that I gave it a shot. Here are some lessons I learned for me to apply in 2009
- Swim in the right gear: If the water is warm a rash suit may do, but if it’s cold you need a full length wetsuit.
- Practice in your gear: It was my first time in my goggles & suit. Wasn’t expecting the tightness the suit gave nor the subtleties of vision with these particular goggles
- Learn to relax: (practice in the sea) They say to get up to distance in a pool. This is all good and well but pool water is clear, the bottom is just there & it’s usually smooth. Swimming in the sea is disconcerting because the water is not (usually) clear, their is a swell to deal with and if you get a mouthful it’s salty.