When my training partner emailed me to ask if I would be ready to swim this Saturday, my initial response was 'I don't know', followed by a fumbling-finger-couldn't-press-send-fast-enough one asking 'what time?'. I admit, it was a bit of a bi-polar response, but I was banking on her knowing me well enough to know that even if I was stranded on a desert island surrounded by shark infested water with only one arm and one leg, I would still at least TRY to swim. (Hmmm - guess we chose the right event to train for - ha!). That, and after missing 2 weeks of my beloved masters swim, I was jonesing to do a little more in the water than my earlier week 'trial' swim (which ended up being a 30 minute, 1250 pull-buoy workout--slow and boring).
In the last masters class, I had been chatting with one of the guys about our ocean swim adventures and training for Alcatraz. An ex tri-athlete himself, I could see the light going on inside his head. He was IN - and wanted to join us on our next planned swim. I promised we would let him know, and also hinted that he should register for Alcatraz soon, as it was notorious for selling out each year months in advance. A sly smile from him let me know that he knew exactly what I was doing....planting seeds was fun :)
I will admit, I was a little nervous before heading to the water. It was colder outside than it had been 2 weeks ago, I was worried about my ankle 'mis-behaving' and being unable to kick, about how cold the water would be, would my lungs hate me, etc, etc. But, as luck would have it, on the drive down, it started to warm up. When I arrived at the water, I was happy to see our friend from the pool - and my training partner had also brought with her another friend whom she had also convinced that ocean swimming in October was a good idea. I believe she referred to it as a 'cleansing'. HA! Love it!
At the water's edge we gave some last minute advice to the 'newbies' - 'It's gonna be cold - swim close to shore - if you lose the ability to open and close your hands, get out of the water - if you get dizzy, get out of the water - if you get short of breath, get on your back and relax....if it doesn't improve, get out of the water...lastly - IT'S GONNA BE COLD". And with that - we made the plunge. Not surprisingly, it was cold - but not as cold as I thought it would be! The reading on my thermometer was between 11C &12 C (that's about 52F). In preparation for the anticipated dip in temperature, I had put on 2 of my silicon swim caps, and this proved to be a GREAT idea. My hands were cold and numb as were my feet, but honestly, it was totally bearable. The added heat retention from the 2 caps allowed me to swim very comfortably and also avoided the dreaded ice-cream headache from days past. My ankle started to ache at the turnaround for the 2nd lap, so I decided to only do half of the second loop before turning around to head back.
All in all, it was a HUGELY successful day in the water, and I am super excited to get back into the pool next week and re-introduce my body to all my other workouts.
I think we will have at least another month outside before it gets 'stupidly cold'. I'm hopeful at least after today's triumph.
Until next time :) - K