KOBEBROWN

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First Ever Open Water Swim

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

OK, this is my 3rd year on SP and only my 2nd ever blog!!

First I am not a swimmer....yet!! However on the positive side - I no longer sink and I do manage some sort of forward momentum.

At some point last year I thought I wanted to start swimming. I went a day or two a week for a month...then a few months later I did the same thing. I found the Swimming for Cardio team and joined them hoping to get some advice and support and boy I got more thatn I bargained for. They are the greatest team ever and even let me still hang around even though I wasn't actively swimming LOL.

Fast forward to March of this year and I decided I wanted to try a Tri in July, then the thought occured to me that I would have to do more than just think about swimming. So I started back in my little 50 ft pool, 2 days a week. In April DH and I joined our local Tri club - best thing we ever did! I never had the luxury of training with others before and it is the best. Shortly after we joined they had a swim clinic with coaches, video analysis and tons of help. It was priceless! So I am getting used to swimming now in the pool and even doing my laps the right way - length wise instead of width wise emoticon. Just kidding but I believe that is where the "superfish" came from. I was still swimming in my little 50 ft pool but when I got to the tri swims on Mon. mornings I struggled in a regular 25 yard pool. Who'da thunk and extra 25 ft when you are swimming 100's of feet would goof you up so much. I think it was all in my head but every Monday I came home discouraged.

OK, now we are to Memorial Day - yesterday. No more Monday mornings in the pool, we now switch to Mon. evenings in the lake. BRRRR lake swimming in upstate NY in May. We just had snow and freezing temps a few weeks ago - now what the heck am I going to do. Seriously considered buying a wetsuit but didn't (yet). Anyway, since DHwas just spectating he decided he wanted to take Marlee (our 15 mo. old black lab mix, I am convinced the "other" part of her mix is monster but am told NO, that is the lab part). OH MY what a mistake. She wasn't bad - really - just so darn excited she couldn't contain herself. I took her down into the lake before we started and let her retreive a stick a few times but being the social butterfly that she is, all she wanted to do was go back up to where all those fun, nice people were giving her so much attention. You know, b/c she NEVER gets any at home!!

I think she get all refreshed after her dip in the lake and thankfully it was clouding up quite fast so she stayed a bit cooler - it was still like 88 when we headed up to the lake and of course it was probably a few degrees cooler up there then down at home. We were all standing on the shore as a few people were in the water placing the bouys and this one guy came swimming towards shore w/goggles and a swim cap on and M barked her fool head off at him - it was so funny. I wonder what she was thinking it was??

So - off we all go into the lake - I bet there was about 30 of us. I already knew it wasn't going to be too bad b/c I had already had M in but I only went in up to my knees so I still wasn't sure how it was going to be actually getting my whole self in. But I listened to Calgalfox in my head and when the peeps cleared out in front of me - I stayed in the VERY back of the pack - I just dove in. Expecting the very worst and ready to catch my breath - I was pleasantly surprised that it was very nice. Maybe b/c I was expecting an ice box?? Then after I got swimming, I was thankful that it wasn't warmer actually. They set the bouys up in a triangle, 2 parallel and a little off shore about 200 yards apart. Looking at it before we started it may well had been a frickin mile b/c there was no way I was going to be able to do it. I was whining that I couldn't swim a 75 ft pool w/o struggling. Then the third about 150 yards out. The good people swam the whole loop around them all for a total of about 500 yards. A few of us, let's say less experienced swimmers, just did the loop between the shore ones. I was glad I wasn't the only one - there we 6 of us total that did the "safer" loop LOL. We entered mid point between the 2 shore bouys, swam to the one to the left circled it and headed back to the other one. Other than a few breif stops to adjust the goggles (they were NOT anit-fog - liar packaging plus they were shaded - very hard to see and they weren't tight enough to start. Hmmm wonder what fool would just take them out of the package and not try them on for fit until they were in the water???) I made it all the way to the other bouy - the one that looked about 4 and a half days down the beach before I swam over towards the shore until I could "touch" and took a few minute break. Granted it wasn't pretty and I am pretty sure I created a "new" stroke but I was moving...forward even. it was a little choppy but nothing serious and I still made progress against that small current. There was 1 point half way from the start to the first bouy when I went to put my feet down and realized OH CRAP, I can't "touch", but then I relaxed and said "you're not here to touch you are here to swim - get going". And going I did, I did about 500 yards and could not believe that I actually could swim that far - with short breaks but more swimming than resting for sure. I was a happy camper. Then on my one loop back, I saw DH over on the shore walking towards the water with M and thought he motioned to me so I veered of course and swam back over to shore to see what he wanted. Turns out he was just bringing her down to the water again now that we were all cleared out and swimming but by this time she saw me and heard me talking and was fighting to get out to me. I told him to let her come see me for a minute. It was a rocky bottom right there, she knocked me over and I hurt my foot on the edge of a huge rock. Landing very hard right on the arch. I actually thought it sliced it open but when I looked it was just all bruised and hurt so bad it was numb. I got up, sent her in and went off to try and swim more but couldn't. Hobble out of the water, told them I was leaving so they didn't think I drowned and limped off to the truck. All the way home I was SO disappointed my swim was cut short - quite bummed actually. Got home limped on upstairs, showered and iced it. This morning it seems OK. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to RBR tomorrow but I think it is OK. I cannot wait until next Monday night!!! I am sure it will be a couple of weeks on the shore loop before I am brave enough to venture out to the middle bouy but I will do it! OWS are GREAT!! Funny that I was so worried about not having the pool walls to cling on to but that is exactly what made the OWS so great - not having the barriers - just to be able to keep going, and going and going. I heard so many people talking about the benefits of their wetsuits and I can get one through our club from Xterra for as little as $99 - I just might do it. I spent that on running shoes after all. No matter I will be there next week with or without it and plan on spending a lot more time in the water. OH and needless to say - Marlee is NOT going next week.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • HEATHHILL
    This is just great to read! You are doing such amazing things! I'm so proud of you.

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    3921 days ago
  • KOBEBROWN
    Thanks Gail and GB - actually truth be known I could not have even dared to dream it, let alone try without you guys and all my Spark friends especially the spud bud and the Swimming for Cardio team. Your support, encouragement oh and a few butt kickin', "quit your whining and get'r dones". Probably need more of that but you guys are pretty lenient.

    Thank you!
    3924 days ago
  • GBSLIM
    WOW!! Your Spark journey is really taking you places. It's amazing how far you've come in those 3 years.
    You are SO COOL!
    3924 days ago
  • GMEAN2055
    You did it girl.. So proud of you... emoticon emoticon emoticon

    All that training to coming together for you...great job.

    Glad you foot was not cut...hope its feeling better.
    3924 days ago
  • KOBEBROWN
    Thank you you guys!! I REALLY appreciate it!!

    I learned 2 things at that swim - I CAN do it and Marlee swims on a seperate day than mom!
    3924 days ago
  • RESIPSA99
    Way to go! Labs do seem to love, love, love water - so yep, monsters when they get the chance to frolic in it.

    I'm with C - you'll be heading out the the third buoy soon. Getting over the "can't touch" and no stopping at the wall are both huge, and you did it in your first OWS.

    You rock!!

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    3924 days ago
  • CALGALFOX
    Yes, leave the darling monster at home next time...and ALL labs are part monster near water! WOO HOO! I knew you could do it! In fact, I knew you would do it! I bet the middle buoy will be singing a siren song very, very soon. You'll drop into the zone, and you'll forget to worry about everything else because you will be basking in the glow of endorphin heaven - LOL. Yay for you!
    3924 days ago
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