May 20, 2008
When I woke up this morning, I briefly considered staying in bed, justifying it by thinking perhaps my body needed rest. After all, I wasn't able to run last night when I tried. But let's face it, I didn't want to go to the pool because I knew it would be challenging and frustrating. That's just not a good enough excuse, so I got up and went.
In some ways it was better than yesterday and in other ways worse. I still struggled, but when I really tried, my form was better and those few precious laps were much easier. There were more people today so most lanes were doubled up. There was a wider lane at the end, which I assumed was the slow lane, so I happily joined.
I realized today that my number one problem with swimming is breathing. The whole notion of doing a cardiovascular activity face down in the water with limited breathing is very foreign to me. When you can't catch your breath running, you can slow down and breathe more deeply. And you're almost never breathless on a bike unless you're climbing a steep hill. But it's nearly impossible to take a deep breath while swimming, unless I simply haven't yet figured out how to. I'm working on breathing more often so I don't get so tired so quickly. I'm hoping this will be the key to actually swimming some consecutive laps instead of my current stop-start routine.
My friend Louise is joining me tomorrow and we'll be swimming together once each week. This will be a great motivation booster and it might push me to try harder even if only for vanity sake. Louise has done several triathlons and is a good swimmer. I should be able to learn a lot from her.
Louise also loaned me a wetsuit in an effort to help me avoid yet another cost associated with this race. It looks rather small, as you can see in the photo, but she swore it should fit and according to the Orca size chart, it should. So I decided to give it a try. On attempt #1, I didn't pull it up high enough above my ankles so I couldn't get it up to my waist. It was stuck just above my knees and was like a legs-only version of a straitjacket. I peeled it off and went online to figure out how the heck to put this thing on. You have to love YouTube. Within minutes, I found a video tutorial on how to try on a wetsuit. I gathered my strength and went for attempt #2. I managed to get it on this time after about 15 minutes of pulling it up inch by inch. It took about another 15 minutes to get the zipper up in the back and then I was finished. I kept it on for about 10 minutes to see how it felt. It actually wasn't so bad, but it was pressing on my throat a bit, which I fear will make it difficult to breathe - and I already have enough trouble with that.
I think I'll head back over to JackRabbit tomorrow and try on some wetsuits to see how they are supposed to fit. If it turns out I've already got the right fit, and just need to get used to it, I will have saved a bit of money. Otherwise, I'll need to consider buying my own, which means this most certainly can't be my only triathlon attempt. I'll want to get my money's worth for sure.
Sport - Swimming
Distance - 18 laps (.25 miles)
Time - 30:00
Squeezing into the Westsuit - 30:00