June 23, 2008

If at First You Don't Succeed

The Great Lakes "surf report" said the water was calm and winds were low, so I headed back to Lake Michigan for OWS Attempt #2. I left all expectations behind and just hoped to be able to gain a little more comfort in the water and stay afloat. When I arrived, I could see the current had switched directions and was now moving right to left, which is much better for me since I breathe on the left facing the beach, which would avoid taking the waves in the face.

It was much colder outside today, about 64 degrees, and the water felt colder as well. It took about 15 minutes of treading and breathing practice to get past the shock of the cold and get ready to start. My big plan was to cover the quarter-mile route with as much freestyle as I could muster and take rests with the back stroke or side stroke. I started out pretty comfortably, but after about 60 meters, I felt the need to stop and feel my feet on the ground so I didn't fight it. After all, my first OWS was such a disaster so I was just pleased I wasn't having a full-fledged panic attack. I rested a bit and started again. As the water got deeper and the waves picked up a bit, I felt a little uneasy, but kept moving. I reached my stopping point after taking maybe four breaks total. This isn't good, but I feel it's the best I can do right now. Since the current was so strong, I walked back to my starting point and did it again. The second round was definitely better and I stopped less, but it still wasn't the continuous effort I was hoping for. I spent about 30 minutes just practicing my stroke and breathing in the water, basically going back and forth between a few buoys. This is so helpful and I want to take advantage of it while I'm here since open water opportunities in New York are limited.

I'm still not sure I'm ready for the practice tri I signed up for this weekend. I'm hoping to get back to the lake at least one more time before heading home and hopefully then I'll have a better sense of my comfort level. What do you think?

I really wanted to run or at least hit the stationary bike tonight since my real bike is 800 miles away in New York, but I also really wanted to be with my family, so I let the desire to be with family outweigh my need to train. After all, I'm human, and I don't know when I'll be here in Michigan again with everyone. I can always fit in an extra session when I'm in NYC alone. So I had a fun night, drank too much wine, but am now overcompensating with water so tomorrow morning will be a fresh start. I'm hoping to find another OWS opp and a long run as well. Fingers crossed.

Sport - Swimming
Distance - at least .5 miles
Time - 1:00:00

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