Today was a turning point in the nearly eight-month recovery from my bike crash. I ran my first sub-four-hour marathon in November while my shoulder was still technically broken, I got back on my bike this winter, but I had yet to swim in open water. So today, after checking in for the race and having alligator for lunch (hey, I'm in New Orleans), I went to the swim start at Lake Pontchartrain with a fellow triathlete and took the plunge.
Because of the levee, you can't see the lake as you drive along it. When it first came into sight, I immediately felt nauseous. The water was really choppy from storms here in the past week and I had no desire to get in. We got into our wetsuits and walked to the waterfront and just stood there. It took awhile for me to get in and give it a try. My chest felt constricted right away, that typical open water panic feeling I felt last summer when I first started swimming. But after just a few minutes of treading it went away. So I swam a few strokes to see how it felt.
All in all I'd say I'll be fine. My shoulder really hurt and unfortunately I breathe to the left and it's a point-to-point swim with the seawall on the right, but I know I can do it if I just relax and don't worry about the time. It may not be easy and it may not be fast, but I'll get it done. And then hopefully I'll conquer my fears on the bike and have a good run. That would be the ultimate turning point.
Swimming (Lake Pontchartrain)
Time - 20:00