Once a source of "Not all you want to know about Texas Adventure Racing," but now just some "leisure" adventure through the eyes of "The K-SPoT"

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Open Water Swim

im smiling, for now...So continuing on with the week of April 27th, it was HART training on Tuesday and Thursday, lunch swim on Friday, and biking the f-loop on Wednesday. I had planned to ride my tri bike that day, but some really horrible sound was coming from my front derailleur and I ended up riding back home and taking the Masi out. But that meant switching out pedals, seat packs, bottle cages, etc. Lets just say I really needed a bike ride after all that!

warship = safety boat While all this training was going on, in the background noise was a nagging voice called Ray-Ray. For the past couple of years now he has been hounding me about doing half irons and xterras. But I was so afraid of drowning that I always backed out of any flaky commitments I gave him. Finally, the biggest opening for me came that week, 2 weeks before XTERRA Dirty at Canyon Lake. Scottie has been volunteering for Elena (the race director) and had race credits piled up. So she agreed to give me her credit so I could race. No excuse now. So I told Raymund that I would race, but I would need to do an open water swim before I decided if I would do the half or full XTERRA. He agreed and we headed off to Twin Lakes that Sunday.

contemplating my first ows To make it a full outing, Scottie also came so that we could get some sevy training before Camp Longhorn next weekend. My other stipulation was that the Warship would need to be there too with his kayak to make sure I didn't drown. He actually brought a friend with him who was a strong swimmer too. I was very apprehensive at first and wanted to just swim to the first buoy and back (probably just 100m), but Raymund gave me that disappointed look that he’s good at and said we needed at least to do the whole loop (probably around 400m). Since Warship was there, I said what the heck. Raymund had already started and I finally took the plunge.

paddling with warship coaching The first 100m was fine and I felt like I was gliding like a fish! Then came the longer stretch to the next buoy and for some reason I lost my rhythm and started to breathe abnormally. I was panicking. I luckily regained composure and continued on. No other incidents occurred after that and I finished one lap. Raymund was still going as he was doing 2. I recapped the experience with the Warship and actually felt a rush! I was actually somewhat excited to take another loop, so I did. This time I followed right behind Raymund to try drafting. Obviously I wasn't comfortable with that yet, with all the bubbles in my face, so that lasted about 100m or so, then I just went off on my own.  2nd lap was a lot more relaxed and I felt really good! That’s when I decided that I would do the full. Yes, this was momentous!

bugs were harmed in this photo We followed the swim practice with some sevy time. Scottie and I headed out in the yellow rubber duckie and did a few laps while Warship was barking orders from the bank. Obviously we still needed to get used to each other in the boat, but I felt like we were doing alright—no spinning at all! So we did about 3 or 4 loops and then I had to call it because Mo and I were going to a crawfish boil at UH. This was my first crawfish boil in a LONG time…in fact, I think the last one I went to was actually at Notre Dame for the LSU game! It was a definite hoot watching everyone put down tons of mudbugs! We eventually found out that SES had a tent, so we went over and mingled for a bit and then called it a day. It was a very productive weekend…we even got some invite construction knocked out!

Mo doin' work! I wanted to get more practice in before XTERRA so we agreed to hit Twin Lakes a few more times. The next week was HART on Monday and Tuesday (no Thursday because of the sprint race on Saturday), lunch swim on Tuesday, and Twin Lakes swim on Wednesday. This time it was just Raymund, Warship, and me. Figuring I needed to get used to longer stretches of swimming, we decided to do two loops continuous this time. I also tried to track the distance of the loop using my GPS and tips from DC Rainmaker’s blog. Again, I felt relaxed and the two loops weren't that bad at all! Unfortunately, the GPS didn't pick up a signal while swimming, probably because I roll to breathe every cycle. I wanted to try one more time, this time putting the GPS underneath my swim cap, exactly how DC Rainmaker suggested. It read the first 100m, but then cut out again. I’ll just have to head out with the kayak next time and measure it for sure.

Alright, I will stop here and leave Camp Longhorn for the next blog. Until then, kick hard!


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