What the hell is Ditch the Tiara?

Redefining the word beautiful...one dirty, sweaty, bruised up mile at a time, with a few downward dogs along the way...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Union rez

Big day. Mother-nature willing, I was going to swim outside in the open water for the first time since Ironman. As I made my way up towards Longmont, the blackened sky behind me did not look promising. All I wanted to do was get this ‘first time’ out of the way, even if I only got 400 yards in before the lightning streaked the sky. Fortunately, that never happened.

As I shimmied my way into my brand new long-sleeved Zoot wetsuit, I started to get anxious and my mind started to race. I stopped, took a deep breath and told myself, you can do this. You’ve done this with 2500 people swimming next to you. You’re going to be ok. Zipped myself up, put on my cap and goggles and headed to the water. It was warm. Really warm. Hm, this wasn’t so bad. I dunked my head. Dark. Mirky. But most importantly, endless. Ahhhh…. I had the freedom to swim continuously, without hitting a wall and turning around briefly to hit another wall and do it again, and again, and again... funny, I had never thought about open water like that before.

Started swimming and a funny thing happened, I WAS FINE. Waiiiiiit, whuhhhh??? I was swimming, with a little kicking even. No drama. No panic. It felt great. It felt fun. The long sleeve is very different than the sleeveless in that your shoulders are a little more restricted. I stopped a few times because I was exhausted. My arms felt so heavy and I wondered if there would be any way that I could actually swim 3200 outside. Geesh!

I worked very hard to mimic my pool stroke in the open water, practicing my catch and drag, trying to fully extend my arm back and flipping up the water with my hand before pulling out of the water. After a few laps around, it started to get easier and I was less fatigued. My shoulders were tired though and I am almost positive its from the wetsuit. I’ll just have to get used to it.

Once I was done, I was so happy that I swam that in well under the allotted 90 minutes of scheduled swim time. Now the thought of having to go back to the pool. just. sucks. Really? Is this really ME talking? Wow. How things have changed in just one short year.

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