Thursday, June 11, 2009

This icicle can swim

I turned into an icicle today.

And four hours later, I think I'm still thawing out.

The local tri club held an open water swim session in Lake Winnebago today. Since that's where I'll be swimming when the starting gun for the High Cliff Triathlon goes off in eight days (eight days people!), I figured it might be a good idea for me to go.

There were about 30 people that showed up and about 80 percent of them were sporting their wetsuits. Me? I don't have one and I don't intend to get one. I'll be swimming a quarter-mile. That's not that far. And if Mother Nature would ever get her butt in gear and give us some summer-like weather, the lake water would warm up.

But anyway. No wetsuit for me.

Eventually it was time to get in the water. The wetsuit people flocked. "Oh, it's not that cold." A couple of swimming suit-clad swimmers went in next. Shrieks. Whimpers. Wails.

I stuck a foot in.

Cold. Chilling. Icy.

But I kept walking. Soon it was up to just above my knee and that's where we stood while the tri club folks gave us a run down on what to expect during an open water triathlon swim. Swimmers will be kicked. Swam over. Splashed. Hit.

Yes. Yes. I know this. And I'm starting to lose feeling in my feet.

We were going to go through The Gauntlet, during which the more experienced club members would simulate the kicking, splashing and hitting. One swimmer at a time.

Pretty soon it was my turn. And I remember that piece of advice I got when I was a kid, "It's not so bad as soon as you go under."

So I dove in. Head first towards The Gauntlet. And you know what? It wasn't as cold anymore. And now that my legs and arms were moving, I had feeling back. I could feel every nudge, hit, splash and kick, even the one I got to the stomach.

We faced The Gauntlet twice and then swam the sprint course. It wasn't so bad. Since the course runs parallel to the shoreline and isn't that far out, there is no part that is over my head. In fact, I think the deepest part comes to my chest. So I'll be able to touch the sandy bottom during the entire swim if I need to.

I'm glad I braved the icy cold waters tonight. Makes me feel a little bit prepared for next week. Now if only Mother Nature would glance at the calendar, see it's mid-June and realize it's supposed to be a heck of a lot warmer. Then the water wouldn't be quite so chilly.


teacherwoman said...

And I thought I had a chilly swim yesterday! Oy. I am cold just reading this post!

Runner Leana said...

Wowzers, you are brave for wanting to do it sans wetsuit. You can always rent one, you don't have to buy one. Sounds like you have a handle on the water temp though!