I have been busy preparing for my upcoming triathlon on July 17 with quite a few new experiences under my belt in both biking and swimming. One new learning experience was attending an open water swim clinic earlier this month--an hour in the classroom and an hour in the pool with drills for open water swimming as well as an open water simulation. The next step was to swim in a real open water situation, which I did this past weekend by going to beach to practice swimming in the ocean where next weekend's race will take place. Let me just say that after [trying to] swim in the ocean, swimming in a pool is piece of cake!
The surf on Saturday was perhaps a little rougher than usual, but that's not an excuse, because I have to be prepared for any possible surf situation--calm or rough--on the day of the triathlon. It took me a good 30 minutes to get up the nerve to get in the water and get swimming. The waves were pretty big and even after getting past the breaks, which was really tough, the swells were still so powerful. The feeling of being pushed and pulled and tossed about like a cork was so overwhelming for me. I just couldn't get calm enough to be comfortable. I wouldn't say that I was panicking, but I definitely didn't feel confident or in control, and I decided that I'm just not ready for open water swimming in the ocean. So I'm not going to compete in the triathlon next weekend. :(
The good news, however, is that next weekend's event is a multi-sport event that is simultaneously hosting triathlon, duathlon and aqua-velo events. So I'm switching my race entry to compete in a duathlon instead. A duathlon is a run-bike-run event so I'm basically replacing the swim portion with a 2 mile run. I'll be doing a course that consists of a 2 mile run, a 10.6 mile bike, followed by a 3.0 mile run. An aqua-velo event is swim-bike only.
I am still planning on doing the Danskin Triathlon in September as that swim event is held in a bay as opposed to the ocean. I think I'll fare much better swimming where the power of the water isn't nearly as fierce as the ocean.
I felt pretty sad and defeated on Saturday when I realized I couldn't do the open water swimming in the ocean, but once I let it sink in a bit [no pun intended!], I feel so much less stressed out about next week's race and am now spending this week training and counting down the days to competing in my first ever duathlon! : )