Last week I finally made it to the open water swim group. Last summer I said I was going to join them, but never did. All June I said I was going to join them, but never did. And on July 2nd I remembered my first triathlon is July 19. So I joined them.
The Lakes Area Multisport (LAMS) group meets at 5:30 pm on Wednesdays for an open water swim across Whipple Lake. The group is very encouraging and willing to slow down for the slowest swimmer. There is even a kayak to help them stay visible in the water.
This week they did a warm up of two laps of the blue arrows. The yellow is where we ran across the beach. I was the only person not in a wetsuit, but I did have my Garmin 910x with me to keep me accountable for how long I was swimming.
After the warm up the group went off across the lake. I did not feel comfortable enough in the water to go with them. Instead, I continued swimming the buoy laps. My stroke is all over the place. My right hand goes down in the water which means I don’t get a good pull. My hips barely rotate, and every three strokes I have to be on my side to calm my nerves. My brain was working over time while I was swimming, but it did help me come up with a few tips to share!
- Know Yourself: the water may be literally over your head, but that doesn’t mean to you should push yourself beyond your comfort level (at least not on the first day).
- Push Yourself: I wouldn’t have swam for 45 minutes on my own if I hadn’t seen other people doing it. The first 10 minutes (the two laps with everyone) were awful. 20 minutes in I was warmed up. The last 25 minutes I felt like I was actually making some kind of progress.
- Trust Your Teammates: Prior to the group taking off for across the lake, multiple people offered to swim slow with me. They said I could do it. But I wasn’t so sure. Once they came back in. I realized I probably could have done it.