Thursday, March 12, 2009

Shaken, Stirred

Do you ever have a moment where you wonder what on earth you are doing, and what you have gotten yourself into? That moment hit me this morning in the pool. I was running late and was probably a little bit flustered when I got to the Y. We were doing an open water swim simulation. I warmed up for 10 minutes, then we started a 20 minute swim in a circle around the pool. We had two buoys set up that we were supposed to corkscrew turn around. As soon as we started the anxiety hit and I wasn't breathing very well. My breaths were very shallow and it was almost like I was holding my breath, then doing a quick exhale and inhale when I turned my head out of the water for air. I was so frustrated with the situation and with myself. I have never wanted to quit something quite so badly in my life.

All of a sudden I started thinking...I've signed up for all of these triathlons and I've never done an open water swim...what happens if it is disastrous?

What if I can't do it?

Honestly, I wanted to cry. But that wasn't really the solution. I knew I needed to get my breathing under control. Finally about five minutes in I started to calm down, concentrated on exhaling and felt a bit better. But pretty well the damage was done, I was miserable and unhappy with myself that I got so anxious.

I had a good chat with Angie about it. On the plus side...better that this happened in March as opposed to in my first race of the season on May 24th! So at least I know I have something I need to work on.

I wasn't able to get a run in over lunch since I had a lunch and learn to go to today. Instead I hit the pathway at Edworthy after work for my run. I had some intervals on the schedule, which was great since I may have had a little bit of frustration to work out... I ran out for 20 minutes, turned around, then ran 4 x 0:30 hard, 1:30 easy. And then back to my car. I got in 4.1 mi in just over 40 minutes and it felt really good out there. Yay for daylight savings so that I can now run in the evening more!

14 comments:

Carlee said...

I've always been a swimmer, so I'm not sure if this helps relieve any fears...but my first triathlon was also my first open water swim. I mean, when I was in the off season in college I would get some swims in in the lake, but not with other people. It is definitely different...but I don't think racing in an open water swim vs. racing in the swim portion of a tri will be too different. It doesn't matter how you get your first one in.l

Melanie said...

sorry it was a tough swim, but you're definitely right, good that you got it out of the way. I'm happy for DST too! :D Have a great weekend.

Missy said...

I've been in open water a bunch of times in different situations - wave start, mass start, seeded start etc. I have to seriously calm my arse down b/c I have open water anxiety still.

Suggestions - do those open water drills with masters, get all bunched up, work on passing and swimming shoulder to shoulder, work on protecting your face with long strokes (catch up drill type stuff).

Hope that helps. It'll be great! No worries.

Marlene said...

Sorry to hear about a rough morning in the pool. That certainly wouldn't be the best place to be panicked and having difficulty breathing. Good job getting through it!

Nice job on the run, too. I'm loving the daylight after work!

Have a good weekend, Leana.

Lily on the Road said...

Angie is right, it happend now instead of later. You'll find each open water experience different, so there is no pat answer other than keep calm and keep focusing on your breathing...also switch up which side you breathe on, that way if you get into waves, you can alternate...and not swallow half the lake!

Scott said...

While this non-swimmer can't really help you with advice on the open water front, I can tell you that your ability to calm yourself down (even if it did take a few minutes) is critical in your success as a triathlete (and runner for that matter). You totally kick butt on the workout front & you have so much experience as an athlete that you find ways to persevere through any situation. Take that confidence with you at all times and you will overcome any adversity :)

Bootchez said...

I *totally* freaked my first (and second and third) open water swim, even though I have always been very comfortable (if slow) swimming. This is odd, but what helped me the most (especially in cold water) is wearing earplugs. Made a huge difference. The other thing that helped is just KNOWING I was going to freak out, and be prepared for it. Get out in a lake or whatever soon, frequently and often. Good luck and btw, really enjoying your blog.

aron said...

you CAN do it!!! it's scary but once you have done it you will be so proud of yourself!!

Judi said...

that sucks about your swim.

you have to get to the open water and get some swimming in. bottom line is do not let yourself get anxious.

RunToFinish said...

oh gosh you are putting in so much work and so much heart, I have no doubt you will conquer this new adventure just like you did with the Goofy Challenge!

Run For Life said...

Sorry the swim was difficult this morning but it's good that you were eventually able to get your breathing under control. Like you said, you do have time before the tris. I'm sure you'll do fabulous!

lindsay said...

the swim is the whole reason i have not been tempted to do a tri yet! i am so terrified (even if it's laps in the pool) i just do not like swimming around other people because i am so slow!

great job getting through this swim. hopefully the simulation will make you feel a little more comfortable come race day?

Nikki said...

Open water swimming can be initimidating for sure. Maybe there's somewhere you can go practise a couple times in real open water before your first race. At my first tri I started off okay but couldn't seem to stay in a straight line, it's just SOOO different! Anyhow, you'll be fine, but don't worry if the first one is tough, it gets better.

ShirleyPerly said...

I panicked big time during my first tri, which was also my first open water swim. I'd never swum with people around me or sighted. Great that you have an opportunity to practice in the pool before your race. I'm sure if you keep doing it, you will improve and by race day be able to handle things fine.