Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Testing Out the Wetsuit

Tonight Pam, Zoe and I decided to brave our first open water swim in Calgary this season.  If you remember correctly, we had off and on snow, hail and rain on Saturday.  It was still pretty cool on Monday, then it warmed up on Tuesday but it was a pretty cloudy day.  So…who knew what the lake would have in store for us today!  Luckily it was warm and sunny all day here.  One of Pam’s friends lives in a community with its own man-made lake.  Only residents are allowed in, although they can bring in a few visitors.  We were signed in, then headed off to the bathrooms to shimmy into our wetsuits.  Since both Zoe and I had new suits (well, new to me anyway), we were both keen to get in a bit of open water practice.

First thing I realized…must trim my fingernails before the race this weekend!  Fingernails and neoprene are probably not a match made in heaven.  Pam taught us a trick that if you put plastic bags on your feet it is a lot easier to get your feet into your suit.  I timed how long I needed to get into my suit and yeah…15 minutes is about the time.

Once we were safely ensconced in neoprene we made our way to the lake.  It was so beautiful out there!  So quiet with picnic tables, tall trees, even a small beach.  DSCN0085I decided to try out Rainmaker’s suggestions for swimming with the Garmin.  I wrapped my Garmin up in a Ziploc bag, tied it into my ponytail and pulled the swim cap over.  We all had neoprene caps as well, but opted to give things a try with just swim caps on.  Finally we decided to brave the water.DSCN0087
It felt cold initially, but as I was treading water I realized that I actually felt really warm under my wetsuit.  We picked a dock across the lake to swim to and took off.  The aim of the game was just to practice sighting and to see how the wetsuit fit.  My swim experience in this lake was so different than the lake in Oliver.  The water was clear and I could see all of the green stuff growing up out of the lake bottom nearly the whole time.  It was amazing!  I realized that I need to make sure I’m really pulling up my sleeves to make sure I have plenty of mobility in my shoulders and the chest doesn’t feel too tight.  When we made it to the dock Pam helped me adjust a sleeve, then we picked  the edge of an island across the lake to swim towards.  I felt like I was sighting pretty well to here and the small adjustment in my wetsuit made a huge difference.  When we were about across from the beach that we started from we decided to head back.  According to the Garmin we swam about 670 metres.Swimming Bonavista Lake 10-06-2009
I was worried about how cold the lake would be, but it turns out the lake felt so good!  And I am SO happy with how my new wetsuit fits.  This one is definitely so much better!  Will it make a difference in my swim time at Wasa Lake on Sunday?  I guess we’ll see! 

*In case you aren’t reading this in Google Reader, scroll down to the post below.  I’ve been a prolific writer tonight!

13 comments:

Missy said...

Bless it, I hate a wetsuit but at those temps, there's NO getting around it!

Wes said...

swimming with a Garmin in your cap is hard core :-)

Marlene said...

That sounds like a great place so swim! Glad it went so well.

lindsay said...

wow 15k run and an open water swim (so soon after snow even, you're nuts!) what an active day. hope you ate a big piece of dessert :)

i'm so grossed out about swimming in lakes. i'm a wuss i know.

Lauren said...

Your garmin worked through the plastic and cap? That's pretty cool.

Keith said...

You do know there is a real waterproof garmin now? 310 XT. https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=27335

So nice having a buddy that lives on a lake. There's times I wished I'd anted up to buy a place on one of the lakes. I'm looking forward to my swim in Midnapore on the weekend.

ShirleyPerly said...

Yes, long fingernails and neoprene, not a good mix. And I know plastic bags are bad for the environment but they do sure make putting on wetsuits easier.
Glad the new one works for you!

Mel-2nd Chances said...

awesome job on the swim, and that Garmin trick is awesome! I'm not sure how i'd do with everything growing from the bottom either. hmm.

Rainmaker said...

Very nice. That lake looks perfect for OW swims, just big enough and yet still small enough to be able to do a nice number of laps if desired. And the Garmin - well done!

Alexandra said...

I remember reading a post you made a while back about getting into your wet suit and it made me laugh! This reminded me of that post and now I'm laughing again! Sorry!

teacherwoman said...

That's a cool idea to stick the Garmin in the swim cap... very cool.

Glad the swim went well!

Run For Life said...

What a great day you had. :) I like looking at the Garmin swim maps, it amuses me, lol.

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