Splish Splash

Last week I returned to my water roots–the pool–for the first time in thirteen years. I know, long time to be out of the water, right? I’m not saying I have never gone swimming since I was eleven–I’ve fooled around in lakes and small bodies of water, but never entered the water in order to have a workout.

As many know, over the past couple of months, I’ve been toying with the idea of starting to swim, because that is a vital component of triathlons. Commentators say that you can’t win a triathlon by the swim, but you can definitely lose the race because of the swim. It is the shortest, fastest portion of the triathlon distance wise, and is where the race starts.I have no idea what the commentator meant, but am thinking it is going to be a difficult leg for a non-swimmer like myself.

Back and forth I’d debate the pros and cons of swimming and doing triathlons. I’m perfectly content doing Biathlons at the moment with just the bike and running.I was able to stay away from pools for so long because many local triathlons had duathlon options. Now, after signing up for the Ironman Mooseman 70.3, I need to go into the pool, and live there for the next couple of months in order to become a more proficient swimmer in what is my weakest part of the race.

It was saturday afternoon and I worked the night before, so I was slightly tired after taking a nap from getting home from work. And I thought, I really should try out this swimming thing now. Not just dip my toes in the water, but dive right in. So I packed my gym bag and headed over to Bard university, which has a small pool–25meter I think. After changing quickly out of my clothes into my bathing suit,I walked over to the showers and sprinkled under the water to get wet, and opened the door to the pool. Ahh,  the sweet smell of locker room mildew mixed with chlorine and perspiration–nothing like it.

There were a few empty lanes to chose from, and  chose the  middle one, #4, to reintroduce my body to the sport.

I put on my swimcap (havent had one of those on in yeaaaaars) and googgles and jumped right in, not noticing I was on the short end of the pool, where the depth is 5 feet deep. I would suggest knowing the depth of the water you are jumping in before going in.

Unfortunately, I was not really prepared with drills or what I was exactly going to do in the pool, and considered this a pre-test to my soon-to-be swimming career. I made it for about 30 minutes, freestyle, breaststroke…staring steadily at the black line down the middle of the pool.

It is always important to bring a bottle of water with you to sit at the end of the pool somewhere so when you need to drink, you can do so. Swimming is different that in running and cycling, you can sweat, and you can sweat a lot and become very dehydrated. Now, you can still get dehydrated swimming, because you sweat just as much as if you were say, walking. When I swim, I bring a sports  bottle with water and leave it close to the lane I am swimming in.

I’m glad to say I passed the pre-test and did not drown, and can start doing swimming drills when I next go.

Running, check. Biking, check. Swimming– ehh, needs more work…

So, Bard, I’ll be seeing more of you in the near future.

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