Thursday, October 18, 2012

Swim Course Familiarization

I walked to the swim course familiarization for age groupers wearing three layers of clothing including two hoods. Not a good sign.

Although it's a balmy (!) 59 degrees, when you add in the 25-35 mph winds and the off-and-on rain showers, well, it's not exactly my ideal swimming conditions, but it's what we've got.

There was a bag drop in the Cloud for things like our towel and clothes. Volunteers would tag your bag and write your number on your hand to come back and retrieve it. The building was full of people changing into and out of wetsuits and shimmying out of wet swim suits under strategically placed towels. There are not a lot of body-related hang ups here.

The color of the water here is really beautiful. It's more deeply green and very clear so I do find that inviting. Until I jumped in, that is. The water temp is the same as the air temp - 59 degrees. I've never been in water this cold before, but after the initial shock and within a few hundred meters it felt alright. I did wear two swim caps and my head and face were fine, only my hands were sort of cold and numb. The main problem was the chop. The further out we got in the water, the choppier it became. I just reminded myself we were all facing the same conditions and just to do the best I could with it. Sighting and swimming straight will be extra challenging.

Swimming back toward the pontoon, I kept up with a pack of men pretty easily so I finished on a good note. I will just need to keep my focus, stay positive, and remember that I tend to do better in more adverse conditions.

After I finished, I stuck around and chatted with folks from the team, made dinner plans, and watched the other swimmers. I like to see the variety of strokes and styles out there.

Tomorrow morning is my 3:5:3 race at 6:55 am. Since I don't have a bike (or the right kind anyway; only road bikes are allowed) I'm going to swim (300m), skip the bike (5k), head out on the run (3k), and duck out before the finish. It'll give me a bit of a race simulation before Monday.

After that, I'll watch the races for the U23 women, elite women, and U23 men. Hopefully I will also be putting my bike together and riding it.