George Bailey

Good Evening Mr. and Mrs. America and all the Triathletes on land.  Today was one for the books in terms of Tri training for us.  (1) Completed my longest, unassisted pool swim – 1200 yards ANNNDDD (2) Completed my first OWS and let me tell you, it was no where near as frightening as my first attempt at OWS at the 2014 Life’s a Beach Triathlon.  Let’s break the day down, shall we.

Pool Swim:  Started like any other day, I dread swimming.  Not because I’m not good at it, but because I’m not as good as I want to be.  Yeah, yeah, I know it takes time but patience is a bit faded on me.  Starting out is rough and I mean floundering, flailing and rushing rough.  It takes me about 15 minutes to get myself into the right head space and find a rhythm.  During this time, I appear completely brand new to the sport.  I find myself stopping at each 50 – soo frustrating but on I swam.  Sure enough, as the bubbles faded I found myself getting my wind.  I was going down and back with a certain level of ease.  I even tried “sighting” but I kept hitting my hand on the lane line but hey, no pain, no progress, right!  The sun wasn’t out completely so my Garmin jumped a bit.  It said I did 1700 yards – I wish, so good thing I was counting.  I’m happy with my progress, I have to work on my short distance because it is pitiful.

OWS:  Sooo, here’s the deal.  I did the LABT to remove my OWS fear but we started against the current and my swim skills weren’t nearly as efficient as they are now but I’m known for just doing it and so I signed up and was going to give it a go, regardless.  Yeah, didn’t turn out, at all.  The current was so strong, we kept getting pushed back to shore, so they told us to get out because the other waves couldn’t start.  OWS Lesson #1 – never start in the first wave .  I didn’t finish the swim.  Technically I don’t even think I started and the sadness set in as I ran to the bike.  I wanted to leave but I didn’t.  I jumped on my bike and left that experience in transition.

Fast forward to today.  My first time out with the Final Kick/Dai Roberts group and I wasn’t nervous, I was curious.  Everyone was friendly and I got some good tips and so off I went into the rolling deep.  Turns out, my swim buddy was so on point about the swim.  Even though the water is shallow, you still get all the effects of OWS.  The leader wanted me to swim down to the blue roof = .25 mile but I wanted to get myself acclimated to the water and everything so I swam back and forth between whatever points I could find.  OWS Lesson #2 – the water stings the eyes something terrible.  I need to get new goggles, again.

So I swam back and forth and I felt like I was swimming forever and I’d look up and I’m still in front of the same house, WTH?  So I’d dive in and keep going, took me a minute to find my rhythm but I did and the mind is such a funny organ.  It will hype you up and when you open your eyes it’s like – Fooled Ya!!  The struggle was real.  I was getting frustrated but I kept going.  The other thing, and I’m not sure this is a lesson but the water tasted TERRIBLE.  It smelled/tasted like burnt rubber, freshly tarred street/road.  Of course, I started to worry about getting out smelling like I’d bathed in the I-64 construction site but on I swam.  Ultimately, I ended up swimming 433 yards in 29:17.  I wasn’t concerned with time, I needed to get over the OWS fear and I think it’s happened.  Now, the real test is going to be, can I mimic this in water that isn’t so shallow?

In all honesty, it was nothing like the LABT OWS and I think that experience set me up for this experience.  Next Monday is the next OWS and I think I’ll try to make it to the blue roof.  Most people dread Mondays but today, I developed much love for Mondays.  Today, I got my OWS wings and I did it without Red Bull.

What ails ya?

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