Yesterday I swam in my first organised open water swim. I even paid to do it. I have been pretty nervous leading up to the event. It’s run on the Robina Triathlon program. Note I was not and will not be doing a Tri.
We left home with heaps of time to spare. Thank goodness. We did 40km the whole way to the coast. Arriving 20 minutes before check in. I was thrilled to receive a swimming cap and water bottle. I know, little things impress me. I even got 1493 written on my arm. That’s when it hit me. I’m locked in, this is happening and OMG I’m going to vomit. I didn’t thankfully. I was starving because I like to swim on an empty stomach.
Now there was three swims starting at once. 500m which is what I registered for, 1000m and 1500m. It was a triangular course. One loop being 500m. Let me tell you those buoys looked very far apart. I was in my awesome Millers togs. Swimcap and goggles on. I entered the water and next thing the race had start. Did I mention I walked past a podium to enter the water. I blew it a kiss and said not today.
I made sure I was at the back of the swimmers. I wasn’t competing for a place I was competing to finish. The water was fresh. Awesome. No salt water to make me thirsty. That first buoy was not getting closer. I was half way on the first leg and I tread water to catch my breath. A lifeguard on a kayak asked if I was fine. Yep. Thumbs up. The second leg was more comfortable and my husband said I swam it the fastest. Now I forgot to mention in the first leg I contemplated quitting for, oh, a second. But I thought no I’m doing this no matter what.
The third leg was tough. It was choppy and the small waves were going into my mouth as I breathed. I also really struggled with the current which dragged me off course. Didn’t affect any other swimmers so I’m going to research swimming against a current. Perhaps there’s a technique.
My hand suddenly hits sand. I did it. I walked out of the water huffing and puffing towards the mat to register my time. Yes I wore a timing device on my ankle. Prahfeshonal. I also had to swim through lots of spiky weed and it got in my togs.
I learned that I need to work on swimming non stop when I train. It’s so easy in a pool as every 25 metres you can briefly stop have a good breath and keep going. When swimming an open water event there is nowhere to stop. I have new goals to work on but I’m so happy I finished. I just can’t describe the feeling.
My family were there cheering me on and many other supporters were cheering me on. I’m up for the next one.