Tuesday, May 14, 2013

It's the coldest day in weeks, of course today is the first official open water swim!

So the beginning of May has been wicked nice and warm; nothing but sunshine, flowers, birds, everything Springy you can think of. We were still having classes in the Aquatic Center until last Monday.  Maury made the announcement we'd be moving to open water in a week. EEEK! A few had already made the plunge and reported it wasn't that bad, well someone elses "wasn't that bad" is never the same as your own "wasn't that bad."

As Monday got closer the temps began to fall. I don't do well when it's cooler and I get cold very easy. I have a wetsuit for the times it's a little chilly but no booties, gloves or thermal cap, those are for the crazies-Maury and Nelle. Then it rained for a few days and the temps dropped some more. I really wasn't looking forward to getting in any body of water, especially at 6am!!

Monday morning came and although it was nice not to get up at 4am, it was still cold out. I didn't dare look at the temp. I knew others would be swimming so I couldn't skip out. I was so temped not to set my alarm but then I'd feel guilty ALL day.  So I gathered my stuff and clothes for running after, I knew that would help warm me up. We all arrived at the same time, except for Steve, he always starts his swims at 5:30am.

To add to the nippy temps it was windy, just my luck. We walked down to the water and I'm pretty sure it got colder! Nelle brought me some booties and gloves to wear and Leah let me borrow that special cap. I put it all on and felt like Randy from A Christmas Story, the one stuffed into his winter suit and "can't get up!"  I glanced up as Maury casually walked into the water with just his swim shorts on, see I told you he was crazy. Leah and Steve were waiting for me, they better get used to that.

Everyone started swimming and I didn't want to be left behind. Maury and Nelle were already half way across the lake! I took a deep breath and walked in. Didn't feel much with the booties on but once I got up to my waist it started leaking in my back. Pretty sure I let out a few squeaks! Once I was in I was ok, really it "wasn't that bad" I swam for 30 mins.

Now it was time to exit. The air was colder than the water but the water wasn't warm. So you get stuck in the cycle of getting up, getting cold, ducking back under. It can be endless really. But you have to overcome it and power through it! All the while I'm picturing the nice warm pool a few miles away.

I had all my stuff ready to run but I left my sneakers and socks in the car, thought it would be easier to change up there. The car was about a three minute walk up a gradual hill. That's not that far, right? I started the quick drying process so my sweats wouldn't be wet when I ran. By the time I wiped one leg, the feeling in my hands started disappearing. I moved quicker.  I got dressed and tried putting my wetsuit in the special wetsuit compartment of my triathlon specific pack. By now I couldn't work the zipper. I bet Maury was laughing inside. My teeth started chattering and my knees vibrated like a sewing machine. This is the beginning stage of hypothermia, (I know this, I was just certified in Wilderness First Aid and because it's common sense). I did my best to close my bag, grabbed my wetsuit and told Maury (who was taking his time like it was 65º out), I'd see him Wednesday (yeah right). I was wearing Crocs with no socks and my hands didn't want to touch the cold wetsuit. As I walked quickly to the car my posture started sinking as I was trying to keep myself warm. I probably looked like a chicken, hiking my feet up high, pressing my upper body towards the ground. My feet hurt so bad, but if I stopped I'd be further away from my socks. I arrived at the car and wiped my feet with a towel and tried getting socks on my damp feet, just about impossible- my hands were of no use, they simply weren't working. Steve was in the exact same boat as me. We were laughing and chattering at the same time. It probably took us 10 minutes to get our socks on! We ran for 15 minutes and kept announcing when we could feel certain parts of our feet. It was quite comical. We finished and Steve still couldn't feel his toes. Mine were that burning sensation you get in winter. Hopped in the car and cranked the heat. I'm sure Steve did the same.

I was cold for most of the day. I couldn't wait to hear what my evening workout would be, I was hoping for "just relax in the hot tub tonight Meg, you've had a pretty chilly morning". Steve emailed me at 10am. This afternoon we'll do a training tri he wrote. My jaw dropped, I've got to get back in that water?!! He's nuts!

So we did, but this time I brought my socks. The sun was out so I was thankful. I borrowed Steve's sockies. They don't go as high as booties so I knew the water would get in. But I took what I could get.

The water was the same and it wasn't windy....great. As I babied my way in the water wincing like a little kid, Steve smiled and took off. He didn't wait.

I chased him across that lake and back. Transitioned at the beach and ran to the car. We started the bike and my quads turned to ice blocks. I don't ever take my tri suit off, I just layer up over it and I'm usually fine but I'm not usually swimming when its 50º out! I couldn't pedal like I needed to. Again Steve didn't wait. Towards the end my toes went numb...awesome. We transitioned to the run together. Eventually I could feel my toes and my quads thawed out after the burning phase. I ran with a purpose and felt strong. Steve finished a few minutes behind me. I realized this might be his first triathlon. I had to get a picture of him finishing. That smile tells me he's ready for a real race!

It was his first, I was so excited to be there with him! We layered up and grabbed a quick picture.

It was a good evening, although I had been dreading it since 10am!

This doesn't make it any easier for Wednesday morning, but I will set my alarm and I will get in the water and Steve won't wait.

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