Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Swimming naked at Del Valle

Okay, I wasn't actually naked. But I had no wetsuit. I did this on purpose because the water temps at Johnson Beach were recorded at 78 F and that means no wetsuits for racing. I decided that my first time in open water without a wetsuit should probably not be on race day so I needed to practice.

When I got to Del Valle on Sunday, the water temp was listed as 78 F just as it had been a few days before at Johnson Beach so I decided to give it a whirl.

At first, I felt so great to be without a wetsuit. My arms felt free and I could feel the water all over me and it felt great. Then I got out of the protected boat launch and into the lake and all that changed. First, I felt more like a cork bobbing up and down in the water than a sleek swimming cutting through the water. Second, every time I lifted my head to sight instead of breath, I sunk like a stone!

It took me a full 30 minutes to get to the turn around point for the 1.2 mile swim and I was not a happy camper. It was not as bad going back because the current was with us but it still took me another 30 minutes. So the entire distance took me 15 min. longer than usual, which is a LOT of time! However, my Garmin said I swam 1.4 miles, not 1.2 and I did head straight out for the buoy and then across the lake when I normally angle out. But still...

Luckily, Johnson's Beach is now reading a nice 73 F and it's unlikely it will get over 76.1 (the cutoff) before Sunday when my race is. I may try swimming there sans wetsuit on Saturday just for grins and a short warm-up prior to the race, but I'm in less of a panic about the whole thing than I was last Sunday.
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