Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Shores to Cove and back

This was posted to the list on Tuesday Apr 21, 2009 10:19 p

Re: [TCSD] Shores to Cove and back @ 5PM Tuesday (today)

WARNING: This is yet another in my series of newbie "first time ever" reports.

When I arrived at the Shores, I couldn't believe my luck: It looked like Mission Bay, only, well, way bigger. Light wind, tiny waves, minimal swell. I couldn't have asked for better conditions for my first long, round trip, solo ocean swim.

The hardest part for me was the exit and entry at the Cove after swimming from the Shores, which I suppose was due to swimming into the mild wind and slight swell the whole way out. The trip back to the Shores seemed so much faster, despite my being more tired. I'm very glad I chose to start at the Shores, rather than at the Cove! (That choice was based on parking, not ocean conditions.)

It was surprisingly difficult to keep my stroke consistent toward the end: Though my muscles hardly felt tired, it took all my focus to keep my stroke smooth, consistent and efficient. During the last 500 yards, each time I spotted it felt like I forgot how to swim, and I had to refocus all over again.

Not surprisingly, it seems my main limitation was mental, not physical!

My Garmin 305 says I swam 1.84 miles (3238 yards) in 72 minutes, and that includes about a minute of rest at the Cove before starting back. Which, if I have my math right, is an average speed of 2:13 per 100 yards.

That number is within a few seconds of my average speed in the last club tri. And the one before. I suspect I may have just one speed in the water.

Considering I was a non-swimmer 7 months ago, I'm totally amazed. Ocean swimming is not something I had ever imagined I'd want to do, much less be good at, and, most crazy of all, become totally addicted to.

Thanks to Bobbie Solomon for the 1-on-1 coaching, to Jonathan (and The Steves) Beginner Swim every Thursday, and to Jim Vance (at the BYOC Bobbie organized last Fall). I'd also like to thank DeSoto, AquaSphere and Garmin.

And the Academy. Gotta thank the Academy. Which, in this case, is TCSD. I never could have imagined finding such a fantastic club, with so many great members, dedicated volunteers, and supportive sponsors. You inspire me.

It's not just about learning and doing something new: It's more central than that. It feels like I've discovered a new part of myself. Yeah, it feels THAT good!

Is this part of that "Triathlon Lifestyle" thingy everyone keeps talking about?

Or is this just (yawn) more of the same stuff every tri newbie goes through?


PS: Though I have yet to read a concise definition of the phrase "Triathlon Lifestyle", I'm beginning to suspect Buck is right: It is actually a synonym for a form of OCD. Which means I should be looking in the DSM IV, right?

My doppelganger wrote:
> I'm thinking of beating the heat by doing a long swim at a steady pace
> (45 minute miles), from La Jolla Shores to La Jolla Cove and back (with
> a short rest at the Cove).
> Anyone want to join me?
> This will be my first round-trip, though I know I'm good for the
> distance. If I've overestimated my stamina, I'll simply take a cab back
> from the Cove.
> If the waves look too big, or if the Cove surf is nasty, I'll do the
> distance closer to the Shores (laps to the buoys).
> I intend to be in the water at La Jolla Shores between 5 and 5:30.
> I usually enter the water just near the Shores boat/kayak ramp, and I'm
> easy to spot: I'm the only guy I know who wears a PINK swimcap.
> I'll be away from email, so please text me at 619-xxx-xxxx or send a
> short email to 619xxxxxxx -at- messaging -dot- sprintpcs -dot- com if
> you think you'll be there.
> Just thinking about it makes me feel cooler already...
> -BobC

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