Saturday, July 11, 2009

We Are Like '80s Triathletes

This morning I met Laura and Jen so that the three of us could head to Coney Island for an open water swim. Because we wouldn't have anyone to watch our stuff, I really took the bare bones and toted all my stuff around in a brown paper bag from Whole Foods (just in case anything was stolen, I wouldn't lose a lot).

The three of us met at Laura's before heading out there. She had suggested that we should all wear brightly-colored swim caps so we would be easy to spot in the water. Since I own a black swim cap and I threw away the white one I used at Staten Island, I needed to borrow one from Laura. She had a neon pink one for me to wear, which definitely fulfilled the brightly-colored requirement.

We got on the train and headed out to the end of Brooklyn. Once we got there, we headed toward the water and set all of our stuff down on the beach and started to get suited up. I had applied Body Glide before leaving my apartment and I'm sure that some of it came off along the way, but I really didn't have any problems getting my wetsuit on. Jen had brought a neon yellow swim cap and Laura had a neon green one. The three of us together reminded me of some sort of bad '80s exercise video with the neon swim caps.

Once we were all suited and capped up, we headed into the water. It was definitely not as cold as I had remembered it being, but the waves were really significant. The last time I was there it was pretty much like swimming in a (very cold) lake. Today, not so much.

We headed out further into the water,about half-way down the jetty. We all just stayed there treading water for a few minutes saying, "OK" but didn't do anything. Finally I said I would countdown from 5 to get us going. And on 1, we all went. It never ceases to surprise me when that actually works. It always still feels a bit to me like we're kids and it's all a trick.

The distance between the jettys is .10 miles. Laura was in disbelief about the distance when we were at one end looking at how far we had to swim, but after swimming there and seeing the time on her watch, she believed me. I don't think that gmap pedometer has lied to me yet, and I guess this proved the point.

We all swam there and back (0.2 miles). Swimming there wasn't too bad because the waves were coming from the left, so it was easy to breathe on the right. Swimming back was another story. Although it was really good practice for breathing on the left. Otherwise the result was a mouthful of water. After the first 0.2 miles, Laura said that she had a sidestitch and was going to rest while Jen and I kept swimming.

Jen and I did another 0.2 miles. On the way there, I started having some goggle issues. Mostly that the right goggle was leaking just a tiny bit. I know that some people actually keep a little bit of water in their goggles to prevent fogging, but I am not one of those people. I think that part of the goggle problem was due to the fact that the waves kept hitting my face and jostling them out of position. I stopped, tried to suction them back into my eye socket as best as I could and kept swimming.

After Jen and I finished that leg, Laura came back and joined us for another 0.2 miles. Half-way through that leg, I realized that I wasn't feeling 100% because of all the salt water that I had swallowed and all I wanted to do was get out and have drink of fresh water. When we finished that part up, I told the girls that I needed to get a drink and that they should keep swimming. I think we had all reached our limits, however. We all ended up getting out of the water and getting something to drink. Once we were out of the water, we realized that we had had enough for one day.

I ended up swimming 0.6 miles in 26:04. Slower than my normal (pool) mile pace, but still fairly good, I thought, considering it was open water with waves! We celebrated our triumph over the waves with Nathan's hot dogs. After all, what's a trip to Coney Island without a hot dog?

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