First Open-Water Swim of the Season

My first race is in twenty-three days. It’s the only triathlon I’m doing as a solo entrant this year. (I’m riding the bike leg of Titanium Man.) Race the River was my only race with an OWS in which the swim went well: no panicking, no back-stroking. I wasn’t the last person out of the water. All this, despite the fact I was freaked out by the wind chop and swell on Lake Coeur d’Alene and almost didn’t start (this was six weeks after a horrible swim and a horrible race at Pine Hollow), and I was in a swim scrum – something that has never happened to me – and I was kicked in the chest and swam over.

Because RtR went so well, it’s put me in an odd spot: I don’t want to set my expectations too high. I’ll be happy if I have another good swim and I save enough leg to actually run this time. So I’m trying to keep my expectations in check while also trying to stay motivated.

Which takes us to the swim. I still hadn’t been in the river. I was supposed to do an OWS last Saturday, but it was a hectic day. I had a sigmoidoscopy on Monday, and I was told “no strenuous activity” for three days – the doctor was unpersuaded by my claim that running, cycling, and swimming are not strenuous when I do them. I went for a short interval run Thursday morning, and set my sights on getting in the river in the evening.

My plan was to just get into the water and practice rolling and breathing; if that felt good, try some strokes. Within a few moments of putting my face in the water and breathing, I decided to try a few strokes. It felt really good.

I only swam for about five minutes. I was tempted to keep going, but it was already after six and I wanted to get home. I was really happy, though. In fact, I intend to head back to the river again this afternoon for a longer swim.

I still have work to do. I lost a few weeks to the Bad Cold, and it took at least a week before I could get through a full workout. And then I lost four days to the sigmoidoscopy (including prep, it’s more like 4 & a half). I’ve only done one Brick workout, but I can do one any evening I commute home on the bike.

I’m feeling confident. Let’s keep that going!

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