At the beginning of this little adventure I had a goal of doing a small local triathlon, but due to the injuries to my heel/ankle I have been unable to run, that little fact makes doing a triathlon somewhat difficult. However a couple weeks ago while on the triathlon event website I noticed an “Aquabike” option, no this is not some kind of floating bike, this is basically a biathlon, you swim and you bike and then you’re done, no running! Hallelujah, pass the ammunition! I signed up for the “Mini” which was a 250m swim and 7 mile bike ride. I really wanted to do the “Sprint” distance, and while the 14 mile bike ride wouldn’t be a problem, I wasn’t sure I could do the 750m swim. I reminded myself that doing something was better than doing nothing.
I told MK about my decision to do “something” she seemed pretty pleased with this, but then gave me some disturbing news; she was told that due to the cold weather we should get wetsuits for this event! WHAT?! WHY?! < Insert momentary panic here>. While I’m down about 30 pounds I still had visions of sausage links when thinking about packing this mess into full body neoprene. I mean come on; do they even make wetsuits for people my size? I guess we’ll find out.
A shopping trip ensued. MK was able to get her wetsuit at the local retailer; she opted for a full sleeve model. I was pretty sure that I wanted a sleeveless model; I didn’t think I’d do well with the tightness across my shoulders. Not that it mattered, the largest they had was a women’s medium…yea, that’s not gonna happen! So I ordered mine online. As is usually the case for me and my size, I had to get a men’s size. After mine arrived I tried it one and found out that it wasn’t quit as bad as I had thought it would be, in fact I think I could have gone a size smaller.
The next day MK and I returned to the lake for an early morning
open water swim. And this proved to be epic! Obviously the main point of these body compressors is to keep you warm, and they do. When we first got in the water it was great, then you get deep enough for the water to get above the zipper line and the water comes in. I guess you could say its cold, shocking even. But the shock of a little cold water was outweighed by the fact that you float! I had read that a wet suit would add “some” buoyancy, but I never expected what we got. You can’t sink! Well I suppose you can if you really try, but it’s SO easy to tread water. Any and all anxiety I had about an open water swim was gone! In fact we literally just bobbed around for a while laughing and being angry that no one told us about this earlier!
Time to swim, MK has signed up for the Olympic distance event, 1500m swim, 28 mile bike and 10k run. There are no distance markers at the lake, but MK has that fancy Garmin watch and so we measured out about 250m. We swam that I felt ok, which was good. After a brief discussion with MK I decided to see if I could swim 750m and potentially do the Sprint distance. Three laps, that’s all I needed, I found that swimming is like biking, there comes a point where I really relax and just go, before I knew it I hadn’t done three laps, I had done four. My first 1000m swim and in open water. It was slow, but who cares?!
A few emails later and I was signed up for the Sprint distance event!