I’ll just doggie paddle

So…Remember when I was all cocky confident about this sprint triathlon?  It’s creeping up on me, in two weeks, and I’m having some last minute panic.

Over the weekend I had a wetsuit in my possession.  It was a three day rental and I only used it one out of the three days.  Bad, bad, bad, should have taken more advantage of the wetsuit rental.  On Monday, I first put it on while I was putting away groceries.  I thought that would help get me used to how it feels to move around in it.  It was so uncomfortable, it was strangling me, I started to think maybe I could brave the cold water instead.

Then the mister and I went to the race site.  The race site is obviously the best place to practice, right?  Nope, the race site was stupid.  I stood on the shoreline with my feet ankle deep in the water and observed my surroundings.  Other beach goers were standing just knee deep in the water, way, way, waaaaay out there.  What the?  I can’t swim in that?

I get on the web on my iPhone to double check that I’m at the right place, yes, unfortunately I am.  Apparently I’m not swimming in this tri, I’m just going to run the swim portion in knee-deep water.

Frustrated, I left the beach without even attempting to squeeze and squirm into the wetsuit.  My husband was also frustrated and didn’t understand why I was being so stubborn.  After a few minutes of bickering and sun burning we headed to a different beach where it’s deep enough to swim in.

There I had no qualms about it.  I got right in, well, after a struggle to get my booty into the wetsuit.  I was grunting, “EErrRrr..EErrRrrr

“Do you really have to grunt so loud? People are looking”

YOU TRY TO GET INTO THIS THING!”

Sun burn makes a happy couple a crabby, bickering couple.

I practiced swimming into the large, ferocious tsunami-like waves of Lake Monona.  I tried swimming parallel to the waves, and back to the shore.  It’s haaarrrrd.  The waves ate me alive.  My heart beat was erratic.  I doggie paddled.

Then I practiced busting out of the wetsuit and hustling my wet feet into socks and shoes.  My husband timed me, I did it twice in just under two minutes.  Three little lessons I learned from this experience:

1.  Put my shorts on before my shoes during transition

2.  Untie my shoelaces before the race so I’m not wasting time untying laces in transition

3.  Wear sun block and laugh at everything

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14 thoughts on “I’ll just doggie paddle

  1. I’m terrified of lake swims! I did my first sprint tri in an inland-FL lake and immediately panicked…and did the backstroke to get through it. (I wasn’t the only one either!) Perhaps your experience this weekend got all of that out of the way & you’ll be all set come race day – and if not, do whatever you need to get through the swim leg & kick ass on the bike & run!

  2. Are you not swimming in your shorts? You might want to try swimming with your bike shorts on already so you don’t have to struggle puttin ghtme on when you’re all wet. Also, when setting up your transition put your socks on and then roll them off towards the toes. Then at transition you just stick them on your toes and roll them up. For your shoes try and find some yank-z or other elastic shoe laces then you won’t have to try to tie your shoes or worry about them coming untied while you run.

    Good Luck!! and most importantly, HAVE FUN!!!

  3. I was going to ask that question also about the shorts. Everyone has told me if I chose to wear a wetsuit then I should have tri-shorts and the top under the wetsuit. I think this will be fun….if you let it be fun.

  4. Looks like you already got great advice! As we discussed on Twitter, it might be better to wear shorts/capris under your wetsuit, but that’s your call. Whichever you do, practice before the tri if you can. I sent you a link about panicking in the water…basically good advice is to count strokes. I need to remember that one myself! You’re going to do fine!

  5. I feel fortunate that I live in the brutal heat of TX only because I’ve done 3 tri’s and have never had to do the wet suit thing. It sounds like you’re doing all the right things getting accustomed to the wet suit, practicing in the open water, and going through the transition. You’re going to do AWESOME I know it!!

  6. Steena…use grocery store bags and LOADS of glide to get that bad boy on…put the glide on (and I do mean apply with reckless abandonment) your calves/shins and your forearms…put the grocery bags (plastic not paper …just incase) around 1 foot and slip in your suit (it will go right in). Put the bag on the other foot and repeat. Pull it up like panty hose, then put the bag around your hand and slide it through the suit, repeat. The glide will help with removal. Don’t be gentle…rip the damn thing off (most people are too gentle w/ it) to your ankles then step on it and yank 1 foot out then the other…practice getting in and out at home…you should be able to get out while putting on your helmet…abt 20-30 secs. definitly wear a tri suit/bike shorts UNDER the wetsuit so you don’t have to worry about clothing….consider cycling w/o socks then if your need socks to run put them on in T2…you may be able to run w/o them since its a sprint…Most importantly…HAVE FUN !!!!!!!

    • Wow, thanks for the advice! I’m beginning to see the importance of bodyglide! I’ve also heard spray Pam is good, might be less expensive than buckets of bodyglide. Will have fun, thank you!

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