Saturday, August 15, 2009

Uh Oh

I had a minor... "incident" in the ocean today.

I was sick yesterday, took a half day off from work, but I thought I was feeling fine. My Tri-Team had a dress-rehearsal for next month's Nautica Malibu Tri. Malibu is on the same day as Ironman Wisconsin so I can't do the race this year, but I think that ocean swimming is excellent training so I wanted to join them.

The water was pretty cold. Not Coeur d'Alene cold, but enough to trigger my Idaho reflex and start thinking "oh no, what if Wisconsin is cold like this? I can't go through that again!" Although the surf itself was pretty calm, once we got past the breakers it was kind of choppy. Between the cold and the ocean swells and being sick, I was starting to feel a little light-headed and dizzy. I stopped swimming and took off my goggles; that was a mistake. By removing the lenses, the focus on my eyes changed suddenly and that made me even dizzier. It was like that dramatic film effect when they change the depth of field on the camera.

I just sat there in the water for a bit and watched the pack swim away from me. I was dizzy and thinking "oh my God, what am I doing here? I don't know how to swim, what if I black out in the middle of the ocean? What if I feel like this in Wisconsin?" It didn't take me too long to decide "I don't need this" and start heading back to shore. When we do large group swims, we have the L.A. County lifeguards come out and assist us and they are very, very good. Within about 10 seconds of me turning around a lifeguard on a surfboard came up to me and asked "are you OK?"

Now that's a pretty complicated question, isn't it? I'm doing an Ironman in a month and I can't swim 3 minutes without freaking out so no, Mr. Lifeguard, I am NOT OK. I may not be a great swimmer, but I am experienced enough to know that I wasn't in any real physical danger; I had a little mental breakdown but as soon as I decided to end the swim I felt much better.

So I'm really hoping my little issue was just a result of me being sick because it certainly wasn't much of a confidence boost..


Blogger Not Quite Lightning McQueen said...

I didn't realize you were hurting that much out there. You looked good when you were next to me if thats any consolation!

10:12 AM  

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