Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Nylon Wedgie

In spite of my early "issues" wearing wetsuits, (Issue 1, Issue 2) I am happy to say I am completely comfortable prancing along the beach in a wetsuit these days. However, I have a new dilemma to face for my two upcoming Hawaii races.

Pretty much every open-water swim I've ever done has been in water below 70 degrees (some below 60) and I've worn my cozy wetsuit for them. The Hawaii swims should be in the upper 70s, which means wetsuits aren't allowed. Here's the problem: I don't like being shirtless. Other people don't like me being shirtless either, so it's fair. All of my Disney tops are bike jerseys, which are no good for swimming. There is one option: at the Hawaii half, they DO allow "speed suits". These are very thin suits like you'll see during the Olympics. I was thinking about getting one, but I was right on the border of the sizing charts between small & medium and wasn't sure which size to get.

You remember our team swim coach Steve?

Well Steve has a medium speed suit that he brought to one of our team meetings to let me try on. Oh. My. God. These things are TIGHT. The best way I can describe it is that it feels like being shrink-wrapped in a Hefty bag. And here's the thing: people think we look funny in wetsuits, but the reality of the wetsuit is that the thick material smooths out a lot of bodily imperfections. So yes, at the beach I think I look better in a wetsuit than out of one. The speed suit, in contrast, clings to every imperfection and exaggerates them. I do think the white socks really make the outfit though.

So needless to say I am skipping the speed suit and will just wear my tri shorts for the swim. If nothing else, it's one less thing to pack. I still find it hard to wrap my head around the idea of swimming in ocean water that warm, but it will be a welcome change.


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