Thursday, February 02, 2012

Re-taking the plunge

The last time I went swimming I got bloodied up by some coral while chilling with a sea turtle in Hawaii to watch Steve & Gary's race. My last actual swim workout may have been my own pre-Kona training, 2010. So I haven't been in the water much but took the plunge again this week.

I have certain policies when it comes to my swimwear: for casual events, or any time I will be with people who are not on the tri team, I'll wear your basic bathing suit. They aren't quite full board shorts, but are fairly modest. For tri team workouts, I wear jammers. Yes, they are spandex but they still offer quite a bit of coverage. When I swim laps by myself, when no one is around, I'll wear a speedo. Sorry for putting that image in your head.

Here's the problem: I've put on quite a bit of weight over the past year. And although I knew I would be alone in the pool, even I couldn't stand the thought of seeing myself in a speedo. Or even jammers. So I stuck with the traditional bathing suit. I forgot just how much drag those things cause when you do real swimming in them. Every few laps I felt like I had to pull them back up to my waist. I know you can buy water-parachutes for your swim workouts but maybe these shorts were doing the same trick.

There was another problem with my workout. My condo building has a 25-yard lap lane in one of its pools which is incredibly convenient for me. Unfortunately, I essentially live in a retirement home and all the little old ladies who go to the board meetings want to make sure the pools are kept nice and warm. My lap pool was 86 degrees. To put some perspective on that, the average water temperature at Kona, which boasts a beautiful warm swim, is 80 degrees. 86 is more like a bath. And you do NOT want to workout in your bathtub. My arms and shoulders felt fine for the entire swim, but I was just exhausted from the heat. We all know what it's like to have the heat suck all the energy out of you during a run, but it's a very odd feeling for it to happen in a swim.

I'm hoping they turned off the heaters and the pool will cool down over the next few days/weeks. Then I can go back down, probably in my jammers, and try again.


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