Tuesday, April 19, 2016

51 Degrees!

51 degree water is cold.

51 degree water is cold, even with a wetsuit on.

51 degree water is cold even with a wetsuit on and makes your face hurt.

51 degree water is cold even with a wetsuit on, makes your face hurt and makes it hard to breath the way you are supposed to when swimming.

51 degree water is cold.

Last year, about this same time of year, my husband and a bunch of friends went to Foster Lake for an open water swim.  Three out of the four crazies were getting ready for Ironman events the following summer.  They came back with stories of how cold it was, how much it hurt their skin and how hard it was.  I was so impressed and thought there is no way anyone is every going to get me to do something like that.  They are crazy!

Well, looks like I've joined the crazy club.

I have my first triathlon next month that has an open water swim.  Probably a good idea to practise before the event, right?
Green Peter Lake
Here's a bunch of crazy people!!  We are still smiling so this was before we got in the water! lol
We headed up to a local lake called Green Peter.  I did an open water swim last summer and it was cold but I had fun.  I wasn't worried about swimming in a lake.  I was worried about how I would handle the cold.I didn't handle it very well.

I think it took me a good 10 minutes before I could even get a couple of strokes done with my face down in the water without stopping.  It was so cold that it made my face hurt and then I couldn't blow out my breath the way I'm supposed to because my body would just panic and I would have to pull my face out of the water.  It was so frustrating!

Brain:  Just put your face down and blow bubbles!
Body:  Owwww! Nope!
Brain:  Try again, we have to make this work.
Body:  Really? Are you kidding me?
Brain:  Seriously, keep at it.
Body:  You are CRAZY!
Brain:  It will get better, keep trying.
Body:  It hurts!  I don't want to do this!!!
Brian:  We have a race coming up so suck it up, we have to figure this out!
Body:  Ugh!!  Okay, it's getting a tiny bit better.  But you do realize this is the stupidest thing we have every done, right?
Brain:  I know!  But it will be worth it...I think.  :-)

Everything on me did pretty well handling the cold....except my face.  Think Ice Cream headache every single time I put my face in the water.  Every. Single. Time.

I got very frustrated that I couldn't make it work better and had to keep stopping.  I was last, as usual and seemed to be the only one struggling.  Frustration and comparison.  Those two things do not make things go well for me on the mental side of things.

Luckily I'm also stubborn.

I wanted to quit.  I wanted to just go back to where we had started and say, "Never mind, I don't really want to do anymore triathlons!"  I wanted to just doggie paddle or do the backstroke.  I wanted to give up.

But I didn't.

That's the win.  I kept trying.

Every time I started swimming again I got a few more strokes done before I had to stop.

So I had some tears about how I did and it's taking me a bit to get over my frustration with the swim.  But I am getting over it and am determined to not let the frustration stop me.  I have worked to hard to stop now!!

Here's a couple of funny things from the swim.   First, fellow athlete Mike lets us all know that the current temperature of the lake is four degrees COLDER than the temperature of the Pacific Ocean on the Oregon coast.  If you have ever been to the Pacific Ocean on the Oregon coast you know that it is numbingly cold.  No wonder my face hurt!!

I told my coach that I would have to make sure I told the kids at my school that so they would have a proper appreciation for how cold the water was.  Later in the day I got the following text from Jon:
Ha!!  Good thing I was wearing a wetsuit!!!  And a special hood.  And booties.

My hands never were bothered by the cold.  It was literally only my face that was the problem.  We have some ideas on how to help with that, maybe.  Which is why it's good to do these things before an event.  Problem solving before the event instead of after.  :-)  The plan is to try and put a layer of vaseline on my face, especially my forehead.  Maybe the small layer will be enough of a buffer to take the edge off of the Ice Cream headache.  We shall see.

After the swim we changed into our biking gear and headed out for a bike ride around the lake.  I was riding alone, which is normal since I can't ever keep up with anyone.  Doesn't seem to matter what the activity is, I'm the slow one.  I really need to find some slower friends!  ;-)

The ride was hilly which is good practise for the Oregon Dunes Tri that is coming up.  I was a little crunched for time because I needed to get home to get my daughter to a driver's ed class so I was only planning to ride for an hour.  So I was going to do an out and back and try and be aware of hills and how long it might take me to come back.

I had done my first hilly ride the week before on a local road that has a lot of ups and downs.  I was nervous about it but I did it without stopping and having to walk my bike at all so I am feeling more confident about hills.  Rolling hills anyway, not super steep straight up ones yet.
First hill ride!  No walking.  :-)
At one point I had gone down a hill for about a mile and it was still going down.  I was worried about how long it would take me to get back up that hill coming back.  I hadn't been riding for 30 minutes yet but I decided to turn around and head back because I thought it would take me forever to get back up that hill.  I had come down a mile.  I had to go back up for a mile.  Now, it wasn't super steep but it wasn't an easy slope either.  I had to work.  But I got up that hill WAY faster than I thought I would.  Evidently I should have gone 30 minutes before turning around.  I ended up being back to the parking lot in 46 minutes.
Hill ride around Green Peter.  :-)
Guess I should have a little more confidence in myself.  :-)

I went up two really long hills and didn't have to stop and walk my bike.  It was nice to have that confidence booster after how frustrated I got on the swim.

I headed for home.  When I got home it was still an hour before Meighan had to be at her driving lesson so I headed out for my short run.

I was only supposed to do 30 minutes.  It was more of a walk/run because it was hot and my legs felt like they were full of lead.  Again, the win was that I even went because I really didn't want to go at all.  It would have been easy to just skip it.  But I didn't.  I sucked it up and got it done.

Then before I took Meighan to her class I unloaded the car, sprayed down the wetsuits, hoods and booties, and started a load of laundry.  :-)

That was a busy, busy, busy day!!!

As always there is a lot to work on but there are a lot of really things going on.  So I'm going to work on getting better about swimming in cold water.  :-)  And I'm going to work at getting stronger at the rest.  And do my very best at everything I'm doing, which may look different on different days but it's what I got.  :-)

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