Monday, August 26, 2013

Swimming in a Fog

A goal of mine is to become comfortable ocean swimming.
Living in Southern California, there are a lot of triathlons which involve ocean swimming.
I signed up for one earlier this year, but the waves were so HUGE that at the last minute I switched from the triathlon to the duathlon.
The waves weren't this big, but they may as well have been.
(FYI - Lots of other people also switched and many who didn't switch were rescued by the lifeguards)
I want to be comfortable and skilled enough in the ocean to be able to event in a triathlon that involves ocean swimming.
I have lake swimming down.
Fish don't bother me.
Lake weeds don't freak me out.
Spying the occasional shoe, umbrella or beer bottle at the bottom of the lake no longer sends me into a state of panic.
I think becoming comfortable with open water swimming is just doing a lot of it.
In Open Water.
A couple of years ago swimming at Bay Shore freaked me out.
After swimming here so many times, it now feels like a nice swim in salty water.
So I am pretty comfortable swimming in this ocean water, and it is water from the ocean, even though you can't see the ocean since it is a bay.
But you get the idea - it's ocean water.
So the next step is to actually swim, not freak, in the ocean.
Last year, I went to a beginner "meet-up" and swam for a bit with a group at Seal Beach.
I think I was the only beginner.
It was okay, but I cut my workout short because they were SWIMMING and I was working on just being in the water.
Yesterday was round two.
No "meet-up".
Just my guy, and some Triathlon Connection friends.
This wasn't Sunday, August 25 - our day was a little gloomy and the sun was not out.
There were NO waves!
The water temperature was pretty nice.
We swam along the pier until we got even with the pier lifeguard tower and then swam left toward the jetty.
Everybody took off swimming.
Of course, since I am the slowest swimmer, I quickly was at the back of the pack, though my guy stayed with me.
We swam along and I kept trying to sight off the jetty, but it was disappearing.
My goggles were fogging up.
Only, it wasn't my goggles.
It was the air.
Within a short period of time I couldn't see the jetty, or the pier. I could make out the beach and I swam toward it.
This is a stock photo, but this is kind of how it looked.
I couldn't see any of my TC friends, but I did see a Stand-up paddle-boarder go by. He kind of looked like this, even tough he was closer.
I told Robert that I hoped our friends would be okay and be able to see their way clear to find their way back because it was socked in with fog.
Robert and I swam toward shore.
We were pretty close in and I put my foot down.
That's when I stepped on something squishy.
I squealed and quickly picked my feet up.
Robert said it was probably a stingray.
The stingray is hiding in the sand.
We decided we could still swim using the sandy beach to sight on. We were swimming not too far off from the shoreline and luckily there weren't any waves. The water was swirly though.
After about 30 minutes I was done.
We got out and waited for our friends.
Next time I go for swim at the beach and it is foggy, I am going for a run.

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