Saturday, June 9, 2012

First Swim Race! (Fail)

My first swim race shirt :3
I toed the line for the 62nd Huntington Beach Pier Swim this morning at 8:45.  I was pretty nervous looking at the much more sizable (okay, really just, "in existence") waves at the north and south side of Huntington Beach Pier. 

Also of concern, the temperature.  It was 62 degrees that morning, but thankfully the water temps was actually higher than the air temp and not an issue at all.

The biggest problem for me, though, was navigating through the waves.  The half mile distance is not so bad since I was swimming upwards to 1 mile in practice, but for the last two months, this has mainly been in very very cooperative waters of Corona Del Mar State Beach and a very not surfy Santa Cruz Main Beach.  I stood there for about half an hour staring at the waves, trying to find an "in" to navigation, but was mostly numbed by the terror of the surfs themselves.

Uh oh... wtf are those? (What, WAVES?!)
The start was basically the extent of the race for me.  I got in the water, waded for a bit, dove under probably eight or nine medium sized (looked like 15 feet to me, but probably mostly 3-4 footers and one or two 5 foot waves) when I finally told the lifeguard (who lucky for me decided to hang out with me) that I was calling it quits.  I made barely any forward progress whilst swimming and could not face the certainty that I would have to navigate at least one more breaker going out and a whole bunch of crashing surf on the way back.  I got maybe 1/5 of the way through the race. ;_;

The rescue itself was kind of amusing now that I'm thinking back to it.  The lifeguard handed me the orange rescue flotation device, and I got knocked off of it through a crash (but I hung onto the rope for life!) and he scolded me for letting go, then apparently I was holding onto it the wrong way... all while I was trying not to get strangled by the rope connecting him to the flotation device, and finally two more life guards on a jet ski came around and I got on board for the short and ungracious ride back to the beach before they went back to to do their job.

Crossing the fantasy of getting rescued by hot lifeguards off my list.  One because I did not actually notice if any of them were hot since I was busy being saved, and two, the romance is out when you get dropped off with no good night kiss (just kidding!)  Lucky for me they were there, and I was thankful I did not have to flail/swim back instead.

Discouraging, indeed.  Two people consoled me back on the beach but I still felt quite deflated.

I will have to change my training strategy if I am to succeed at the Tiki Swim (also has a beach rough water start).  One is to swim faster, and two, to actually swim at Huntington Beach to navigate the waves.  I was not actually SINKING before I asked for the rescue, but it was evident to everyone that I was not actually moving forwards and the waves (as small as they were) terrified me.  I would have to get a lot more comfortable rough waters....

1 comment:

  1. Hi. You entitled your post "First Race (Fail)" and I must correct you. You did it while most of the town was sleeping. Look at my swim blog and you'll see that I close each post with the saying, "The first time you quit is the last time you try." You are most definitely not failing at anything. The reason I saw your blog is that I was looking for reports on the Tiki Swim. I swim Oceanside.