What a weekend! My weekend started early when my normal Thursday night swim lesson was moved to Friday afternoon for a transition lesson. The email from my AMAZING Coach Ali asked if I was up for transition training at the lake? Well, I read are you up for transition training. I guess the part of your brain that tells you to avoid danger just skipped over the part about "the lake". So a few text messages later, I realize I am at the pool and Ali is at the lake. I throw Pinky (my bike) back on the car and head over to the lake. Luckily they are very close and it was probably a good thing that I did not have all week to manifest all of the dangers that lurk in "scary Lake Mission Viejo". I probably would have found another excuse (see Weather Weenie posting) and backed out. I have never swam in a lake. I have spent summers in Lake Huron as a kid, but never really swam in a lake.
So we ditch the bike due to mechanical issues and decide that we are going to swim and run. The swim area is buoyed off and Ali tells me that we are going to run in and swim the perimeter of the roped off area, run up to our "transition area" put on our shoes and run around the park. Okay I can do this, I tell myself. Since I don't have proper tri attire yet, I am in a swim suit and I start to run into the water and I take about 5 steps. DAMN! This water is cold, my legs are aching in pain the water is so cold. Ali tells me to just jump in "you will get use to it". I am not an "just jump in" kind-of-girl and never have been. You can ask my Mom, but that is a whole different Oprah! I am frozen, literally can't move. Ali tells me to get out and try it again, so I do. This time I get in and start to doggie paddle (I really don't want to put my head in the water) and get acclimated to the water. I put my head in and pop right up.
"I forgot how to swim" I tell Ali. She laughs, "What?"
"Really, I don't know what to do and it is really dark down there!"
We have practiced swimming with our eyes closed at the pool, but nothing can prepare you for looking into that murky water.
I doggie paddle to the first buoy just to give myself a chance to calm my breath and get more comfortable in the water. The cold water takes your breath away and makes it much more difficult to get into a breathing rhythm. I swim a few strokes, doggie paddle a few strokes, pretty much the entire 300-400 yards. But I made it! We get out of the water run up to our transition station. Brush the sand off our feet and run around the park at the lake. Let me tell you, running in a swim suit will give any woman a complex about her thighs! I am sure the residents chilling on the beach will have fascinating dinner conversation.
We do this exercise 2 more times, each time the swim gets better. Not good, but better. I had a small hiccup when I started to imagine swallowing water that the fishes poop in. Fish freak me out. Any animal that eats and poops in the same water grosses me out and now I AM DRINKING IT!!! I push this thought out of my head. My form went out the window, I was in survival mode AND I swear a duck was mocking me. But besides that, I did an okay job considering it was my first time out. The sand in my shoes gave my feet a great exfoliation and I left the lake very proud of myself. I am so happy we did it and I will definitely need more lake practice before the actual race.
The following night I had a dream that I was on my bike and it was pitch black outside. I was trying to cross the lake on a very narrow wood plank bridge, but I was so dark I couldn't see where I was going. Every once in awhile I would veer of the bridge and have to ride over slippery rocks. The whole time I was being chase by the lake guards. Hmmmm...
Saturday was a beautiful sunny day in Southern California. We had a 46 mile training ride and I have to admit, I was off my game. My legs were toast from the week of training. Two leg sessions at boot camp, a 20 mile ride and the lake swim the day before did me no favors. There is no such thing as a bad day on the bike, but this was not a great performance. I was bummed to see that my leg recovery has not improved. I am still open to suggestions!