Content warning – oops, this was meant to be posted over on my IronFat.com blog. I’m not sure how it ended up here, but I’ll just post it in both places. Sorry for the repeat for those who are subscribed to both! Trigger warning for discussion of exercise, no specific times or distances are mentioned.
I’ve been enjoying open water swimming recently and this weekend I headed to the ocean to try out my new Aquatard from Swimsuits for All (full disclosure, they gave me a suit a while back to try out, I liked it so much I paid my own money for this suit, I don’t get compensated for linking to it, I just thought people might like to know where they could get one.) I bought it because I haven’t been able to find a tri suit in my size and this is one of the things I’m considering using as one. It was around 5:30pm and the beach wasn’t as crowded as I thought it would be, which was nice. Julianne and her visiting family decided to play in the water while I did my swim.
I took off and felt really strong though it was tough going for the first half – the water was a bit choppy, and there were a ton of boats outside the swim area which made it even choppier in an totally unpredictable way. It’s still a weird sensation to me to be swimming while little waves hit me in the head every few seconds, and I understand that this is nothing compared to people who swim in real waves.
Unfortunately there were lots of stand up paddle boarders and kayakers in the swim area. Despite my efforts to avoid them one of them bumped up against me trying to get over the rope that divides the swim section. I pointed out where the launch area where she wouldn’t have to deal with the rope for the way back, but she was struggling and I was afraid it would take her the entire time that she had rented the kayak for to get over there so I held the rope down so she could join her friend (whose sole contribution to the situation had been to float on the other side in his kayak and scream “PADDLE!”) and wished her well.
As I turned around and headed back I’m pretty sure the tide was coming in because the ocean was trying to push me back onto the beach. My sighting left much to be desired – I knew I was drifting but then I heard a conversation on one of my breaths and thought “What are people doing out here?” Turns out they were hanging out in the shallows and I should maybe take another less in sighting.
Maybe writing about my perceived personal rain cloud was tempting the whatever from high atop the thing, because I suddenly felt an odd sensation – I picked my head up and realized that it had started to rain – sprinkle, really but this is Southern California so people were freaking out and engaging in a mass exodus. This become more comical a couple of minutes later when it started POURING down rain and people began to run from the beach like they might melt (and to be fair there’s no way to know if you will since there’s never rain here.)
On another breath I heard a stand up paddle boarders scream “Oh my god I’m getting soaked” that would be something that I would assume was well within the realm of possibilities were I balancing on a piece of plastic in the middle of the ocean, but I imagine people who have some skill can expect that they will stay dry the whole time.
And lest you think that I’m immune to questionable behavior in the face of precipitation, I started to ask myself questions like “Does rain bring toothy sea creatures to the surface?” And “am I going to be hit by lightening?” It definitely put the proverbial spring in my metaphorical step and I finished the swim in a respectable time.
As we drove away Southern Californians were being Southern Californians in a way that made me smile – people beeping every few seconds and turning on the hazard lights to make sure that… I’m not sure actually but it’s adorable though Julianne’s relatives who were visiting from Montana were less than impressed with our inability to handle…really any weather at all.
The new suit passed the test, sort of. I don’t love swimming in the aquatard, it’s a bit of the vague discomfort of a wetsuit without the speed and buoyancy benefits, but it may well work if I had to bike and then run after this. And I think has more drag than a regular suit which, if it’s true, makes it a helpful training tool.
Workout selfie and post workout “look at this rain!” picture