Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Open Water Swim

Call me a chicken. Call me a fool. I don't care, as long as I still have my limbs, which I do. Open water swimming Florida is a test of courage. When every lake is inhabited by alligators (over 2 million of the suckers in Florida), it takes a bit of courage to go jump in a lake and start doing laps. Especially when the water's so murky it's the color of coca cola and you can't see your hand in front of your face underwater AND you're swimming right next to a bunch of marshy grasses. That was me on Sunday at Lake Mary Jane, the lake in which my triathlon will be held.

I'm registered for the Moss Park Triathlon on August 18th. Moss Park is located in SE Orlando and is home to Lake Mary Jane. The water was a toasty 82 degrees, but it was slightly scary. I managed to swim laps for 30 minutes and got used to putting my face in the dark water. That was my goal for the day - swim laps in the lake without having a panic attack. As sick as this sounds, I was happy when a family with little kids jumped in for a swim....I figure gators prefer human veal over the chewy old Bessies like myself.

I also did an open water swim at Wekiva Springs last week - it was fantastic. There's actually a swimming hole right over the actual spring. 45 million gallons of pristine water pour out of a rocks spring every day and feed into the Wekiva river. The water is a crisp 72 degrees, but it feels so good on a hot day. And, the water is crystal clear. It's stunning and not scary at all. I will happily swim endless laps in that spring.

I've actually signed up with two coaches to help me prepare for the triathlon. I meet with them on Monday mornings for a 1.5 hour cardio workout - swim, bike and run all in 1.5 hours. Then on Wednesday mornings I meet them for an hour of strength training specific for triathletes. The rest of the week I do additional swimming, biking and running on my own.

Whew...I'm tired!