Saturday, August 6, 2011


Today was the first day of our vacation at my parent's camp.  Since it is on a lake, I thought I would be able to get some swimming miles in since I haven't been good about getting to the pool this summer.  Well, I can easily swim a mile in the pool so I assumed that swimming across the lake and back would not be a big deal either.  I am not so stupid as to go out alone, but I did figure that it wouldn't be a big deal and it would be an easy hour of exercise.


I asked my daughter to follow me in the kayak, just in case.  My husband was also going to take the small motor boat out to fish so he could keep an eye out as well.  So around 9 a.m.  I get all my swim gear on and head out.  The water felt cold initially, but right after I began I forgot all about that.  I started swimming and was a little freaked out about how I could see stuff with my goggles on.  Weird, I know, but I'm used to looking at the (somewhat) clean pool and the nice white bottom of that.  Instead it was brownish and creepy looking.  I tried going on but everytime I faced down on my stroke I had a small panic at what I was seeing.  My breathing became faster and I felt like I was racing.  (I wasn't.)

I took a little break and grabbed the kayak to gather my thoughts.  Really?  Was I seriously freaking out about a lake?  This is not me.  I don't freak out about stuff like that.  But yet I was.  I got my breathing under control a bit and started again.  This time I closed my eyes when my face was down and opened them when I took a breath.  This was a little better but I couldn't see where I was going.  Apparantly, I was going crooked because I ran into the kayak.  Which totally freaked me out again.  Right as I'm on a bunch of weeds.  Fast breathing again.  Mini panic. 

Took another short break to calm down.  Tried to talk myself out of this freaking out.  You can do it.  It's just a lake.  No sharks.  Nothing's going to get you.  How in the world are you going to do an olympic tri if you can't open water swim?  Wait, that didn't help my anxiety at all, but I did think that.  I thought of all the other people who do tri's and swim in the lake.  If they can do it, so can I.  I began again. 

More swimming and trying to get my breathing under control.  It was so fast that I just couldn't get into my regular swimming rhythm.  I finally started to get a little calmer and then I hit a patch of really cold water, then warm, then cold again.  That was it.  My throat filled with phlegm and I tried to breath and really just gasped.  I had another mini panic and then reached for the kayak again.  I coughed and gagged and just couldn't get the phlegm out of my throat.  Heart is beating like crazy.  That's it.  I'm done. 

I made it about .25 mile which was about half way across the lake.  It took most of the morning for my chest to feel normal again.  This was something new for me.  I have had such a boost in confidence lately with being able to run longer distances and swim longer distances (in the pool) that I figured this was nothing.  In fact, the night we arrived I was telling my uncle that I could totally swim across.  No problem.  hmmm.  Not so much.

I may try tomorrow, just swimming along the shore.  I don't know why I'm so anxious about it, I know nothing is going to happen to me, but yet my heart races even as my mind is saying stop. 

I'm really kinda bummed about this as I really thought I might want to do an olympic length tri next year.  But I am going to have to get over this OWS thing if that's what I'm going to do.  What a reality check for me.  I did go back in and swim out to the float with the kids and that was not a big deal.  But I didn't have my goggles on or head in the water looking either.  Maybe with repeated efforts, I will learn to relax. 

Running tomorrow.  I KNOW I can do that. 

Any thoughts on OWS?  Any other with OWS anxiety?

Oh--forgot!  Fail on the hydration belt too.  Too Freaking Big.  Bloggy giveaway or eBay?

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