I've been trying to find a way to get better at open water swimming, and I figured the ocean is the best way to do that since the calm waters of the Pacific Ocean are so warm and inviting. I found a group that does a mile swim every Sunday, heading half a mile out to a buoy and back in a kelp forest in Monterey. It was cleaner water than Santa Cruz and fairly safe from sharks (although not jellyfish) so I decided to give it a try. It also ha da nice beach for the kids to play at.
I got there, suited up in my wetsuit (which I regret is sleeveless) and headed out to the group. I don't know what it is, but for some reason I just can't breathe right for the first few minutes of open water swimming. I can jump in a pool and settle right into a rhythm, but out in the open I nearly hyperventilate. I kept trying to steady myself, but I basically had to breaststroke with my head up for the first few minutes. Finally I calmed down and got a steady stroke going, but I still did mostly breaststroke while using freestyle bursts here and there to keep up with the back crowd.
I got to the yellow buoy a half mile out after 18 minutes, and they had me kiss the barnacle encrusted thing. Then I asked for an uber, which got a laugh, so I'm guessing the answer was no. Swimming back was actually harder, as the wind and waves had really picked up and the tide doesn't actually carry you in along this stretch of beach.
I got out and my legs didn't really work, and I was shivering pretty badly, but it felt good to be done. It wasn't enjoyable like running and biking. It is just such a different feeling to know that there is no stopping on the swim, not really. You can slow down or tread for a bit, but really that just means you are going to get hit by waves and it's not really rest. It's tough, but hopefully I can get more comfortable out there if I do it more often.
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Edited by Hurlshot, 10 June 2018 - 06:28 PM.