Tonight I headed out to beautiful Beaver Lake for a group open water swim. Normally, I wait until my first race of the season to do my first open water swim so this is a new take on training for me!
I got out there to do a short run first and the breeze by the lake felt great. It really helped with the temps since it was low 80's and sunny. Every so often there were shady spots that also helped since I'm still working to acclimate to the summer temps. After finishing up with the short run I met up with the others that were there for the group swim.
It felt strange since I didn't know anyone there. I usually train with my friends and this was a branch out to join a local tri club's workout. It was actually a combo of two different workout groups which included the one that I used to do last year. There were people of all skill levels and maybe 12 or so total.
As with any group event, we were slow to get into the water. I waited until the last minute to put on my wetsuit since I think they are too hot for just standing around in! The good news for the night is that my wetsuit still fits!!! Honestly, I hadn't put it on since my half ironman last year (and there was still a little Oklahoma red mud on it too!)
Everyone pretty much swam their own workouts at their own paces. Most of us swam for about 40 minutes. I had to take a break after my first loop to change out my goggles. I needed a darker lens because we were headed into the setting sun for part of the loop and I was having trouble sighting with lighter lens goggles. I did 3 loops total which was probably around 1 1/4 - 1/2 miles. The last loop included some play time in the middle of the loop of just bobbing in the water and talking to others. The water was really choppy for that last loop due to a boat pulling a tube right in front of the swim beach area.
We finished up with a couple mass start practices for some of the newbies in the group. I did my best to try and attack the new girls but I just felt bad for doing it. It really does help to practice the mass start and learn how to work through the panic that it causes. Even after 3 years of triathlon I still have panic moments in the swim. Working with friends helped me learn how to work through it.
Overall, it was a great first open water swim. My pace felt good and I think I did well handling sighting and the chop in the water. My big struggle for the night was actually getting into and out of the water. Somehow I managed to step on big rocks several times and might have bruised the bottom of my foot. Hopefully, it's just tender and will feel better tomorrow!