I learned something new while swimming in the Pacific Ocean this weekend. Two things, actually.
1) It is possible to get seasick while swimming in the sea. Previously I thought that it only happened while in a boat. I generally don’t get seasick in boats, but I felt really nauseated while doing that swim. Water temperature was fine. Getting past the break was fine. Swimming a half mile while nauseated? Not so much. I swam against the current yesterday for the first time this year that I can recall. I’m fairly sure it took me upwards of 45 minutes once I walked into the water to touch dry land again. I think swimmers are reasonably expected to close this distance well under 30 minutes. It’s okay though, because I did finish that swim.
2a) It’s extremely difficult to reach a goal when you can’t see it and 2b) You won’t reach your target if you don’t know where it is.
I was a little late in walking over to the sand for the group swim, and so I missed the chance to do the bottom check– the walk in to check the sandy surface under the water and to get used to the water temperature before it was time to swim. A small group of us started stressing about that and I didn’t even think to look over a couple of towers and spot the buoy in the water that we had to swim to. Needless to say I had no idea where it was once I got out far enough past the break to swim parallel to shore.
This reminds me of the Big Audacious Goal (B.A.G.) concept. The best way to attain a measurable goal is to break it down into manageable chunks and like a shark — where you must keep moving along and making progress with these things– you power through until you obliterate them.
My chunks were simple enough:
- Ignore the disgusting ocean water taste.
- Relax and try to not hyperventilate.
- Swim or at least keep moving forward. I still had to break down the last one a little more into a bit of a pep talk chunk because I couldn’t see the buoy:
- Just swim toward a house on shore in front of me and/or swim to catch up to at least one resting swimmer ahead of me.
That worked. By doing the smaller goals, eventually I spotted the yellow buoy and
made a beeline swam like a fish toward it. Getting back to shore was relatively easy but I had to fight the urge to stop and rest for a while instead of hurrying to get on my bike in a simulated race situation. My T1 needs a bit of work, but with 7 ocean swims completed this summer, I’m happy to note that removing my wetsuit quickly is now my main “worry” about the tri. Not being daunted by everything, and not feeling overwhelmed about whether I can even manage to do this swim.
2011 personal goal: Run a half-marathon
Next weekend is the Disneyland Half Marathon. I am doing what I can to mentally prepare. I set a goal to go for a long run (10+ miles) this weekend. I did intervals (ran/walked) 13+ miles for the first time ever on Sunday and I felt good afterward.
Stumbled upon this while browsing my Facebook feed. I’m posting here so I will remember to check this one out in more detail and so you can check it out too.
My dear LA locals,
I’ll be hopping on a plane soon to travel east for a few days, but when I return get ready for a half marathon weekend extravaganza!