Saturday, 20 June 2009

wetsuit help!?!?!

About three weeks ago, I impulsively signed up for a triathlon at the end of June - which is now next weekend.  June 28.  I thought, no big deal, I have done this tri before - and I do a tri every summer, I will just add one.  I won't be quick, but I can do it and it will be fun.  Besides, the Danskin has better shirts than the Tri  for the Cure.

What I didn't count on was the fact that it has yet to be warm here.  Therefore, the water temperature of the Aurora Reservoir (where the race is held) is 64º.  I called and asked them if there is any way it could warm up  by next weekend, and was told that even if it got up to 90º every day between now and then and never rained once, it MIGHT get up to 68º.  

I have never used a wetsuit to swim before and never wanted to, but I realized then that I needed a wetsuit.  So, I rented one from my favorite running store in the Universe - Runner's Roost Lakewood.    I was very happy to  see that I could find one to fit and it wasn't even the largest women's size they had.  I feel not overwhelmed with confidence in my body right now, so I was dreading the trying on of wetsuits - even more than swim suits.  

Anyway, thanks to my friends at Runners Roost Lakewood, I have this great wetsuit to wear and so I went out to try it out last night.

HELP!  How do you get used to swimming when you feel like your chest is being compressed and your neck is being strangled?  It took everything I had not to panic during my first lap.  I did manage not to panic, but I didn't swim very well.  The buoyancy is great, but it makes the breast stroke impossible - because my legs just float right up to the surface, making the kick impossible and kind of tipping my upper body down.  Yikes.  I will have to freestyle the whole thing- which I can usually do, but I always know I have the breast stroke in case I get tired or freaked out.  

I have no time to get used to anything.  

I am freaking out.

Has anyone done the swim portion of a tri in a wetsuit? Any tips?

10 comments:

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

I've never quite gotten used to swimming in a wetsuit b/c I feel like I'm being strangled. I've thought about cutting a few slits in the neck of my wetsuit, but not sure if that would essentially ruin it. And you definately can't do that to a rental suit!

The improved body position should make your swim faster!! Just think about that benefit. :-)

Jess said...

Sorry, I know nothing about wetsuits!

J~Mom said...

I have used a wetsuit a few times. The neck thing freaked me out as well. After 2-3 swims I just got used to it. You might not feel comfy doing the breaststroke but you can definitely flip over and kick a little while to calm nerves or get breathing regular if you need to. Good luck!!!

Lily on the Road said...

No, I've never used a wet suit I pick tri's that are in August, maybe as Lisa said, without one it'll make you swim faster!

Wes said...

Yes! That's one of the advantages to a wet suit. It keeps your body properly aligned so you can swim faster. So, like Lisa said, flip over and do back stroke if you need to. It is almost impossible to drown in a wet suit... LOL... You will be fine. Make sure you pull the legs up as high as you can so you have slack in your legs. You should be OK in the arms since you are wearing a john.

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