So, yesterday I participated in the Jordanelle Triathlon with some of my co-workers. Lauren, Patti, and I decided to form a relay team with me swimming, Lauren biking, and Patti running. As you probably know, I grew up swimming competitively (well, in the exhibition heats) so I wasn't too worried about my serious lack of training prior to the race. However, it only took about 20 seconds into my 1/2 mile course before I realized that swimming freestyle in open water is actually really scary. If you are swimming with your head down you feel claustrophobic because you can't see more than one foot into the murky abyss in any direction and when you take a breath there is no guarantee that a little wave won't overtake your air supply. So, after quickly deciding that freestyle just wasn't going to work for me, I instinctively flipped over on my back and swam backstroke the whole way. Now, swimming backstroke in open water has its drawbacks as your kicking pretty much gets lost in the water and you end up swimming way more than you need to because you can easily veer off course. Another drawback that I didn't notice until today is that your neck gets really sore from trying to hold your head above water to compensate for the little waves. I'm not kidding when I say my neck muscles are sore...I mean, I chose not to go to choir today because I thought that singing would make it hurt too much.
All in all, that was probably the longest half-mile I have ever had to swim but it was a good learning experience. Someday I would like to actually train for and compete in triathlons so I'm grateful that I could try out the swimming thing so it won't be so new to me when I do a whole race. And, the relay was actually a really fun way to get involved in a race with your friends because you have someone to talk to when it's not your turn, you get to be close to the action and watch the other athletes, and you get to cheer on your teammates. I want to send a big shout out to Lauren and Patti for doing such a good job and inspiring me to not throw in the towel and have one of the rescue kayaks tow me in. Go Team Snack Pack!