Monday, June 6, 2011

'Tis the Season for the Wetsuit

Okay so June is upon us. Soon the Triathlons will be outdoors completely (following the upcoming Greenwood Tri/Du/Aquathlon). And my goal this year (well one of them) is to compete (ish) in 2 Sprint distance open water swim Triathlons.

Of course this means a wetsuit is needed. I know some might say it is helpful but not needed, I say it is needed. My swim is weak, I am skinny and get cold in the water fairly easily. So I need a wetsuit. Of course dishing out the cash for a decent one isn't easy, especially when you aren't competing for top AG spots. To this end I decdied to try out the offerings from Xterra, as they have great sales on. I bought the Vortex 3 sleeveless for a nice low price. The reason for sleeveless? Well it is mail order, I was picking it up from my American relative's house (free shipping) and I wanted to make sure the blasted thing would fit (shoulders and all). Also the sleeveless option was significantly cheaper.

Well I got it, tried it on and it fit like a charm. The only alteration I needed was to trim the legs to the proper length (easy enough).

Still, I had this thing in April and it wasn't until this past weekend that I was brave enough to actually try it out in the water. Part of the bravado came from the warm day we were having, part from the anxiety I was having from the realisation that the first open water Tri was only weeks away.

I had decided to do the Ingonish Sprint distance Tri earlier in the year. I book a place to stay over a month ago.So with it coming in 4 weeks from now I thought, better try this blasted thing out.

I have found that the other nice thing about a sleeveless wetsuit is that it fits nicely into your panier. So off I went on my commuter bike to my secret lake swim spot. Upon arrival, I ditched my bike in the woods, slipped on the wetsuit (oh how easy it is to get this on, with a little work), and stepped into the water.

Well I will say this. Lakes are still cold. My feet went numb fairly quick. But I kept going. I sat down in the water to get all over wet and just let myself acclimate a bit. Then off I went.

I would love to say that I jumped in and threw down a quick 1000m of awesome. I truly would love to say that. Alas I threw down a slow 100m of breast stroke to start. But the suit was doing its job. I was sort of warmish and I floated well. After another 100m or so of muddling about I took the plunge and began a half assed frontcrawl. Maybe I got 100m more in, I don't know. But I did it. Then I got out of the water and road home all nice and wet.

Wetsuit attempt #1 a success (ish). This bodes well for my future attempts and I plan on getting at least a few more in before heading to Cape Breton. First though? 2 more Duathlons. See you there.
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