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Posts tagged with: swimming

3 Buoy Loops!

This morning, my longest swim in the ocean was 2 buoy loops in Santa Monica near Tower 26, and my goal ever since then was to make it to 3, and this morning I finally made it! 3 loops! My teammate Jasmine and I have been motivating each other to improve every time we go out there and tackle the ocean, and it’s been helping me a lot! I’m a little more comfortable going head on through the waves this time around, but the waves this time were a little more forgiving. They came from every angle this time, and the water past the breakers were a little rocky too. At one point, I thought I was swimming towards the buoy, but I was actually heading back to shore! Oops!

I’m still having a tough time coming back to shore because of my fear of the waves behind me crashing down on me and causing me to tumble, so I took some time there. After 3 loops, I saw it was already time for me to go to get ready for work. I think I still had 1 more loop in me too! Oh well, that will be my goal NEXT week! When I got back to my car, I saw one of my teammates, Dash, with a bloody foot. What?!? He got stung by a stingray! I didn’t even know they would be in these parts. Oh man! I hope it’s nothing too serious.

Our coaches have been trying to get us to go to more ocean swims by sending out 3500-4200 yard swim sets in the pool. Uh… you know how boring it is to do those sets by yourself? No thanks, ocean swims are for me, no matter how terrifying they may be! Next week, 4 loops, bring it!

OWS + 19 Mile Run

The waves this morning during our Open Water Swim (OWS) were pretty scary at Tower 26 in Santa Monica… I just remember having to look up as if I was looking up at a building, then tumble under a double wave. Took even more tries than usual because those waves were bigger than I’ve ever encountered. I was coming into the practice feeling confident because Friday was such a huge milestone, but I guess you can’t have it all. Was able to make 1 loop to the buoy though with the help of one of our coaches. I was happy to even just do 1, because at one point, I was already about to walk back to the car. It was so rough out there!

After the swim, we all changed to our running gear and went on to our longest run of the IronTEAM season- 19 miles! It’s nothing new to me, but it was a big milestone for some of my teammates, as it marked some personal bests in terms of mileage. What was new to me was the fact that I just did 100+ miles on the bike, so running this distance on not-so-fresh legs was such a challenge! The route started near our swim meetup spot, and headed north to a place called “Troll Bridge” (you’d have to go through parts of the Amalfi neighborhood to get there), and do 2 out and backs. Tried to run the whole time, but those hills near the end of the loop took so much out of us that walking was a better option if we wanted to finish the distance. It’s all about pacing! I practiced more of my running technique and form on the flats. This special route was trying to simulate the Vineman out and back type of course where the course is 3 loops, and that can really mess with your mind!

First Open Water Ocean Swim

This morning was the team’s first open water OCEAN swim in Santa Monica. We met at the Santa Monica Beach parking lot off the end of Ocean Park Avenue bright and early at 7am. As we were setting up our transition areas, I could already hear the waves crashing. Yes, I was nervous! We suited up in our wetsuits and walked over to the shore. Like the Long Beach swim, we were split into beginners and experienced ocean swimmers. *waves crashing*. Coach Brad gave us some pointers and described what we will be experiencing out there.

The waves were much larger than yesterday, where some of the experienced swimmers got a head start. Sure, they looked kinda small from the shore, but when you’re in the water and your head is the only things sticking out, a medium wave looks HUGE from that perspective. I tried several times diving under the waves, but I guess the wetsuits were so buoyant that I didn’t go far enough. Yes, dragged back to shore. All of a sudden I was back in shallow water. Coach had explained before the swim that there’s this part in the water that you can just get stuck if you don’t power through a few minutes under and through the water.

You have to remember that this was my FIRST ocean water swim. I wasn’t used to being under water for that long, holding my breath. There were times where I was underwater, panicking what direction I was heading, how deep I was, so when I finally surfaced, my heart was racing. After several tries, I had to go back. I didn’t even get to finish the scheduled lap, but at least now I know how it feels. We will have more chances to conquer this in the future, from Santa Monica to Manhattan Beach. Bring it!

Here’s the team after the swim!

Swim & Sight

Since the Toyota Desert Triathlon is this weekend, our swim set tonight was geared towards preparing us for open water swimming. It’s such a time crunched schedule as tonight we learned some sighting skills, Saturday will be our first open water swim in Long Beach, then Sunday is the International Distance triathlon. Coaches told us we shouldn’t put any weight on the event, as it should be a learning experience, and should we thought of “just another practice.” True though, what is there to lose? We’ve all surpassed all the distances in each of the disciplines, but we just haven’t practiced real transitioning. I’ve heard from numerous people that Desert Tri is a great starter event, so I’ll take their word for it.

So back to tonight. Initially I was having a hard time even just “warming” up. What was going on? I eventually got used to it, and it was on to our main sets. We had a little game called “Walk of Shame”, where we counted our strokes up 25 yards, then on the way back, we have to do one LESS stroke, and see where we end up. Three to a lane, the furthest one back will have to walk back. Yes, I was always the one to walk back (I wasn’t that far off from the next person though!). I think I was at the 24 stroke range, and everyone else on my lane was 18-20. Hmm.. maybe I should take advantage of the streamline glide a little more in my turnover. After several sets of those, we did a few 100s, 200s, 400s. At one point, I was just following my teammate Donovan, and I think we did a lot more than we were supposed to. Lesson learned, I should keep track of my OWN lap count! It wasn’t too bad though, because since I was following him, I realized I was drafting him, so I didn’t have to cut through the water as much as he did.

For most of the sets, we had to practice sighting, looking forward every 2, every 4, once a lap, and so on to practice where we’re going. In the open water, there’s no such thing as lane lines, we’re on our own! It was really tough because I could feel my legs drop, thus creating more drag, so I’m a little nervous for Sunday. We’ll just have to wait and see!


I did it! 1000 yards straight! Huge milestone in my training tonight at the coached Culver City Plunge! So crazy, I’d never thought I could get this far in so little time (less than 3 months). We started off with a few warmup laps then more with a kickboard. Main set was 100, 200, then 400. After that, it was the big 1000! DONE!

Strokin’ It

See that pic above? That’s the opposite of where I’m at. Well, I’m getting there. Tonight was another Tuesday practice and I’m happy to say it’s probably my best one yet. I felt pretty strong with my kicks, but this time was my first trying to use my arms. After a few warm up drills, Coach Jason told me to just swim. What?!? Hmm… I didn’t really know how, but i tried. I actually incorporated some strokes and stopped only once to the other side of the pool. How I did it? Not really sure how. I came up for air a few times, but my rhythm was so bad, I was always out of breath.

Coach gave me a pull buoy that I can put in between my legs so I can focus on my arm and breathing movement. It was my first time using that too, so I was VERY sloppy and stumbled quite a bit trying to get used to it. Arms were swinging everywhere, I couldn’t get a comfortable breathe angle, but I eventually got some strokes in. Coach told me repeatedly I have to get my head down in the water. I guess my brain was telling me to go on survival mode and kept trying to peek up for air. He said I have to be underwater so that I can easily go on my side for air. One way to help with going on the side was to actually pull my shoulder back so that my chin follows the shoulder out of the water when I tilt back. Ahhh! It’s all coming together and making sense now. I also have to work on my fluidity of kick movement and arm movement. I was also told to try to make my arm movements like throwing a baseball and making sure my arm is stretched way out there. It was a good way for me to remember what to do.

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