Thursday, 12 December 2013

Swim at Eikenhof dam

My first Open water competition was on 30 November 2013 at Eikenhof dam. It is a beautiful and quite a large dam. My children and sister and her husband went with me. We planned to have a picnic at the dam. We arrived in the rain. Although the rain cleared up the wind was blowing stronger as the day went on.

We were just in time to see the winners of the 7,5 km race completed their swim. One could barely see the buoy that they had to swim to from the land- so how they saw it in the waves I do not know. Then it was the 3 km race. The first person- a young boy to pass the buoy on the first lap did so in 12 minutes. His swimming style was like I presume Johnny Weissmuller swam. He lift himself half way out of the water. Shaun Mason finished in an impressive 38:31.31 minutes, .

When one  believe in the Total Immersion way then a swimmer like Shaun is even more impressive. He is braking the laws of Physics and everything Total Immersion teach about being balanced in the water and "lengthen the vessel".  He is successful and not only on a short distance!

I was so glad that Sandra Reynolds the organizer advised me to swim the 1 km race and not 3 km- I think I would had to quit after the second kilometer. The waves was huge and in the water it was even more scary than standing on the shore.

Then it was our turn.

I started last and slow. I was trying to keep my head down for as long as possible. In the beginning with the other swimmers still near me, I could just watch where they were going. The distance between us grew and I had to do some sighting. If I wait for more than 3 breaths I was off course. Every time I lift my head to search for the buoy I lost my comfort in the water and start to struggle to regain my balance. This became even worse when I went around the first buoy. Now I was in the big waves and could only breath to the right if I did not want  mouths full of water. I lost all ability to keep my stroke as practice. The waves was just throwing me every which way.

The life saver on his board to my right was reassuring and helping me when I could not see the buoy above the waves. I concentrate to keep my head down as far as possible to be more balanced and streamline in the water. I was feeling like a puppet that the waves was throwing around. When I turned around the last buoy the water was calmer. I still had difficulty with sighting- something that I need to practice. I was swimming zig-zag adding more meters to my swim- something I definitely did not need.

I was so glad to touch the final buoy. In spite of a difficult swim, I was not too tired, just cold and need to get dressed as quickly as possible. I completed the 1 km in 26:37 minutes. This was 8 minutes later than the winner of the women 41 and older, Lauren Honeyman but I still end in the second place with 4 competitors in my age group.

When I look at the photos my sister took I am quite ashamed. I presume she photographed me when I lift my head to try and see the buoy. In none of the photos do I demonstrate any of the Total Immersion principles that I practiced the last year. I realized that I should review my practice and go back to my basic drill sessions. The neuro- muscular pathways were obviously not well enough established  to be sustainable in the rough conditions. I need to practice in waves and with buoys that is on water level and difficult to sight in windy conditions. I have a month to prepare for the next open water swim. My aim will be to complete it with more ease and hopefully in a better time.

No comments:

Post a Comment