Today I dusted off the old water wings and headed for a nearby lake to see what I could do.
I arrived at the beach very curious as to how far the distance was between those large white buoys marking the deep water. There was also a rope and buoy system delineating the shallow water. I found a couple of good marking points at either end of the beach and paced it off a few times. I was about spot on with fifty paces each time, so I went with that.
Back in the Marine Corps days, we learned orienteering and I knew exactly how many paces of mine equaled certain distances so that I could work off of a topographical map and know not only where I was and where I wanted to go, but how far I had come and how far I had left to go. But it has been a long time since those days and I decided to get an accurate pace measurement when I got home.
So into the water I went. It was shocking just how cold it was at first. But my body acclimated to it by the time I was out to the large buoys treading water. I swam about half of the first length freestyle, and while my stroke mechanics felt pretty good and solid, my lung capacity has diminished to that of a two year old. So I swam most of the rest of the workout using the sidestroke or the breaststroke.
I estimated that one length was probably around fifty yards, so I swam four lengths to get at least a 200 yard swim in. By the end I was bushed, and swam my way into the shallows and walked over to my towel to dry off.
I felt pretty good on the drive home, and when I arrived I measured out ten yards and paced it off. Turns out it takes seven paces almost exactly for ten yards, putting my beach measurement at just over seventy yards per length. I had done around 280 yards! Not too shabby for a first swim. I’ve got a mere 65 days to get my endurance built up. I am confidant that I can finish the triathlon, so that’s good. I’ve got to get a bike soon though!