Entering the Food Chain: My First Open Water Swim

I’m alive! I made it through my first open water swim!

 

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Aren’t one piece bathing suits so flattering!? Just kidding.

 

I met Kelly bright and early this morning at Lucky’s Lake in Orlando.

 

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With my first sprint triathlon rapidly approaching, I knew I had to get this open water swim in today. It was now, or never. I felt like it was important to take the surprise element out of the open water swim. I didn’t want to get to the race and panic!

 

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I was a bit nervous about the open water swim. The lake is 500m across, making it a total of 1km swim. Sure, I’ve done that in the pool several times, but open water seemed like a whole different ball game.

 

I mean, there could be alligators?!

 

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Those are fake… but the fact that there could be alligators in this lake is very real. Florida lakes have their inherent dangers, and by stepping into the water, you are entering the food chain.

 

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YIKES!

 

I took a deep breath, and dove right in. It was so scary for the first few strokes! Actually, I started freaking out about a quarter of the way out, and had to flip on my back to catch my breath a couple of times. It really wasn’t a big deal, I just turned and did that backstroke for a bit until I felt like I could try again. After the turn-around, I took a few big breaths, and told myself I only had a little bit more to go. It was definitely easier mentally the second half.

 

The open water was so much different than the pool. I had a bit of trouble keeping in a straight line, and had to keep bobbing my head out of the water to ensure that I was going in the right direction. There also is no way to stop on the sides, stand up and rearrange your goggles or whatever mid-swim. Your only option is to float on your back or dog paddle. However, I think that the open water swim went by much faster, and was really fun!

 

Kelly stayed with me for all but the very last seconds of the swim. I was grateful to have a buddy within sight to ensure that I wasn’t going to drown without anyone knowing! 😉

 

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We completed the 1km swim in 28 minutes. I was really proud of that time! Next Saturday’s triathlon is only a 750m swim, so I should be good to complete that distance with no problem. Right? 😀

 

One of the cool things about the Lucky’s Lake swim, is that upon completing the swim, you get to sign the wall!

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There are so many names on the wall, that there is only space left on the ceiling!

 

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I found a little place to sign my name. By the way, it’s really hard to write upside down!!

 

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Here’s the proof. I was here.

 

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I also got an “I Survived” bumper sticker.

 

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Pretty cool, huh?!

 

I had a CLIF bar to hold me over while I ran a couple errands with Kelly.

 

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Once I got home, I realized that I had nothing yummy in my apartment, and hit up Chipotle for a salad.

 

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Plus, lime chips and guacamole. I couldn’t eat very many chips, but they make a good snack for later.

 

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I felt very accomplished for completing my first open water swim. I was nervous, but I did it!

 

I love facing my fears. It makes me feel alive!

 

Have you done an open water swim? Do you think swimming in a pool is easier or more difficult? Which do you find more fun?

 

❤ MegaNerd

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19 Responses

  1. Congrats! Lucky’s Lake looks like a lot of fun! I used to do open water swims as a younger teenager when I swam competitively, they were always fun and a challenge. I haven’t gone in quite a few years – I think I’d be more nervous now!

  2. Congrats!! I’m really scared of alligators. I have been since I was little so I don’t think I could ever do that! Go You!

  3. I TOTALLY thought those alligators were real at first and couldn’t believe you guys went in there! Haha, good to know they are fake!!

    Good job doing your first open water swim!! I haven’t swam in any kind of open water for a lonnnggg time!

  4. Awesome job 🙂 I’m so not a swimmer, but I think that I would have major freak outs if I had to do an open water swim.

  5. Congrats, Megan! Open water swimming freaks me out so I am really impressed.
    Good luck with your upcoming triathalon!

  6. I actually live on a lake so I’ve been open-water swimming since I was a wee one. Congrats on your first!

  7. My family lived on a lake until I was 15, and I learned to swim around the same time I learned to walk – in open water. I enjoy swimming in open water and pools, it just depends on what I’m swimming for. If I’m swimming for fun, I prefer a lake, if I’m swimming for exercise (meaning a certain number of laps, or for a certain amount of time) I prefer a pool.
    Good job on your swim, I’m sure you’ll do great during the race!

  8. I too thought those alligators were real – I was like WHAT ARE YOU DOING OMG RUN AWAY RUN AWAY AHHH oh, wait, they’re fake, I see. *breathe*

    I bet you’ll do great in your tri. You’re so strong!

  9. CONGRATS lady on the open swim 🙂 Seriously, when I saw those gators, my heart stopped……

    ….until they said they were fake. I’m still a little shaken though haha.

  10. Congrats!!! I’ve never done an open water swim- which is scary b/c my tri is next month!!!

  11. I just started tri training a few months ago and got so used to doing swims in a pool that I totally freaked during my first open water swim. Basically b/c you can’t see where you’re going. Now that I’ve gotten in more lake swims and learned how to spot, I hate the pool. Go figure!

  12. You did awesome and you are going to rock your triathlon!!!!! 🙂

  13. Great job girl!! I definitely think it’s important to do an open water swim before you actually do it in a race!! I’ve done 2 open water swims and they are definitely different and scary at first! But after a few minutes, they become a lot of fun!!

  14. Wow, congrats! I’ve been swimming for over 15 years and I’ve NEVER done an open water swim!! I can definitely see how they would be harder to do than lap swims – kinda the same as running on a treadmill vs. running outside, right?

  15. Nice job on your first time in the open water!!!

  16. Gosh, well done on the open water swim! I don’t think I could ever do that, I would get too freaked out.

  17. Congrats on your first open water swim! You’re going to whoop that tri next weekend

  18. I prefer open water swims. I spent a lot of time at a lake growing up and that’s pretty much where I learned to swim. Whenever I’m up there, I always swim across the cove and back. We don’t have threats of gaters in Maryland though.
    Good luck on your tri!
    (and thanks for making me crave Chipotle)

  19. […] open water swim really has me freaked […]

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