Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Did I mention the wetsuit?

No, I guess I didn't. At Saturday's training we received our wetsuits. Um, yay? When I started the season this was one of my biggest nightmares, the whole stuff-your-fat-body-in-formfitting-rubber thing. Kind of sad, that I was prepared for the training, the event, the fundraising, the whole shebang, but the idea of putting on a wetsuit gave me the willies. It turned out to be not as bad as expected.

Because of my stomach problems (and intense daily workouts) I've lost close to 10 pounds in the past couple of months. This made squeezing into the wetsuit considerably easier than I'd thought. The best part? There were no mirrors at the pool so I couldn't see how I looked. And if I have a choice, I'll never see myself in that wetsuit.

We were given instructions on care and feeding of our new wetsuits and instructions on how to don and doff them. Wow, these things can really be a pain to take care of: don't leave hanging too long, fold in half and store flat, don't use this or that on your skin or the suit, etc. After the demonstration our mentors handed us our neatly bagged suits and bitty containers of Body Glide and it was time to put them on.

It took a while, pulling and tugging ("careful of your nails") and shifting and bending and whew! I was worn out without even starting a workout. We were given 5 minutes in the pool to see how they felt and I tell ya, it's going to be a challenge to swim in that thing for a mile. The floating part is nice, I don't have to use any effort at all to keep my legs buoyant, but my arms felt heavy as anvils. And the suit rubs my neck and I think it will annoy the heck out of me. It's warm though, which will be needed.

Much easier to take off, once I managed to undo the very tight velcro at the neck. Tug down the zipper, pull out my arms, toe off the legs, and it's off. I was surprised at the ease of removal. Of course, when I'm really swimming in cold water I'll also have my brand spanking new head and foot covers to strip off. I don't want to take chances on freezing out there. It'll be hard enough to transition with frozen fingers (gloves aren't allowed in competition so we don't train with them. And what's up with that? It's not like they're webbed or anything or making my little fingers bigger than some other person's bigger fingers.) so I'm glad the rest of me will be covered.

Our first real swim in the suits will be this Saturday at Aquatic Park. I'm excited. And terrified. In the 32 years I've lived in the Bay Area I've never ever ever gone for a swim in the Bay. Because, ew. And because, why would I? This is going to be interesting!


  1. "I'm excited. And terrified"

    ummm, I"m TERRIFIED :o(

  2. I'm so excited for you guys. I think it's going to be really great. Not a lot of people can say they have swam in the SF bay.

    Go Team!