My next race is the Daybreak Sprint Tri on June 9. I am usually ecstatic about races, but this one has me nervous. This will be my first race with an OWS, or Open Water Swim, and I couldn't even tell you the last time I actually swam in open water. I have played on the beach and on the shore line a few times over the last few years, but that doesn't count. The race will have a 1/2 mile swim portion, and it doesn't look like I will be getting into the water any time soon to practice.
The water here in Northern Utah is still quite cool and I don't have a wet suit yet. I plan on renting one for the race. I also need people to go with, I am nervous about doing it on my own, and would love to go with other people, preferably those that know what they are doing to share some tips. However, the only OWS clinics or groups that I have heard about doing anything are all at least an hour and a half away. At this point I would be willing to drive that to get some practice, however, I can't exactly go to their times when they are all scheduled when I am at work. I would love ideally to find a group to go on organized swims once a week or so, but I have yet to find anything like that in my area.
From what I understand, it is quite different than swimming in a pool. I consider myself to be a decent swimmer, but worry about keeping a straight course (you don't exactly have the black line at the bottom to follow) and I have never practiced spotting above the water to stay the course. It is starting to look like my first time in open water will be race day, and that isn't generally a good idea. I figure, if nothing else, just follow the bubbles, right? Just do what everyone else around me is doing and go in their direction?
Tons of people are really scared and freaked out by open water, but I don't think that really applies to me. To me it is just more of the unknown and not having a chance to practice in it before hand. I am glad that I don't really have a phobia of it. I feel for the people that do.
So, I will keep you posted on this latest aspect of my tri journey, any pointers?