Monday, March 15, 2010

By the way....

.....there is a sweep to the left.

That is what a local Aussie guy told me as we were preparing to swim out in the surf.

We were at a different beach this time and the waves looked just as terrifying to me as the last beach we were at...

I asked Tim (the local guy who also swims with us, well me, for pool sessions), "What is a sweep?" I don't know whether it is a current or what, but whatever it is, it pushes HARD to the left. Really hard.

Sara told me to only do what I was comfortable with...the pros and elites were going to swim WAY out past the surfers (there was a surfing festival going on this weekend) and then go around this point. I told her I was just going to swim out and if I felt scared (terrified, panic-stricken, etc.) I would just swim back to shore. ;P

We all started to dive under waves and then tried to walk toward the next one as the current was sucking your legs out from underneath you. The pros all started swimming right away.....and then there was me. Hahahahahahaahahah!!!!

I thought I would just swim out and then turn around and come back in -- I was even going to time myself -- 20 minutes out and then turn around. Well, the waves/breakers/whatever they are called were a lot more powerful than the first beach I swam at. I was scared, but forced my mind to go blank and just go with it.

It was shortly after I finally made it out past the breakers that I looked over to shore and saw just how far down the current had pushed me....Holy mackeral -- I was like a frigging rubber duckie bobbing around in a bath tub, completely at the whim of the waves.

I made a concerted effort to swim back up shore -- It was literally like swimming on a treadmill. Which would have been fine if there weren't gigantic, powerful, rip-snorting waves to avoid. I'm still learning here people! LOL!!

I did manage to make a bit of headway up shore, and then I decided to swim back to shore...But HOLY-O-CRAP the fricking waves at my back were too big for me to deal with. I would swim a little in the direction of the beach, whilst simultaneously stealing backward glances to see when the next monster wave would come.

It was precisely at this time I knew this swim was far, far beyond my current ability. LOL!!

I am new at this ocean/surf swimming thing, and to try and catch a wave of such magnitude that far away from shore was, like I said, just beyond my ability. So, when I would see a big mother of a wave coming up behind me, I would spin around facing it and dive underneath it.

As I dropped beneath each wave, the power of the water would rip and pull at my swim cap and my body. I started to put both hands on top of my head to hold my goggles/swim cap on when I *dove* underneath each wave.

Thus, with all my turning around and diving under waves while trying to swim away from them, my progress to shore was pretty slow -- all the while I'm being *swept* to the left.

FINALLY, I could feel sand underneath my feet and I managed to catch a wave the rest of the way to shore. As I emerged from the water (far down from where I had entered), the surf rescue squad was starting to put their rescue pontoon boat in the water. Oh God, I am so glad they didn't need it for me! LOL!!!!!

After the swim, Tim said that the swim had been especially rough and difficult that day -- I felt a mixture of content that even the local guy had a rough go, and happiness that I had actually survived the ordeal! LOL!!!

One weird thing I noticed when I was swimming -- very slight, pinprick points of burning on my arms, etc. It wasn't bad by any means, but noticeable. I found out afterward it is sea lice.....that sounds so disgusting, eh?

I'm hoping that by hanging out with all these stud athletes, some of the studliness will rub off and me and I will get faster!! Hee-hee!!! :) :)

Next stop, Splash and Dash race "long course" this weekend... Get this:

600m ocean swim, 3km run, then hop back into water for another 600m swim and then a 3 km run. YEEHAW!! I think I'm going to be laughing so hard all through this event!! Wish me luck!!! LOL!!!!

Love, baby stud. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Keith said...

Wow, that swim sounds like fun! weeeeehoooooo!

As long as there are no jellyfish. That squicks me out.

I think some of the studliness has already rubbed on you. Maybe a lot.

Leslie said...

I can't believe that swim...I would have a heart attack for sure!

Sea lice...ewww!

Sounds like you are having a blast

Kelly B. said...



A race with swimming AND running...and no bike? Can I come?

Jenna said...

I remember the sea lice. I also lived in a flat and I started noticing that I had red marks from my knees down - turns out my flat had fleas - gross! Anyway - way to gooooo!! I would have been pooping my suit Loose Goose! You are a brave, strong, powerful triathlete beast!! So you swim and get salty and then you run and swim and get salty and run again? Do you get to have a fresh water shower each time? lol. I know ....I am a princess :) Miss ya!!

runningman said...

Good luck in your race Julie, that sounds like a blast!!!

Runner Leana said...

Wow, congratulations on tackling the surf! Glad to hear the rescuers didn't need to come get you. Sounds like you are having a blast over there training in Australia. Love hearing your adventures!

Cath said...

Wow - sounds, superb - well done you, but be careful in that surf - it can be nasty when it gets going :)

Look forward to all the latest news....:)

I'm off to the VERY FLAT calm waters of the swimming pool - lol!


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