Posted by: Shannon @ A Dash of Sparkle | September 27, 2011

My first open water swim – I survived!

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I’ve been worried.

Slightly apprehensive even.

No, I am not taking a test or speaking in front of a large audience.

Sunday was my first EVER open water swim. “Dun, dun, dahhhhhhh.”

You’d think it would be hard to be nervous, when you’re on a beach like this…

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Let me just tell you, it’s possible.

I ignored my nerves though and started off with some stretching and a 2.5 mile run on the beach, which was surprisingly difficult. I forgot how hard running on soft sand is! Darn stuff just moves right under your feet.

Then it was time for the swim. (gulp)

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Nick was smiling after his run, while I was red as a tomato totally wanting to just flop down on the beach blanket and rest for a half hour, or hour… but I got to it.

The waves were not behaving how we had hoped. During the 30 minute swim, they got bigger and seemed to more frequently crash over my head.

Despite that and the fact that I swallowed about a gallon of salty ocean water (yeck!), I was pleasantly surprised. I mean, I survived!

I didn’t just survive though. Even between gulps of ocean water, I made it the full half mile and back! I couldn’t do the freestyle swim the entire way, but found it effective to keep rotating swim styles. The breaststroke was impossible with the waves, so I did some side and back swims along with the freestyle.

I was dehydrated by the time I finished (courtesy of the salt water I drank), but I didn’t feel like I was really struggling.

After the swim and run though, both Nick and I collapsed on the towel and dried off in the sunshine. It was a rare beautifully low-humidity day in Southwest Florida, so we cooled off laying there and after a 30-minute rest decided our growling stomachs needed a reward.

So we headed on down to Jane’s Cafe on 3rd.

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I love Jane’s Cafe and ordering was a breeze for us since we were both ravenous. So we split the Belgian waffle with fruit…

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And then we both ordered an egg white omelet. I was busy eating at that point and didn’t pause to take a picture, but it was amazing!

I only ate half of my waffle and omelet and then packed the rest up to take home, but it was the perfect follow-up to a conquered challenge. I was so proud of myself.

Now that I know I can do a swim and run back-to-back, I feel better about the race in four weeks. The biking part is something I think my spinning and HIIT workouts will prepare me well for, so hopefully adding in those 13 miles won’t bee too rough.

It’s nice to have accomplished this and eased my worries a little bit though.

What was the last fear or worry that you recently faced? Did it make you feel better?

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