I Signed Up for a Triathlon, But I Don’t Know How To Swim!

Marti and Hilary running the Brooklyn Half

I’m not sure what I was thinking when I signed up for the Captiva Tri. I guess I was dreaming about the beautiful blue water of the gulf of Mexico and thinking that the bike ride of 10 miles and the 5K run wouldn’t be that hard. But what I didn’t realize is, I haven’t swam since I was a little girl.

Going to the Long Beach Pool for the first time

I went into the pool today at the recreation center in Long Beach. I swam with my head out of the water one length of the pool without stopping. I didn’t think that was bad so I swam back and forth again. I asked the lifeguard how many meters the pool was and was told that it was 25 yards. Hmmm, I wonder how many yards = meters?

I swam some more. I stopped after every 25 yards to take a break. My heart was racing. I couldn’t believe how fast my heart was beating!

What? I have to wear goggles?

“Where are your goggles?” the lifeguard asked me.

“I forgot them,” I said. “I don’t typically swim. I’m a runner.”

Put your head in the water!

She walked away and when she came back, she handed me a pair to wear. She asked me where I needed to swim the 400 meters and I told her the open water. “You need to put your head in the water and sweep your arms,” she told me.

When I tried to do what she asked, I felt like I couldn’t breath. I panicked and swallowed water. I threw up.

This was only my first day out

I left the pool, returned the lifeguard’s goggles and went into the locker room. Okay, it was my first day out. It wasn’t that bad and if I get lessons, I might just be able to do this!