Wednesday, August 3, 2005

More Fitness-Related Stuff Ahead (You've been warned)
This is one of those stream-of-consciousness, trying to get my thoughts out into words blogs and if you skip it, you wouldn't offend me. But if you have any insights, leave me a comment!

After work last night SNG and I went to a local lake/water park with about 60 yards of distance available for open swimming. I wanted to go so I could try to learn how to open-water swim. I learned two things: leopard-print bikinis always make a person look trashy and open water isn't the problem.

Being an (arguably) good scientist, I have varied several factors to try to figure out why I can't swim in open water triathlons.
Wetsuit vs No Wetsuit
Pool vs Open water
Water tempertature
Crowded water (feet and hands and tooshies everywhere)
Race-day nerves

After experimenting with the two factors I can control, I've determined that
I can swim in a pool and open water just fine
I can swim with or without my wetsuit just fine (and the wetsuit is faster)

So the triathlon problem has to be either water temperature, which I know affects breathing because cold water causes heart rate to spike, or race-day jitters, which also causes heart rate to spike, or the crowds.

Race-day jitters should wear off after a few minutes, so I don't think that's it. And as slowly as I've had to swim in these races, the crowd is eliminated as a possible factor pretty early on in the race. I think the problem is water temperature. As long as the water stays cold, heart rate (and therefore respiration) stays elevated. I need practice swimming in cold, open water.

On the non-scientific front, the lake/water park is almost empty on an evening after work and it's just about the most fun you can have on a hot summer evening. If they have wireless internet, I'm definitely going to try to telecommute from there a few days a week. :-)


PartnerInCrime said...

I want to know if you were the one in the leopard-print bikini, or if it was just someone you saw.
Personally, I try to keep the animal prints in my wardrobe to a minimum, but every now and then, you just gotta bust out with a little leopard (or zebra, or what-have-you).

cat said...

It wasn't me. I'm with you on animal prints-- for most clothing applications they are simply inappropriate.
There was a 40-something woman in a leopard bikini with a hefty smoker's voice who hollered a lot with her friends. I think she might have a been a bit sauced. In fairness, I have to say she looked fabulous in the swimsuit. Just trashy.

sng said...

She looked trashy b/c she wasn't 40-something. She was maybe 20-something, at most. She just seemed well-worn, leopard-clad, and very LOUD.
The lake was fun though.

cat said...

I thought she looked older. Anyway, never mind. We sound worse than high school gossip.
We had fun at the lake and now I want to go there every day.

PartnerInCrime said...

Well, to be fair, if you're going to go out in public in a leopard print bikini, you had better be at least a tiny bit sauced.