Wednesday, June 18, 2008

First wetsuit swim. PHOTOS!

I got my race package, with lots of goodies. I'm 118.

Tonight was the long awaited, much anticipated first swim with the wetsuit. I got into it ok. Another lady there was nice enough to help Linda get things flat and properly tucked in. The water wasn't all that cold. I was expecting much worse. Linda later said that a guy coming out commented that Arbour Lake was much colder, that this was a walk in the park.

The bottom is nice and sandy, not much seaweed at all. I started out a bit too quick, into the waves, and hadn't anticipated the full effect of the bow wave. Going into the wind I have to roll more. As I relaxed, and slowed my stroke down a little I felt more at home in the water. The suit felt pretty good, aside from the odd trickle of water going places it hadn't been yet.

Remember that I'm quite short sighted, with terrible astigmatism. Put two people in shorts and a T shirt at the other end of a 25 m pool, and I have a tough time telling gender. But sighting wasn't too bad. There's enough big blocks of colour that I think I'll be ok. It's a bit of a trick trying to keep my head up to do the sighting, since all my practice in the pool is to keep my head down. They didn't have the official buoys in yet, so maybe I'll just have to hope I can keep up with the pack.

Most people were swimming the course in reverse since we weren't starting at the same place the race does. I got out at my half way point and ran up the beach, around a volley ball pole, and back into the water. It was warmer than the beach. The swim back was smoother. Still, I swallowed a fair bit of water, and got a bit into my lungs during the 30 min or so swim. I'm trying not to think about that too much. Back to the house for a quick rinse, dinner, and posting this blog!

This is Linda commenting on 'the first wet suit experience'. Well, it wasn't as difficult as I thought it might be. Keith did the plastic bag trick to slide his feet in & after that things went quite well. I had had visions of my laughing hysterically at the sight..... However, I am convinced that seeing Keith in the wet suit will pretty much convince our cat Amelia that the end is nigh - she has this thing about strangers & I can't think of anything more strange likely to come her way. Swim cap & goggles a must, naturally - otherwise maybe she'd just think it was her human in funny smelling clothes. To really finish the ensemble, fins on the feet!

My big question, am I better off putting the goggles on first, then the cap, or the cap first and then the googles?

So Jenna, here are my photos to match yours.


  1. Keith, good to hear the first swim went well. Is the lake open to anyone this week? I should come do an ow swim, take advantage of the free open water swimming.

  2. The lake is open tonight as well, 7 to 8:30. Go to the entrance on the east side of the lake. There's a booth where you have to sign in, but that's all.

  3. Great swim and funny to hear Linda's take on the inaugural wetsuit experience! Have you ever tried wearing contacts while you swim? I'm just like you -- I could never see the little hands of the pace clock at the other end of the pool, and people are just blurred shapes too.

    I was always too afraid to swim with contacts in, fearing that water would get in my eye and wash it out and then I'd be in a pickle. When I was in Penticton at the training camp person after person told me they swim with contacts and have never had a problem.

    Since then, I've been swimming with contacts and I have to say, I quite enjoy seeing the other end of the pool now. I even wore them for my Was race. No problems!!

    I know exactly how you feel about looking for large blocks of colour during the race. The only thing is,is that there are so many people swimming in front of you that it is sometimes hard to see over and past all the caps -- it's sometimes better to sight off a tree or hillside instead of the buoy. If there is some landmark that is in proximity to the buoy, it can be a WHOLE lot easier than sighting up and out of the water to see the buoys.

    It's different sighting in the water when you are basically the only one in the water. When there are all these splashing swimmers in front of you it can be really difficult to keep somewhat good swimming form and sight the buoys.

    I always put the goggles on top of my swim cap -- never had a problem except last year during IMC when I knocked my own goggles off half way through the course -- don't even ask. (Like I said somewhere else, I think I've committed just about every error you can! LOL!!)

    All I'll say is that whatever you decide to do, make sure you do it in practice BEFOREHAND -- DO NOT ATTEMPT ANYTHING NEW ON RACE DAY!!! :) :) Trust me. :) :) :) :)

  4. I think you need more Jenna Style posing! We'll have to work on this race morning and come up with a good pose for her!

  5. made that look effortless!! Do you look all sexy wrapped in rubber - Linda is thinking, "that's my man!!"
    One tip - if you haven't used body glide around your ankles and wrists and neck - you might want to. Not only does it help with chafing but it does help the wetsuit come off alot faster :)
    I always have my goggles over my swim cap and never have had an issue - however, if someone entered what I have deemed my space - they might meet my elbows and feet long before they get near my head. Just practice and do what works for you.

    Now just for a giggle - at Frank Dunn last year I put my wetsuit on backwards and i didn't realize I had done it wrong until I was zipping up and I had this incredible amount of boob making its way to my chin - this was beyond cleavage.....then in horrow and with 30 seconds before I had to get into the water - I realized I was in it backwards :) I asked two strangers near me to unzip and strip me :) they complied. I squirmed back into my wetsuit and did my best to pull it up and on. I had horrible chafing because i never did get it adjusted as it should have been... so remember - hands into the ARM holes :) feet into the LEG holes and ZIPPER at the BACK!! Good luck and I'll be waiting for a race report - Keith style and some pictures where you make getting into your wetsuit look hard (maybe if you had it many sizes too small it would help:)

  6. Hey Keith...looks like all systems go for the race!! Hoop Dee Do!! I have always worn my goggles outside my cap. There have been a couple of instances where somebody got too close and knocked them crooked. Much easier to take them off and adjust quickly when the strap is outside the swim cap. And I have swam with contact lenses since I have been 13 years old. Never once had an issue.

  7. Unfortunately for me, contacts are difficult technically, to say NOTHING about actually putting them in. I'm just a little squeamish on the topic, thank you very much. I once tried reading, just reading, the brochure on LASIK surgury, and I couldn't even finish. Hard to read with your eyes scrunched shut really hard.

  8. Best of luck this weekend Keith!

    Looking forward to the RR.

  9. Hey Keith, I know I said I'd show up to cheer, but it looks like I'm gonna have a long day tomorrow with the training and somthing else in the evening. I don't think I'll be able to make the tri. If you need anything, questions, or w/e you can email me. I'm sure you got it figured out, but if you do want to bounce some ideas off someone feel free. email is

    Other then that, good luck, I'll be sending positive vibes to you and Kelsey, I know you guys will do great!

    Oh someone one thing I was going to mention, if you don't have any body glide, Pam is the cheaper just as effective alternative for wetsuit lube. It's safe for your wetsuit too, trust me it is, and works I think actually better then body glide. Cheers,


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