View RSS Feed

Swimming, Life, and Other Stuff!

Big Shoulder's But Small Heart

Rate this Entry
by , September 12th, 2010 at 03:07 PM (640 Views)
I am sorry to report I "bagged it" this year at Big Shoulder's 5K swim.
I had lots of doubts all week long when the water temp dipped into the low 60's and storms were predicted for Friday night and Saturday morning. I took a wetsuit with me but I'll admit I've only done about 500 meters in one and I didn't like it at all!
We got a late start driving up friday night and unfortunately around 11 p.m. ran out of gas on I-95 somewhere around the south-side of Chicago. This is not a good situation for 3 females in a white BMW suv. Luckily one of my passengers belonged to Triple A and was able to summons delivery of 1.5 gallons of gas in 75 minutes. The difficult part was finding a gas station still open and knowing you only had a gallon of gas in the tank. We eventually found gasoline in time and got back on track for a late arrival to the Knickerbocker Millenium Hotel.
While waiting for our gasoline to arrive I received a text from Chicken of the Sea announcing that the water had warmed up to 66 degrees Friday afternoon! This information gave me hope to possibly swim sans wetsuit and possibly do well in my new 55-59 age-group!
Little did I know that wind and turbulence would blow in later Friday night and cause a very choppy, windy, rainy and cold 62 degree swim.
I him-hawed around the beach before the swim. I visited the water a couple times trying to decide what to do. When it was announced the water was 62 I knew a wetsuit was in order for me.
I reported to the water for my start wave. I "took-off "on the start signal but after 20 strokes or so I stood up and looked around and decided I didn't want to swim 3.1 miles in the wetsuit feeling like a bobber with limited shoulder flexibility.
At first I felt just fine about my decision to quit. As I made my exit the water I found plenty of team mates and assorted swimmers' I knew who quit or totally scratched the race due to the conditions. A few of us took pics and stood at the shoreline with blankets and towels to help frozen swimmers as they finished their swims.
The rest of the day was spent with team mates (see pics above if they exported) eating and commiserating their miserable swims.
By the time I got home Saturday night I felt
disappointed in myself for just giving up without putting up a fight.
I wish I'd at least struggled through one 2.5K lap! I was totally trained for the event, felt fine the morning of the swim but I let the conditions get the best of me and psyched myself before I even really tried. Disappointing, really miserably disappointing.

Submit "Big Shoulder's But Small Heart" to Digg Submit "Big Shoulder's But Small Heart" to Submit "Big Shoulder's But Small Heart" to StumbleUpon Submit "Big Shoulder's But Small Heart" to Google



  1. The Fortress's Avatar
    I feel like I'm getting strangled and bobbing in a wetsuit too. They're very odd. So I totally understand that. And 62 degrees is almost impossible to tolerate without a wetsuit without cold water training. You could get hypothermia.

    I know you feel bad. I'd feel bad too if I was fully trained for an event, but then couldn't do it. So rotten that the water did not cooperate. *Hugs*
    Updated September 12th, 2010 at 04:12 PM by The Fortress
  2. gigi's Avatar
    I can see why you have a little black cloud smiley, and it sounds like you're feeling pretty down right now, but really you made the best decision for you at that moment. You had a great season of training, you're in great shape, you helped out people who needed it, and now you know that you and wetsuits aren't a good pairing!
    And only a grinch would say that the bobinator has a small heart!
  3. KEWebb18's Avatar
    I'm sorry about your disappointment. The weather is so unpredictable!
    The way I look at it is you were trained for the event, and you had to make the tough decision to not swim. That doesn't mean that you didn't get anything out of the experience. Your hard work this summer will pay off in other ways in the pool!
  4. aztimm's Avatar
    Wow, that's too bad. I've tried on wetsuits twice, and wasn't happy with the feel either time. I purposely time any swims to allow me to swim without a wetsuit, but 62 is definitely too cold. I've done 68, and that was still tolerable for a 1000m.

    Just start planning the next stage to your training, maybe a long pool swim to take advantage of the training you've been doing. Or travel somewhere warm where you can still do an open water swim without a wetsuit.
  5. swimsuit addict's Avatar
    I think you should retitle this entry "Big Shoulders, Wise Head!"
  6. The Fortress's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by swimsuit addict
    I think you should retitle this entry "Big Shoulders, Wise Head!"
    I wish there was a "like" button for this.
  7. jim thornton's Avatar
    Bobinator, I agree with what everyone has said.

    I interviewed this world famous mountain climber once on fear (not that you were afraid), and he said that the top adventurers he knows understand that you need to pay attention to that little voice inside your head that tells you, "This doesn't feel right to me. This is not my day."

    He says it often takes more courage to back off than to force yourself to blunder onwards.

    Rather than feeling bad about your decision, I think you should celebrate it. You listened to your instincts and quite possibly avoided a situation that could have had much worse repercussions for your athletic future.

    I, for one, salute you! And hope you advice your young students not to force themselves to do something they know is not right for them to be doing on a given day and circumstances.
  8. Speedo's Avatar
    It sounds like you were ready, but it doesn't sound like you would have had any fun doing it. After all, that's what it's about, right?

    I think you made a very wise decision.
  9. Bobinator's Avatar
    Fort, thank you for your kind words I felt hesitant about going all week due to the weather reports I was getting but since I was the designated driver I felt like I needed to just HTFU and go. I am over it already. Training is never a waste and I'll just put it toward distance events this winter!!
  10. Bobinator's Avatar
    Thanks gigi! You are sweet!
    The only reason I say "small heart" was because I really didn't even try. I'm over it though and looking forward to any swim meet coming up soon!!
  11. Bobinator's Avatar
    Thanks Katie!!! I agree with the training comment!
    I had a really good workout this morning all rested and tapered!! I'm looking for a meet with the mile!
  12. Bobinator's Avatar
    Thanks aztimm! I like tech suits but wetsuits seem over-the-top to me too!
    My favorite part of swimming is swimming and training so for me it's never a waste. The races are the icing on the cake.
  13. Bobinator's Avatar
    Thanks SA! The decision seemed smart at the time. I guess I'll go back next year and hope the water is back in the 67-72 degree range and a little more calm. My hat goes off to anyone who got out there and did it though!
  14. Bobinator's Avatar
    Thanks Jimby !
    I'm not sure if I was scared or what. It seemed pretty stupid to swim 5K in 62 degree water after training all summer in water that was 85-89 degrees. I guess if it would have been cold but calm, or warm but choppy I would have done it. The combination just didn't sound like what I had prepared myself to do. I agree you have to go with your gut instinct. As I walked away from the water after the start I said "I can't think of anything about this that would enrich my life so I'm not doing it!" The entire spectator crowd got a good laugh from that statement!
  15. Bobinator's Avatar
    Thank you Speedo!! I felt (and still feel) the same way!
  16. jaegermeister's Avatar
    There is a lot of collective wisdom in this group. You made the right decision!

    I hope they had hot chocolate or Cup-a-Soup or something else warm on the beach.

    Your story of getting to your hotel shows an awful lot of determination!
  17. Bobinator's Avatar
    So true Jaegermeister! I won the gold medal on determination to get to the hotel!! Of course who would want to sleep in their car on the south side of chi town????? I am not a gangsta!
  18. knelson's Avatar
    I think any time you swim a race like this you should always have "there's always next year" in the back of your head. Things don't always go as planned. There's no shame in bailing if you just aren't feeling it that day.
  19. Bobinator's Avatar
    Thanks Kirk! I'm still calling myself a wimp but I definitely wasn't feeling the "eye of the tiger" to go out and do it. I think I will try to do some lake training on crummy days next year for a confidence boost.