Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Open Water Swim Clinic

Last Friday, I participated in an Open Water Swim Clinic held by Lifetime.  It was $20 and included all of this...
- Free wetsuit rental
- Free box lunch
- Free granola bars (Luna Bars, Cliff Bars, etc)
- Free goodie bag
- Wetsuit waddle to the beach from Millennium Park (Um...)
- Hour long open water swim clinic
- 2 (count them...2!) Free beers afterwards

All of this for only $20!  It started at Millennium Park where we registered and got all our gear.  We registered online beforehand (registration is limited to 200 people) and the area opened to get all settled in and get your stuff between 11:30-12:45.  I get off of work on Friday during the summer at noon (Hello summer hours!)  so I just left about 11:45 to head over there.  It's only about a 10 minute walk from my office!  I met up with several other runners from my FNRC run group.  We are now becoming cyclists and swimmers, with various people getting bikes and doing duathlons and triathlons!  Why limit yourself to just running!

Have you ever put on a wetsuit before?  This was my first time and it wasn't pretty.  I was only half way done trying to get it on and my arms were so fatigued!  I guess people say you are supposed to put it on wet but we weren't by water so...anyway.  They had people coming around helping and giving tips to get it on.  Two people must have seen how pathetic I looked much trouble I was having trying to get it on and came to talk to me.  They did it in a subtle way as to not make you feel stupid... much appreciated!

The second guy that came over to talk to me and my friends asked if we were signed up for any marathons. I told him I was signed up for Fox Valley and he told me he was pacing it.  He asked what my pace was and then ... get this... told me he was the 4:30 pacer!  What!?!  It's fate!  I told him he better remember me when I talk to him before the marathon!  His name was... um... Bob, or Paul... or Ron...Fabio??  I don't remember.  Stupid memory has been really bad lately!  No worries, I'll find him and HE BETTER REMEMBER ME!  He told me we are getting that 4:30!  Nice!  (I actually "think" his name is Bob...maybe).

At 12:45-ish, we started getting instruction and headed over towards the face fountain thing at Millennium Park.  We were told to take off our shoes and socks.  I thought we were just taking a picture.  WRONG!  One of the trainers proceeded to make a mockery of us in front of all the tourists (who were taking all kinds of pictures of these crazy people in wetsuits).  We did jumping jacks, push ups, planks, etc.).  I guess it was a warm up.  Needless to say, it was really fun and entertaining.  And I'm sure we gave those tourists something to talk about later! 

Doing Planks
Running to the beach (the F'N Runners)

The whole group posing for a photo
After that, we headed for our little wetsuit run to Oak Street Beach, which is about 1.5 miles away. It was a warm day and the wetsuits made it even hotter!!  We had them rolled down (although I didn't bring a sports bra to wear and so had my partially covering my bathing suit top) but we were just dying in those wetsuits!  Finally we made it to the beach and the clinic commenced.

The clinic was a lot more swimming than I actually thought.  And since there were major storms two days before, the water was pretty choppy!  I actually don't have much to talk about with the swim clinic part. lol.  Ok, I'll try...

We worked on breathing techniques and citing.  This can be difficult while swimming in open water and they wanted us to work on it.  They gave us something to try and we would swim out to one of the instructors and swim back.  Then they would give us something else to practice and we would swim out and back.  They also gave us different drills for the arms to practice.  Ex. Tough your hands together every time you bring it in front of you before you begin your next stroke.  You won't be doing this when you are swimming normally but it was a drill to make sure you didn't have your arms too far to the sides.  Another drill was to swim with your fist closed.  They wanted to show you how to use your arm as a paddle...and also how much you actually use your hands for swimming.  These were just a few drills they made us practice.  Basically we just got pounded with the waves.  I thought I was doing well with swimming straight in the beginning but by the end, I was tired and drinking the entire Lake Michigan!

We were able to take the trolley back to Millennium Park and get the beer and hang out.  I actually didn't drink any beer (not a huge beer drinker...I know, I know...).  And let's just say...I was really tired when I got home.  That was a great workout!  And so much fun!  I've never actually done any swimming in open water (besides playing around at the beach and swimming for fun), so it was a lot of fun and great to see what it's like.  The instructors were all great.  The photographer was great.  All the workers at Millennium Park were great!  I had a fantastic time...and let's face it, can't beat that price!  And I got to meet my future pacer!! 
After the swim clinic

Yay for Triathlons!

1 comment:

  1. I love the pictures of all of you!! Looks hilarious.