swimming with the sharks

last saturday’s ride down to solana beach introduced me one of the board members for the oc tri club, q. we seemed to hit it off and we made plans to continue to do some training, as he’s preparing for the half iron at vineman and i have the camp pendlton oly next month. since the camp pendleton oly is an ocean swim (albeit in an enclosed bay) i really wanted to get out into the pacific and get over my fear of swimming with marine life that is higher on the food chain than i am. so, q and i planned on an ocean swim/run brick for thursday night.
i showed up at corona del mar a little early, suited up and took a couple easy strokes out into the surf. the water wasn’t too cold and the wetsuit again felt fantastic. q showed up and the two of us hopped into the surf. the plan was to swim out to the first line of buoys, regroup and then swim parallel the shore along the line of buoys, regrouping at each major buoy. i was glad to have him out there with me, since he was formerly a rescue swimmer for the coast guard. we headed out and surprisingly, i felt quite at ease.
i kept pace with q out to the first buoy, we paused for a moment and then headed off along the line of buoys. q pulled away from me easily, but waited up for me at each major buoy. before we knew it, we were at the end of the line and i was noticing that the swell had significantly increased. sighting was more difficult and it felt like i had to work a bit more to stay on course and keep my body position correct. the great thing was that i was so focused on sighting and keeping an eye on the buoys that i didn’t have time to scan the water around me for signs of marine life.
i’d hit my rhythm by the time we hit the last buoy and i indicated to q that i was ready to return. q again waited for me at each of the major buoys and i was able to swim straight back to the first buoy without pausing. as i neared the end of the loop, i evaluated how i was feeling and actually felt like doing another loop. i decided against it, though, since i didn’t want to spend too much time on the workout and we still had an hour run coming up. we exited the water and proceeded to get changed.
the run was a fantastic out and back through crystal cove state park, which runs along the bluffs overlooking the beach. as we ran along, temps in the mid 70′s, wonderful breeze blowing and bright, afternoon sunshine, i asked myself what i was doing looking at real estate in other parts of the country earlier in the day.
the plan is to keep doing this sort of workout on a weekly basis and now that i’m over the fear of the unknown, i’m really looking forward to it!

5 thoughts on “swimming with the sharks

  1. It’s experiences like the one you describe that make me so happy to live in Southern California. One of my favorite summer outings is dinner on the rooftop terrace of George’s at the Cove in La Jolla, where you get to watch all the swimmers doing just what you did. Good luck on the upcoming triathlon.

  2. I loved my first bay swim and didn’t think about the sharks AT ALL until I got to shore. Just getting in was enough of a challenge. Glad you enjoyed your swim, too.

  3. hey, sounds like fun. glad you made a new friend, way to go. by the way, what you’d miss most would be the beautiful weather…

  4. I’m sitting here in the Indiana flatlands smiling thinking of the comparitive food-chain analysis!!! Oh my…glad you only found brighly covered bouys!!

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