First Tri Club Open Water Swim

>> Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Earlier today, I took a few members of the CVA Triathlon Club to Lake Nokomis for their first open water swim! (Again, it’s under 3 weeks until their first triathlon!!) And it was cool that we had a lot of others meet up with us too!

Pharmie brought her wetsuit for Sarah to try. Sarah is thinking about doing a 2 mile Lake Superior swim in a couple of weeks, and you NEED a wetsuit for that! Here she is squeezing her way into a wetsuit for the first time:

Here was our whole gang:

Hannah, Cynthia, Evan, me, Pharmie, Tim, Sarah, Sara, Jen

You’ll remember Hannah, Evan, and Sarah from the 4 miler this past weekend. Cynthia is on the CVA Tri Club, and she’s doing her FIRST OLY this weekend!! Jen is doing an oly this weekend too. Tim is an old high-school buddy who has a similar oly PR as me. And Sara #2 (second from the right) was told about our get-together by Julia, as she’s training for the Lake Minnetonka 5 mile swim.

I also had to get a photo with the person who took that photo above. Deb, an admissions counselor at CVA, came to hang out on the beach and watch our stuff as we swam. Thanks Deb!!

I gave some advice to Sarah, Hannah, and Evan, as it was their FIRST OPEN WATER SWIM! We all headed out, treaded water for a moment, and took off. I stopped after 45 seconds to see how everyone was doing. Sarah and Evan were RIGHT on my tail! Nice! Hannah was a bit slower, but she KNOWS she can get through the race, and that’s all that matters.

As we were wrapping up, a big “Team In Training” group hit the water and swam all around us (including Ms. R). They maybe had 40-50 people out there (and 2 kayakers). It was good experience for my students to be out there with a lot of others. And they did GREAT! Here’s Lake Nokomis as it was filling up:

Cynthia, Tim, and Jen had to get going. Hannah swam in after 1 long lap. After a bit longer, Sarah and Evan came in. Here’s Evan sighting nicely on his way back to shore:

They popped up to run it in...

...and Evan went down in a heap:

Sarah kept running up to shore:

Evan immediately picked his butt up and ran in looking like a pro:

Here’s us few stragglers getting ready to head home:

Hannah, Sarah, Deb (curled up with a blanket
and a book), Pharmie, and Evan

EVERYONE SURVIVED AND DID SO WELL!! Sarah and Evan felt great! (And looked good too!) Hannah’s going to hit the pool a little more, and I’ll try to help her out to get a bit more comfortable. It’s under 3 weeks to their big day!!

(p.s. Check back Saturday or Sunday for a quick weekend giveaway!! You don’t want to miss it! I’m choosing 2 winners for a bunch of my new favorite recovery drink!!)


CoachLiz 10:25 PM, July 08, 2009  

Fantastic open water swim. So many new comers to triathlon are scared out of their wits by the swim because there is no black stripe at the bottom and they cannot see the bottom.

Good work Coach Steve!

Mel-2nd Chances 11:11 PM, July 08, 2009  

I can't wait for my first open water swim, hope I do as awesome as your group! :D

FLATOUT JIM 5:08 AM, July 09, 2009  

I remember my first open water swim like it was yesterday.

BTW looks like Sarahs swim cap is slipping off. Might want to glue it down with HAIR glue next time.

Mike 6:37 AM, July 09, 2009  

Looks like the group is coming along quite well!!! Rock on everyone!!!

Unknown 7:00 AM, July 09, 2009  

Looks like you had a great first OWS! Congratulations!!

Just a word of caution from a former lifeguard, though. It's good to get into the habit of wearing brightly coloured caps (think neon) in open water. You want to be seen from a distance, and be instantly recognizable as a swimmer. Should you ever get into trouble you're easier to spot & get to, and boaters/jet ski operators can avoid you more easily. (I don't wear a cap in the pool, but don't swim in open water without a nice bright one.)

Steve Stenzel 7:11 AM, July 09, 2009  

Good advice, Wendy! The nice thing about Nokomis is that you have to stay pretty close to shore in a pretty small swimming area, and there are no motor-powered boats in the lake. But should we ever head out to a bigger lake, I'll bring along brighter caps for everyone!

Casey 7:28 AM, July 09, 2009  

Am I the only one that's curious why Sarah was standing with a bag on one foot? :D

Great job to everyone! Looks like a fun time!

Redhead Running 7:41 AM, July 09, 2009  

I so need some motivation like this to get in gear for my first tri in September. I don't even know how to swim yet for goodness sakes!!!! Do you think I can doggy paddle my way through the swim part? Great post and pics as always! :)

Steve Stenzel 7:41 AM, July 09, 2009  

Ha! Casey, the bag was to help her get her foot through the wetsuit. It's an ancient Jedi trick....

Lindsay 7:58 AM, July 09, 2009  

oh man i am so intimidated by open water swimming. lake/ocean bottoms, gross :) plus i'd totally wipe out like evan did.

nice job by everyone though, they certainly have a great coach.

Carolina John 8:38 AM, July 09, 2009  

sounds like a great swim! my coach here does open water swims every sunday night, i can't wait to get in there.

Unknown 8:39 AM, July 09, 2009  

well done by all - and they look to be having fun

Regina 10:14 AM, July 09, 2009  

I've just had my first open water swims in the last month. I'm so glad I had a chance to do them; so different than the pool. Add wetsuit and salt water to the mix and it changes so much. I'd love to do a lake swim though.

Looks like you all had fun!

RBR 10:17 AM, July 09, 2009  

The first open water swim was a big, scary one for me. Thankfully. I did it with Team in Training. Doing it with a safe supportive group makes ALL the difference! You made sure they will want to do it again!

Coolest coach and tri team ever! Great job on their first open water swim!

Unknown 10:44 AM, July 09, 2009  

I am WAY overdue for an ows..I guess I'll just use my race this weekend as my ows practice for my race after that..oops!

Sarah 2:18 PM, July 09, 2009  

sarah has some great tatts!

Jennifer 3:21 PM, July 09, 2009  

I remember practicing for my first open water swim in a neighborhood 'pond'. I made my son sit on the shore in case I lost it in the deep end (4 feet, maybe). Having a quality leader surely makes the journey nicer so, ~ YAY! Steve and YAY! EVERYONE who gives triathlon a whirl. It's hard to not fall in love. With triathlon I mean.

Skye 6:49 AM, July 10, 2009  

I have my first tri tomorrow and I haven't managed to get in any open water swimming. So it's all a big unknown. I can't be any worse in open water than I am in a pool though. You guys all look like you're having fun!

Irish Cream 6:22 PM, July 10, 2009  

All of your students' workouts look like so much fun! You know what that means? Why, obviously, it's that you're a great coach! :)

Beth 10:31 PM, July 10, 2009  

Looks like you guys had a great time- pretty impressive for a first OW swim. Your whole group looks so happy... Yeah!

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