What’s better than doing an open water swim in preparation for your triathlon? Doing an open water swim in the exact location of your triathlon the day before the race AND supporting an amazing organization at the same time.
Last Saturday, Davey and I had the opportunity to take part in the first annual Open Water Swim in support of the Nashville Dolphins, an aquatics program for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
We had originally signed up for this race because we thought it would be great experience to be able to practice on the swim course of our triathlon, but after we learned more about the Nashville Dolphins, our motivation for doing this race changed. It was such an honor to swim in support of this incredible organization and we were so inspired by the kids and their big smiles.
The Nashville Dolphins swim team did a cheer for us and signaled the start of the race with shouts of encouragement and excitement. The race was a time trial start and since Davey and I were number 5 and 11, we were jumping into the Cumberland River before we knew it.
I can’t believe I’m saying this because I had a huge fear of swimming in the Cumberland River last year, but it was glorious! The water temperature was a perfect 81 degrees, the current wasn’t too strong and it was a beautiful day.
We both drifted in the current more then we thought we would and it was really helpful for us to know that before our race the next day. We’re really excited that this will be an annual event and we can’t wait till next year!
Here we are with some new friends we met at the race:
And I guess all of our swim training is paying off! We did pretty well:
Hey guys, Trainer Davey here, chiming in…
I just wanted to remind you that when I first started doing triathlons, I could barely swim one lap without stopping to catch my breath and let the water drain out of my nose. In fact, my first triathlon swim time for 400 meters was 11:20, and some of that time was spent clinging onto the edge of a safety canoe, because I wasn’t sure I could finish!
After that experience, I made it my goal to become a better swimmer. It took lots of hard work and practice, because now I finally feel like I’ve learned to enjoy swimming – instead of dreading it like I used to.
At the Nashville Dolphin’s swim event, I came in first in my age group. And, yesterday during my triathlon, I had my best swim time ever at 6:27 for 400 meters! That’s proof that anyone can improve.
If you feel like the swim is keeping you from doing a triathlon, I want to challenge you to take the plunge! And if you can’t swim or don’t feel like you’re making any progress, don’t give up! Stay with it and I promise it will come.
Or if you need some extra help or motivation, drop me a line and I’ll do anything I can to encourage you.