First Open Water Swim for 2014

Folks, last night was the first official open water swim in Omaha, NE hosted by Race Omaha. Not only is it a great test of how winter training has gone, it gives you a chance to test out the wetsuit, acclimate to the water and strange things floating, get used to other swimmers, and just to get out the race jitters. I had not open water swam in over a year thanks to my injury last summer, but hopping in the lake felt awesome. I went in with the mentality that I was going to be a coach rather than an athlete and that is exactly what I was. I stayed with the end of the pack to sweep up the slower swimmers and to make sure they were ok. My main focus was my own triathlon group that I have been training for the past 11 weeks, but I also lent a hand to many other novice open water swimmers. One gal who I have known for a few years posted this on facebook today and felt I should share it:

“First open water swim is half excitement and happy adrenaline and half pure terror. This one was no different. It is ALWAYS a very humbling experience. Fellow Goat Kim Cottingham McSheehy was kind enough to loan me her shorty wetsuit ….it fit perfect on shore. Not constricting, maybe a little loose in spots but not much. I was excited to get in the water. I always start slow and sidestroke to the first buoy to allow my anxiety to pass, heart rate to settle in and breathing to relax. I usually visit with other swimmers until I get warmed up. I did just that and it was nice heading out with Heather Jenneman.

After the initial buoy I felt good, rolled over and began freestyle. Arms felt a little heavy because there was some looseness in the armpit area but not a biggie, I had taken on a bit of water in my suit but didn’t think much of it. Then Heather McCowen Dall swam up and asked if I was ok because I had a huge bubble of fabric on my backside. She was concerned for my safety and that I might take on too much water and have issues further out. Since Heather is a tri coach, I respect her opinion and know she would not mention it unless there was a valid concern……being the safety conscious swimmer I am, I reluctantly turned back toward shore. I knew it was the right choice because as I swam back I noticed more boginess. Damn, thought I had a suit I could fit in.

Did throw in the towel and get dressed? Nope, stripped of the suit and checked if there were any sleeveless exterra demos I could fit in…..nothing my size. Women’s only goes to xl and we all know how that went yesterday. They did however have lava pants……wetsuit pants. Hmmmmm, maybe that’s the answer. I tried an xl and they seemed to fit although the rise seemed a bit low. I like a higher “mom” rise but Heather went out with me while I tried them out. Seemed good at first but went out a bit more and came back they began to work their way down despite a drawstring. When I walked up the ramp I had a good ghetto sag and swimmer crack going! Gonna need to size those babies up to an xxl to go over my apple butt and dough belly. Yeah, it’s a great vision isn’t it? Add my smiley face yellow have a nice day minion swim cap and multicolor goggles and you know I looked HOT. Lol.

Also got back in without any wetsuit and figured I could go without if necessary but I really liked the buoyancy of the lava pants to navigate thru that f’ing mass of yucky seaweed. If anyone has a used pair of wetsuit pants that are a unisex size xl or xxl with a regular rise that I could try that would be awesome! I am glad Angie Boyer Zimmer could use my wetsuit I could not. I loved that suit but it did not love me back. Even though I didn’t get my full loop in, I had a good evening trying out new equipment, including my awesome new TYR polarized goggles from Red Dirt! Next week I will be mentally ready to go the full distance no matter what and hopefully score a well fitting pair of wetsuit pants.” Courtesty of Deb Bahr

I greatly appreciate the shout out from a friend and fellow triathlete.  I say this over and over again to my folks, safety first, especially in the water.  Do not mess with water, ever.  If something feels off, get out and correct it.  I also swam with a client who a few years ago had a near death experience in this exact lake.  She was very nervous last night, but I had her only go to the first buoy, turn around, and repeat.  Once she was comfortable, we went out together further and she was fine.  Some of the nerves are just having confidence in the water, but never underestimate the lake.  Water is and can be very dangerous, safety first.

Myself with Deb!

Myself with Deb!

A good portion of my Prairie Life Fitness Triathlon group before the open water swim!

A good portion of my Prairie Life Fitness Triathlon group before the open water swim!

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About Flatlander Tri Coaching

Welcome to my page. My name is Heather Dall and I am a Certified Triathlon Coach located in Omaha, NE. I work out of Prairie Life Fitness (132nd location) and provide triathlon coaching, knowledge, experience, and expertise to those looking to get into triathlons to the seasoned veteran looking to improve performance. Along with being a triathlon coach and athlete, I also manage a local Trek Bicycle Store. There is nothing better than being able to be in a passion industry and share my love of the sport. I am an endurance junkie who got into competitive racing back in 2000. I started off racing mountain bikes, taking the podium numerous times. Then the kids came along and I took some time off to raise the squirts. Back in 2009 my friend suckered me into a mini tri and really the rest is history. I have been doing triathlons ever since, usually about 4-6 triathlons per season-primarily Olympic and X-Terra, plus 10K races, off-road runs, charity bike rides, and the occasional bike race. My background prior to triathlons, is tennis. I grew up playing on the courts in Northern California with the goal to play in college. I did accomplish my goal and was a walk-on at Creighton University. Long story short, while working part-time at Prairie Life Fitness in 2008, I was asked to start a tennis program for youth and adults. I still run the program and coach tennis year round. And with my connections at my gym, I had the opportunity to co-teach a 12 week triathlon training program for about 20 ladies spring 2011. They primarily trained for the Omaha Women’s Tri with a few going on to race later in the season. The group was a huge success and is the main reason I studied to become a triathlon coach. I love helping people to achieve their goals, make new strides, and spread my wealth of knowledge on to other like-minded individuals. Along with coaching, I am a distributor for Juice+ For those looking to add more fruits and veggies to their diet and make smarter nutrition choices, check out my site: http://heatherdall.juiceplus.com/

Posted on May 23, 2014, in 2014, Coaching, Prairie Life Fitness, Race Omaha, Safety, Swim, Training and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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