Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My first encounter with Barton Springs

It has been a long time since I posted... Sha has been trying to get us to put our individual profiles here but nothing has happenned yet :-P Anyway she nudged all of us to leave a little something on the blog and that prompted me into action. Of course I am writing this sitting at work, using my company's workstation, internet, electricity while they also pay me for my time. But so what? The world can wait another day for my nobel prize worthy circuits' invention!

Onto more meaningful stuff - my training has been going as planned more or less. I have been trying different city pools - Deep Eddy, West Enfield, Stacy, Canyon Vista, Barton Springs. A few workout highlights from past few weeks:

2 weeks back I swam the race distance of 300m for the first time in Deep Eddy. I was thrilled that day. First time I felt confident that I could do it!

Our company is offering Yoga classes for a minimal cost. I have signed up for the Intermediate level. These once a week classes make my body feel totally stretched out and rejuvinated :)

The running part is also going good. Occassionaly I run around the block near my apartment complex and I have been surprising myself repeatedly by doing it much faster than last year. May be all the cross training is helping me do it.

The most interesting workout session happenned this past Saturday (July 12th). Tri-oomphers (Steph, Steph, Sha, Cha, G3 and myself) did a brick - swim at Barton Springs pool followed by a run at Town Lake. This was my first time in open water environment. Gosh it was totally unexpectedly nerve racking!!
The water at Barton Springs remains at 68F year round and we were there at 7 in the morning. Gingerly I stepped into the pool, slowly getting accustomed to the water. I was standing in waist high water debating whether there was still time to chuck all this and go home to a warm bed. Right then, G3 jumped into the water and started splashing water on everyone. That didn't leave me with much choice really and I took the plunge. After some brief pointers about "sighting" from Stephanie, we started swimming. One lap would be around 400m.

I started alright but as soon as I saw the floor drop abruptly I freaked out. Swam right back to where we started and just stood there. I thought I needed more time to get used to the environs. So I got my kickboard out and started kicking. I must have gone out about 150m or so when I heard someone shout my name. I thought it was Sha or someone asking me to forget the kickboard and go right into it. I felt like screaming back "Cut me some slack lady! It's my first time!" Then I heard it again "Itisha! Help!" What?? Someone asking ME for help! I needed major help myself. :D

I quickly went to the side, held the rail and looked around. Damn those foggy goggles wouldn't let me see anything. Removed them and spotted G3 swimming towards me saying "I need help. The plants. They are freaking me out." Shit! I didn't know what to do. I couldn't go out myself. I was scared. I shouted "Hey it's ok. Just grab this." and threw my kickboard to her. It didn't go very far but I don't think she needed that anyway. She was doing breast stroke. I think at one point I even said "Just breathe. It's ok." (Whatever prompted me to say that - it must have been the Yoga's instructor's voice in my head.) Anyway G3 reached the side. By then Cha and Sha had also gotten there. G3 told us how the plants would freak her out everytime she started doing freestyle. We decided to pair up and go back to the starting point - Cha with G3 and Sha with me. I left my kickboard there and started swimming back with Sha. I must have taken 4 breaks to swim those 150m or so. ha ha. Pathetic show!

Anyway it was time for us to get changed and head to Town Lake. A few other Asha runners were also there. We had planned to run in our bright red Asha Tees to get some publicity for our Strides of Hope program. It was awesome to not be running alone. I mostly ran with AshG and Sha. Sha and I even sprinted the last section over the bridge. The group run felt terrific.

So the most urgent need of the hour is to get used to open water in Barton Springs. I need many more open water practice sessions. Hopefully the fear in my mind will be overcome soon!


Sharanya said...

Steph shared a very cool funda with me yesterday. Take a deep interest & fascination in the underwater world so that u are excited (and not freaked out) by what lies beneath. This is a cool way to overcome negative thoughts such as fear, and substitute them with positive thots. So, let's watch the fish with interest today! :)

G3 said...

LOL! I still remember the anger filled look you gave me when i screamed out your name!! :D