Both of us were fairly strong swimmers in our high school days, but let's face it - high school was a long time ago. Saturday morning came and we suited up, drove 40 minutes out to the location of the late July triathlon, and made our way into the water. To be honest, I wanted to get out of the water about thirty seconds after I got in. Why? The vast majority of the lake looked pretty weedy and lake weeds generally contain a lot of fish. I'm cursed with a completely irrational fish phobia. Unfortunately, the vast majority of triathlons involve a lake swim, so I had two choices: suck it up or quit. I sucked it up. I stuck my face in the water, made sure there were no fish in the vicinity and proceeded to swim after The Husband.
I think we probably swam a grand total of 150-200 yards (distance for the sprint tri is 400 yards) with lots of rests in between "laps" and were both completely exhausted and had to face the reality that there is no way either of us was going to be swimming 400 yards without stopping any time soon.
I may not be ready this season, but I do have a plan! The Husband and I are going to try to hit the lake a few more times this summer in an attempt to build some confidence and endurance in the water (and work on my phobia). Our gym has a reciprocal agreement with another fitness center for pool privileges, so I'll be taking advantage of that this winter to increase both speed and endurance with the added bonuses of not smelling like a lake or coping with fish! Finally, I'm looking into joining a tri club next spring. The tri club offers a Newbie Triathlete program, so at least I'll be around other people who are just as clueless as me - and maybe I won't be the only freak with fish phobia!
The triathlon setback is definitely annoying since I've been chomping at the bit to do another multi-sport event ever since I crossed the finish line at the South Shore Duathlon. Fortunately, I found another duathlon to do in lieu of a triathlon. The only drawback there is that it's the week after the Full Moon Half Marathon, and I don't think putting that much stress on my body is a good idea. So I have a choice to make: Half Marathon or Duathlon. I'm hoping to make a decision by the end of this weekend.
Do you have any irrational fears? Have you conquered them? If so, how?