Anxiety OW Swimming In A New Spot

I swam 59 minutes, at 9:15am, at a new spot on the sea out past Lara- from a point sticking out into the sea back along the shallow bay it protected somewhat from the waves. From the point I swam to the pier, then to the dry-waterfall cliff and back. It was sunny, hot, humid. The water was 27 degrees and visibility was maybe 5 meters. Wind from the southeast which created 20-30 cm swells which I swam with on the way out and against on the way back.

OBSERVATIONS TODAY:

  • I had no problem mentally or physically dealing with waves or chop. Actually I rather like the sensation of balance and cutting through them so easily. It is a good feeling to know that I can manage these conditions so well while most others would avoid them.
  • I was encouraged to see how I could change gears so easily- using 250 strokes as a cycle, and way to measure distance and pace to certain landmarks.
  • I felt some anxiety in the unfamiliar water, with the deep/shallow changes, smooth then dark rough surfaces emerging from the blue below. I still have to work on my fear of this facet of open-water. It’s not necessarily ‘deep’ water, or rough terrain that I feel anxiety about, but the unanticipated changes in feature and my limited range of vision make me feel so vulnerable- totally illogical, but quite real and wastes a bit of energy controlling it.
  • I see that deep water with no visual features is the best for concentration and rhythm. Watching things change was a real distraction and affected my course adjustment decisions when it should not have.
  • I did not find a consistent hip thrust rhythm today. I felt my shoulders get achy so early on, as if I had swam hard yesterday (which I didn’t). I need to keep conditioning this. But afterwards I did feel a little fatigue in my legs which meant I was initiating the thrust with the kick somewhat, just not consistently to fend off the shoulder tiredness.
  • I was disappointed to get out at only 50 minutes. For a few reasons I decided not to extend it more today. But I need to start adding about 10 minutes a week, so within a week I need to push out to 80 minutes- under hard enough conditions a 5km could be as long as 120 minutes so I need to work up to that by September.
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