Saturday, August 13, 2011

Oceanside Pier Swim and Supergirl Pro Surf Contest

Surf Contest Link

Oh my goodness-what a day at the beach!  I have not been in the water for six days because my back has been hurting.  This afternoon I went in at low tide for a swim around the pier and the water temperature was a comfy 68 degrees, the waves were 2-3 feet, long intervals, and past the breakers the sea was flat.  Visibility was about 8 feet and there was a minimal current north to south.  I stopped half-way at the pier and checked for the current by watching the water carry me southward very slowly.
There was a surf contest going on at the south side of the pier-it was a longboard day.  Perfect for the longboarders.  The atmosphere was mellow and there was a Guy Takayama sale at the amphitheater - surf gear, boards, etc.
I wore the fins so that the back wouldn't be stressed.  I took a slow, relaxing swim and relished in the comfort of it.  The lovely, light-blue water out deep was gorgeous.  The sky was overcast-mostly clouded over.  I watched the sun breaking through the clouds after my swim as I waded and looked for shells.  Just a really neat swim day.  And the ocean past the breakers was mine alone! 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Labor Day Pier Swim Training For Water Entry and Water Exit

The water was just about the same Saturday as it was Friday.  There was a strong northward rip current from the water line on sand to the outside end of the surf zone.  I decided that I needed practice on ocean water entry so I wanted to do 3 or 4 water entries, including running to the water from about 15 yards away, running and jumping through the the shallow water, and swimming out past the outside end of the surf zone.  Wow-was I in for a surprise!  That stuff is HARD! 
It was a rough surf day, with the rip and some good-sized, beautiful waves.  I did a combination of running and diving out into the water until it was deep enough for swimming only.  I had to swim hard and dive under the waves using up a lot of energy because I was trying to put out a hard effort.  After the first water entry I was gasping for air out there past the breakers.  I rested a few minutes and swam in.  Running, or trying to run, through the shallow water was a butt kicker.  Gasping again, I jogged it out for about 30 yards and sat to rest.
Second water entry.  The same thing but harder.  My return run in through the shallow water was a quick walk.
Third entry.  I stepped on a soft, squishy, gooey thing that fled away and was probably a ray.  Yuck.  When one RUNS into the water, there is no shuffling of the sand before one takes a step to frighten away any stingrays that might be resting.  I really didn't run out in the water; I was diving into the water as soon as possible, and really pulling my head out high gasping for air.  The third surf zone trip was hard: I had no air and was slow.  I had to take a long rest outside before returning in.
For trip number four, I had a bit of a second wind and did better.  Still, I gasped for my rapid breaths as my pulse hit limits that my heart probably has not experienced in decades.  I took a long rest outside and my swim in was done with my reserve strength kicking in.  I walked in through the shallow water as I had no energy to lift my big legs.  A bit of a jog for the viewing public to finish with a flourish and I was done.  Wow.  Great entry/exit workout.