Posts Tagged open water swim

L.A. County Ocean Lifeguard Swim Test

So today I tried out for L.A. County Ocean Lifeguard. There is a swim test, which is the first of 4 gates you have to get through in order to get the part-time, summer job that is being offered.

The swim test is a 1000 meter ocean swim. It’s basically a race to get a chance for an interview for the job (the interview is gate #2). Today there were 340 people signed up for the swim test (the most they have ever had) and 284 actually showed up and did the swim. The top 120 finishers were getting an interview slot.

I was excited to do this swim. I thought I had a chance to make an interview. Research I’d done online showed that most swimmers who make it to the interview round complete the 1000 m swim in under 20 minutes. I can (sometimes?) do that distance in less than 20 minutes. I found out about the swim test 3 weeks before the test date, and I thought if I trained and tapered smart, I could do it. I hoped I might even make it in 18 minutes. I completed the online job application by the deadline of Sept. 21st and then a couple of weeks later got a mail per U.S. post with a letter of admittance to the swim. Swim check in at 7 am in Santa Monica at Santa Monica Lifeguard Headquarters. Read the rest of this entry »

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Training for Cold Water Swims

Not that I am training for any cold, open water swims at the moment. But saw this article on the FINIS Blog, with a number of tips on how to train for such an event, plus comments from other readers, and want to save this link. I suspect that I will do the La Jolla Rough Water Swim again next year. I did it this year. Water temps were in the low 60s and no wet suits permitted. Definitely bears some thinking on how to get prepared for it next year. Thankfully I was only in the water for 38 minutes this year, and hopefully next year even less, but the cold did take a toll on my body.

Training for Cold Water Swims – 9 Tips You Need to Know | The FINIS Blog

Follow the link above to see the article on the FINIS Blog.

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Ocean Swim Entry/Exit Tips

Here is a pretty good article from on entering and exiting the ocean for open water swim triathlons. I practice ocean swimming fairly regularly with the L.A. Tri Club, but I am not using all the tips suggested in this article. Saving the link here so I can review it from time to time and make sure I’m doing all these things…

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How Crazy Is This?

Help me decide, or give me your thoughts/comments/opinions…

In my race schedule for this season, I had picked to do the Oxnard Splash-n-Dash on Sept. 13th. But I didn’t realize when I picked that (which I have not yet registered for) that it is a 1 hr 45 min drive from my house. Yikes. Such a long drive for a relatively short race. I was going to do the long course (1000 meter swim followed by the 4 mile run).

I looked for alternate events that have an ocean swim on a weekend between now and November when I’m not working or already doing another race. Kinda tough. Iron Man & Half Iron Man distances are too much for me right now!

But look at this: Mermaid Tri in Santa Cruz on Sept. 27th. Instead of Oxnard Splash-N-Dash Sept. 13th. Is it crazy to drive 5-6 hours on Saturday for a Sunday race? And then pretty much drive right back home? And if I drive that far, I’d want to do their Olympic Distance course, not the Sprint distance. Am I up for an Olympic Distance for my 3rd triathlon? What if we stay overnight on Sunday and drive back at the crack of dawn on Monday. My 7th grade daughter would miss school. That is wrong and bad. I shouldn’t take her out of a day of school for my race. Sigh. But I want to. Don’t want to drive right back on Sunday.

Also, my older daughter goes to UC Santa Cruz, so we would get to see her (if briefly) that weekend if we drive up. Hmmmmm.


  1. Which event? Oxnard Splash-n-Dash Sept 13th (“local” but pretty far) or Santa Cruz all women Mermaid Tri Sept 27th?
  2. Am I nuts to do Olympic? I can already swim 1.5km and running a 10K is nothing. Just have to up my bike mileage which is pretty low right now (max dist of 15 miles).
  3. Take my daughter out of school Monday or drive our butts right back on Sunday?

I should be able to make these kind of decisions myself… I guess I really just want to do Santa Cruz but driving 5.5 hours up and back Sat/Sun just seems like such a drag. Boo!



First Swims in my New Wetsuit

Me on the left, Nina Twitter friend on the right, before Santa Monica Ocean Swim.

Me on the left & Nina (Twitter friend) on the right at Santa Monica Ocean Swim.

So I bought an xTerra Vortex 3 last Friday, June 26, 2009. And I was eager to try it out. Wanted to make sure it fit properly and was easy to move around and swim in it. So I planned to go to Huntington State Beach on Monday and get in a short ocean swim.

The original plan was to hit the beach before noon, short swim, picnic lunch with Jenny on the beach, play and relaxation time before heading home. Unfortunately, due to a comedy of errors, we didn’t actually get to Huntington until 3 PM. I talked to the Life Guard briefly, put my wetsuit on, and ventured out.

In watching the surf before I suited up, the breakers hadn’t looked too large to me. So about 20 minutes later I was wading into the surf. Life guard had said water temp was 62˚. It didn’t feel cold to me at all, especially with the suit on. Waves still looked ok, and I proceeded out to my chest. I felt the cold water coming through the suit at the zipper on the back. Just interesting, not a problem. Kept going and got out past most of the breakers. But there was one row left to get past, and they seemed pretty big. I was not comfy with it. I decided to go back in and try ocean swimming in my suit another day.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Should I Buy a Mail Order Tri Wetsuit?

So I am planning to buy a tri wetsuit at some point this summer. I’m always the cautious type, who generally buys from local vendors (rather than mail order), especially clothing, so that I can try it on and make sure it fits. But this is such a good deal on a wetsuit… regularly $400 for half price ($199). Seems like good quality. XTerra brand. On sale until late June. 30-day money back guarantee, and size switch options/guarantee. I’m usually between 115-117 pounds (trying to take it down a few) and 5’3”, so I just fit into the WS size, on the borderline really with WM.

Vortex 3 Fullsuit $199 (Reg. $400)

I’m so nervous about choosing the wrong size or something that doesn’t fit me right. I’ve never tried on ANY wetsuit before, nor obviously swum in one. What should I do? Buy this one? Or give it a miss and go to a local tri shop and get fitted for one there? Help? Advice?

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My First Triathlon – Race Report

So after just over 3 years of road racing (running), including 4 marathons, at least a dozen half-marathons, several 5Ks and 10Ks, I finally decided to do a triathlon. I got into this via cross-training for my marathons through the FIRST program, which requires cross-training on the non-running days. I didn’t like swimming at first, but the more I did it, the more I didn’t dislike it. Last spring I took a semester swim course at a local community college. It was a tough class and really got me in shape for swimming. Now I actually like swimming. Well, in the pool, anyhow. The bike part never much worried me.

These are other swimmers (faster ones) in my same swim wave.

These are other swimmers (faster ones) in my same swim wave.

Eventually I signed up for a small local tri that fit into my schedule. Sunday June 7, 2009. The L.A. Triathlon Series which is hosted in San Dimas, California at Frank G. Bonelli Park, only about a 15 minute drive from my house. This must be the closest race to my house that I’ve ever done. I was doing the Express course, which is Read the rest of this entry »



Open Water Swimming – Gotta Train for it!

So, this past Saturday I went running with my club. One of the guys I ran with, Sal, is a triathlete. I mentioned I wanted to do a practice open water swim on Sunday (which I’ve never before attempted). He suggested “The Cove” at La Jolla. It seems to be a great place, sheltered, relatively warm water, with life guards and buoys that mark 1/4 mile distance and 1/2 mile distance from the shore, respectively. Apparently a very popular training area for open water swims. If only it weren’t a 2 hour drive from my house. There is also a La Jolla Cove Swim Club, which could be another source of information or support.

Anyhow, things didn’t work out on Sunday, and I wasn’t able to go for an open water training swim. I did some web searching, though, and found that the Orange County Tri Club and also the Inland Infernos club, both do open water swim training at Corona del Mar, which is much closer, so I will consider that as well.

So, I guess we will try to do that again in another couple of weeks. In the meantime, I will go swimming a few times at the 24-hour fitness club, which I have not been doing regularly for quite a while now. Gotta get back into the swim of things. :p

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