The triathlon training blog of Phil Barnes

I love the smell of neoprene in the morning

Sunday marked my first open water swim of the season. The location: Blanchet Beach, Meech Lake. The water was actually WARM (with wetsuit of course). It was a nice day, the sun was out, and 6 of us had gathered for the occasion.

The big question: Would my wetsuit still fit? I bought it last year, at the peak of my fitness. That was many donuts ago. However, thankfully rubber stretches. I managed to pull the zipper up with only a small amount of protest from the suit.

This swim course consists of an out and back around a small island. The actual distance varies depending on who you talk to, how you measure it, and of course how straight you can swim. Conservatively, it's a 650 meter loop. We did 3 loops. 13:12 (way too eager), 16:42 (less enthusiastic), 16:54 (slow and smooth). I'm giving myself 2000 meters of effort (666 meters per loop).

The confession
I whined, and lobbied and negotiated with my official sponsor (wife) for almost 2 years to procure my wetsuit. To be honest... I hate to have to admit it, but I'm not terribly thrilled with it. I have an Orca Speedsuit. Maybe it's not the right size? It certainly doesn't feel like a speed suit. I was mostly fighting it the whole time. Last year, I demoed a Highway Nineteen Pipeline suit (their least expensive model), and I managed an 11:26 loop (the second loop of the day). Mind you, I was more fit and had been swimming much more regularly. But, I've never bettered that time in my Speedsuit.

The smell of neoprene in the morning is one of my favourite things about triathlon.