Thursday, June 4, 2009

Swimming and wetsuit shopping

Swam at the local pool today. I love how the Phoenix metro area has so many public pools available for lap swimming. $2 for lap swimming and the use of the gym weights. The pool I like to use now is the one where the state recreational swim meet was each summer when I was a kid. I think I swam in the same lane today as I did about 16 years ago in a race. But instead of swimming 50 yards, I swam 2640 yards (1.5 miles, 105.6 lengths of the pool). Took me almost an hour, ~ 57 minutes. I was feeling slow today. I think I was at about 9 minutes for the first 500, 10 for the second 500, and was at 1.2 miles in 45 minutes. Last time I just swam 1.2 straight it took 42 minutes. Oh well, what can I expect. That was a month ago and I've only been to the pool once since then.
After the hour swim I went wetsuit shopping at Triple Sports. The people who worked there seem really nice. I talked to two different people on the phone (both owners I think) and dealt with their employee while in the shop. I tried the Zoot Synergy, Orca Equip, Blue Seventy Synergy and Blue Seventy Reaction. I'd swam in the Zoot Fuzion in the Ice Breaker events in April and didn't like where the neckline hit me. I tried the next step up in the Zoot line but it was the same way. The Orca had a fantastic neckline, but the rest of the suit was disappointing. It was really hard to get on (did not fit my shape right) and the arms have special things to make them more buoyant (--> more speedy) and the seem where they attached to the rest of the arm was really uncomfortable.The Blue Seventy suits both fit really well and the neckline was a definite improvement over the Zoots. I could definitely feel the difference in flexibility between the suits and think I'd prefer the more expensive one. Blue Seventy suits have more sizes available (i.e. I'm a Medium-Large, an actual size between M and L!) and the ML fit great. The guy at the shop actually discouraged me from buying it though unless I planned to maintain my current weight. He said it fit perfect as-is and it might get too big if I lost any. I'm optimistic that I can lose a few more (at least when I'm not at my parents' house), so he said I should hold off and buy later. Who knows if I can get down a full size though, in which case I'm back to the drawing board for trying on wetsuits. Trying on a wetsuit in Phoenix in the summer is tough work! 4 per hour!
I didn't leave the store with a wetsuit in hand though. So I'm still undecided about Saturday's race because I think I'd be happier with a wetsuit. I'd like to do it because it'd force me to swim 2.4 miles - and open water long distance is almost always nicer than in a pool. But after my 1.5 mile swim I was reminded of that nice post-swim relaxed feeling that makes you just want to curl up and take a nap. Saturday will be a busy family day so not sure how that'd work. And swim registration fee + wetsuit rental fee = less to spend on buying a wetsuit later. I think there are some open water swim races coming up in the Sac area soon though...

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