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Swim Sick?

Posted by Katherine Weaver on

My goggles came in the mail while I was out running last Thursday, so I decided my first swim should be on Friday. No cap, no swimskin, just goggles and what I normally swim in, i.e. swim shorts and a rash guard. I realized I didn't actually have a plan for my swim practice so I looked around and decided I should try this routine. I set out to swim 500 - 700 yards.

I got to the community center, signed up for the one week free trial, got changed, and hopped into a lap lane. I already knew that I don't swim the front crawl properly. I do the novice thing of keeping my mouth and nose above water the whole time and looking where I am going. I know this won't cut it and that I will need to learn how to exhale into the water and breath every second or third stroke by turning my head to the side. So, the first thing I did was try to swim with a proper breathing technique. With no cap, I was getting a mouth full of hair and water every time I tried to inhale, sometimes choking on the water and swallowing it. This was making me miserable and causing me to stop every 10-15 yards. I decided that I'll work on breathing again after I get a swim cap and to just swim how I always have: the wrong way. 

I managed to swim 11 times down and back. The pool length is 1/72 of a mile which I assume most people just round to 25 yards. My distance worked out to be about 537 yards or 550 if we say each length is 25 yards. When I was done, I sat on the bench and caught my breath. My whole body was tingling as it might if you hyperventilated. I went and took a shower to get the chlorine off me, but there was something rank-smelling in or near the shower, and I started to feel like vomiting. I got out after rinsing my hair to escape the smell, got dressed, and walked out. By the time I got to my car I just hung out at my trunk staring at the ground. I was pretty sure I would vomit. I got in the car and as soon as I started driving and turning my head to look for other cars I realized I was severely motion sick. Turning my head sent me into a nauseating dizzy spell. I took the very short drive back home slow and easy. When I got home I threw up a little in the sink and then had a tortilla with some Ajvar (another recent discovery of mine, specifically Mama's Homestyle Ajvar) on it. This settled my stomach completely, but I had a dizzying headache for another 4 hours or so.

So, of course I looked this up and it's not that uncommon. I think it was probably exacerbated by me keeping my head above the water looking back and forth across the room with every stroke. So, if you never thought it was that important to stick your face in the water to do the crawl, this is another reason you should. Limiting motion sickness is also a good reason to learn to limit your breaths to every second or third stroke. Here are a couple videos with drills I believe will be very helpful in getting me to breathe properly with my face in the water: 3 Steps To Master Breathing For Beginners - Don't Drink The Pool and How to Breathe When Swimming.