First Open Water Swim Practice with Team Hammerheads

by Amy  - April 9, 2011

To Begin, Begin. True even for Open Water Swimming.

This was my second-ever blog post about triathlon training in Miami, Florida. I wrote this in 2011. I was just looking for a fun thing to do with friends. I didn’t know what a big part of my life triathlon would become.

In a lot of ways it doesn’t fit the grid for something I would write on Amy Says So today. In one really big way it does. This is the day when I committed to learning what I needed to know to enjoy triathlon. This is the day where I got over my nerves, over my ego and sought out people to show me what to do. Sometimes triathlon takes itself a lot too seriously – when at the root it’s swimming with friends, biking with friends and running with friends.

If I can do it – so can you.

Open Water Swim


Is there anything funkier than the smell of a person after a saltwater swim followed by a bike and a run?

I’m not sure.

Today’s workout was awesome! I screwed up my courage to go and swim with Team Hammerheads. It was a small group today. There are two possible reasons for this. First, today is Swim Miami or Miami Swim or something like that. It’s a long distance open water swim. I have heard that a lot of people use this as their first event of the summer. Not me however. The other reason is that tomorrow is the South Beach Nautica Triathlon. Lots of people are racing that and I don’t know if they’d also swim today. I’m also not racing Nautica. Maybe next year.

Back to the important stuff – my workout. I was hugely intimidated by swimming with this group because according to the website most people swim between 1 to 2 miles and that is beyond my range.

Full disclosure: To be honest, I have actually driven out to tri beach and chickened out once before. On that occasion it seemed like all the people milling about were also sporting Ironman tattoos … and I let the little wimpy inside me win. But not today.

More disclosure: Okay wait, there is one other time I did actually swim here. I went later in the day and walked through the seaweed (totally gross), then passed 3 uber fit swimmers who probably just finished their 2 mile swims (did I mention I was wearing a bright orange swim suit, mom style tankini – cool I know), and then swam a bit but noticed I still had on my metal wristwatch. I was totally sure I would be eaten by a barracuda so I turned back and called it a day. Not a great success that workout.

After last weeks horrific swim in the race I was determined to join in the group swim. Of course, the people there were very nice and welcoming and I had no reason to be afraid before.

Let’s not dwell on the fact that my fear was totally irrational. Let’s focus on that I did it! I swam to the first buoy and back without lane lines, without my trusty wall and I only mildly freaked out when some seaweed brushed my leg. Success all around. I’m not sure how far it was. Somebody told me each buoy is .1 of a mile in which case I swam about .2 of a mile. I then went on to bike my 11 miles and run 4 miles including the bridge on both legs.

Congratulations to me!

Tomorrow just a bike ride to apparently the greatest Mango Shake ever. Here’s hoping they have other flavors because while it’s unFloridian of me I don’t like Mango.


From here you can visit some more recent things I’ve written that may answer more of your questions about triathlon, or just running, biking and swimming.

Thank you for visiting and thanks for reading.

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Amy Stone (she/her/hers) is a life coach who helps adults in blended families. She is a mom, step-mom and a step-grandma. Other random fun facts include that She is a 7-time Ironman triathlon finisher and many many marathons and shorter races. She created

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