It's time to say so long, farewell, auf weidersehen, goodbye to my dear Orca Evo.
The Orca Evo was my first wetsuit, and the first real "investment" in my triathlon career. It's seen me through 4 sprint tris, 2 (roughly) Olympic distances, a half ironman, two or three aquathlons and an Ocean Swim. But last year I realised that I was swimming 1k in 17:00 in the pool, and 19:00 in the open water, whether lake or sea. Which was surprising, considering I'm not a nervous swimmer, and I LOVE the open water. What was also surprising was that I could whip my dear Hubbie's behind in the pool, but he would crush me when we raced.
I don't think the Orca is fully to blame for this, but as reasonably floaty woman, with a strong kick, OK technique, but not much upper body strength, flexibility in the shoulders is essential to me. And my entry level Orca just couldn't provide that. Plus, it's three years old now, and stiff as all hell!
So after our run last Sunday we hit up Swim T3 in Mt Eden. I wasn't sure whether I could face the whole trying on ordeal, but decided to bite the bullet. The very helpful salesman (I don't know your name buddy, but props to you for awesome service) asked what we were after, expressed his sympathy with regard to racing in the Evo, then eyed me up, turned to the other salesperson there and said:
"[let's call her] Amy, do we have any of the Sonar's in a men's size 5?"
Wait? What? MEN'S? I know I'm broad shouldered, but....
[Actually, I was pretty impressed. It seemed as if he was considering what would work best for me, as well as keeping an eye out for a good bargain, rather than just shoving me into the most expensive mid range suit and waving me off...]
So, for the next HOUR, I tried on a few [men's] suits by Orca and Speedo. And of course, each subsequent suit was harder to put on than the last because I was getting warmer and tireder. And I was also going down a size, so I was getting redder and redder and stickier and glowier every time I came out of the fitting room to be manhandled again. But eventually, I had it down to two (ok, I only tried on four...), so I tried them on again for a direct comparison and walked away with a Speedo STR Pro in my hot little hands.
.... until the next day, when Phil got an email from his old coach informing him that he had a sweet deal on some 2XU samples. And there was one in my (female) size. And boy, oh, boy, was the deal sweet. So I did what any impulsive triathlete does, and bought it.
And now I have three wetsuits.