Friday, May 30, 2008

Great OWS Today!

Yorktown Beach with Coleman Bridge

So a friend of mine didn't have to work today so we decided to try another open water swim this morning. This time the water was calm and the conditions were perfect. We changed into our wetsuits and got our googles on. I waded into the water and let the 64 degree salt water run down my back. After a moment I was getting warm and I took a breath and pulled my head below the water. THERE WE GO! After a second I dove under the swimming area ropes and start my swim.

Starting Point

I focused on steady strong strokes. I focused on my breathing and heart rate and I was going great. I am a left side breather so the near shore was on the wrong side so every dozen strokes I would look up to see where I was going. I found that I was pulling to the left, probably beacuse that was the side I was breathing on. After a few minutes I had reached the pier and knew I was halfway done. My buddy was ahead of me, he was swimming much straighter, so he was waiting for me. He said hey you can stand up here, so we took a few minutes to rest and then we started back.

The Pier Marks the Halfway Point

On the way back the shore was on my breathing side so I was able to keep a check on where I was much better than during the first half. I also noticed that the current was behind me and I was really moving now. This was pretty cool. I stayed with a slow and strong stroke and my breathing was really good. Everyonce and a while I would start thinking about the water and start freaking out but I would start focusing on my stroke again.
When I ducked under the swim area rope, I saw that my wife and 2 1/2 year old daughter were playing on the beach watching me swim. It was pretty cool coming out of the water with my wetsuit on and googles. I felt like a real triathlete!
I had a really good time and think that I could get into this open water swimming thing this summer. It's so different than swimming laps. It's outside, there's the beach, and it's cool actually getting somewhere because your swimming. I mean you are moving, traveling, it's really cool.
My first race is Sunday and I'm really excited. Hopefully the water will be calm, but if it's not I know I can cover the distance if I stay strong and steady.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mindless Taper Babble

Well I am resting for a couple of days to get ready for my race this weekend. I have determined that I like training better than racing. The whole tapering thing just blows, especially for a marathon. Two days without working out and I feel like a slovenly pig. Why do I feel like I am getting fat over night?

So, I really like eating and I think that is one of the reasons that I enjoy endurance sports; guiltfree eating. There is nothing like the feeling of being hungry because you actually worked up an appetite and food always tastes so much better when you worked hard for eat.

Tomorrow, I'm going to swim and maybe run 5 miles just to get ready. This will probably be the last swim before Sunday, well maybe another open water swim Friday morning. I'm going to run 5 miles Thursday and Friday and take all day Saturday off. Then Monday I can start training everyday again, yeah.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

First Open Water Swim

I got a call from my group that they were going to head down to Yorktown Beach and swim about 1200 yds open water. Perfect! My first OW Tri is next weekend so this will be great practice. I grabbed my bag and my wetsuit and got ready to go. The wife and kids were going to meet me and I was excited. This will be my first time in the water with my wetsuit and my first open water swim without a surf board.
We got to the beach around 10:20 and watited for the whole group to show up. The plan was to swim outside of the beach goers swim area. We were going to go 400 yards down and then turn around and come back. We would do this a couple of times.
I put on my new Blue Seventy Reaction wetsuit. It was tight but the girl a the store swore that it was just right. The water temperature was 64 degrees and man was it cold. We waded out into the water and then it was time to start.
Well the waves were bigger in the water than I had expected, around 18 inches tall. I faced down and started swimming and then I couldn't breathe. Between the wetsuit, the cold water and the waves I just couldn't get my breath. I tried again and it didn't work. I started swimming breast stroke with my head out of the water. I tried freestyle again. One stroke, breath, OMG I gonna die. I rolled onto my side and started sidestroke. A couple of guys yelled at me and I said that I was ok I was going to cut the whole thing short. I tried freestyle without putting my head in the water. Ok that's too exhausting. I gave up and headed in towards the beach.
After a few moments on the beach, I regained my composure and tried again closer to the shore. I finally was able to get about 15 strokes together before having to stand up, but this sure isn't swimming in a pool.
So I was completely humbled but not broken. I am determined to get this OWS thing down. I'll be heading down to the beach every day this week to try to get comfortable with the swim. At least I know what to work on.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Fueling the Furnace

I had a pretty decent week of training last week. Recap:

Monday - 2000 meter swim, 2.5 mile run

Tuesday - 15 mile run

Wednesday - 1200 meter swim, 5 mile run

Thursday - 11 mile run

Friday - Hard day of outside yard work

Saturday - 12 hours of outside yard work

Sunday - 9.5 mile run, 1000 meter swim

The yard work days really screwed me up. I had planned on running both days but ran out of time and energy. I'm not sure if it was the sun or the work but Sunday was awful. I was so tired I didn't know what to do. I tried eating but that wasn't it. Finally after swimming Sunday I just rested on the couch.

When I woke up Monday I was so tired I was delirious.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Springtime in Virginia

Man has the weather been nice this week. The afternoon runs have been perfect. I ran 15 on Tuesday with a buddy at a casual conversational pace. It was the first time in 20 years that he had ran that far. He has only been running for 9 weeks! He's really doing great.

Wednesday was a 5 mile tempo run. I still haven't got those things figured out yet. I run easy the first mile and then mash the pedal down. Normally by the end of the third mile the gas is running out of the tank and by the end of the fourth mile the engine is just puttering. I need to learn the correct pace and stick to it. I want to be able to warm up during the first mile and then get 4 good hard miles in with a walk and a jog for the 6th mile. I'll get it right soon.

Ran 11 by myself today and felt really good. Miles 3 through 8 were unbelievable. I really felt strong and fast. I was clocking 7:30 to 7:40 miles and felt pretty good. At mile 8 I really felt my blood sugar dropping so I took a GU and decided to slow down and cruise in the last 3 miles around 8:10's.

This season I am really working on increasing and maintaining 60 plus miles a week. I am also working hard a making sure that each and every run has a purpose and that I stick to that plan. Lastly you've got to be able to live to fight another day. If you work so hard that you are out of commission for 4 days then the whole workout was for nothing.

At least that's my current theory. Run hard. Have fun.