Tomorrow! I guess this 1/2 IM aquabike thing is really going to happen. June 17th had to come around sometime, after all. Am I ready? Eh. We’ll see. Shady and I are going to see the Wonder Woman movie today – maybe I can channel WW’s awesomeness during the race. After race reward planned? You bet! We’re going to see Dead & Co. Sunday night.
Wish me luck (I’ll just wish myself luck, since I don’t think anybody reads this anyway)!
In the throes of an endorphin-filled haze, I signed up for an event. Not just any event, but one of the bigger, more competitive races in my area: The Patriot Half IM. I’m not completely crazy – I’m doing the aquabike (since I don’t really run), but still: 1.2-mile swim + 56-mile bike is pretty ambitious for me! If you’ve read some of my earlier posts, you may recall that I run hot and cold about racing. Usually cold, unless it’s a swim-only event.
So how did this crazy lapse in judgement occur? COMPUTRAINER! Evil. Painful. And that glorious feeling of being capable of doing anything when the session was over. That feeling apparently lasted until I got home and whipped out my credit card to register. That was in mid-December. The race has been on my mind ever since. Now it’s a month away. Yikes! Am I ready? We’ll see!
So what else is new? In addition to the tried and true swim/bike/(hobble)run, I’m trying to do more regular weight-training. It’s not as bad as I feared! I had a few sessions with a personal trainer (LOVE my trainer!), and I take some circuit-training type gym classes. It’s really helpful having someone tell me what to do.
Swim: My usual pool routine, but now that it’s (finally) getting warmer, I’ll be wriggling into my wetsuit (and 2 caps, and booties – it’s not THAT warm yet) and heading out to Walden Pond and Mystic Lake for some OWS.
Bike: Ramping up mileage so the 56-mile Patriot course won’t completely destroy me (it WILL destroy me, but I’ll pretend it won’t for the sake of saving face). I’m riding with my friends again! It’s wonderful to be outside rather than stuck in spin class. Computrainer is a whole ‘nother beast from spin. I went to quite a few computrainer classes at Grace Bicycles over the winter, and I’m pretty sure my masochism has paid off in at least a little extra speed. That’s the hope, anyway.
Read: I read everything by Anita Shreve and Jodi Picoult, and lucky me, they both came out with new books recently. The Stars are Fire, by Anita Shreve, and Small Great Things, by Jodi Picoult. Both are really good. I’m not going to give anything away. Get them. Read them. I also read a lot of crap, which I definitely won’t recommend.
Happy Spring! Happy Training!
a SwimOutlet delivery of goggles makes you do the happy dance
I just bought 6, count ’em 6! new pairs of goggles!
I was in a rut with my TYR Nest Pros. We’ve been together for years, various colors, clear, tinted. They’re fine and all, a good go-to goggle, but the excitement was gone. I’m ready to move on. I want to experience, I don’t know, something different. I want more. I want polarized goggles for OW swimming, I want lower profile ones for pool racing (not that I’ve raced in a while, but still), I want to try ZOGGS. Life is short, goggle lines get old, and there are so many options!
Breaking up/change is hard, and who knows if I’ll find anything better, but there’s no harm in trying.
Do you have favorite goggles? What works for you?
Reviews of the 5 new-to-me styles to follow in the next month or so.
Landshark ½, 1, & 2-mile swim, Saturday, June 4, 2016, Lake Gardner, Amesbury, MA
I’m a fair-weather racer, so I waited, waited, waited, and checked the weather obsessively through the week. I’d been planning to swim this event for months, and was hoping for optimal conditions. I was willing to pay the extra $5 to sign up on race day rather than take the chance of crappy weather. Unlike triathlons, swim events rarely sell out!
Race day promised to be beautiful, and it was. The early morning clouds cleared off and the sun came out. The water was reported to be 68 degrees – I was perfectly comfortable in my shorty wetsuit. Most participants, but by no means all, opted for wetsuits.
The course was a ½ -mile loop, so the ½-milers did 1 lap, the 1-milers did 2, and the 2-milers did 4 laps.
19 half-mile racers went off at 10am, followed by 71 two-milers at 10:05am, and 49 one-mile swimmers at 10:10am. The participants’ ages ranged from 11-72.
I did the 2-mile swim. The first lap was pretty crowded (in other words, I got kicked, pawed, bumped, and probably did my fair share of kicking, pawing, and bumping – unintentionally, of course!) but we spread out by the second lap, and spread out even more on the third and fourth ones. We were instructed to yell out our numbers as we swam around the last buoy before going off on the next lap. That wasn’t nearly as disruptive or disorienting as in races where you have to run out and back in the water. I have such a hard time recovering from standing up, running and flopping back down.
54:24 and done. Good enough for 1st in my age group – aging up has its benefits!
This is a nice, fairly small, local race through B&S Event Management. I’ve done some of their other races (runs and swims) and they run a good event. Keep ‘em in mind!
My Finis Inc. Neptune (which I was never that crazy about design-wise) was starting to fail and I wanted to replace it. I started noticing which waterproof audio devices people were using in the pool and did some research. I didn’t want another Neptune, and I kept seeing people with little ipod shuffles clipped to their goggle straps. Seemed like a good idea. Until I got one (see review below). Then I looked at the Finis Inc. site and HEY! they developed a new device, more like the low-profile SwiMP3 that I used to have. And since I had an old Neptune, I could send that back and upgrade to the DUO (for a small fee, of course – $75).
Here are my completely unscientific, totally subjective findings, written in a somewhat stream of consciousness fashion.
Finis: I’ve been using their devices for years, from bulky to sleek, back to bulky, and now the sleek DUO (I don’t have a picture of the original unit, but it was cumbersome, even bulkier than the Neptune. I like the blue one below best).
- Pros for the DUO: comfort, nothing in my ears – ear paddles rest on your cheekbones and conduct sound through bone, short cable between ear paddles, good sound quality, I can still hear what’s going on around me, fine customer service. Holds plenty of music.
- Cons: the clip (where it attaches to your goggle strap) on the ear paddles seems like it’s designed for flat goggle straps.
It works on round straps but it’s not as easy to attach or adjust, for in-water use only, notification lights are not quite as advertised – blinking green when charging? No, I only saw solid green when charging – or nothing. Blinking red when low on charge? No, I saw steady red and it was still playing. Whatever. When I asked about charging, I was told to plug it into a wall charger for best results. It doesn’t say anything about a wall charger in the info and doesn’t come with one, so … really? The connection on the charger might be a little iffy. I say that because when I had it plugged in (using the wall charger), the light was green and then blinked a little and went off, indicating a lost connection. It actually seems to work better plugged into my computer. A charge is supposed to last for ~7 hours of playing time. The red light came on after 2 swims (a little over 2 hours), but the device was still playing, so I don’t know how long it will really hold a charge. I’ll be sure to charge often just in case 7 hours is optimistic!
Underwater Audio: I was skeptical because I don’t like things in my ears, but I’ve been seeing so many more of these lately. I thought I’d give it a try (pictured below with upgraded earbuds).
- Pros: IF a good seal is obtained, I imagine the sound would be great. Small waterproofed lightweight genuine ipod shuffle, can be used in or out of the water, short earphone cord doesn’t get in the way, comes with an extension to lengthen the cord, many earbud options, great customer service. Holds plenty of music.
- Cons: I couldn’t get a good seal so water pretty quickly got in my ears and rendered the device useless – I couldn’t hear the music. When I spoke to a customer service rep, I learned that the earbuds that come with the unit apparently AREN’T that great when doing flip turns (although the info says they’re fine), and upgrading the buds supposedly costs another $70 (I fought not to pay – like I said, great customer service). The better earpieces still didn’t work for me. Vaseline is recommended to get a good seal. I feel slimy just thinking about that, but I tried it. Yuck, and it didn’t help. I just ended up with gooey ears. The function buttons are stiff due to the waterproofing process – not a huge deal, but worth being aware of.
The takeaway: I really, really don’t like things in my ears, and I really, really do like hearing what’s going on around me. This type of device is not a good choice for me, but it appears to be good for others. It’s not returnable so now I have a waterproof shuffle that I don’t need. The DUO is a better option for me.
[*update: the charger that came with the DUO is crap. After some back and forth with customer service, I was informed that there is now a charger that attaches more securely, and one is being sent to me. Isn’t this something the company would know without me bugging them?! Like a recall that owners are contacted about? We’ll see how the new one works… an annoyance, but I still like the DUO well enough. 7/12/16]