I’m done. I was actually supposed to be done after the Patriot half aquabike in June, but then, silly me, I signed up to do the Cranberry Oly aquabike. And in between those two events was a 2-mile swim, and after Cranberry there was a 3-mile swim. That’s WAY more competing than I usually do. The weird thing is, I didn’t hate it. I (dare I say?) kind of enjoyed it! My self-talk has me saying that I don’t like to compete, that I get too stressed and crazy so it’s not worth it. Maybe that’s not as true anymore. Maybe it was a defense mechanism that I don’t need anymore. Granted, I’m not keen on the 4am wake-up that goes along with a lot of races…
SWIM: My last event was the 3-mile Quassapaug Open Water Swim Challenge in Middlebury, CT. Beautiful location. I hope the air will be warmer than 48 degrees the next time I do it, though!
Luckily the water was 70. If I actually train for distance next summer, I might even attempt doing all 3 swims to total 5 miles.
I’m probably done with OW swimming now, so it’s back to the pool.
BIKE: I was really happy (and a bit surprised) to average 19.3 for 26 miles at the Cranberry Oly! Now I can relax. Phew.
I’m working up to doing a century on October 1st: CRW’s Cranberry Harvest Century. It should be pretty. If it rains, though, I’m out!
and… EAT! Nothing very inspiring, although I made a great banana bread recently. Oh, I borrowed a dehydrator from my local library and dried tomatoes from our garden. Who knew you could borrow such a thing?! I’m eating dried tomatoes like candy.
On to “off” season. I get to do more gym classes and computrainer now! Fun!
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!
Do I even want to learn new tricks? I’ve toyed with the idea of swim lessons off and on (mostly off), and although I know they can be helpful, I wonder if it’s worth it. Lessons are an investment – both time and money – and there’s that annoying part where you change something and feel slower and less comfortable for a while… Do I want to go through that? I wouldn’t mind being faster (duh). I wouldn’t mind avoiding shoulder pain (now THERE’S a concept!).
Enter Winning Swimming. I got a coupon for a “swim test” and figured I’d check it out. A couple of women on my tri team have gone to Coach Caron and report that she was helpful. What did I have to lose? I was curious: what would she say? I’ve been swimming since I was 4. That’s not to say that I know everything about swimming, more like my stroke is pretty well ingrained by now and it would be hard to change!
What’s it be like to swim in an endless pool? I’ve never tried one and was intrigued. I’d have to drive about an hour to Merrimack, NH – land of the outlet mall! – so I figured if it was a bust, at least there was an opportunity for post swim-test-trauma retail therapy! (I’m not a big shopper, but we did need to replace a pyrex…). I decided to take the plunge (that was bad. Sorry).
I contacted Coach Caron about how to get started. The first step was to fill out some paperwork and take the “swim test” – what the coupon I got referred to. I made an appointment. Road Trip! My husband and I drove up to look at the facility, talk about my goals, and try out the pool. Coach Caron had me swim so she could see what she was working with and determine how best to align her coaching skills with my swimming ability and goals. My husband got to hang around and take pictures – thanks, Shady!
The facility is a converted garage with an endless pool taking up roughly half of the space. Up a few stairs is the bathroom/shower/changing and waiting area. It was nice and warm. That’s one thing that was different from swim lessons in a pool – I always get cold at clinics and lessons. Not a problem at Winning Swimming.
As I mentioned, I’ve never tried swimming in an endless pool. I told Coach Caron my 100 yd pace, she got the jets going, and I entered the current. Whoa, wild! She played around with the speed until it was about right. I was kind of stressed out at first thinking I had to keep up, but was eventually able to relax (a little) into my swim. I expect I’ll be better at getting into my usual rhythm when I do it again.
The pool setup: There’s a mirror on the bottom of the pool so the swimmer can see their body position and hand entry (totally cool), and there are 4 camera views projected onto the wall so Coach Caron can watch what the swimmer is doing from various angles.
Video analysis is offered (see “improve your swim” on the website for the full range of services).
The upshot? Coach Caron really listens. She wants to know your swim goals and will work with you to achieve them – not only freestyle; she can help with the other strokes, too. I only had the short swim test, but I feel really comfortable that she can offer some technique tips to help with my goal of swimming longer distance events without destroying myself (and maybe even go faster!). She already suggested a few things that I’m trying to incorporate into my stroke. I plan to see how the next month or so goes, and then schedule a more in-depth lesson.
- Oh, and although there was no swim test* trauma, we succumbed to the call of the outlets and bought a new pyrex (among other things) on our way home!
[*silly me, it was a “test swim” not a “swim test”!]