I wasn’t expecting to do the Patriot Half Aquabike again this year, but I went and signed up for it anyway. What was I thinking?! Maybe I’m trying to get over my racing angst? Maybe racing is fun? A lot of people seem to think so. I even said it was kind of fun last year. If only I could remember that feeling! If only I could get out of my own way and enjoy it! Actually, once I get going, I don’t even think about what I’m doing. – I just go. It’s the time leading up to the start that makes me crazy.
Well, anyway, the race is on June 16th, so I’m either ready or I’m not. The problem is that since I did this race last year, I have some performance expectations (no, I’m not competitive at all ). Will I beat last year? I can try! I know a lot of people doing this race, so even if I self-destruct, it should be a good time socially.
As of now, this is the only race I’m doing so I can go back to my usual no stress swim/bike playing once it’s over.
SWIM: same old, same old. Finally getting outside now that it’s warm enough.
BIKE: friends make my wheels go round.
and… EAT!: I haven’t been that inspired lately, so no pictures to show or recipes to share.
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)!
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]