This afternoon’s fun

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I tested out the Go Pro Hero waterproof video camera today on an open water swim at Steele Lake.

I strapped it to my lifeguard can and we were able to shoot some fun video of each other swimming.  Since neither one of us have seen ourselves swim before it was quite helpful (I’m dropping my left shoulder a bit and need to pay more attention to my rotation)

~L

Mood: Amused



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Triathlon anxiety… (is the hay in the barn?) and swimming solo

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The temperature for Saturday’s triathlon is forecast to be 86 degrees.

That may not sound like much to many of you (and may even be laughable to some) but for someone living in Western Washington, it’s extreme. Consider the fact that black asphalt can radiate 180 degrees 6′ above it’s surface on such a day, and it’s down right scary.

This may be the race where I finally barf.

Today I needed to get one last (or maybe the 2nd to last) open water swim in before my first Olympic distance triathlon on Saturday (which I am totally freaking out about and am not ready for this early in this, my 2nd season of doing these things)

My regular swim partner Gene has had some “complications” at work and couldn’t get off in time to do the swim with me.

I had another potential partner from the South Sound Triathlon Club who wanted to come out, but he recently moved and couldn’t find his wetsuit. (no way do you want to try a mile in the current water temps without one)

So I had to suck it up and go solo.

I made sure that people knew where I was and when to expect me back.

I called the Icky Boy before I want in and after I got out (even if he came out to be bored and watch, he’s not a swimmer and even if he was, with me out in the middle of the lake, there wouldn’t be anything he could do anyway-but I know I like to know when he’s returned safely from something with significant risk)

The police are usually there and the outrigger canoe club practices in the area-both parties usually watch out for swimmers.

I was probably safer there than I was driving to work on I-5 this morning. I’m a strong simmer (but I’d by lying if I didn’t have self doubt and anxiety even though I swam that exact route last week with no problem)

It would be virtually impossible to sink in the wetsuit.

I towed my lifeguard float in case I got a cramp or took on water…

swim0509 001

I hydrated well today (it was HOT out) and ate some shot blocks for extra energy before I want out (they really help after a 10 hour shift at work)

People looked at me like I was nuts; nuts for wearing a wetsuit, nuts for carrying that silly float and nuts for getting in the lake and swimming out to the far end.

I felt good…

relaxed…

I swam it a bit faster than last time (no one to shoot the breeze with)


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I got out, texted work and called the icky boy to check in and headed home.

I’ve been tired the last couple of weeks.

I did two sprint triathlons in a week, and did runs two days after each of them.

I did a 71 mile bike ride a week and a half ago ago.

I haven’t been running as much as I’d like, but I have done a (slow) difficult half marathon this year.

I’ve done two open wter swims of just over a mile…

I’ve done FOUR sprint marathons (3 with 250 meter swims and one with a 400 meter swim) which is likely more than a lot of people have done this year but not enough if my books.

I just don’t feel fully trained up enough in any of my disciplines. Training for a triathlon and to be a staff rider for a double century with a full time job (oh, and a life) is a daunting task at times.

I feel like I’m not giving anything enough time or attention.

I’m resting tomorrow.

I’ve been tired. My legs feel fatigued and my morning resting heart rate is a bit higher than I think it should be (60 bmp)

I may do another swim on Thursday afternoon for confidence. I don’t’ use my legs much when I swim (difficult in a full wetsuit and counterproductive in a triathlon where you need to save your legs for the bike and run), so I should be OK. At this point, I really don’t consider swimming a workout.

Can I do an Olympic distance triathlon (full mile swim-40K bike-10K run) in the heat, this early in a season where I don’t feel I’ve done enough?

We’ll see on Saturday.

I will be supported by good friends (and my Icky Boy)

And I “haz he stubborn”

~L

Mood: Swimmin’ baby…. Swimmin’



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Triathlon report Survivor Elma or “Holy Crap! That water was cold!!!

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It was a dark and stormy night afternoon…

Being seriously insane I drove down to Elma (West of Olympia heading towards the coast) to do a triathlon, uh yeah… in the rain and wind and cold…

A triathlon in mid April, in Washington State.

Where the water is butt cold until July/August.

When no sane person would go there.

The good news is, I survived and every triathlon I do after this one will be better.

The weather sucked pond water.

The water was butt cold, 51 degrees (F) at the shore, likely less than that where it was deeper.

Here is all my stuff in my transition area… I wore the wetsuit, gap & gogglese for the swim and the bike jacket , bike shoes & Recoverite mix for after the race were placed under plastic because it was raining and that water bottle was used to mix my Heed)

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I thought that maybe I’d stand a chance at a trophy since obviously, no sane person would go out on a day like that, get in water that cold, then get on a bike in a cold wet trisuit, then go run in said cold wet trisuit…

I was wrong. Well over 80 people showed up for the tri.

Getting into the water was tricky. We got into our wet suits and stared at each other waiting to see who would be first.

We got in, gasped, squealed , groaned and made lots of other strange noises, and waited as long as possible to let water into our suits to warm up. One poor woman looked horrified when I explained to her that water was supposed to go in her suit for her body to warm up when she said she was trying to keep it out. “If you were meant to stay dry in it, it would be a dry suit.” About three or four other people looked at her and said, “She’s right.” (I also advised her that she would do well to take her diamond wedding ring off in a lake that cold if she doesn’t want to lose it)

Our feet were instantly numb. The worst part was putting our hands in. There we were, hunkered down in the water (it was too cold to be in the water and too cold to be out of the water), all of us holding our hands up above it. I hope someone got a picture of that; it looked ridiculous.

Uh yeah, I thought the worst part was putting our hands in.

Until I put my head in. It wasn’t so much that my face was numb, it was the worse than an ice cream headache wrapping around our skulls that we got. Even with a neoprene cap (which admittedly was too large for me as it was Gene’s) My head pounded with a sharp blinding pain every time I took more than 4 strokes with my head in the water.

I ended up having to be creative and use some very odd strokes to keep my head above water, which means my swim time sucked pond water (and took way more energy than it should have) I looked around and discovered that pretty much everyone else was doing the same thing. It was just too cold to swim normally face down for more than a few strokes.

The combination of water that cold and my chest being compressed by the neoprene wetsuit made it difficult to relax and breathe properly. This was most definitely the worst swim I ever had… in my entire life…

At least I completed the swim. (no matter how ungainly and slow) One guy had to be pulled from the water due to hypothermia. (I heard about it after the race)

Of course, the joy of a Spring triathlon is spring weather…

According to Weather Underground the air temperature was about 50 degrees at 2:00 PM when the race started. Oh, it was windy too.

So I got on my bike already chilled, wearing a cold wet trisuit and rode 13 miles in the cold wind and rain. With wind chill from the speeds I hit, that would be 32-37 degrees (F) from just riding, not counting the wind that was blowing. (for those not from the US, 32 is freezing)

Here’s the run route. If you’re viewing this on LiveJournal (why won’t LJ allow iframe html code ?) or via RSS feed where the map and/or tracks don’t show up properly, you can just click on the button below

View Interactive Map on MapMyRide.com

I brought along my softshell bike jacket and took the extra time to put it on. It saved my bacon.

My transition from swim to bike went well (this is a manually timed race, so I don’t have transition time) The wetsuit came off easily, the bike shoes went on quickly with the speed laces and I didn’t have to worry about drinking because I had the aero bottle. I actually made up time getting out onto the bike. I could tell because I was out before people who exited the water well ahead of me.

I didn’t put anything on my legs to cover them (Steve is going to have a fit when he hears that) but luckily I didn’t cramp up.

I averaged 16-something miles per hour on the ride, which is not too bad considering that it starts up a long steady hill (on a rough chip sealed road), how cold it was, how cold I was and the wind. I actually passed about 10 people on the bike.

I was oh so thankful for the areobars; there is a lot of wind on this course, especially when weather is blowing in. Oh, did I mention that it was raining?

My transition from bike to run went well, as I had speed laces on both the bike and running shoes ,was hydrated from sipping on the areobottle the whole way and had Cliffshots in my pocket.

That’s when the cold started to get me. My right calf started cramping up. (it was most certainly not a lack of water or electrolytes, I loaded up knowing this race would be tough because of the weather) Luckily, it loosened up and I was able to finish the run in 33 minutes. I know that’s slow, but it was cold, it was after a swim and bike; sadly, it’s faster than I have been running.

Here’s the run route. If you’re viewing this on LiveJournal (why won’t LJ allow iframe html code ?) or via RSS feed where the map and/or tracks don’t show up properly, you can just click on the “view larger map” link


View Larger Map

I came in at 1:31:02 which is not as fast as my last triathlon was at the end of last season, which was 1:28:something. But it was faster than my first triathlon last year (or ever) which was also on the same course and was 1:36:06. (oh, much later in the season and in much better weather)

It wasn’t the time I wanted, but I survived and I’m way ahead of where I was at this time last year.

Oh, and I got a shiny thing. Here it is, with the frigid lake in the background…

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~L

Mood: holy crap I’m tired



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Happy Birthday Flash!!!

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I was talking to my friend Gene today and mentioned that although I feel bad about not having my bike mileage up to where I’d like it to be. I followed that up with, “But at this time last year, I didn’t even have a road bike.”. Then I went and checked my records.

I got flash One year ago TODAY March 20th.

In that time, I’ve ridden her approximately 2,300 miles including:

Two Duathlons
Three Triathlons
The McClinchy Mile (26 of them actually)
The Daffodil Classic
The Tour De Pierce
The Peninsula Metric Century
The Flying Wheels Century
The Seattle Century
The Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic (2 day ride)
The Bike MS Ride (2 day ride)
RAPsody (Ride Around Puget Sound 2 day ride)
Numerous rides from Golden Gardens Park in Ballard to the Redhook Brewery in Woodinville
Lots of rides around Pt Defiance
Several trips across the Narrows Bridge
Many wonderful Monday rides to University Place for coffee
Lots of other fun rides with the Tacoma Wheelmen Bicycle Club

and most important, fun rides with friends, new and old.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY FLASH!!!







I can’t wait to see what adventures 2009 holds for Flash and I

~L

Mood: yeah baby