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Weekend update (not the funny SNL version) June 5, 2009

Posted by bettyjoan in Cycling, Running, Swimming.
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Sorry for the lapse in updates, folks—between reconfigured work duties, an injured fiancé, and hard-core training, I haven’t had a lot of time to catch my breath and process all that’s been happening.

Speaking of training, we’ve covered a lot of ground in just a week’s time!  Though I was too sick to go to the Cartersville ride last Saturday (which is a bummer, since I wanted to debut my new bike, AND I hear that it’s a fabulous course), I did rally back from my flu-induced misery in order to participate in our first open-water swim on Sunday.  We started out all huddled up on the beach, and you could cut the nerves with a knife—everyone was jittery, not only about the water temperature (we are used to a 78 degree pool), but just generally about what swimming in the lake would be like.  Well, we would find out soon enough… 

To start, our coaches just asked us to get in the water and swim out to a buoy and back.  It was a straight shot (well, it was SUPPOSED to be, anyway), and I would guess that it was about 150-200 meters each way.  The water temperature was really quite lovely, so that helped soothe my nerves a bit—BUT, it is incredibly jarring to stick your face in the water and see absolutely nothing (well, besides a murky shade of green).  I tried to focus on my breathing and my stroke instead of panicking about what was or was not in the lake with me.  I also tried to sight to the buoy, but it was harder than anticipated given the very strong sun in my eyes.  Somehow, though, I made the round trip journey and wound up back on the beach.  Whew!  We’re done, right?

Wrong!  We moved right on along to simulating a race start and then swimming back out to the first buoy.  From there, we swam to a second buoy (so we were, in essence, swimming parallel to the shore) and then sighted back in to the beach.  Yowza, what a tough lap!  It is really difficult to get into a rhythm when you’re constantly paranoid about veering off course or smacking your submerged head into a pier (not sure which is worse).

The good news is, we all survived.  No one had to be rescued by the kayakers, no one drowned, and, most importantly, no one quit the team.  So, I’d say our first open-water experience was a great success!

This past week, I also had a nice group run with a few of my awesome teammates.  We did about 4.3 miles through the lovely (yet shockingly smelly) streets of Brookhaven, and we had a pretty good darn time doing it.  I always do so much better when I run with other people than when I attempt it alone.  The workout, combined with the fact that I did lower-body weights on Monday, made me a little sore in the pool on Wednesday night—BUT, I managed to do about 1500 meters of combination race pace and sprint drills, so woot!  I am finally at the point where I’m not worried about the length of the swim.  Instead, I am worried about how fast I can finish and how wiped out I will be when I get on my bike.

This weekend will involve another ride at Silk Sheets (where I clipped in for the first time–ah, the memories) and another open-water swim.  Here’s hoping for a productive and FUN weekend of tri training!

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Comments»

1. briankainec - June 8, 2009

Nice work on the swim Betty. Sounds like you had a productive weekend!

I’m going to be doing my first open water swims in the pacific ocean in a few weeks. Not sure how I’ll do not being able to see through the water…

2. Kristin - June 9, 2009

Nice OWS! I really need to find a group that does open water swim practices. I would love the practice.

The lake I was in a few weeks ago was ridiculously murky…I always forget how low visibility is going to be!

3. bettyjoan - June 9, 2009

Brian: Thanks! Wow, swimming in the Pacific is hard core stuff–good luck. I think the waves will be a bigger problem than whether or not you can see. If you want practice with the latter, just close your eyes in the pool!

Kristin: Thanks! It really is good practice, and I am thankful that our training program includes a few open-water swims before race day. I was talking to a girl who did her first tri last year without ever swimming outside the pool–I don’t think I could do that! Fear of the unknown would paralyze me, I think.


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