People like telling us that it doesn't matter what our time is, but it does matter. As a "non-competitive" participant, I'm not going to worry too much about how my time compares with others, but I do think it's important to have some sort of personal goal, or a prediction of what my final time will be. And it's really tough to guess. I think the excitement of the day will make me go faster, but stress of the crowds in the water will slow me down. Still, I'm trying to come up with an estimate.
I have Jon Cryer issues. Nothing personal against the guy, it's just that some of the obsessive, compulsive, nerdy character traits he portrays hit a little too close to home. (The definitive example is this clip from Two and a Half Men where Alan has a "plan" to get good movie seats. I am totally That Guy. I am Jon Cryer.)
I was in the pool this morning when I looked up and saw a huge flash of light in the sky, then 2 seconds later KAPOW! Giant thunder crash- it was setting off car alarms everywhere. I got out of the pool, just as I was trained to do since I was kid. But then I started thinking: the reason we always got out of the water as kids was because we swam in lakes, and lightning likes to hit the tallest object in an area (not exactly true, but go with it.) In a lake, that object is your head. The pool I was in this morning is only 1 lane wide. It has a row of trees on one side, and a 20-story building on the other. There's no way the lightning would pass those targets and hit me. I hadn't finished my laps, so I got back in the pool. 20 seconds later, KAPOW! Another strike. I got out.
There was a big surf advisory this weekend. Apparently there was some storm in Tahiti, and that meant big waves in California. I dunno, sounds like some sort of government cover-up to me. I mean, like Tahiti is totally like over a hundred miles away and stuff. Whatever. I went to Santa Monica on Saturday, and sure enough the waves were pretty big. Not Poseiden Adventure big, but enough to get your attention. There were lots of surfers in the water, but no swimmers. I then went down to Venice, thinking there might be people in the water there. Nope, just more surfers. I don't mind swimming by myself, as long as there are lots of people around me. (Surfers don't count.) There's "being dedicated", and there's "being stupid", so I just stayed out of the water.
I keep a training log. Basically, I keep records of date, time, distance, and brief notes if anything unusual happened. Here are some of my notes from last year in the weeks leading up to me pulling my achilles tendon:
Just 2 days ago I was complaining about all the clothes hanging in my bathroom. The dripping clothes is the least of my worries. Last night, I put my shirt in the sink to rinse it out. I was going to let it soak a bit and put the faucet on low flow, trusting the emergency drain. Well it seems that the shirt floated over and clogged the drain while I was in another room for a half hour, having completely forgotten that I was in the middle of washing a shirt. When I came back, water was cascading on to the floor. The carpet is DRENCHED and it already has that moldy smell. I may have to replace the carpet or at least the padding underneath.
I swam myself sick last night. I went to a group swim lesson in Pasadena. It started off fine. We had to do some freestyle laps and I was basically keeping pace with the group which I haven't been able to do in the past, so that was good. Then we had to grab swim boards and do some flutter-kicking exercises. (I was told previously I'm a bad kicker; I keep reminding myself that Coach Gareth told us that kicking is less important in the ocean so I don't worry about it much. I know, that's a terrible attitude but it gets me across the pool.) So things were going OK, then the coach tells us to do the backstroke to the other side.
The triathlon has an odd side-effect: My guest bathroom is now a permanent laundry room. It is constantly filled with dripping clothes. After each workout I hand-wash all my clothes and hang them in the shower to dry, and it is a never-ending cycle of rotating out dry clothes with new wet ones. Shorts, shirts, socks, even hats and gloves sometimes. The tub has a layer of sand in it from each time I rinse out the wetsuit (or as my friends call it, "the dead body hanging in the shower.")
Somebody I work with as well as a few people on the Tri Team were talking about doing the "Big Rock Triathlon" in November. It's a 1-mile swim, a 52 mile bike ride, and a 9-mile run. And I started thinking about doing it. In 2 months, I think I could work up to doing the swim, could probably do the run, but the bike would be really tough. Still, I started planning on how I could train for it to be ready in time.
I did an ocean swim by myself yesterday. Well, me and 50,000 of my closest Labor Day friends. I didn't swim out far, I just wanted to practice my ins and outs.
We had a full dress-rehearsal this weekend and it went much better than the run-through I tried last month. For starters, I actually finished it this time, so that was a big deal. Yay. I also managed to find a good balance with drinking fluids. You want to drink enough to stay hydrated and keep energy in your system, but not so much that you have to... well, you know... go make tinkle.
Odocreep noun. A symptom whereby the planned distance of a workout is extended during the actual workout. For example, planning on riding 10 miles, then at mile 5 deciding to do 12 miles, then at mile 8 to do 16, etc.