Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Rest Day / Tri Tuesday Part I

So yesterday (Monday) was a travel day home for me.  I decided that since I hadn't taken a day off from training in two weeks that I would take yesterday off.  I could have gone for a swim in the pool in the morning but I want to do three open water swims this week plus my race so swimming a fifth day in one week didn't seem like a good idea.  Plus I'd already biked and run quite a bit over the weekend, and wanted to do well in the TT on tuesday so a rest day seemed prudent.  So I had pretty much an uneventfull trip back home with the exception of some speedwork I did in the airport when getting through security took us 40 minutes so I had to sprint to grab something to eat on the plane and catch my flight.

This morning I was up at 445am to get ready to head out to GVP.  It hurt, but not as bad as it could have as I stayed on east coast time as much as possible when I was out west by getting up by 5am every day out there.  I met up with Luis, Kevan, Joe and Batla at GVP and we headed out for our swim.  I tried to convince someone to do the 1.5 mile swim with me but there were no takers.  So instead I tried to head out first thinking that I'd return not long after they did and I trusted that one of those guys would wait to make sure I came out of the water.  (Its a great group of guys like that).  So I took off first and headed straight out for the dock.

The swim out to the dock felt awesome.  I started with a really really relaxed stroke and just eased into the swim.  I wanted to make sure I left enough gas in the tank to get back.  I think the rest of the guys started not long after me.  I never saw any of them in the water except for Kevan how I saw just behind me on my left at one point.  I just kept going at a nice even pace.  The 530am group was swimming back towards me so I tried to sight a little more often and keep an eye on them so we didn't collide.  I was swimming along and all of a sudden I saw a pair of legs vertical in the water and stopped.  There was a dude treading water from that group right in front of me.  I laughed and said hello.  He really startled me!  So then I kept going and saw more of those swimmers headed my way.  I managed to keep an eye on them.  At one point I swam in one direction directly between two swimmers going the other way.  Looked pretty cool underwater.  I like GVP when there are lots of swimmers in the water.  I think it makes it more fun.

Evenutally as I was breathing to my left I could see the dock that marks just beyond the 1/2 mile point.  I smiled and kept going knowing I was waiting for my garmin to beep to signal I'd reached the 3/4 mile mark and it was time to turn around.  The 1/2 to 3/4 mile mark was interesting.  I'd never swam out that far before.  The water there is a bit more shallow and has a lot more plants growing in it.  Some of them are tall enough where you graze your fingertips against them in the pull which is just plain weird.  I can't say I liked it!  Some of them are even taller and you sort of have to dodge around them.  Considering I was by myself at this point it was a bit weird and freaky but I just kept going till I heard that beep.  I passed a buoy not far from the end of the pond and my garmin beeped to say it was time to turn around.  I was really happy to hear it as the weeds were getting even taller at that point and I have to say I don't care for swimming through those.

So now I'm on the way back.  I still felt great so I picked up the pace a little from my relaxed easy pace to a slightly stronger effort.  It wasn't long before I'd made it back to the dock.  Being that I swim with a fantastic bunch of guys they were actually waiting at the dock for me to make sure I'd made it back.  I really appreciated that.  I stopped initially when I saw them there to ask if they were all ok as I was surprised they weren't headed back already.  But then they said they were just waiting to make sure I was on my way back.  I thought that was pretty awesome of them so I said I was good and kept swimming.

The rest of the way back went really quickly.  I felt really strong and kept a good pace going the whole way in.  I was smiling underwater as I knew I had my first 1.5 mile swim in the bag.  I love reaching new distance milestones.  They really make me happy.  Not to mention the more distance over my race distance I cover in practice the easier and more confident I'll be covering a lesser distance in a race.  I'd like to do a two mile swim before the FIRM at some point too.  Then 1.2 miles will feel much shorter! 

I reached the beach first out of the bunch but the rest of the guys were not long behind me.  In talking to them later they had decided that I would be tired from swimming further so they gave me a bit of a head start from the dock and thought they would catch me and we would all finish together.  They thought wrong.  : ) 

In the end I did the 1.5 miles in 49 minutes even.  Thats a pace of 1:52/100 yards.  Thats awesome for me!  I'm thrilled with that.  Granted thats not very fast compared to stronger swimmers, but for me thats a strong pace.  Great start to the day!

After a quick visit to an online race calculator with that pace plugged in for the swim, 2 minutes per transition, a bike average of 17.5 mph and a run average of 9:30 that just gets me a sub 6 hour half ironman distance race which is my goal for the firm.  I'd really like to go sub 6.  In reality I think I'll do more like 1 minute per transition, an 18mph pace on the bike and a run average of 8:30 for a finish time of 5:40.  I'll know more though after I start doing workouts on the course in the next couple of weeks.

So a great start to the day...  now its time to crank through some work and then head out to the TT tonight for two loops on the bike and a five mile run.  Should be good fun!

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