Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Rain Rain Go Away!

Seems like its done nothing but rain lately.  Sunday when I volunteered at the ETR Tri it rained on me as I stood out there on the run course.  Then it poured before we could get our long run on the FIRM 1/2 course in.  So I swapped my day off and my long run day.  Monday when I woke up it was pouring again, but we suffered through the long run.  Today I got out of bed at 445am to get ready for a 6am swim and it was still raining.  Joy!  But the only weather I won't swim in is when there's lightning and there were no signs of that so off I went to GVP to get a swim in.  I arrived at 545 which is when the tuesday/thursday group goes out for their swim.  In the end there were about 6-8 of us.  Not too many.  The skies were a very ominous dark grey and the sun was barely up yet.  Not that you could have seen it through the clouds anyway.  So it was pretty dark.  Of course the only goggles I have with me are tinted.  Awesome!  Once I put those on it was very hard to see anything.  Add in to this the fact the clouds are grey and colors start to all look the same so its hard to tell anything from anything once you are in the water.  But oh well, I was here to get a swim in.  Our plan was to do the 1.5 mile GVP swim.  It was pretty windy and raining out when we got in the water.  And then things got interesting!  GVP is a pond, albeit a rather large on.  Its almost always glassy smooth.  Its a very relaxing place to swim and a sharp contrast to swimming in the swells and chop of the ocean...   well at least normally it is.  Today however it might as well have been the ocean.  There was loads of wind driven chop.  I've never seen GVP like that before.  It made for a very challenging swim.  It felt like I was swimming against a current as I headed out and the chop was so bad that often you would go to breathe and get a little tiny wave crashing over your head instead that fills your mouth with water instead of air.  Lovely!  It was struggle to get out there.  Add to this fact that my goggles are tinted, that its grey and dark out and sighting was also a challenge.  I did ok, but at one point found myself going not exactly the right direction any more!

I was psyched to finally make it to the turn around point.  And even more psyched that when we turned around that the chop was not as bad.  I think since the wind was now at our backs it wasn't blowing the water into my face every breath quite as much.  In the end we did the 1.5 miles in 51 minutes.  Thats about three minutes slower than usual which tells you what the chop was like.  I was pretty happy to hit the beach today as the swim was pretty tiring.  But in the end it was a good swim and I felt strong.  I'm also pleased that now when I'm faced with challenges in the water I just suck it up and have at it.  It used to be a month or two ago that I would stop a lot more and get frustrated.  Now I just dig in and push through them.  Those ocean open water swims are really paying off.

After the swim I rushed home and checked the weather forecase as I also wanted to get a ride in today.  Rain, rain, and more rain.  Ugh.  I didn't have time to ride, and then clean my bike as I had to head right to the airport afterwards.  So I didn't want to take my road bike out, get it all dirty and wet, and then leave it like that without cleaning it.  I'm also lending my bike to another club member this week while I'm away as he's lent his road bike to another club member to use in a race this weekend.  I didn't want to hand the bike off covered in dirt and soaking wet.  So my riding partner for the day today and I decided if it was nasty out we would just take our mountain bikes out instead.  So that became the plan.

I have a decent mountain bike.  Nothing special.  But its pretty old.  Perhaps 8-10 years old.  Its been through a lot.  I bought it when I lived in Florida.  It was then promptly stolen when someone broke into my house down there.  Two months later the police recovered it and gave it back to me!  I rode it a fair amount in Florida and then pretty much shelved it.  Sometime a few years ago I had it tuned and cleaned up again and put road slick tires on it to make it more of a commuter bike but I hardly used it.  So I pulled it up from the basement and gave it a once over.  Checked everything out and tweaked the shifting.  Fortunatley I've been learning quite a bit about derailers and shifting and how to tune them so I did a nice job getting that all back up to snuff on the bike this morning and then headed out to meet Nancy to get our ride in.

We first rode towards Lincoln woods and did a couple of laps around the just under three mile loop of roads there.  That got boring in a hurry so we ventured out and ended up on the bike path out there and went for a nice long ride chatting away in the rain.  In the end we logged 27 miles.  The sad part is that took us two hours and twenty minutes!  Mountain bikes are slow!  And neither of us had clip in pedals on our mountain bikes.  That sensation was just plain weird!  What was even weirder was that neither of us have ridden our mountain bikes in ages so we kept getting the shifting wrong when climbing hills which was pretty entertaining.  The position on the bike felt all weird too.  The whole experience was strange at first, but once I adjusted it wasn't too bad.  In the end it was a nice ride despite every inch of my body being covered in road dirt and spray off the tires.

And then after the ride I rushed home, showerd, and headed off to drop off my road bike to my friend and then went right to the airport.  And now I'm sitting here in my hotel room in Raleigh, NC writing this.  Such is my crazy life.

Tomorrow I'll get up early and go for a six mile run around the streets of downtown and try not to get lost, and then its a long long setup day here on the show I'm working on.  Hopefully I'll get out early enough that I can hit the downtown supermarket and stock my hotel room with healthy things to eat for the week so I can dodge the fried meal du jour in catering all week.  yuck.

Next up....

Lots of working, and lots of trying to cram workouts in around it.

And fun things I'll be watching this weekend....

Lots of friends are racing this weekend so I'll do my best to keep an eye on whats going on.  Including a 100 mile relay race, the Cranberry Sprint and Olympic distance Triathlons, and a new friend of mine is racing in the Louisville Ironman distance event.  So psyched for her!  I hope she rocks it!  I can't wait to do my first full.  But first I need to get through my first half!

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