Wednesday, September 8, 2010

4 Days to Go!

Only 4 days to go till the half!  I can't wait!

This morning I got up nice and early and headed out to run three miles.  I decided I wanted to just run it and see what happened.  No plan, no goals, no intervals, nothing.  So I set my Garmin to the run cadence screen and hit start and went for my run.  I ran my usual three mile route out to the state house and back.  When I was done I looked at my watch and I had fallen into a nice 7:15 average pace for the three miler.  So apparently my legs are feeling good which is great.  I have to say it was so nice to just head out my front door and run.  Its been so long since I've done just a run.  Not a run on tired legs, or a long run, or a run with intervals in it, or off the bike, or after a swim.  Just a run....   out my front door....   with no real plan....   just a three mile goal.  It felt GREAT!  Afterwards I came home and stretched and did a little yoga which felt really nice too.  As much as I LOVE triathlon I am looking forward to going back to a run focus for the marathon.  I really enjoy the shorter midweek runs of marathon training and I enjoy the routine I get in with them.  I'll often run the short stuff and then come home and lay out my yoga mat and stretch for a long time and do several yoga poses.  I'll often put some nice relaxing music on while I do this.  Many times I'll light some candles around the buddha statue I have near my yoga mat and then meditate for a bit before starting my day.  The combination of run / stretch / yoga / meditate is such an amazing way to start the day.  So it was nice to get a small reminder about that today.  I really enjoyed it.

Then the workday started which was again stressfull and challenging.  Some unique challenges on the project I'm working on now are really starting to frustrate me.  I'll get through them though of course, but this is a hard week of work right when I could really use an easy one.  But fortunately once 5pm on Friday hits I'm going to not even think about work till Monday AM.  The weekend will be 100% race focused.  Ok...  maybe not 100% as I have a date Friday night I'm really looking forward to as well.  Hopefully she is not horrified as I carb load at dinner and eat probably way too much!

Then later today it was time to head out the door for workout number 2.  I headed down to Narragansett to get my last real ocean swim in before the race.  When I arrived at the sea wall we ran into some other Tri-NE members who had just finished their swim.  They reported that it was pretty challenging out there.  Worse than the other day when we had all swam together and that was a pretty challenging day.  Clearly this was going to be a challenging swim.  When my group of 4 reached the far end of the beach where we decided to go into the water it looked really choppy out there.  As we started to walk in it was clear it was also really rolling out there.  The waves were not tall, but they had some kick and were coming in rapidly.  So there were lots of 3-4 foot waves to swim out through.  These then turned into constant swells.  After a while we gave up trying to swim out far enough to escape them.  Once we started swimming down the beach it became clear this was going to be rough going.  It was really choppy out there as well as really rolly out there.  It seemed like the chop and the rolls were coming from different directions though.  In a way the two forces were fighting each other churning up the ocean which made things really rough out there.  We were also getting thrown around a lot out there.  More so than I ever have been before.  What made it worse however and made the day really suck for me was that my goggles fogged up BADLY inside the first few minutes.  I couldn't see ten feet in front of me.  Add to this the fact that there are no buoys and the only thing to sight for is a building I can't see about a mile away and I was in trouble.  So I made the best of it and just tried to stay right next to another swimmer the whole time.  I literally stopped sighting as I couldn't see anything and just made sure to keep one of the other swimmers on my right the whole time.  Fortunately our group was paced pretty equally so there were three people I could choose to follow.  When I would get chucked aside however by the chop and lose contact in the rolls it got kind of hairy a few times.  I REALLY didn't want to lose the group and end up alone out there not being able to see properly.  This happened a couple of times and I would have to squint through the fog in my goggles and hope I could see an arm move and then head for the movement.  So it was not a very fun swim for me as I was focused intently on not losing the group and not at all on my swimming or anything else.  Then all of a sudden I hear a yell as I'm swimming and pop my head up to see one of my friends yelling something about being freaked out by the barge.  I guess we had swam closer to shore than I though and we ended up right on top of the sunken barge out there.  Its very dark and gloomy and freaky to see this shipwreck thats only a few feet below you.  Especially when its grey and cloudy out.  Its definitely spooky.  So we all did our best water polo stroke to get over the barge without looking at it and then kept swimming.  When we would regroup I tried a few times to get people to swim in but they wanted to keep going.  And I didn't want to swim in by myself when I couldn't see so I stayed with the group.  Then I saw some nasty looking thunder clouds in the distance I thought would get us so I was thinking about that too.  It just was not a good day for me.  The goggles just destroyed my concentration and turned the swim into a survival swim where I was just trying to stay with the group and not end up blind and way too far from shore.  I should have just taken the damn goggles off.  I probably would have been better off. 

Eventually we turned into shore and swam in.  I did something weird on the way in and had a nasty cramp in my right calf.  Fortunately I was able to shake it off and keep swimming after a little while.  That wasn't fun.  And finally we were standing on shore.  In the end we swam .8 miles today.  We got tossed around so much that my stomach has been feeling weird all night.  Mostly as I ate a lot today and all that food got seriously tossed around during the swim.  But my balance was thrown off a bit too.  We ran into some other Tri-NE members about to head in for a swim and I think we scared them a little bit by the looks on our faces and the stories we shared.  Sorry guys!

After the swim I met up with a friend and frequent training partner for dinner at my favorite thai place and had a great time catching up as I haven't seen her in a while.  All in all though a good day.  Tomorrow is just a 45 minute bike ride with 5x30 second sprints in it.  Pretty easy.  I think I'll get up super early and do that on the bike path as its a nice flat simulation of route 1.  Should be a nice ride at that hour too.  Time for me to go hit the showers and get off to bed.  One other thing first though...    it was funny talking to some other friends tapering this week.  Were all going a bit crazy, and eating everything in sight, and feeling odd aches and pains.  Its nice to know I'm not the only one going through all of this!

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