Wednesday, September 1, 2010

All You Can Drink Salt Water Buffet!

Today has not been the greatest of days.  However it did at least end well.  This morning I was greeted with an email from a client of mine who wasn't pleased with some work I'd done on a recent project.  This particular client had every right to be annoyed as I'd made a few mistakes on the project that I hadn't noticed in my haste to get it done.  So my day started out rough and I spent most of it fixing those mistakes before I could then move forward with what I was supposed to be working on.  Not the best way to start the day.  As all this was going down some social plans I had for this evening that I was looking forward to also fell through.  Things seemed to go south in a hurry today and that trend continued as things continued to go wrong today.

Somewhere not long after lunch I decided enough was enough.  If I wasn't going out this evening I would at least get a workout in even it was supposed to be an off day.  Screw it!  If theres anything that will always turn things around for me its going for a swim.  I was really hoping conditions would be as fun as they were yesterday.  Challenging to get in and out of the water, but smooth as glass in the middle.  So a few emails and texts later and I'd arranged to carpool down to the Narragansett swim that several Tri-NE members were doing.

When I got to the ocean things looked like they would be the same as they were yesterday.  Perfect!  So we got suited up and met up on the beach.  A few of us wanted to swim the FIRM course and walk down the beach and swim back, whereas some of the others just planned on swimming out and then back again from where we parked.  So initially we split up.  As my group of five swimmers walked down the beach it became clear that the ocean was actually pretty choppy out there. It was going to be an interesting swim.

When we made it to the other end of the beach and headed in it was pretty rough going.  Some mid sized waves to get through, then some rollers, and then piles of chop.  It seemed like the first buoy was never going to get any closer and then all of a sudden I was there.  The chop was bad.  In the first few minutes I had taken several slaps to the face with it and drank more than I cared to.  When we turned sideways and started to swim down the beach it was just as bad.  We were all having a tough time with the chop but at the same time we were all enjoying ourselves out there.  It was a challenging swim today and I've come to really enjoy those moments when you realize your out there pretty far from shore in the chop fighting your way along.  To think that not long ago I couldn't swim 25 yards in a pool and here I am fighting away in the chop a 1/4 mile from shore.  Good stuff! 

Not too long after we started swimming down the beach we ran into the group that had left from the other end.  Turns out the chop wasn't as bad swimming towards us as it was heading back as they mentioned they had a nicer swim down to us than back.  So for a good portion of our swim today there were now 9 of us.  So we had a nice group of Tri-NE folk.  It was nice to swim in a pack like that although its interesting how quickly we would spread out and then come back together.  Some of which was due to differences in pace and some of it was we were just all over the place in the chop.  We were all going the same direction but people were on different sides of me all the time.  I'd look up and have Jill on one side and Joe on the other and then five minutes later nobody was where I thought they were.  Certainly kept things interesting!

Eventually we reached the far side of the beach and turned to swim in.  As I got closer to shore I realized that we had all miscalculated a little bit as were right smack in the middle of the surfers.  Exactly where I did NOT want to be!  Not all of them are experienced and the last thing I want is to get knocked unconcious by a surfboard and drown.  So I was pretty nervous and constantly looking around as I swam my way in.  I'll have to not do that again!

So all in all it was a great swim.  Challenging but I got through it nicely.  In the end we small a mile in something like 41 minutes.  Probably two minutes of that was spent chatting when we would regroup.  Thirty eight minutes for a mile in those conditions is not bad at all for me.  I'll take it happily.

Once home I was greeted with a nice surprise.  My amazon order showed up!  Some new additions to my ever expanding triathlon bookshelf!

Here's what showed up today....

Run Workouts for Runners and Triathletes - Bobby McGee
Indoor Cycling Workouts - Dirk Friel and Wes Hobson
Swim Workouts for Triathletes - Gale Bernhardt and Nick Hansen
Strength Training for Triathletes - Patrick Hagerman
Racing Weight - Matt Fitzgerald

Generally I do well when I can pull structured workouts out of books so these should serve me well when I start getting into speedwork on the run, indoor training on the bike this winter, and time in the pool.  With any luck Matt Fitgerald's book will help me balance my nutrition out a little better and learn a bit more, and the strength training book will come in handy this offseason as I try and strengthen some key muscle groups.  Good Stuff!

Next up....

a two hour ride tomorrow with some interval work in it, getting a new chain put on at Providence Bicycle to hopefully put an end to the master link on my current chain skipping whenever it hits the new cassette, and then ending the day having dinner with a friend of mine new to triathlon to catch up and chat about all things tri-related.  Should be a good day.

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