Swim, work, bike, eat, sleep = Tuesdays!

My alarm went off at 4:40am. I knew what it was time for…the first open water swim training of the season! I love open water swimming and how it makes me feel before work, why else would I get up so early in the morning for it? I had pre-packed everything in the truck the night before so I’d be ready to go. I took off by 5am and driving down at that time in the morning is just beautiful!

I got to the reservoir at about 6am and met up with my training buddy (pink swim cap). She was excited and wanting to do 2 laps which would mean 2000 meters. 2000 meters is what we were up to at the end of last season so I was a little hesitant about starting out there for this season but I knew that I had swum a lot over the winter so I should be able to fall back on that training, right?

The water temp was 63 degrees so when we put our faces in the water we got a little bit of brain freeze (or my little brain froze, whichever way). We started swimming directly into the sun. I thought, now I’m starting to remember all the feelings of open water swimming: can’t see where I’m going due to the sun and foggy goggles, can’t feel my hands and feet due to the cold water, can’t breathe from working so hard and from the wetsuit constricting my neck, and I can’t see anything under the water (what just touched me). Even though all this was going on I was still enjoying it.

We finished our 2000 meters and I had to move slowly while getting out of the water as I was a little lightheaded from no oxygen and the cold freezing my lungs. I felt wiped but happy that we covered the distance. The showers were closed so as most triathletes do I had to change in the parking lot with a towel around me, combed my hair (yes, with a pick) using the reflection of my truck windows, and slapped on some deodorant and lotion. I stashed my wetsuit in the rocketbox on top of my truck since my bike was packed away in the back and hung my swim suit, goggles, and swim cap on the clothesline in the truck cab to dry during the day.

I arrived at work with lovely goggle marks on my face and my hair looking flat. Oh well, the things we have to do for the love of the sport. I put on my calf sleeves to assist in the recovery, drank a Muscle Milk (love that stuff), and started my daily routine of building reports, writing queries and equations, and trouble-shooting the system that we support. Thank goodness that I have work as my recovery time because right after work was another hard workout.

I arrived at the LBS to meet up with the group for a ride. We had decided to ride the flats and do a 20 mile loop. Riding north heading out of the city was not bad as we road in the bike lanes side by side. There were about 10 of us total. It was a gradual climb out of the city but once we hit the main loop part I was starting to tire just from keeping up with the group. It was a faster pace than I was used to riding. One of the bike shop dudes was helping me with the techniques of riding in a group. He explained about drafting and how it’s better to get in a bigger gear but stay on the rear tire of the person in front. It takes less effort overall. I kept trying this but I’m still not comfortable getting that close to people while riding. He would try to push me out of my comfort zone by riding as close to my side as possible.

After a couple of what I would call steep descents, I had been dropped by the group. I am terrified of going fast on the down hills and feather my breaks. Obviously this is why I was so far back. The one bike dude slowed down since it is supposed to be a no-drop group ride. He let me draft off of him until we caught up to the two guys in front of us. He made me ride right off of their back wheels while he was close to my left side. I was freaking out on the inside but trying to just concentrate on what I was doing and trust in what he was saying. He explained how the two guys in front of me were professional cyclists and knew what they were doing. He said I was in good hands and then proceeded to tell me that he was legally blind. “What?” I thought. I had already seen what a good cyclist he was so I really wasn’t nervous about that aspect of the ride but it did catch me off guard.

We ended up doing the loop about 20-25 minutes faster than what I would have normally ridden it by-myself. Guess that is what peer-pressure will do for ya! I felt good and was proud with what I had accomplished but it’s still hard always being the slowest. Not just with cycling…this is my life with swimming and running too. Guess that’s why I like the motto “Triathlon: why suck at one sport when you can suck at three.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m not negative about it, I’m just realistic about it.

Since I had burned about 20,000 calories (ha) I headed across the way to grab a naked burrito! I drove the long curvy roads home and scarfed down my dinner. I had to unpack my wetsuit, bike, and accoutrements just to repack all of my running gear (much less) so that I would be ready for the next day. Tuesdays are long days but successful and happy ones! Goodnight.

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~ by willtriforbeer on May 24, 2012.

4 Responses to “Swim, work, bike, eat, sleep = Tuesdays!”

  1. Sounds like an awesome way to start the day! 🙂

  2. Sounds like the perfect day to me! I love that you go out of your comfort zone and do the group rides – such an awesome way to train/learn!

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