July 2012


Sunday was my first ever Open Water Swim (OWS) practice during my triathlon training.  Wow, what an experience.

I signed up for the OWS clinic put on by One Step Beyond Multisport Coaching:  http://www.osbmultisport.com/  The owner and head coach of OSB is Marty Gaal.  At the very beginning of my journey to be a triathlete, I had some private swim lessons with Marty at the fabulous Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary, NC.  It is a great facility, and Marty taught me a ton in those sessions.  A few months later, I found myself once again under the tutalege of Marty and his wife (Bri).

The clinic included a training lecture to start, which was insightful – followed by some in water lessons/practice.  I will tell you, I was nervous getting into the lake for the first time.  I am so used to watching a black line move beneath me while I swim, but at the clinic I was looking at some seriously murky lake water.  I was also nervous about swimming out into the lake (deep water), sighting our turns and of course being able to swim the full distances.

Our practices started with a simple one at a time swim out and around someone on a surf board, then back to shore.  This first ‘lap’ was short, probably only 40 meters out and 40 back.  Simple – and I am certain designed to give all 30+ of us confidence.  The lesson we were practicing here included sighting our turn and swimming a good line.  I found myself able to sight fairly well, so my confidence was improved.   After doing this simple lap a couple of times, the distance was increased and we begun to learn how to draft off of someone.  Now we were sent out in pairs, with one person set to follow closely to get the draft.  This is a great concept, but fairly hard to practice in this situation.  The issue I had was that we were paired up at random.  This unfortunately meant that I was too fast for my partner.  When I was in the ‘lead’ position, I swam purposely slow, but by the time we were back to shore, I was a good 30 seconds in front of her.  Then during the next lap, she was to lead me – but pulled herself out for a goggle issue, so I was forced to swim on my own that lap.

After the follow behind drafting, we worked on the off the hip draft position.  This time we went a little further and with three people – one lead, and two drafters.  I was again paired up at random with two people.  This time it was a mother/daughter pair from Charlotte.  The mother was the lead first, so I swam right off of her right hip the whole way.  She wasn’t fast, but I was able to hold that position.  Then we rotated.  Unfortunately, I left the pair behind when I was in the lead – even with trying to swim a very slow pace.

With all of the drafting practice over, we began to work on starting and swimming in crowds.  Marty split the group into 2 groups and had 1/2 of us do a ‘mock start’.  We lined up, heard the word go and swam straight out to a turn around point.  We then treaded water for a minute or two, then received another ‘go’ and thus practiced a deep water start.  This was great.  I loved the start practice.  It is one thing that I was anxious about, but it turned out to not be too bad.  It is difficult of course, but my anxiety wasn’t too high.

After practicing the crowded starts – we transitioned into swimming a longer course (about 400-500 meters) out and around two turns before heading back to shore (sort of a strange looking triangle).  He broke the group up into boys and girls and sent us on our way.  This was tough.  My anxiety was fine at the start and I was able to sight the turn easily.  The issue came when we all reached that first turn.  The crowd was tough and I found myself expending a lot of extra energy just to round the turn.  The same thing happened on the 2nd turn, but not quite as bad.  I swam the rest of the way to the shore feeling fine, but a little short of breath.  — — After a 2 minute break… we were off again.  The same thing happened at the turns for me, although this time I did catch a left hook to my cheek.  That caused a little panic and caused me to lose some of my breath.  I made it around the 2nd turn and back to shore, but this time much more ‘spent’ than the time before.

We then had one more practice lap – this time a little further out, with a shorter ‘over’ and of course a longer back.  I enjoyed this lap since I was able to clear myself of the crowd before the first turn, which meant my anxiety was lowered due to less traffic.  I swam back to shore at a nice low effort pace.  I felt great getting out of the water.

We then had a second training lecture about swim workouts presented by Bri.  This was very informative and I will likely insert her suggestions into my workouts moving forward.

After that, it was time to pack up and head home.

Overall I am very pleased that I attended this swim clinic.  I think that for the money, it was definitely worth it.  Getting some expert advice and training in a simulated OWS race is extremely valuable.  I will carry this forward to my first Open Water Swim mile long race in August.

Thanks Marty and Bri!

 

After a long day at work – and then after even more work that I brought home with me, I was finally able to get to sleep late last night.  I still have more work to do – but I promised myself that I wouldn’t miss my long run today.  So, I woke up early, slipped on my running shoes and headed out for my 48 minute run down the Greenway.  Before leaving, I checked in on ‘my’ new baby birds that hatched on my front porch a few days ago.  They are really growing fast!  That plant their nest is in was beautiful before Mama and Daddy bird decided to build their nest there.  After scaring Mama bird by pouring water on her head one time, we decided to let the plant go, and let Mama have her privacy.  It was a good decision.

Back to my run.  I intentionally headed out at a slower pace than I have been running.  I wanted this run to feel easy.  It is important to just get the body to feel good while running when the distances get longer, so that was my focus.  Just a slow and steady pace for the full 48 minutes.  My legs were pretty sore to start out (I have no idea why), but after about 4 or 5 minutes, I felt fine.

The Greenway was busy today with tons of runners, some cyclists and a few walkers.  It is always nice to see so many friendly people up and exercising early on a Saturday morning.  I am proud to be one of the “non-lazy” crowd who takes advantage of a great running trail.  —  Of course, the further from the main access point parking lot I got, the thinner the crowd got – and by the time I was at my furthest point from home, I was all alone.  The contrast between busy and solitude is interesting.  My pace is a bit quicker around the crowds – which was counter to my goals for this run today.  So, the solitude portion of the run was better for me (plus, I saw 5 deer during that part of the run).

My heart rate over the course of the run.

I made my way back home, arriving at the 46:41 mark.  I shorted my run by just over one minute.  Oh well, it was still a good run.

Now… back to work for a few hours today (and a few more tomorrow)

Today’s workout:

Plan: 48 minutes of running

Actual: 46:41 running (4.46 miles @ 10:29/mile)

PS – yesterday was a scheduled day off from training – but I decided to put in 40 minutes in the pool for another 1500 meters this week.

July 4th.  I was excited for a nice day with my family.  We had several things planned for the day, one of which was my morning run.  Today I was scheduled for a 38 minute run – but I was going to mix it up some.  I was going to head out for 20 minutes, then come by the house and grab my oldest son (who is 8 years old) and continue on for another mile and a half with him.  It was fantastic.  He did such a good job.  Our conversation during the run was so much fun.  He asked about my workouts, he mentioned how difficult it is to run up a hill, he then asked me how many hills did I have to run up in my triathlon (ha).  After all of that, as we were getting close to the end of the run, he started talking about wanting to do his own triathlon sometime soon.  He mentioned that he already knows how to swim, and he can ride his bike fine… and now he knows he can run a mile without stopping, so why not do them all together like Daddy.

—  How great is that?

I am looking right now for some choices for kiddie triathlons in the area that I can get him signed up for.  If he wants to do it… I am going to make sure he can.

As for the rest of the day – we met with a contractor about finishing the 3rd floor, then we drove down to the in-laws for an early (and perfect) July 4th dinner.  After dinner, we drove to the city of Clayton’s July 4th celebration where we listened to live music, played some carnival games and rode on a few carnival rides.  Of course the night was capped off by a really nice fireworks display (and some sparklers for the kids).


Today’s workout:It was a nice way to spend the day.

Plan: 38 minutes running


Actual:
35:11 running (3.39 miles @ 10:23/mile – 15 minutes of that with my son!)

The month of June included my first ever triathlon: The Gary Kirby Tri as well as a full week off from training after the race – so the numbers indicated here are basically three weeks instead of four.  But nonetheless, here are my totals.  My bike total is way down (-50% from June)… I need to remedy that in July!

Swim: 6:28 – 13835 yards (May: 5:06 – 8368 yards )

Bike: 5:13 – 87.94 miles  (May: 10:17:10 – 170.6 miles)

Run: 4:42:09 – 28.32 miles (May: 4:01:58 – 21.74 miles)

My Sunday consisted of me getting up, knocking out 1.5 Kilometers in the pool – then jumping on my bike for a “quick” 23 miles.  My goal was to be done with the ride before 9:30 am as the heat was going to be brutal later in the day.

Today’s Workout:

Plan: 29 minutes in the pool – 1:37 on the bike

Actual: 29 minutes in the pool (1500 meters) – 1:13 on the bike (22.86 miles @ 18.79mph)