The weekend started with Saturday's Hammerhead Ocean Swim: 2.5 miles of ocean fun. If you've been following my blog at all, you already know that I'm a REALLY bad swimmer.
Fortunately the winds were out of the south west and the water was calm as could be. There were several small buoys along the path, most of which I never saw. I pretty much sighted on the houses along the shore, and the pier that we were swimming towards.
Being that last year I was unwilling to even attempt the 1.25 mile swim, I'd say the I've made a lot of progress. My form has definitely improved MASSIVELY. I spend most of the swim very relaxed and used very little energy. In fact, I wasn't really even breathing that hard through most of it - an indication that I probably should have been swimming harder.
One thing that did cause me a bit of trouble was the salt water getting into my nose and sinuses. After the first hour it got EXTREMELY annoying and made it very hard for me to breathe. I may start trying to swim with a nose plug and see if that helps....the only downside to that plan is that it'll probably get knocked off in the middle of the IM swimming beatdown anyway...
I finished the swim in just under 2 hours, (1:57 something), which is a 2:55 / 100m pace. Although about 15 minutes slower than I would have liked, it definitely puts my mind at ease knowing I can swim the distance in under the 2:20 cutoff. Over the next couple of months continuously improving my swimming with the masters group, I should be able to knock off 10-15 minutes easily; plus, the IM swim is wetsuit legal, which should also help quite a bit.
Not that it matters, but the teenage winner of the swim, (it wasn't really so much of a race, alhtough it was timed) finished in under an hour...UGHHHHH
Overall, a complete success, other than my sinuses being a wreck from all of the saltwater.
Right after the ocean swim, I picked up my new bike...YEA...
Although I had a run scheduled for Sat evening, I was still too wiped and my breathing was still too much of a wreck, so I had the brilliant idea to do the run Sunday afternoon instead. That would have been fine, except for Sunday morning's bike ride.
I met the Velobrew "B" group at 7. I stayed with them for about and hour, most of which I hung off the back on my aerobars. When one woman got dropped, I went back for her to pull her back to the group, and she said that the group was too fast and that she was going to finish the ride on her own.
Whereas a couple of weeks ago I had no chance of catching up with the A group, I probably could have gotten back to the B group - they were doing 20-22 (versus the 25 of the A group). Instead of using up a whole bunch of energy needlessly to try to catch the group again, I decided to stay on my aero bars and ride on my own the rest of the way. Following my training plan, I wanted to get in some zone 3 time and do some bridgework anyway.
I spent about 20 minutes in zone 3, still keeping my cadence over 90. Then I met the Acosta bridge. The bridge won. I think my speed dropped down to around 7 on the way up..the good news is I hit 36 on the way down - FUN. I probably could have gone a bit faster, but didn't want to push my luck too much on a new bike. I'm getting a set of compact cranks next week that should help significantly, which I'm most definitely going to need heading to Clermont on the 18th...All of Florida is not as flat as everyone seem's to think.....
Total ride was 61 miles in 3.5 hours, for an average speed of 17.4 mph. Interesting thing was the group got back shortly after I did, having gone a total of only 64 miles, which gave them an average of only 18.3 mph. I guess it was windier than I thought....and I'm glad I went off on my own...After the ride I ran for about 10 minutes or so, which I'm going to continue doing after all of my long rides.
After much napping and a really bad dinner choice, it was run time. Out of pure convenience, I threw a couple of the organic hamburgers I had in my freezer on the foreman grill, which tasted great at the time. An hour and a half later, when mixed with very the morning's Perpetuam and gels, tired legs, gatorade endurance, and the really high heat and humidity....BAD IDEA. My stomach was NOT HAPPY!!!!
After the 1st 1/2 hour or so of the run, every step required immense mental and physical effort, and once again I found myself walking as much, if not more, than I was running. I should have known better than to try running on the same day as a long bike ride. Oh well....
Since I felt like I was doing more harm than good at this point, I cut the run short a bit over an hour and a half, having gotten on only 8 miles or so. Better to lose the battle and win the war, so to speak. Lesson learned.
As I get to my peak training weeks later in September, I think I'm going to split up my runs and rides a bit more, instead of trying to get them both in on the weekend. Not sure when I'm going to fit in a 3 hour run mid-week, but I have some time to figure it out.
5 weeks ago