Monday, May 23, 2011

Cold open water

My buddy Cath talked me into joining them for a little pre-season tuneup "race" this long weekend. Not that it took much convincing, since I'd heard about the proposed lake, and they're such fun people anyway.

The best thing about it was the civilized start time. She told everyone 10:30, and planned for an 11 am start, and we actually got off about 11:10 am. Nice. There were about a dozen of us, and the idea was to do what you wanted to do. I think in the end each of us did something different. I'd sort of thought about doing an Oly. Here's where we started the swim.


There was a ~ 500 m swim loop planned out in the shallow waters of the lake. The water was crystal clear, and I saw some fish before we started. No turtles though. At one point I was side tracked looking at the sunken trees. When we were talking about it afterward, given our times, we thought the course a bit long. On checking Google Earth it turned out to be a 600 m loop. For what it's worth I did three of them in 35 minutes. By the end of it my hands were starting to feel warm in the water, meaning they were going numb.

Getting my wetsuit off wasn't fun at all. I managed to give myself a major cramp in my left calf doing it, one of the worst I've ever had. I still hurts now, a day and a half later, so now I'm suspecting it's worse than just a cramp. Maybe I actually pulled or strained something. If Jason hadn't come along to pull the suit off I'd probably still be there tugging ineffectually.

Even so the transition was less than 6 minutes, which is fast for me. It helps that from the beach to my bike was about 10 steps, and from the bike to the road was maybe 20 steps. The bike was a fairly flat out and back course with some loops marked with balloons on a stake. It took a while to get into the groove. What was nice is that my average speed went up and up throughout the race. My calf was bugging me, but what makes me really happy is that my knee didn't twinge at all. It felt solid, even standing up and sprinting fairly hard from the turnarounds.

The bike course turned out to be almost exactly 40 Km, and I did it in about 1:28, or just over 27 Kph. I'm pleased by this, as I wasn't expecting to do so well. There was a huge burp brewing throughout the ride that never came out until much later. I think I swallowed some lake water.

After getting out of the bathroom and chugging up the hill out of our transition spot, I knew I wasn't going to run the whole 10 K for an Oly. My run felt slow, and my breathing and heart rate were way too fast for the effort involved. My hydration and nutrition were not in place to do an unsupported 10K run, since my tummy had been a little off during the bike. I decided to turn it into a good brick workout and run easy for 20 to 30 minutes. My run gradually felt better, and oddly enough, the cramped calf didn't seem to mind the running.

In the end I'm very pleased with the workout. I'm not going to say my knee if fully healed, and I'm going to sign up for the half I'd been thinking about for mid June. There's just no way. But it was still a good workout, and a fun weekend. You can see some pics here. Mostly they are of Cath, mainly because her hubby is taking them, and he's besotted, not that anyone will hold that against him. Oh, except for the photo of me and Jason and the axe. Linda took that one.

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