Sunday, April 17, 2011

Escape from Fort Desoto

I did it in 1:26 and change. Left the house at 3:45am yuck. I needed to pick up my packet and figured the parking may be an issue with over 1500 participants. All week I dreaded getting in the cold water. If it were wetsuit legal that would eliminate that problem but create the new problem of escape from the wetsuit transition time. Crossing over the sky way bridge the water looked calm. Great because there had been mention of choppy seas. When I pulled into the main drive of the park, there was a huge flag pole with the Old Glory waving fiercely. Um. I arrived at 5:10 am and got a great spot across from the transition area. Perfect. I got my packet and took my gear to the transition area and set up. They announced the water was 74F and wetsuit legal. 74F you bet I was going to wear my wetsuit.
About 6:45 we walked down to the beach. It was still dark but I could see the water exit which seemed to be way out in some sort of lagoon. We walked the half mile down the beautiful white sand beach to the swim start. I got in for a warm up swim not too bad. Triathlons are much more competitive then marathons. You catch people looking at your swim cap color and leg number. If they are the same they check you out. I am still interested in doing my best and don't really care much about the competition other then how to judge myself.
The OVER 40 women group was the third wave. Off we went thrashing about. I noticed pretty quick I was getting pounded by waves that I had not noticed warming up. I ignorantly thought at first it was off a boat. Nope. 4-5 ft chop. Then I learned breathing to the right was a good way to get a drink of salt water. My breathing became erratic and I had no rhythm I started to breathe to the left but I was catching waves and plopping over them like an old wooden canoe. I stopped and looked around every now and then. I was still with the pink caps but not making good time. I finally got a little rhythm right before the last buoy. I definitely need to get out of the early flow and get a rhythm next time. We had to run through the lagoon to get back to the beach. Nice muddy water.
I got my chip Velcro stuck in my wetsuit making transition a little longer. Doesn't take long to kill 4 minutes.
Off on the bike. Felt great. My new Trek is embarrassingly sweat. Too good for me. Oh well I enjoyed it. I passed lot of people. I am proud to report a bike split of 27:54 for 10 miles. It was pretty windy so I was a little caution and only took fluids twice. I was having too much fun passing people. On your left, it is me the slow swimmer.
The run was down a bike path to the Fort. In years past the route climbed the fort. I was waiting but we just went around. They were doing construction. Good enough. Was not that excited about climbing stairs at that point. The return was on a sandy trail that was tough footing in places. The run was 3.4 miles and finished in the parking lot near transition.
It was a very organized event. They had lots to drink and eat and the park was beautiful. I will definitely do this race again. But I need more swimming experience.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Tune up for 2 triathlons

Did a 10K run at the Venice Sharktooth 10K with the Joules then joined Trifit and Susan from Team in Training for an open water swim. The run course was great. I could have been a little more hydrated I guess but overall felt good and finished with a time of 54:29. I tried out my wetsuit for the second time. I think I sweat a liter of fluid before I hit the water. We swam about 1300M or so.
Today did a bike ride with Team in Training. We did 4 mile intervals. Feeling more comfortable on the Tri bike. Ready for the sprint tri next weekend. Still a little nevous about the Olympic at St. Athony's in two weeks. More fearful of the crowds.
It never ceases to amaze me how people come into our lives at the right times. Again I am very thankful for my old friends and my new friends.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Something good comes out of everything

Since my mom has been diagnosed with lymphoma many changes have happened. The first of course is dealing with the unknown. How will she and my father deal with the diagnosis. How will she react to chemo. How will her body respond. Being a physician I know the possibilities but not the future. The big focus has been on things we can do. Focus on good nutrition. Take some of her daily stress away. Laugh.
I have been amazed at the outpouring of well wishes from friends and family not heard from for some time. Little gifts to brighten her day and cards have meant so much. Good days are now cherished and reflected upon. Since joining team in training I have witnessed unbelievable generosity. I have met new friends offering unconditional support with my old friends still right by my side.
This weekend I rode 35 miles with Team in training and ran 11 with the Joules. I also took mom to the beach to watch me squeeze in and out of my wetsuit for it's maiden voyage in the ocean. What a great weekend in the face of adversity. The name Joule was originally meant to reflect the energy unit. I must say it has grown to reflect my friends kindness in that they are two of the finest jewels I know.