I haven't really updated this blog recently on my training, which is the whole point of it. Whoops! I've been doing all the standard workouts - swim, bike, run, repeat, repeat, repeat. But, last weekend the IronTEAM had a practice I was really excited about - our first open water swim! (OWS) I love swimming and being in the water, so naturally I was really excited to get in to the ocean. I know lots of people are scared and really nervous/anxious about OWS, but not me. I was excited. Don't get me wrong, I have a healthy respect for the ocean, but it doesn't scare me. Plus, I have already had enough anxiety on the bike to last me a lifetime, I don't need to be anxious about anything else.
I woke up early and headed to practice wearing tri shorts, a t-shirt (I still don't have a proper tri-top) and my running shoes (we had a run on the schedule after OWS). Since its a recovery week the workout was going to be shorter. Yay! I had tried on my wetsuit (thank you Audrey!) a few weeks before so I knew it fit. The first time I put it on it took me probably 30 minutes to get the damn thing on. It felt like a workout in and of itself. If you've never worn a full wetsuit, its weird. It sort of feels like full-body spanx (girls, you know what spanx feels like, imagine it over your whole body). The second time I tried it on I had gotten some tips and it only took 7 minutes! The thing that took the longest was zipping the damn thing up.
We met at the Venice Beach fishing pier and got ready to swim. The ocean looked peaceful (not a lot of waves) and cold. I got my wesuit on (and zipped with the help of Tara) and then we all jogged down the beach (a little less than a mile) to warm up. Note to self, do not zip wetsuit all the way up if you have to jog, it makes it difficult. The alumni, and experienced ocean swimmers, were separated from us newbies and they got in pretty quick. We were given some safety instructions and then slowly got in the water, first time in up to our knees, splash your face, come back out. Then we went back in and if we felt comfortable started swimming. So, of course, I jumped on in and started swimming.
I had so much fun. But, I will say that swimming in the ocean is hard. Way harder than swimming in a pool. It's weird not being able to see the bottom. It's also really weird to be swimming and feel like you're going nowhere. Not having any perspective (like the end of the pool) made it tough to judge how far I was going. I didn't swim super hard, cause swimming in a wetsuit is tough too. But, even with all of this, it was really fun.
On my second loop I got a little dizzy. But then I just stopped. That wetsuit is really bouyant. I didn't have to tread water really at all, awesome. I got dizzy again, so I stopped again. And then I made it back to shore and when I got out of the water I was a little dizzy again. I think it was from the waves, maybe. It really wasn't that bad, just not something I'm used to. I'm excited for our next OWS and next ocean swim!
After OWS we did an hour run. Yay for another one of my comfort zones! We did loops around the neighborhood with pickups part way through. I kept a good pace the whole time and am ready to increase my interval again.
I have no pictures to share from OWS, as I was in the ocean. But I did take a picture of this gigantic yatch hanging out just outside of the Marina. It might not look gigantic in this picture, but I promise, it was HUGE, it had a helicopter on it.
So, on a running related note. After my hill repeats a week ago last Tuesday (the Tuesday before OWS) I plugged my watch in to my computer and didnt look at my splits, which I normally would. But, I had fallen twice and didn't really care. But, when I looked at my splits I was pretty pleased. We had to do three sets of three times up, first time easy, second time moderate, third time hard. My first time up, moderate was at a 10:13, which is approximately my long run pace. Then the second one was 9:07 and the third 8:15. Each set got progressively faster. I think this means I'm not running to my potential. What's new? I really need to work on that.
This weekend I have a long ride, run and open water swim on Saturday out in Palm Desert and then my first practice race, an international distance tri, Desert Tri, on Sunday. Should be an interesting weekend!
As always, I'm still fundraising. I'm almost 50% to my goal. Can you help me get there before Sunday? Please... Pretty please...