I may have pissed off a few people in the process, but I finally made it to the beach for open water swim practice tonight. I signed in, pulled on my wetsuit for the first time in two weeks, promptly discovered that my Garmin was dead. Okay, not the most ideal situation, but I was willing to deal with it - I already knew the distance. Time...well...probably better not to know! I waded in and spent a little time hanging out in the shallow area acclimating to the water temperature (cold) and hoping A would make an appearance so I'd have someone to swim with. I know I swam the same distance two weeks ago, but without the huge turn buoys, the course looked really imposing and scary. It became obvious that A wasn't going to make it, so I had to screw up my courage and swim the whole thing solo. I started out super slow, popped my head up a lot to sight (note to self: scratched up goggles suck in open water), and swam a lot of breaststroke so I wouldn't go off course, but I never had to flip onto my back (which is a sign that I'm either super tired or super freaked out)! My reward for surviving a solo open water swim was a close encounter with a flock of ducks and dinner with Little Brother!
While I was thrashing around in the water on Monday night, Mr. R&R took his bike to Emery's in hopes of figuring out what has been causing him so much knee pain every time he rides. After some adjustments to his pedals and cleats, he was sent on his way and told to come back if the problem wasn't solved. We decided to go for a ride on Tuesday night to test it out. We arrived at the Rail Trail just as a light rain was beginning to fall and decided to ride anyway. The 7 miles out wasn't too bad. My biggest complaints were low visibility (my glasses kept fogging up), road grit accumulating on my water bottle spout (If you want to experience it for yourself, roll your water bottle in a sandbox and then try to take a drink.), and water running down the back of my shorts! The ride home was just an exercise in misery, but it was good practice both mentally and physically. There's always a chance that it will rain on race day.
|Not too bad for pouring rain|
|Villa Terrace Museum at Sunset|
Swim: 5,720 yards (3.25 miles)
Bike: 59.31 miles
Run: 25.94 miles
Total Distance: 88.93 Miles
Total Time: 11 hours, 30 minutes
I wasn't really in the mood to run when I made it home on Thursday night, but eventually I talked myself into an easy 3. I wore my Mirage 3's and had a great run as far as mile splits go. Unfortunately, I kept getting shin splints in my right leg (usually a rookie problem) and my right ankle was a little sore when I got home. An icepack helped a lot.
The plan for Friday was to leave work (summer hours), hit the pool for a while, and meet a few of The Usual Suspects for drinks. What actually happened: I got sucked in by the gravitational pull of my bed and ended up taking a 2 hour nap before I met The Suspects!
On Saturday, the Newbie Herd celebrated our "graduation" at the Iron Cheerleader's house. There were burgers, beers (so many varieties of beer, far too much fruit (this is what happens when you generically say 'bring a dish to pass'), and a few tears. The first tears belonged to the Iron Cheerleader and then to the rest of us! We all chipped in for a little "thank you" gift and it turns out that it couldn't have come at a better time for him. He told us a the story of what had transpired the night before the party and by the time he was finished, there wasn't a dry eye in the place. It turns out that the Iron Cheerleader's Ironman training isn't going well at all. He's drastically under-trained and the race is in 5 weeks - that's the blink of an eye in the scope of Ironman training. He met with his life coach on Friday night and unburdened himself to her about how badly things were going, how overextended he was, how he wasn't sure if he should continue leading the tri club's Newbie program next year, and that he was having serious doubts about his ability to finish his final Ironman, much less to break his PR - which was his goal from the outset. The life coach worked with him to evaluate and revamp his goals. Instead of chasing a monster PR, his new goal is to finish the race 1 minute faster than his current PR - and if he doesn't pull it off, he'll still finish and be proud to hear Mike Reilly call him and Ironman for the fourth time. Apparently the life coach decided that that was also the moment to spring part of our gift on him. She told him that he needed to believe in himself - after all, his most recent pack of Newbies believed in him enough to pay for the session that they were having that night - and the next one. By this point, the Iron Cheerleader had tears running down his face and he thanked us for inspiring him enough to keep at it. We were all stunned - and a little teary eyed as well. When he opened our other little gift, he was shocked. It turns out that he's been having massive bike problems - and our gift card to the bike shop we all use will help alleviate some of the financial burden of the repairs.
After all the emotional stuff, it was time for cake!
|The bakery couldn't spell, but the cake was good.|
Long story short: If you do good things for others, eventually others will do good things for you.
Sunday was kind of a lost cause. I was up at 6am to take Mr. R&R to the airport, did some yard work, spent over 4 hours removing viruses and other little nasties from my mom's computer, and had absolutely no energy left to swim, bike, or run. Instead, I settled for cleaning my bike. It desperately needed it after Tuesday night's rain ride. Between rainwater, chain grease, road grime, and sweat it was GROSS.
|A mixture of chain grease and rainwater|
|Nasty road grime in my rear derailleur and cassette|