20 August 2010

Back By Popular Demand: More Me!

Yeah, okay, I am just kidding, although, it feels like forever since I have written my last blog post. The truth is—aside from being incredibly busy right now ramping up for the semester—I have been gearing up for this little Ironman thing in Sandusky, and putting time in the bank at home.

Here is the update (some exciting training happening lately—especially in the swim!)

Tallest newlyweds on Earth, Ryan and Kate.
Okay, after I got back from Canada I have been pretty religious about training, almost manic. I have had to mix things up a little bit on account of my brother-in-law getting married this past weekend. How selfish can a guy be? I mean, really... to schedule his wedding right around the time that I am peaking for Ironman. What the heck?! Did I mention that my brother-in-law is the tallest human being on planet Earth? Not really, but at 6'10 (182.88 cm,) he definitely has no trouble getting your frisbee out of that tree. His wife, Kate, a mere 5'11 (as is my wife,) had a bridal party of sequoia-like ex-basketball players that rounded out the tallest wedding party in recent family history. 

Stella and me rocking it out at the wedding.
What the heck is with my tie?
This also marked two family functions out of town in two consecutive weekends. This can really put a damper on someone's training for Ironman. But, then for a little inspiration, I always revert back to the greatest film ever made about lasers liquidating human targets from outer space–Real Genius. It was Val Kilmer in his Oscar-worthy performance of Chris Knight who said, "...but these little set-backs are just we need to take a giant step forward." Instead of fretting/freaking out/panicking/throwing myself off a ravine over not being around to gear-up and head out for my normal workout because of my brother-in law's wedding, I decided I would just ride my bike to my brother-in-law's wedding. Actually, the wedding was only forty miles away. I say only forty miles away, which completely cracked Adam and me up when I told him that, because three years ago, forty miles might as well have been forty light years away. Now, I think to myself, how can I make getting there around 70 to 80 miles? Ah-ha! Google maps! If you have not used Google maps yet, my guess is you do not travel anywhere but from work to home, live on a commune, Caprica (for all you Battlestar Galactica fans,) or just do not understand the amazing tool that it is. You an plot out bike specific courses, and automatically change routes just by dragging it from one street to the next. Useful. When it was all said and done, I ended up making my forty mile bike ride about 72 miles long. My family had just arrived by car about a half hour before me and everyone was revved and ready to hit the beach for our pre-wedding day craziness swim. The wedding was in Sodus Point, New York, home of the small and well organized Sodus Point Triathlon. Wouldn't you know it, much to my surprise and delight, it was race weekend. I know what your thinking. I did pack my wetsuit in the car. I rode my bike there. I went out for a recovery run the next day. I was primed and ready to take part, right?  Not if I want to stay married. I "jokingly" told my wife about the triathlon SUNDAY morning, after the wedding day fun. My wife was in the wedding, so I got to spend mucho time on Friday and Saturday with the kiddies. After the rehearsal dinner Friday night, wifey went back to the party for more dancing and adult beverages. I was whooped. I did not mind going back to the cottage we were renting, putting the kids in bed, and getting myself in bed shortly there after. Nor did I mind getting everyone in bed Saturday night. I can barely stay up past 11 o'clock anymore. If I do, I am usually in my bed typing some lame blog post that six people might read. But I digress. 
On Saturday morning, I took the kids to the beach while Alaina was getting her hair done. That's Julian way out there with grandpa. The water was pretty nice Saturday. Plus, it was really warm out, so it was refreshing. This was not to be the case Sunday morning. Every once in a while, I think about trading in my long sleeve wetsuit for a sleeveless. I mean, it would be ideal to have both, so that you could decide during training and race morning which one you would want to wear. Swimmers—which I am not—really like the short sleeves so that they can "feel the water," whatever the heck that means. Crazy swimmers. Unfortunately for everyone running the triathlon the next morning, the lake turned over later that afternoon, and the temperature started to drop—dramatically! When I first got out to the beach race morning, the temperature of the water was 60 degrees fahrenheit (15 celsius) and dropping. In fact, when the gun went off, the temperature was a bone-chilling 56 degrees. The race director said that had the temperature dropped to 55 degrees, they would have cancelled the swim altogether. Kudos to the race directors who had the presence of mind to shorten the swim course race morning. I would like to also acknowledge the brave young lifeguards who paddled out on their surfboards sans wetsuits to keep athletes from drowning. How they would have handled not getting hypothermia is beyond me. I have never seen so many people turn around during a swim and head back to shore during a swim. When the water is that cold, it feels like your face is stinging the whole time. It is difficult to even catch your breath. 
Amy with all the boys still chasing her down
on the run. Nice job Amy!
One of my friends, Jackie, had to turn around and come back. She was completely bummed out. I told her not to even worry.  She had a sleeveless suit on, and her skin was purple for the five minutes she was actually in the water. 20% of the athletes did not finish the swim. The water was 51 degrees at the turn around. My  friend, Amy, was first out of the water. As she was exiting, she looked over at her husband and me standing at the swim exit and said "... that was the coldest %#*&! swim EVER!" I believe her. It is amazing what one day will do.

Speaking of swimming, I had some really great swim workouts the past week. I skipped my normal Sunday workout  to watch the triathlon, but Monday I went to Canandaigua Lake (one of western New York's Finger Lakes,) for two loops around the buoys. The water is pretty choppy, and I was pretty spent still from the weekend, but I got it done:

1.9 miles in 56 minutes

Adam and I went out for a swim on Wednesday. Less choppy, and I did the same course in 45 minutes. That was a PB for me. We followed it up with a nice 8 mile run. The first part of the run was all uphill out of the bluff. I thought it was never, ever going to end.

I know what you're thinking. How odd that neither of us
have shirts on. 
I ended up swimming today. While down at the lake, I ran into my blogger buddy Alexa. She said she was going to swim for 45 minutes. I said, "perfect, let's do two loops." She gave me a look, and insisted that we—but really she meant me could not swim two loops in 45 minutes. Ah, that sounds like a challenge. Having just done it the day before I was pretty confident I could swim around the same pace. Sure enough, when the lake is just right (i.e. no wind, waves, or choppiness to speak of,) I can move a little faster than a gorilla in the water—not much faster. I am remembering my recent lesson with coach Jack, who told me that if all else fails, keep your head relaxed, reach far, and stay relaxed in the water. It is starting to pay dividends. Ah, swimming!  How I love to hate you until it starts going well again, and then you bring me back in. Why? Why do you do this to me?!

Okay, that's about it. Oh, and my wifey picked mucho basil out of our garden to make some pesto this week. 


Okay, more soon. Train Smart!

1 comment:

Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) said...

Wow, it sounds like you've been crazy busy!
Great job on the swim...you are super fast! I'm so jealous!