Tag Archives: swim

Rev3 Quassy HalfRev 2013 Race Report

Pre-Race

My eyes peeled open around 4:15am. 15 minutes before my alarm went off. I was happy to have gotten a full nights sleep and feeling pretty fresh. I rolled out of bed and started preparing my pre-race breakfast in the little microwave in our hotel room. Granola with coconut milk, a banana and a cup of Tazo “Awake” black tea. I tried to be quiet and not disturb my wife, but everything seemed so loud. Eventually she awoke.

I had everything prepared the night before, so it was pretty easy to get ready. Just had to eat and get dressed. I did need to make two trips to the car since I had accumulated a bunch of gear from the car. I was happy to see other triathletes vehicles still in the parking lot when I got out there, confirming I was not totally late. We were out of the room by 5:30. The transition area at Rev3 Quassy closed at 6:30am and a half hour drive there gave me a full 30 minutes to get my transition area prepped. There wasn’t much to do really since my bike was already there and I body marked myself already. We had made good time getting there until we made the turn onto the last road into Quassy which backed up 1 mile from the park. Fortunately it moved pretty quickly and we were there in no time. Some people got out of there cars and started walking to the race entrance and their cars actually passed them. By the time we got to the entrance they were re-directing everyone to the overflow lot across the street. Denise dropped me off and I made my way into transition.

I got to my spot and quickly set everything up. I put socks in bike shoes this time, which I don’t normally do, but I thought it may be a good idea with the heat. I also opted for the standard bike helmet as opposed to the aero helmet, to keep a little cooler. The aero helmet will not provide that much benefit on a hilly course like this. I also put my sunscreen pump bottle there too so I could lather up a bit. I carried my wetsuit and swim stuff out of transition with me since I had over an hour until my wave, the last wave of the day. No sense getting heated up that early. I headed over to the Quassy ticket booth to wait for Denise and chowed down one of my PB&J Rice cakes(from Skratch Labs Feed Zone Portables cook book. Yum!). I tried texting Denise but the cell waves were quite congested and the message never got through. I resent as a text message and waited. By now the toilet was a calling so I jumped in line for the Port-O-John. They were well stocked and lines were not too long, so I was in there pretty quickly. Much better than the Lehigh Valley Half Marathon and Steelman Tri last year.

I still had not received any response from Denise after emptying out my digestive system, so I went back to waiting. Eventually I got a text back from her and spotted her immediately. She didn’t see me, so I had a little fun texting her while walking right behind her. LOL. We headed over to the beach area and watched the pros and initial age group waves take off. They had a area designated for swim warm-up, so people were swimming away while other waves were going out. Pretty nice. I decided to suit up and head in for a warm-up swim. Water was really nice temp, which they said was around 72 deg F. I was feeling pretty good in the warm-up and the lake was really nice for swimming.

The Swim

Before I knew it they were calling my wave, so I headed over to the starting coral. We then proceeded over the timing sensor into the coral. I lined up right in the middle of the pack on the right, inner buoy side. I have no idea why I lined up here cause I am usually a back, outside kinda guy avoiding the craziness. Today I for some reason chose to get “in the mix”. Perhaps I am feeling a bit guilty about missing out on the mass swim start at Lake Placid due to the recent swim start changes. The countdown started and then we were off. It was a little hectic getting started but things eventually settled out. As I was spotting the buoys I also glanced for some open water too. I did end up getting a little drafting in with some other swimmers which may have helped my time a bit.

Everything was good until I made the first turn, then it was straight on sun right in the eyes trying to spot the buoys. I could not see anything straight ahead of me except swimmers immediately ahead of me. I thought I could follow them but that is not always a good idea. I remembered that they said that the paddleboarders would be on the inside and kayakers on the outside, so I just kept them at a certain distance a side of me and knew I was good. I got into a nice rhythm and was feeling amazingly good. I really focused on my swim technique and started kicking more than usual. I also really worked on my body rotation to get a little extra torque.

 

Before I knew it I was at the last turn towards shore. At this time I started getting a gas fume smell or taste from the boats. It was really foul. I also was getting blasted from the sun again, but this time on the left side. I focused on closing my eyes when I breathed to the left side and also took double breaths on the right side. I was starting to see all kinds of psychedelic trails now from the sun glare. Pretty wild.  Next I was grabbing sand in my hand and was up and out of the water. I spotted my wife right away and headed over her way while I started unzipping my wetsuit. I forgot to hit the lap button on my watch until in transition and it was reading 34 mins and change…holy crap! That would be my fastest 1.2 mile swim ever. Officially it was 32:45.

The Bike

Transition was pretty uneventful. I managed to get my socks on without issue and ditching my wetsuit went well too. I made my clackety-clack walk to the other side of transition to head out on the bike. Denise was standing at the turn so I ambled over towards her to have a quick chat as I mounted the bike. She told me to “enjoy those hills!” as I left. “Thanks!” I replied. The course started out with a slight downgrade and I took full advantage of it. I wanted to get my heart rate down since it is always red-lining coming out of T1. We made the first right turn and then it was steady upgrade from there. The course was always either up or down, there was nothing flat for any length of time. My plan, with help from my coach, was to spin easy up the hills and bomb the downhills. I think I did that pretty well. I really tried to let it fly on the downhills keeping in a tuck position and trying not to hit the brakes. I only did so a couple times when I wasn’t sure what was around the next bend. Knowing the course more would have really helped there I think.

The course was very hilly to say the least, but I really liked it. I was enjoying just spinning past people going up those hills. Many people were laboring to breath and I felt like I had mammoth lungs or something. Nutrtion-wise I just kept nibbling away at my Cha Cha Cha Chia Chunks of Energy the whole ride. They are packed with nutrition and don’t give you that rot gut like all the over-processed crap does. I also drank my Hammer Perpetuem too, but I am not sold on that as a single nutrition source. Makes me feel very full. I also was drinking my Skratch Labs hydration drinks and water very consistently. I really feel like I did everything right on the bike. I was hoping to be around 3 hours, but with a course much tougher than Ironman 70.3 Muskoka, 3:11 is not too bad. I did slow down a bit towards the end just to give my legs some reprieve before the run started.

The Run

T2 went pretty smoothly as well. I was starting to feel some sunburn on my shoulders so I layered on another coating of sunscreen. Fuel belt, run bib belt and shoes and off on the run. My plan was to head out on a steady pace for the first couple miles until the legs acclimate. Today it took about 3 miles for that happen, which ironically was right as the hills started up. We basically headed out the same way as we did on the bike, but eventually made a different turn. I got into a steady run around 8:00-8:30 pace. I thought I would be able to pick things up a bit, but little did I know how tough this run would be. The worst part was the hill from around mile 3.5 to 5. It was unforgiving to say the least. Just up and up and up again. Not only that it was dirt road which made it worse. I have not seen that many people walking since I was volunteered on the run course at Lake Placid last year. It really made it tougher to keep running when you see people that look much more fit than yourself walking.

I did end up walking the aid stations after that big hill. It sucked the life out of me. Walking the aid stations also gave me a chance to get all the hydration I could in and put some ice in my hat. It is amazing how much help that is to get you going again. My legs were really feeling it and I was battling in my head to keep on running. I kept thinking to myself how this is good practice for LP in controlling the mind. If I can do it here I can do it in LP. There was one guy, who was running near me and we kept passing each other. We would then push the other one when one was walking. It made such a huge difference to have that support. We ended up finishing right next to each other and he definitely helped me get there and I hope I did the same for him.

REv3 Quassy Run Start

Eventually some relief came with a bit of downhills, but they were never real long as there was always a little up interspersed every so often. The worst part was at around mile 9.5 the course went right by the finish before heading out for another 4 miles. How cruel!! The only good thing was the encouragement from some spectators and seeing my wife. But then it was out away from the finish and the hills started up again. The last one was really steep too and it was all I could do to keep from walking. Eventually I caved in to the grade. At the last aid station I grabbed a cup of Coke(the only time I will drink Coke) and some water for a last blast of energy to get me home. As I neared the finish, I could feel the feet picking up again and then all the pain is quickly forgotten. Sort of.

As I entered the finishing chute, I spotted my wife with iPhone camera in hand. I headed over for a high five and then high fived the announcer guy too as I made my way to the finish line. The clock said  around 6:47 and I thought “oh crap, I am over 6 hours!” figuring my wave left at 7:45, but realized we were probably late so I had no idea. My watch was saying 5:57 so was a bit disappointed at first. I never saw my official finish time until we were part way home and realized I had a new half-iron distance PR of 5:54, which really made me happy. Also, 2:05 run on a hilly course like that is not too bad for me.

Rev3 Quassy Finish Photo

Nothing like an post-race ice bath! Ahhh!
Nothing like an post-race ice bath! Ahhh!

Crossing the finish line I was draped with a icy cold Gatorade towel over my shoulders which was the best thing I ever. It felt so refreshing. I was pretty spent. That was a tough course no doubt. I was also given a finishers ribbon that would have made a rapper jealous. I usually hang those things on my night stand light, but this thing will surely pull the light off. I met up with Denise and we headed over so I could get some food. As we walked over, I spotted a couple people wallowing in what looked like cow troughs. Oh man…Ice bath!!! The water looked disgusting and actually had a oil slick of sunscreen on the top, but I didn’t care. One dude sitting in one said it is gross but feels amazing! I hopped on it and it really did feel good. A girl next me had her friends filling up a cup for her with a pitcher of beer and my wife caught me staring at it. Denise then quietly snuck away to get me one while I chatted with the guy next to me. When she realized they only had Miller Lite she nixed that idea.

After the ice bath, I headed over to the food. They had lots of pasta that looked so good. They even had veggie burgers which I was pretty psyched about. Thankfully the lady behind me asked about them cause they were not readily visible. While standing in line I realized that they had Corona bottled beer so I ended up getting one and it tasted some good. We then headed over to transition, packed up my stuff and made our way home.

This was a true test of my fitness for Lake Placid. Although it was brutally tough, I come away with some confidence for Lake Placid and new 70.3 PR. The other notable thing was that this was my 1-year anniversary of switching to a whole foods, plant-based diet and I am feeling better than ever. The run at Lake Placid is twice the distance, but the hills I feel are more manageable. I still have a lot more training to go, so I know that will only add to the fitness that I already have. Thanks Rev3 Quassy and bring on Ironman Lake Placid!

Thoughts on the Swim Start Changes to Ironman Lake Placid

IMLP 2012 Swim Start & Finish
IMLP 2012 Swim Start & Finish

My stomach sank when I opened an email from a fellow triathlete/co-worker the other day. It indicated the “SwimSmart” changes to the swim start of Ironman Lake Placid and a few other mass swim start events. In the back of my mind I always wondered if this would happen, but I never thought it would occur this year. The year of my first attempt at IMLP.

IMLP 2012 Swim Start
IMLP 2012 Swim Start

My initial reaction was one of disappointment. When I signed up for IMLP, I accepted the challenge of the “washing machine” swim start as a part of the event that I needed to conquer. This event is my “Mt. Everest” and with a challenge like this you accept these difficult parts of that challenge. Now that that part has been removed, will this event still have the same meaning?

Last July when I stood on the banks of Mirror Lake at 7AM listening to U2’s “Beautiful Day” and watching ~1800 pink and green caps bobbing in the water, I had such strong emotion well up inside me. I could feel the anticipation of me being amongst that group the following year. It would be difficult, but I would get through it and settle in for nice long swim in Mirror Lake. Will that start still hold the same meaning? I had texted my wife the day I found out about the change. She was also a bit depressed about it too. That swim start had also held a similar feeling for her as well.

IMLP "Washing Machine" Swim Start
IMLP “Washing Machine” Swim Start

Now that I have had a few days to mull this over in my mind during some long swim, bike and runs, I realize I need to accept this change and look at what positive things it will bring to the event. First and foremost is the safety factor. There have been numerous deaths lately in the swims of triathlons. This is one way to limit that anxiety for the competitors which should hopefully take some of the stress off. As someone who has dealt with anxiety and panic disorder in the past, I can  understand that. Why I don’t have that during a swim start I have no idea. I can now look forward to a fairly more enjoyable 2.4 mile swim in Mirror Lake without as much possibility of being kicked, punched and swum over. It definitely takes a pretty big weight off my shoulders for starting the event, so now I can just concentrate on the race and covering those distances.

Another positive is that I could possibly “swim the rope.” There is a yellow rope that runs about 4-6″ under water along the entire swim course in Mirror Lake. I had swam this course last year during the Troy Jacobsen camp and had my fastest open water swim ever. Seeing the cable underwater allows you to not have to look up to sight buoys and swim as straight as possible. I knew I would never have a chance at getting close to this during the actual IMLP swim before, but now this could be possible given the more gradual water entry.  So I may be gaining a few more minutes on the swim by this change.

More time to celebrate! The event is now starting before 7AM, so that should mean I could get done a few minutes earlier. I really want to finish before dark and this throws some more time in that basket of making that happen. I really don’t want to be running down River Rd. in the dark with a glow stick on if I can help it. While walking back from volunteering last year that really had a negative affect on me and I know that would just really suck the life out of me.

…And there will always be the wetsuit strippers!!

I know the World Triathlon Corporation has the best of intentions with this change and I had a feeling it would happen sooner or later. Change is never easy and those that have already done the race may have a tough time with this. Although, if you have already survived the “Washing Machine”, then maybe it is an easier change to accept. I know for someone who was prepared for it, it is not a real easy change to accept at first. Given the positives though, I am now starting to accept it. They just better be blasting “Beautiful Day” by U2 when I start! Even if it means repeating the song over-and-over!

Thanks for reading!

 

2012 Ironman Muskoka 70.3 Race Report-Start & Swim

Deerhust Lodge Entrance

I think the best things about the Muskoka Ironman 70.3 race is the later 8AM start and the hotel proximity to the transition. The latter is only a benefit if you are actually staying at the Deerhurst Resort, which I did. Given those items I was able to sleep in until around 5AM race morning, enjoy a casual breakfast in the room, and make a short walk to setup my transition at 5:30AM. The morning was extremely stress-free. I also think that I am really starting to lose some of the anxiety that comes with a triathlon, but not all. It had rained pretty heavily on Saturday so the bags I used to cover my handlebars and seat had collected a bit of water in them. I created a bit of a stream through transition when I dumped them onto the ground. I did manage to keep from running through others stuff.

MuskokaSep2012-8598I had plenty of time to setup my transition spot and head back to the room to relax a bit and hydrate a little more. I really felt well hydrated and my pores felt like they were ready to explode with sweat. I put on my wetsuit in the room since it was around 40 degrees Fahrenheit this morning. There was a large amount of steam coming off the lake, so I knew that the water was going to be nice and warm when we got in. With about 15 minutes until the first wave starts, we made the 10 minute walk out the back of the hotel and down the hill to the small peninsula where the race began. Once we got out there things started going pretty quickly. I don’t ever remember hearing them play “O Canada”. I thought that that would be kind of different hearing that instead of our National Anthem. I kissed my wife goodbye and headed to the queue where my wave of green swim caps was starting to congregate. We really didn’t get much time to warm-up and before I knew it the pink cap wave in front of us was taking off.

The 1.2 mile(2km) swim course formed somewhat of an flipped “P”. We headed in a clockwise direction flanking the beach, before turning towards the opposite shore and then back. The majority of the guys in my wave had congregated on the left, outer side which was closer to the shore. I assume because they were able to stand up. I had started to line up there myself, but my wife motioned out to the inner buoy towards the middle of the lake . I looked and there was hardly anyone there, which is quite odd. Usually this is where everyone congregates and you better know what you are doing to line up there. Today it was empty, so I headed over there and found a nice open space right behind the line. I could not stand here so I just laid back and floated until the gun went off.

Finally the gun fired(not sure if there was a gun actually) and we were off. The swim down to the first turn was so nice without all the typical congestion. The sun was directly in front of us, so spotting was a little tricky, but not bad. The first turn was pretty good as well. I made way across to the other side of the lake and then made the next right heading back. I somehow got out a little wide, but there was no one around me. Probably one of the least congested swims I have ever had. I felt great the whole time and just got in a good steady rhythm. I felt my 15 min timer go off on my watch part way down the upper side. It felt like I had a ways to go yet, so I really was not sure if I was doing good or not. I didn’t take any time to look at my pace on my Garmin, as I was trying to not waste any time.

I IMMuskoka2012-1420eventually made the final right turn heading back to the swim exit on the green just below Deerhurst Lodge. The water got very shallow and it felt like I could reach the bottom with my hand if I tried. It was pretty cool since it gave some perspective as to how fast I was going. I never felt the second vibration for my 2nd 15 minute timer on my Garmin, so I was thinking I was either going blazing fast(< 30min 1.2mile?? Yeah right) or I just didn’t feel it. Undoubtedly the latter. The swim exit approached and I swam as far into it as I could before a volunteer grabbed my arm to help my up the steps. A quick glance at my Garmin indicated 38 mins and some odd seconds…SWEET!!!!  Last year at Ironman Miami 70.3 I did it in just over 45 mins, so chopping off around 7 minutes is huge.

Swim Result: Success!
Official Time: 38:13
Pace:1:49 min/100yds

Ironman Muskoka 70.3 Quick Recap

Despite the fact that I missed my goal of finishing under 6 hours, I had a really great day today. But the bike was actually 58.5 miles instead of the 56 mile standard for a Ironman 70.3 race and I finished 2 minutes and 55 seconds past 6 hours, I will consider that goal reached. I know 2.25 miles take much longer than 3 minutes. Given my average speed of 17.6 MPH, that would come out to .3 miles/min. So 2.5 miles would take around 8 minutes at that same speed. So figure a typical course distance would have given me a finish of 5:55. 5 minutes under 6 hours. 🙂

The swim was awesome. I finished in ~38 minutes which was around a 1:40 min/100yd pace which is really good for me, especially when swimming 1.2 miles. It ranked 36th in my age group. The water was nice and clean and there was plenty of open water to swim without getting beaten up. I really enjoyed the swim and it was nice to pass the pink and blue caps from the 2 waves ahead of me. I guess that is what happens when you have a kick-ass swim coach!

T1 was a bit crazy. It was about 0.35 miles in distance and included a large hill to run up. Took a little longer than usual. I also put socks on since it was a bit chilly out. My toes ended up being numb the entire ride anyway,so I wonder if it was worth it.

The bike was pretty hilly, but beautiful. There didn’t seem to be too many flats on this course. The start of the bike was a bit crazy too. My back wheel was loose and my tire was rubbing against the frame. I straightened it out enough to get going, but I felt it rub a little every once in a while. My pace was around 17.8mph which is a little slow, but given the hillage no wonder.

T2 went well. 2 minute quick change. Kiss for the wife too which made her day.

The run was great compared to last year. Course was hilly as well, but I felt good and was able to pull it in under 2 hours. No cramping! Thanks Skratch Labs and Salt Stick!

In addition, the weather was incredible. Sunny and cool. After yesterdays, damp and raining day it was greatly appreciated. All in all a great day. More details to come soon depending on whether we have internet access. Heading to do some camping tomorrow.

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Taper Time…One More Week To Go!

It is hard to believe that my “A” race for the season, Ironman Muskoka 70.3, is only a week away. With that comes the surprisingly challenging taper weeks. You would think that a relaxation in training volume and intensity would be welcomed with open arms at this time, but strangely it is a bit of a challenge. It is like going 0-100mph and slamming on the brakes! The prior two weeks I was training from 12-13 hours each week and this first week will be about 6-7 hours. The additional free time left me a little confused at first, but I managed to get through it.

I thought I would just flop on the sofa the first night and watch some TV, but of course there isn’t shit on anyway. Why is it, when not watching TV, you feel like your are missing something? Then when you have some time to watch you realize you were never really missing anything anyway? I did end up finishing Rich Roll’s book “Finding Ultra” (which I hope to review soon) and I started reading “The China Study”. Both books are keeping me “pumped up” on my plant-based diet. I also started going to bed a little bit earlier too, which made getting up early much easier. I was then able to get into work earlier which I think shocked a few people. Worst thing was it seemed like lunch would never come.

The other strange thing about a taper week is that you start to feel like crap. I had a 35min run on Wed which should be no big deal, but I felt like I did when I first started running several years ago. I was sucking wind and my legs were all stiff. I actually was starting to panic a bit because I was thinking “what is going on here??” Fortunately, after talking to my coach I realized that this is how you should feel during the first part of a taper. I guess it is your body replenishing itself from all the breaking down that has been done in the past few months.Things actually starting feeling a little better as the weekend progressed.

One thing I thought was pretty cool is to see how my coach’s training program coincided with my TRIMP (Training Impluse) calculations(See image below). The red ATL(Fatigue) is gradually coming down below the blue CTL line(Fitness) to finally come out with a positive TSB Training Stress Balance. The CTL has been very gradually climbing throughout the season, while the ATL peaks and valleys with the increases in volume and recovery weeks. I thought that was pretty cool how that is all coming together. Below the TRIMP graph is my weekly training volumes for the season, which show the periodization of my training program. Hard to believe I have been at this for 9 months already!

image

image

I also took advantage of my free workout trial at the HPC. This place is pretty nice, but there sure is a lot of seniors there. I headed into the pool around 7:15am and there was only one woman swimming. I chose the other middle lane and started my workout. The pool itself is nice and I like the 25 meter distance with the extra stroke or two. The pool eventually filled up by the end of my workout and the one lane was doubled up too. I am still a little fearful about joining this place since this may be an issue. I do want to get a good strength program going over the fall and winter so it may be a good time to try it out. Well, time to start getting those packing lists out and start packing up. Short week this week with the holiday and vacation. Stay tuned for some other posts since I have some extra time on my hands.

Treading Water

After finding out last Sunday that the pool I usually swim at was closing down for two weeks, I made my rounds to two of the other facilities in the area that have pools. I was able to obtain a free pass at each one, so I figure hit one the first week and the other one the second. I could also hit Dutch Springs on Fridays for my long swim and take advantage of the season pass I had already paid for. I was a bit frantic at first but so far it seems to be working out ok.

I went to the first place, 24-7 Fitness Center, on Wednesday morning. The place is a bit old and fairly “aged”. The pool is actually outside and is 25 meters(my usual pool is 25 yards) which was a bit different than I was used to. It is funny how that 2.7 yards difference kind of throws me off. Also I usually do my kick sets on my side or back and I watch the ceiling, so not having that I was crashing into the lane markers constantly. There were 6 lanes in the pool and there weren’t more than 2 other people swimming at once and most came and left during my hour there. They cover the pool with a bubble in the Winter time. The cost of the place was $62 a month which seemed a bit steep for such a run-down place. The front desk people also didn’t even offer to give me a tour which I thought was odd. The other detracting factor was that it was 10 miles from my house and over 5 miles from work, which puts it out of my acceptable range.

The other place I checked out was the Human Performance Center (HPC). This place I like to refer to as the “Taj Mahal” since it is part of the very large OAA complex. Inside it also fulfills this label as it is quite nice. They have a 4 lane 25 meter lap pool and two other activity pools. They also have an indoor track and huge strength training area. The locker rooms are phenomenal and lockers are made of wood which I have never seen before. My only fear about this pool is that is could possibly fill up quickly with only 4 lanes. The also provide a full fitness test with your membership and a training plan which would be good to get my off season strength training on track. This place runs $76/month which floored me at first, but when I added up my current pool membership cost and my works’ fitness center membership I am actually paying more than this a month. Another bonus, is that is only 3 miles from work and 7 miles from home which is the closest of all three facilities. Tomorrow will tell what the congestion of the pool will be like.

It would be quite strange to swim somewhere else after 4 years at my current pool. Change is never easy, but it seems like it may be a good time to consolidate things a bit. But having to wait to swim though would not be worth it. The nice thing is that HPC lets you cancel at any time with 30 days notice and my current pool can be joined anytime, so there isn’t a ton of pressure. It’s nice to have some options.

I did get over to Dutch Springs on Friday and managed to get a good ~2 mile/1:05 open-water swim in. The water was like a sheet of glass and it was one of the nicest swims I have had there all season. I could not have asked for a better day. I was pretty psyched to also get in a good 2 miles in, which is only 0.4 miles short of an Ironman-distance swim. I would have done that extra 0.4 if I didn’t have to get home for a picnic. Anyway, gives me a big pile of confidence for next season going into Lake Placid.

Moon Over Keuka

My wife rousted me out of bed at 7:30AM to hit the lake for a swim while she kayaks beside me. We usually do that every year and she enjoys cruising along beside me. It was not in my training plan, but a OWS won’t kill me. We always try to get out there early so that the lake is calm, but that never seems to be the case. This morning was no exception. In fact it was breezy and choppy as ever. The air was cool and I think the temp was about 48 deg F so I put my wetsuit on at the house to stay warm. Fortunately the water temp was still and around 70-75deg F, so it was like slipping into a warm bath.
I got my wife situated in the kayak and pushed her out, then put on my bright green swim cap and goggles. Making my way out from the safety of the dock, I immediately began to get pelted in the head with waves. Spotting was like a constant face-plant. I pushed my way up the lake into the wind and waves for about 18 minutes figuring the way back would be much faster. I kept thinking about how nice it will be going back and it kept me motivated. I was just over a half mile when I turned around. I chatted with my wife for a minute or two, took a pee in my wetsuit, and then started back to our dock. I think my wife liked these outings better when I took breaks every ten minutes. Now, cranking out a mile swim is not a big deal and there is no need to take breaks anymore. My how things change? I guess that is a sign of progress?


I got back to the dock in around 16 minutes. We tied up the boat and headed to the house for some breakfast. We hung out with the fam for a bit and then it was time to head out for my 1:30 LSD Run. I decided to run up on the main road since it is long and fairly flat. It has a lot of traffic but the shoulder is quite wide so it is not a big deal. I stashed my water bottle and Fuel Belt in the upper parking area on the road so that I could stop around halfway to refuel a bit. I started out heading south towards Hammondsport and turned back at the 2 mile point. When I got back to the parking area I chugged some water and put my Fuel Belt on since this part of the run would be a little longer. I settled into to a nice steady pace and just cruised along.
Just when things started getting a little dull, a stream of cars were cruising past me and I noticed one of them had a big, hairy ass securely plastered against the front windshield. At first, it didn’t totally register but then I just started cracking up. I think I was laughing for the next 2 miles. I was thinking of all those times I had done the same thing and when we used to do it on the bus from the public high school to my Catholic HS. Then there was the time we used to drive around in my friends’ 72 Chevy Caprice Classic pelting unsuspecting old men cutting their grass with water balloons. Ahhh…those were the days!


I managed to control my laughter and finished my run. I am amazed how good I am feeling after a 13 hour training week. I am feeling super-confident about Ironman Muskoka and I hope this continues. When I got back to the house my wife had already packed most of our stuff up and I packed my stuff and loaded up the CR-V. We said our goodbyes and made our way over to Watkins Glen for lunch. My wife found a place called the “Wildflower Cafe” that served some vegetarian dishes. The other half of the building was a brewpub called the “Crooked Rooster.” I was tempted to have a beer, but I figured I would have to drive at some point, so I went with the Iced Tea. I had a Chipotle Black Bean soup and Potato Pancakes with sauteed vegetables. Both dishes were awesome. Service was a little slow, but not too bad.

Wildflower Cafe
Ride home was pretty uneventful really. My coach did inform me that the pool would be closed for the next two weeks which kind of through me for a loop. I really had no idea and was not sure what I was going to do. I was glad I did the extra swim this morning. Stay tuned as I may have a story about doing laps in my bathtub or jumping the fence at the community pool at 7AM. We stopped at Cali Burrito when we got home so I could grab a Shasta(Seitan) burrito for dinner. The weekend was really great and we could not have asked for better weather. It went really fast and I was wishing we could have stayed longer, but the Canadian tour is coming up and I need the days.