Saturday, June 20, 2009

paddling back to life

All things considering, I've had a pretty easy week and a half. Okay, just kidding, but it wasn't that bad. Staying busy has been good. Swimming has been helping me through the rough times. Like a best friend when all you need is someone to listen and feel with you, but without the feedback, negative reactions, and awkwardness. I said before, ocean swimming is my relief, my chance to relax and release. To let all emotions go. Even to compete (see more below).
Over seven miles of cove/ocean swimming and eight swim technique lessons. Solo swims, first light swims, sunset swims, swims with good friends, swimming races, and wetsuit-less swims have lessened the pain and I have found swimming to be the most effective way to bring a smile to my face. It helps me to gather my thoughts, or forget them and concentrate on my stroke. It helps me to release anger and tension, and yes sometimes tears. It helps to heal.
Okay, enough of that. Onto the fun stuff:

Club Race

Last weekend after a long 3rd place finish at poker, I managed to peel myself out of bed for the club race in Coronado...which we all found out was the last one there! Apparently the club has overgrown the space, and it is now an issue of safety. Even after only having raced there a year I'm distraught...I have a lot of memories and personal accomplishments there and was hoping to see a couple more goals get accomplished...but such is life.
Back to the race...the swim was short. Banister (in his $700 wetsuit) and Flo (didn't know till after the race; would've tried harder) beat me out of the water. Hopped on the bike and was cruising at a steady pace on the way out. Alone. At the turn around a giant pack overtook me...including some women. Drafting. Insert moral dilemma. Draft and cheat, or get dropped. I tried to do my fair share of pulling, but I've never felt such a pull, literally, between hanging on or dropping off. Had some interesting conversations with said girls, about said drafting dilemmas. Consensus was keep it up. Argh. Got off the bike and had a fast transition and a slow run which was to be expected. Finished alright. 1:06 with a short swim, and a cheater bike split.

Friends Rock
Saturday night movie night was a success, as many of us showed up to the sold out Hangover showing at Fashion Valley. Flo, Farah, Nikee, Banister, Katrina, Chris, and Evan were all giggle monsters throughout the movie. If you haven't gone, go. Hilarious. Perfect casting.
Sunday I taught some lessons and then went on a fabulous girls ride with Nikee on a loop starting in Sorennto Valley up the 56 bike path through San Dieguito and back down El Camino. Afterward we went to the Club BBQ at Coastal to hear Ryan Hall , ridiculously super duper amazing american record marathoner, speak with Bob Babbitt. Pictured above, he looks eerily like my brother. Topped the evening off with a great sunset cove swim.


Well as you can see, the swimming part is going, well, swimmingly. Cycling has been holding in there...and running has been, well, non existent. (Club race and buffalo tri were the last known sightings of this one attempting to run.) Still dealing with back/hip/hamstring issues but keeping the pain manageable. Last Thursday at the Moment ride I started to feel the bike legs coming back. This is good, as San Diego International course is essentially that ride. Hey, it's home court advantage, and I'll take it. Wednesday I participated in another study, this time at Coastal Sports. It was a 10k baseline time trial on the bike using a computrainer, testing the effectiveness of a patch. Patch testing is this Wednesday. Should be interesting to see if I'm in the placebo group or not. HR monitor wasn't working...said my average HR was 105...yeah in your bra (Jim Carrey in Liar, Liar anyone?) It got fixed at the end and jumped to 199. Right where it should be at. Lessons and more swimming filled up the end of the week.

Pier to Cove Swim Race

First off, and not to downplay my competitors, I want to say I wasn't rested for this race. Actually, I found myself in the middle of some pretty serious swim training (I actually just laughed at that... serious swim training... okay not really, but way more than the previous two months.) Friday morning I swam for the first time without a wetsuit to show myself that I'd be okay. Nikee picked me up for a Friday evening cove swim as well. Which then led to some drinks at Carl Strauss, which led to some drinks at Jose's. Awesome. The girlies: Elaine, Jessica, Me, Mary, and Alicia. Yes that is a long island in my hand.Came home and Bethany entertained me while I guzzled two bottles of water; went to bed hoping for the best. Saturday I parked at the cove and got a ride down to the shores. After a fiasco at the entry booth I made my way down to the Pier with new friend Jake (naval rescue swimmer) who I've swum with a couple times at the cove. The windy, misty, sunless morning chilled me off and I hadn't even entered the water. Finally the horn went off and we were charging the waves for a nice surf entry. Which for some reason I've been sucking at lately. Not a good runner, short legs and big waves make for a slow start for me. I turned at the pier, dumped out the water inevitability forced into the goggles from the waves, turned off the excuses, and worked my way to the front of the pack. Stomach wasn't really happy for most of the race, and somehow I managed to somewhat ignore it. Swallowed and inhaled way too much salt water (wait, aren't I a swim coach?) but distracted myself with stroke counting techniques. 50 cycles hard, 15 backing off. 100 hard, 15 relaxed. I was alone for most of the swim and tried to stay focused through the middle, choppy section. Made it to the kelp beds and noticed a girl trailing me. Oh no, not letting you get by. I took the inside route and it paid off. After really only hitting two major kelp beds, and while trying to power through I looked back and saw her struggling through. Okay, I can do this. About a quarter mile left. Time to hammer home. I saw Jake right about this time as well. Finished. 41 very long minutes later. Ended up first women out and the 4th overall out of around 215 swimmers. Cool! Here I am with the overall male winner, Claudio (in 36 min... wow)Went out to breakfast with friends Thomas, Nikee and James, who were celebrating their 1 year anniversary, and Ken. Was planning on a ride after, but with the nasty skies, rain, and utter internal coldness lingering, I opted for a lazy Saturday afternoon.


Are going well! It's so awesome to see major improvement. Mark is learning timing and proper kick, steve is figuring out when to breathe and how to stay tall, Lou is graduating to flip turns, Brian had a good first lesson full of many little tidbits, and Cami is swimming with power! Coaching is one of my favorite weekly activities because I get to see that my critque/advice combined with their hard work actually pays off. So cool. Brian and Cami picked me up at the club meeting and so it starts. I ordered some "business" cards and can't wait till they get here...only because they are so cute. I also opened a new email, for scheduling and such. My swimmers think I have a pretty awesome competitive advantage in that I actually get in the water and literally swim underneith when I'm analyzing strokes. It's good to have that perspective rather than just yelling "high elbows!" from the deck (as most of my coaches did).
Sadly, I missed JCC on Wednesday because my car blew up. Okay, not really, but the radiator hose had a hole and was spewing yellow fluid all over my engine. Ugh. Luckily my car actually made it to the JCC parking lot and Lou came to my rescue. Five stores and two clamps later we found the right hose and Lou so graciously helped (did all the work) to fix my car. Big karma points.

The Next Adventure
This should be it's own post, but I'm on a roll. At Pannikin on Friday a couple of us were discussing Banister's (with Flo and Evan) crazy weekend bike adventure. They (hopefully) completed the 135 mile ultramarathon Badwater course by bike today. 110 degree heat and 11,000 ft of elevation gain. CRAZY right? No cell we'll see how it went tomorrow. Anyway, Steve said he wants to plan a crazy swim adventure. It so happens that randomly this week, Cory asked me if I ever thought about swimming around Point Loma (no I haven't, yes I'd love to). I estimated it to be about 10 miles, and totally do-able. Ding, ding, ding, brought it up to Steve and he's in. Who else? Here's the map: fyi I was right on about the 10 miles. Hopefully under 5 hours. I'm thinking at mile 6 I'm going to want a feeding break. Peanut butter jelly time! No date set yet. Cory wants to paddleboard and will organize others. If I thought the last two weeks were serious training I wonder what stepping it up again will feel like. This should be good as I'm thinking the 5 mile Tour of Buoys is in the cards again. Oh happy day.

Trying to keep my head up and looking forward. Bored at work I fell into the tweeting of Twitter. Yet another thing to check/update. Parlee should be built up this week for a hopefully maiden (easy spin) voyage on Saturday before the SDIT expo! New bike! New bike! Tomorrow I'm going to stop by the SDIT course preview for a quick ride before heading over to Coronado for some lessons. Hopefully the weather will clear up for a nice evening cove swim. Solo or not, depending on if anyone wants to head out. Here I am, paddling my way back to life. :)

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