I temporarily re-joined the New Triathlete's Program for the traditional three sports with which to celebrate Memorial Day: swim/bike/eat throwdown at Sandy Point Park, just outside of Annapolis.
(I apparently need to actually buy a camera, because Someone decided she wants her own camera back. Sheesh. Kids.)
Maybe you've heard? Swimming isn't my strong suit? I kind of sort of actually hate and detest it? Maybe I haven't actually blogged about swimming. I think maybe I only FaceBooked about the hate-on I have for swimming. Well, to make a long story short: I have this swim coach, she's great, she kicks my ass, I'm tossing up a lung in her workouts, I almost quit, I didn't, things got better, and well, we'll see.
I mean, I want to be challenged in my swimming. But there's challenging and then there's impossible. It's as though my track coach just suddenly told me to run 7 min miles. That's a fine goal, but you know, I'm not going to get there for a long, long (REALLY LONG) while. So I explained all of this to my coach, and voila, or viola, at last week's swim lesson I got to wear flippers. (And those things rock.) So, we'll see.
Anywho, I had to FORCE myself to do this open water swim thing, as usual. We had some nice OLDTP-ers on hand to guide us (thanks Ed and Simon!) and they gave some great pointers. I worked hard on sighting and on swimming, and on swimming, you know—near other people. Like REALLY close. We practiced Mass Starts, which I have successfully avoided up til now. It wasn't so horrible as I thought. We did variations of swimming from this buoy to that one over and over, gradually increasing distance, culminating in a nice long 800 m swim in the lovely Chesapeake Bay.
As usual, it was awesome. I didn't drown (my latest new terror? That I'll be the one who has the heart attack in the water that you read about at every triathlon. It's always something, isn't it?), and I kept a decent pace. It's possible that the wetsuit helped.
After all of that fun, we had a leisurely transition and hit the bikes for another FANTASTIC ride. We did about 16 miles, headed towards Annapolis. Beautiful day, birds singing, the smell of honeysuckle, cut grass, and barbecue in the air. What made this ride fun and different? Well, I kept up, for one thing. And we rode in a pace line for another. These are monumental things in my puny little life. I remember this trip last year, when a 40-mile-bike ride pretty much broke me. So great to see progress. Plus? The New New Triathletes were terrific.
On the way back, one of the NTP-ers got a flat and a few of us stopped to help her fix it. I provided the tube, Simon provided the brawn. And the skill. (Although I could have done it. Eventually.)
Anyway, the point of this little story is, I fell behind everyone, but I was determined to catch up, and catch up I did.
After a mile or so, I met up with Simon, who was nicely waiting for me and then?
It. Was. On.
It. Was. So. On.
(Simon is half my age and an Ironman. So yeah. It wasn't really on.)
Simon at New Jersey Tri last year. Sorry big guy.
I needed to catch a few people. I needed to SHOW a few people how to do this thing. (Heh.)
Apparently I started riding. After a bit Simon pulled up to me and said, "You know you're doing about 18 mph?"
What? Exsqueeze me?? This thing only goes 15 mph. (And no, I don't have a bike computer. On purpose. Why depress myself more?)
I kept going. It felt great!! Simon told me later I hit 20mph (and if he was lying, I don't want to know). Ed even told me I had a nice cadence! (Some women like to be told they're beautiful. Then, there's the rest of us.)
I say it over and over: It's the little things in life, people.
These little victories and people telling me I'm getting better just mean the world to me. I mean, I was high after hearing that!
I just hope I remember to do the same for others.
Afterwards, we headed to Cantlers for the traditional crabcake feast
Me, Ed, last year at Cantler's. Yum.
No better way to spend a Memorial Day.