Training Recap – July 25

You may choose to ignore it, but there is life in the open water.

My training buddy and I were standing at water’s edge in San Francisco’s Aquatic Park today, when not 5 yards away, a harbor seal was scouting the beach.

I know what you’re thinking – you’re in San Francisco, wouldn’t that be a sea lion? Nope, nope, nope. I promise. It was absolutely a little harbor seal’s face staring back at us from the cold water.

Look at this little face. Super cute, don't necessarily want an "Arrested Development"-esque surprise.
Look at this little face. Super cute, don’t necessarily want an “Arrested Development”-esque surprise.

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Training Recap – July 22

Long climb, quick descent.

Today was a bike day – I had to be at work at 7 am, so I missed the group ride I was hoping to join. Instead, I rode up the local grade to Grizzly Peak as a last training ride before the Sandman. Fortunately for me (and other local competitors), Tunnel has almost the same grade profile as the Sandman Triathlon.

Unfortunately this week has been super busy! But I’ve been training and attempting to mini-taper. Can’t wait for next week!

 

Sandman Preview

I went to a classic theater in Oakland a few weeks ago to watch Jaws on the big screen. Great idea for an open water swimmer.

It was 2 days after I had registered for the Sandman Triathlon in Aptos, California (August 2).

And you know what was discovered the day before that? Fifteen great white shark pups hanging out around the Cement Ship – the focal point of the Sandman swim. You hear pups, and you may think, aw, cute, babies.

THESE BABIES ARE 7-8 FEET LONG.

Don’t get me wrong – I love sharks. What a truly awesome animal. But I don’t really want to swim through a herd of baby great whites during this triathlon.

What a glorious swim course. Just hope the natives aren't too territorial.
What a glorious swim course. Just hope the natives aren’t too territorial.

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Training Recap – July 12

Productive Sunday mornings feel great.

Did you get a good workout in today? I got to swim in Aquatic Park in San Francisco with an old teammate. He’s training for a Channel Crossing (as in, English Channel) – whoa. That’s a little long for me! And he’s training to follow real open water rules. As in no wet suit.

Fortunately, that means he’s training at a pace that I can keep up with.

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Training Recap – July 11

You’ve heard of “sharrows,” right?

They’re a city’s alternative to dedicated bike lanes; they allow a cyclist to use the whole lane. Or, you know, share. Sharing. Marked with arrows. Sharrows.

Both the weather and my equipment cooperated. Just watch out for Karl the Fog in the distance.
Both the weather and my equipment cooperated. Just watch out for Karl the Fog in the distance.

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Training Recap – July 10

Terrible Bay Area traffic can actually work in your favor. Sometimes.

Today I was able to work from home rather than fight traffic. It also provided me the opportunity to get a workout in during lunch and after work.

Soon! Soon this will connect to Treasure Island.
No, seriously. You can practice your 10m platform (more like 50m) if you climb over the yellow fence.

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The Call of the Open Water

Oh my gawd it’s frisson* out here!

*Frisson – A moment of intense excitement; a shudder (don’t worry, I had to look it up)

How do you feel about open water swimming? It seems like it’s a really divisive topic – people hate it, people love it, people hate-love it…  Regardless of your feelings, “frisson” definitely captures the feeling of the open water.

My first open water experiences were brief, poorly planned excursions with my swim team in Santa Cruz. Hanging out on the beach, a coach would suggest we swim out to the buoy and back. I hated it. So cold! So scary! So not-what-I-wanted-to-be-doing-on-my-day-off!

This is about as close as I'll get without wearing a wetsuit.
This is about as close as I’ll get without wearing a wetsuit.

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Is this in the plan?

I’ve been on a training plan written by Coach Raeleigh Harris for the Oakland Triathlon Club. We’re training for the Oakland Triathlon at the end of August. Her plan is fantastic, but jeez it’s kicking my butt.

If I could train full time, I’d have a great time with the plan, but unfortunately I do have to pay for things (like more triathlons), so I have to work. I often have to readjust which activity I’m doing and when, but that seems to be the glory of triathlon. Can’t make it to the pool? Then run! Don’t feel like running today? Get on the bike! Can’t handle the hills today? Cruise somewhere flat!

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Escape from Alcatraz – here, let me help you

Escape from Alcatraz is one of the most iconic triathlon races in the U.S. and definitely is a bucket-list event for many people. I had the opportunity to volunteer at the swim exit with Oakland Triathlon Club for the 2015 race.

Date: June 7, 2015      |      Location: San Francisco, CA

Weather: Cool, overcast, 50-60 degrees

Volunteer Location – Swim Exit / Beach Steps

I know what you’re thinking: “What could have motivated you to wake up so early on a Sunday when you aren’t competing?” Well, quite a few things, actually.

See those feet? Ya, you know the ones. Don't enter the water like that.
See those feet? Ya, you know the ones. Don’t enter the water like that.

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Monte Rio – Vacation Wonderland

First race! I competed in the Rodney Strong Vineman Monte Rio Sprint Triathlon.

Date: May 31, 2015      |      Location: Monte Rio, CA

Weather: Cool, overcast, 60 or so degrees

Race: Sprint      |      Age Group: 20-24

Results: Division – 2/5; Overall – 70

Location Distance Pace Chip Time Place (O’all/Div)
Swim 750 m (0:10:38) 1:26/100 m 10:38 7/1
T1 (5:06 min) 15:44 65/3
Bike 20 km (0:42:58 min) 17.3 mph 58:41 71/1
T2 (1:48 min) 1:00:29 61/3
Run 5 km (0:31:37) 10:12 min/mile 1:32:05 138/4
Finish (1:32:05 min) 1:32:05 70/2
Monte Rio
Don’t blink or you’ll miss it.

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