Saturday, August 29, 2009

15 mile run! and how I feel about swimming

Once again I had my longest run ever. 15 miles this morning. I really must start these runs earlier in the day. It was in the high 90s when I finished at noon. I felt like the heat was the biggest limiter today. I actually ran 1-2 miles near the end under the freeway because it had more shade than along the bike path. The bike path could really use more drinking fountains! It'd be nice to just do an out and back run from the park, but there is only water at mile 0, 0.5, and 2.5, and then I'm not sure where but it's definitely after mile 5. I think it might be around mile 8. So I stayed between mile 0 and 5 so that I'd be close to water. I drank a lot in the heat today! I used CarbBoom on the run for the first time, with my Gu Chomps, just wanted to see how it was in case I can't stomach my Chomps on the run in FL and need to try something else. CarbBoom was fine too. I'm hoping I don't have to go with the backup plan though. Caffeine is good. I had a little bit of knee pain/soreness near the end, but after mile 13 which is 3 miles later than last time.

After the run I did my 2000 yard swim that I'd postponed from earlier in the week. I took it pretty easy, but not as easy as my recovery swim after my 14 miler two weeks ago. It was so nice to get in the water after my run. The water felt so nice on my legs and it helped cool me off. I pretty much kept pace with the 8 or 9 month pregnant woman in the bikini next to me. I'm assuming she didn't run for 3 hours before the swim though.

During my swim I was thinking about how I'm feeling about swimming lately. I guess confident is one word. I definitely get a little scared thinking about jumping into that washing machine in the Gulf with over 2000 other swimmers all heading for the same buoy. But I've got confidence too. I've done a lot of open water swimming, probably more than most people heading into Ironman. Granted a lot of that was done in the calm Caribbean seas, but I'm well practiced in the art of accidentally inhaling water on a breath and then coughing it out with my face in the water and then catching my breath on the next stroke. I can do it in one fluid motion. I rarely have to stop when I inhale water or swallow a bit too much. Having someone grab my legs during the swim doesn't freak me out (if they let go...). I've even won an open water swim race of the Ironman distance. But all this still doesn't make me love swimming as much as I did when we lived in the VI. Convincing myself to get into the cold wet pool always takes some time. It's easiest when the sun is bright and hot! I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be thrilled about running into the cold wet Gulf of Mexico on November 7 at 7am. But once I get going, I will hopefully start enjoying it like I usually do.

Post-swim I hit the grocery store - I was really hungry but didn't fall for the usual mistakes of buying way too much food this time. Mostly because I was in a hurry to get home and just eat! (I did, however, start eating my newly purchased Larabar the moment I walked out of the grocery store...) I bought two ice bags for an ice bath too. I don't think it was enough, as the water was not unbearably cold. But it definitely did chill my legs pretty well.

To backtrack a little, Thursday and Friday were just biking days. Thursday was just a short bike commute from near my doctor's office, so about 8 miles roundtrip. I sure ride faster with traffic! Friday was an easy 25 miler, most of which I did in the morning before work, after dropping off Sierra at daycare. The doggie daycare is about 1/4 mile from a bike path entrance - so convenient on bike days! Tomorrow is another bike day, 60 miles.

Edited to add: I forgot I also did weights and abs on Friday morning before my ride!


  1. I know who I am going to be drafting off in the water at PC.

    Also, I am starting as far down the beach as possible. Maybe 200 yards if I can. You only swim another 75 feet by doing so. (
    SHHHH!!! dont tell anyone).

    I watched video of a start. It's amazing, there are people waiting 2 minutes to get in the water when down the beach is wide open.

  2. I think you better draft off of Arnie. I'm not swimming as much as I used to! I should check out one of the swim start videos again. I remember seeing one right after I registered for FL. I have never done a race this big before!