Sunday, April 6, 2014

Week 6 Training (Mar 31-Apr 6) - aka: Wetsuit for the first Time

Week 6 of 36. Thirty-one weeks until the race.

What this week's scheduled training looked like (March 31-April 6):

Total hours scheduled: 7:00

Total hours logged: 6:51

Total running miles this week/total: 15.4 / 80.1

Total biking miles this week/total: 29.45 / 204.68

Total swimming yards this week/total: 5000 (ahem, bs!) / 30000

Weight: seriously, I've given up on this.

Level of IM enthusiasm: 4/10 -- vacation and book release week. So IM training took a back seat. Way, way back.

Nutrition elements: Eating everything possible while on vacation? Is that a nutrition plan?

Other: My training was pretty much crap this week, so let's just talk about the swimming, the only thing significant.  I didn't do either of my scheduled 2500 yard swims. But I did do three important swimming events this week which allow me to cut myself a little slack:

1) I did my first open water swim while on vacation in Ft. Myers, FL. I don't know how far my swim was (I just kept going out to a buoy and back, that I think was probably around 100-150 yards away), but I did it. The water was cold just in my bathing suit, but I felt okay.

Struggling with my arms
2) I did my first open water swim with my wetsuit. That was scary. I'm pretty claustrophobic, so I bought a used DeSoto two piece wetsuit off Ebay a few weeks ago, having read the two-piece nature of it would help a little. This was my first time using it.

The good news is, I didn't freak out. I got both pieces (the bib, long-john type piece that goes on the legs and torso and the jacket which covers the torso and arms). And I made it into the water and began swimming.

I'll be honest: I didn't like it, although I must fully admit that was because of ME not because of the suit. My shoulders felt constricted, I couldn't get into my grove swimming. It was all just yucky-feeling. It didn't help that all my friends were on shore watching, worrying that I might have some panic attack and flip out  (but, of course, they all had their phones handy so they could record it all and put it on YouTube if that happened -- as friends should).

Trying it in just the Bib
I swam probably 200-300 yards then decided to try it without the top jacket part and swam in just the bib. Having freedom in my arms felt MUCH BETTER, although the DeSoto bib is not meant to be used alone -- it created drag. I might look into purchasing the DeSoto Speedvest to go over the bib that would leave my arms free.

I would call it a successful first attempt at both open-water swimming and wetsuit usage. I definitely need more practice with both, especially getting past that 300 yard range where swimming becomes much easier and less sucky. The first 300 yards are always the worst, even in a pool -- I need to give myself a chance to get past that in a wetsuit and THEN see how I feel, so I'm comparing apples to apples. I'm excited to do that.

Looked a lot happier than I felt

Finished this week with the Smithfield Sprint Tri -- making me officially a triathlete. Race report is here.

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