Sunday, March 20, 2011

What can I say.

Wettie off.
Wettie on.

This is what I spent last Thursday doing. I made my way to the Aqua Shop at Gordon with the hope that I would come back with an awesome wetsuit and well, here it is. The gentleman who served me - Duncan - was an absolute gem. Talk about knowing your stuff. I had so many amazing recommendations from the boys at Panther Cycles, from Jodie & Chris at TopNotch, and Larisa the CEO of TriShave Autralia about The Aqua Shop, and Duncan lived up to them all.

If you don't have a wetsuit and you want one and you live in Sydney - then I suggest making your way to the Aqua Shop at Gordon. You won't be disappointed.

Then Friday morning I made my way to the Sydney International Regatta Centre to have an open water swim in my new wetsuit. Well, what can I say about it. Hmmmmm, different. I didn't dislike it nor did I like it alot. Let me explain. I am so used to feeling the water all over my body when I swim that this loss of sensation feels odd to me. Add to it the intense bouyancy that I got when I already sit quite high in the water anyway, made me almost feel like I had to much movement on top of the water. My body really felt each movement I made and intensified it. I also struggled a bit with the restriction around my chest and neck. I got to the 1km mark and wasn't sure if I was breathless cause I swam a little faster than normal or if I was breathless from the wetsuit. After speaking to a few of my comrades they each said that that feeling of breathlessness was quite normal and that I would get used to it. But with all this being said, I know that it won't take much time for me to get used to it. I don't regret it at all. Come May 1st I will have it mastered for sure.

So lessons learnt from Wetsuit Swim 101:
  • Make sure when I put it on that I do so correctly or it pulls down on your shoulders and makes it harder to swim.
  • Let the wetsuit guide the length of my stroke as fighting against it makes you tired.
  • Make sure I wear BodyGlide near the zipper and under arm to stop chafing.
  • Get in first and allow some water to enter suit then get out and squish water out of suit so it moulds to body.
  • Allow the wetsuit to help with speed so then I can really focus on form.
After my 2km swim which by the way the first 1km was done in 15min and I felt like I wasn't really pushing the pace, I made sure I rinsed it well and dried it inside out and let it dry properly before packing it away. My husband said that he will take charge of the kids Friday morning so I can attend the next 3 Friday mornings before the Open Water swims end for the season. I should be able to get more accustomed to the wetsuit in 3 more swims - surely.

Then on Friday my best friend Susan wanted to buy me a birthday present - so we headed to Rebel Sport and she bought me a pair of these:
How comfortable are these. The compression factor around my upper legs and glutes feels really nice. And not sure if I am imagining it or not but it seemed to help with my ITB pain that has been emanating from my hip since last Sunday. It helped so much that I had the most awesome day of training yesterday.

I started the day off cycling with John. We did the Greendale loop and I managed to ride 52km in 2hrs. Not to shabby considering I really didn't feel strong at all on the bike yesterday. I was really struggling to get a good breath of air and couldn't hold a steady conversation. Thanks John for putting up with me. We also managed to gut it out in the rain.

When I got home it was time to put on my runners and head out the door for my 10 x 1km efforts. Here's my splits per km:
  • 4:55
  • 5:14
  • 5:05
  • 5:24
  • 5:02
  • 5:22
  • 5:01
  • 5:22
  • 5:11
  • 5:27
As you can probably notice every second one was alot slower - well I had a headwind to thank for that. Each 1km return hurt bad but I was still happy to maintain above the 5:30min/km for each which put me to a total of 51:20 for the 10km. I felt so good after this session, but I still could not rest as I had a swim set to do still.

Here it is - it was tough but good.
  • 400m Warm up - 75m Fr/s, 25m backstroke
  • 200m one armed Fr/s swapping every 25m
  • 100m Fr/s scull
  • Main set - PYRAMID
  • 100m, 200m (3min), 300m, 400m TT (5:51), 400m TT (6:03), 300m, 200m, 100m (1:17)
  • 4 x 25m sprints - this is where the cramping started.
  • 200m cooldown.
Was I glad when yesterday finished. I was totally pooped. Had nothing left and all I wanted to do was eat and sleep, which is what I did as I knew I had to back it up with today.

Today was meant to be another century ride but with a 30min run off the bike. When I set out this morning to meet Sarah I knew we were in for a bit of a wet ride. I didn't have any wet weather gear so I was just crossing my fingers hoping it wasn't going to be too wet. Well, not only did i face sheer darkness when I headed out but it started to drizzle and then turn heavy about 10mins into my ride. I was half contemplating turning around and going home but I knew Sarah was already out on the road too so thought it best to stick it out. By the time I got to he truckstop it had stopped raining and held out for about the next 35mins for the first half bit of our ride together.

When we made our way close to my home it started to rain again and got progressively heavier as we decided to head back. By the time we got back to the truckstop we were drenched - like drowned rats, but we still smiled. Gotta laugh at the situations we get ourselves into. We decided to see if by heading to the Regatta Centre by car to finish our ride off would be less wet but it wasn't meant to be - even more wet. So Sarah drove me back home, we had a nice hot cup of coffee to warm our insides and she headed back home. I headed to the shower to warm up and then got on my indoor trainer to finish off what I had set out to do this morning. 90mins and 42km later on the indoor trainer - I donned my runners and was out the door for a 30min easy run. And wouldn't you guess, when I wanted it to rain to cool me down, it didn't. GO FIGURE.

In total I did 72km cycling but was meant to do 100km. Nevermind. The indoor trainer I find is more intense as you keep a really strong and steady cadence the whole time. So am I happy with this weekends activities? YOU BET YA. Port Mac 70.3 is looking set to be a really good day. I can now say that I feel confident in my abilities to complete it.

Your hard work will be rewarded.

"The path to a dream is paved with sacrifices and lined with determination. And though it has many stumbling blocks along the way, and may go in more than one direction, it is travelled by belief and courage and conquered with a willingness to face challenges and take chances" Barbara Cage