Tuesday, 21 July 2009

the agony of wetstuit 101

we're halfway through pre-LDN training week (whoops i mean holiday) and efforts have been severely hampered due to adverse weather conditions. this is my first attempt at a week-long english summer holiday, and the experience does test ones patience.

the other morning, after a lovely run along the coastal path, i went down to the ocean for a swim. i was feeling a little apprehensive over the impending cold, and much to the enjoyment of all of the rugged up beach goers - proceeded to put my wetsuit on. i was feeling quite good about myself, and a little bit hardcore, when i zipped myself up and realised i'd put the stupid thing on backwards! here's the moment i put two + two together;

i'm super glad this mishap didn't take place at an event! anyways very traumatising as then involved another fifteen minutes battling it off + on again. as they say though, worse things have happened at sea, so i kitted up and was feeling quite chuffed when finally i was ready to embrace my english summer swim! thankfully we didn't have a mirror at the beach, otherwise i would have known i looked like this;

now that's a look! so the swim itself wasn't as cold as i thought it would be (those wetsuits do a good job), and my sighting was pretty spot on. all around good stuff!

due to the rain, my first ride will see me head off early weds morn for a longish stretch of country road which i can time trial down. won't worry about getting miles down now, need to really concentrate on speed as this isn't something i train for (ever). and maybe i'll finally get around to improving my cornering *cough,cough*

the good news is i've managed to run each day along the coastal path - which is hilly enough for an old lady to move to one side as i ran uphill and rasp, "you shouldn't be *doing* that!" here's me during a quieter moment on the path, with a rare glimpse of sunlight (read: generic brightness);

and i did promise a few old fashioned goals, so it's time to share. my forecasts are a little rusty, because the main section, the bike, i really don't have much of an idea of what i'll be hitting. so i'm guessing this one, and giving myself a bit of room for inaccuracy because i'd rather over-estimate than under. i've also put my projected times with my age group placing based loosely on last years results. here she is;

swim (1.5km)

in the pool i’ve been hitting 30 mins consistently, but my competitive nature is going to run into overdrive on the day - so will probably manage to shave a couple of minutes. the only issue will be swimming off course/getting kicked in the face/goggles coming off/cramp from cold

estimated time: 29 minutes (71/272)

bike (40km)

i don’t have a confident estimate of my bike, but based on long rides and my previous sprint tri’s, i’m going to take a preliminary stab in the dark. tbh, think i'll do better than this (hoping!!!)

estimated time: 1 hour 20 minutes (189/272)

run (10km)

finally this number has decreased! it's still a crappy old time, but good for me!

estimated time: 57 minutes (rank: 189/272)

(transition 1 + 2 : six minutes)

total estimated time: 166 minutes (2 hours 46 minutes)

age group estimated rank: 165/272

so the main goals i'm hoping to achieve are this:

1. finishing! this includes avoiding a cramp in the swim, a flat on the bike and/or a stitch on the run
2. subbing 2.45 (would be amazing!)
3. subbing or even getting anywhere near 2.30 (impossible! but still on the wish list!)

here's hoping peoples. but lets put things into perspective; at the moment i can't even get my wetsuit on the right way around.


teresa said...

Hi Al! Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving some encouragement. I haven't had a chance to read too much here, but from what I can see you should be right at the top of my "who I want to be like" list. One of the things I want to do as I get fitter is triathlons. My brother competes in them and I'm fascinated with the amount of athleticism that is required.

Thanks again. I look forward to reading your blog and getting to know you better. Teresa

Andy Walker said...

Great post Al and it looks like we will be sharing similar goals, although I'm just going to focus on a sub 3 hour finish. Unfortunately due to your ungodly, but typical Triathlon start time I doubt that we'll get the chance to meet up as my race doesn't start until 3.10pm. So enjoy the rest of your break and Good Luck for London!

Anonymous said...

There needs to be some allowance for people who swim on beaches where the rocks provide the first challenge to get to the water. Then the drama with the wetsuit. Half the day would be gone. I think I will stick to three time around the bed........
The Dad.

Trishie said...

are those the Blue Seventy Goggles ? Do you like em? I giggled at your wetsuit snafu :)