Thursday, July 17, 2008

Of Open Water Swims and Trail Construction

So. Given that I have a tri coming up (no shit, t. you've only mentioned it, how many times?), I decided I needed to get a-crackin' on open water swims and bricks. So, that was today.

I originally wanted to use my mom's car as it fits my bike better AND has a transponder for the toll road (easier to get to the reservoir i wanted to go to). However, I had to wait until she got off work and then I didn't end up having the time to use her car anyway. *sigh*

But! Happy day, my new road bike actually fits in the backseat of my car with the front tire off unlike my old comfort bike. Which is good for the tri this year since I won't have pre-race issues getting my bike back together after completely dismantling it to fit it in the car.

Anyway ...

I get to Aurora Reservoir, pay my $7 and park at the swim beach. I grab my goggles and swim cap and head toward the water in my tri suit (though my shorts have blue piping on them)(gotta start training in it, i know) and get in the water ... and GD is it COLD. I try doing my breaststroke, promptly start spazzing like last year, unable to breathe with my face underwater. I also have a mini asthma attack.

Great. This isn't good.

Luckily, after swimming a little and calming myself down (and probably adjusting to the cold water), I am able to swim relatively normally even though the water is kind of choppy due to the wind (more on that later). I figure, even though I had no idea on distance, I managed at least 350 meters.

Since I knew I had to get in a bike and still make it home to shower, change and turn around to go get my hair chopped, I hopped out of the water at that point and made it back to my car for the world's slowest transition. But that's okay because I wasn't practicing those. Really.

Get on the bike and decide, after aimlessly pedaling around for a tad, to do the 7.8 mile loop which will take me basically back to the parking lot. Sounds cool, right? Read on.

I'm doing okay on the ride, ignoring the fact that I'm wet pretty soon in. While riding along one part of the "lake," I noticed I was getting a strong crosswind, but didn't think anything of it ... well, except acknowledging the fact that it was trying to blow me off the path. It messed with my time a little, but I didn't worry about it. I finally get to a good place in my cadence and start speeding down the trail. The trail starts curving a bit to take me back towards the marina/parking lot and with about a mile and a half to go ... the trail shuts down due to maintenance.

At that point, I'd done 6.38 miles in 25:12 (15.9mph - still slow, but workin' on it; went to turn around but decided on the detour. smart as you'll see). I get off the bike and start walking it toward the "detour" - which was a gravel path and since road tires are testy, there was no way in hell I was riding it. The detour, surprise surprise, just took me to an under-construction portion of the gravel path. *sigh* A quarter-mile of walking my bike and nothing. At this point, I'm upset. I'm running short on time and I knew that the majority of my ride back would be into what was now a very strong headwind.

Still, what other choice did I have? So I struggled back, half-hysterically crying, half-hyperventaliting, all the while saying to myself, "I can't do this," even though I knew I had no other choice. I kept saying, "I miss my baby dino," wishing like hell I had my workout buddy with me as I pedaled the majority of the ride back into a ridiculous headwind.

6.2 miles and 28:54 later (a woeful 10.something mph), I make it back to my car.

I just hope that there's no headwind on August 3 for my tri.

On another note, when I sweat, it basically leaves enough dried salt on my face that I can brush it off with my hand. Brandon keeps saying he's going to throw me in the yard and use me as a salt lick for deer.

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