Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Stroke and stride #1

I have had a very good day - unusually productive work day (I am revising a book I drafted last year, it's shaping up very well, nice to see a new book emerging out of its initial draft as something quite different and much more like what its ultimate form should be), and then the first of the August "Stroke and Stride" races this evening.

These are tiny short races, not endurance races at all, but the heat and humidity make the run challenging regardless, and I have also been worrying a bit about the excessive number of DNS ("Did Not Start" - as opposed to "DNF," did not finish) I have had in races over the past year. It's dreadful wasting all that money on race fees, but one also starts to wonder - to worry - whether there is some deeper element of self-sabotage: I am not a great self-sabotager/"DNS" person in my regular life, but it is something that can creep up on a person at any time! So it actually seemed to me a good goal to do the stroke and stride races - I just volunteered last year, but it is a worthwhile thing for me right now to start and finish races however short!

(Today's race was a 400m swim and 2 mile run; the run distance stays the same, but the swim goes up next week to 600m and the week after to 800m.)

I took a taxi over there (Brent's out of town this week, and I am too cowardly to ride a bicycle over there at rush hour - and I don't have a driver's license!). Helped inflate the buoys for the swim course with a terribly ineffectual pump (have made a mental note to procure new batteries for next week), worried that I was going to have to kayak them out to the turnaround also but in fact the 2 relevant kayakers did turn up and took over inflation and transportation of buoys, so that was a relief.

The swim was unusually congested, but it's beautiful out there, I love that particular stretch of shore; the run was pretty much as hot and intense as I thought it would be. I stop and walk for a minute when my HR tips up over the top of zone 4 (I feel slightly queasy as the HR goes to 169-170, it is something that is very easy for me to note even without a HR monitor, though I was carrying my Garmin - forgot to turn it on, couldn't get it clipped around my wrist as the little loop closer slid off as I was dangling it in my hand out of transition - basically, chaos and disorganization). Total time something like 33 minutes, basically a 9-minute swim and then 2 x 12-minute miles.

Took a dip in the sea afterwards to rinse off and cool down a tad. Had planned to jog home afterwards, but realized there was no chance - I was much too overheated! So I took it at a brisk walk instead. I kept on the HR monitor, it was about 40 minutes at HR c. 130 (Garmin says 2.33 miles, mile pace of 17:41 - that sounds about right).

I stopped at the supermarket near home and picked up a very good bundle of groceries, so that was the clincher on an all-round useful day...

400m swim (c. 9 mins.), 2mi. run (c. 24 mins.), 2.3mi. walk (40 mins.)

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