I’ve been down in SoCal this weekend and spent Friday night and the first half of Saturday with my team, Conejo Valley Multisport Masters. It’s always fun to get down there and see everybody in person. Even though I’m a far away satellite member most of them know who the guy with the weird beard and odd suit collection is :)
I got into town Friday night just in time to sneak into their workout at the Westlake pool. Those of us that were planning to do the One Hour Swim were set aside to do a meet warm up workout while the rest of the crew did a normal workout. We did maybe 1600 yards or so which is probably about all I could handle anyways. The pool was way too hot for me… admittedly my opinions on water temperatures are a little out of the ordinary though… but no one else seemed to feel the same way as me so I guess it was just right and I’m just a weirdo :)
This morning I made my way to the pool around 7:30 giving myself plenty of time to get ready for my swim. The first of two heats was already in progress and I was tasked with the very important job of 15 minutely kickboard reminder holder person. We had multiple clocks set up around the pool that you could glance up at to figure out where you were at, but to supplement that we sent people around the pool with kickboards to announce 15 minute increments. We also had Coach Nancy running around with a whiteboard to pass notes along to the swimmers in the water.
Once heat one finished up we got everyone out of the water, doled out some high fives and then pulled everybody together for a team picture. One of our teammates actually skipped swimming to shoot pictures through the whole event… I’m looking forward to seeing those once they hit the web!
After our team picture I went to go find my lane. In the one hour swim you can put up to 2 people in a lane so most of us were splitting with somebody except for a few people that are hard to split a lane with. One of our guys is like an 8 foot tall power lifter so it’s in everybody’s best interest to give Peter his own lane to swim in :) I was paired up with Jim, one of our pro triathletes, and it turned out to be a pretty good match. We were reasonably close in speed but with enough of a gap that we weren’t swimming shoulder to shoulder at all during our hour.
When we got started I felt pretty strong and probably took it out a little too fast. I’ll have to take a look at my split sheet later, but that first 2 or 300 yards was probably attacked with a little too much effort considering I had 56 more minutes to go and whatnot. Once I settled down into a rhythm I started to put a little distance between my lane mate to one side of me and Beata on the other side of my lane line.
Around 15 minutes into the swim I started to get a little uncomfortable. I was really hungry and my stomach was a bit out of sorts. All I had in the tank was some Gatorade and a granola bar… I just can’t eat in the mornings but I really could have used it today! As we neared 20 minutes I had a bit of a diversion though, I was catching up to pass my lanemate. I made sure to make the pass quick so we wouldn’t get stuck next to each other for an awkwardly long time. Both of us are pretty good sized dudes and the lane would have gotten pretty cozy feeling if we stuck together for too long.
Somewhere after 25ish minutes I came up on Beata to lap her but when I pulled even with her she really picked it up and stayed stroke for stroke for at least 10 minutes. It was nice to have her right there to give me a frame of reference for what I was doing in the water. As we neared the 36-37 minute range I came up on my lanemate again and sped up a little to get past him and put some distance between us, I ended up losing Beata in this process as well and swimming the rest of the hour without anyone else running the same pace that I could see.
As we got deeper into the hour my legs started getting tight from all the flip turns. One of my quads was locking up a bit but not going into a full cramp which was good… I didn’t want to have to stop and massage out a knot 45 minutes deep into my swim! I could feel myself losing some steam and my walls were definitely deflating, but I kept at it best I could. I was over the hump and nearing the end of this thing.
By my bad at math calculations I figured I would catch my lanemate one more time before the swim was over. I was gaining on him in those last 10 minutes but I just couldn’t close the deal. He picked up the pace and I just couldn’t overcome the difference. As the last 2 minutes ticked down I tried to swim faster to squeeze what I could out of that last little part.
I ended up finishing at 4180 yards. I did better last year by about 100 yards, but considering how I felt going into this my result isn’t too bad. Plus I had like 3 extra inches of beard and a drag suit on this year :)
After the swim I hung out on deck and chatted with my friends while enjoying the sunshine and rummaging through the food the coaches brought for us doing the swim (hooray post one hour swim sprinkle doughnut!). I followed that up with big breakfast and then a big drive to Irvine. Tomorrow I’ll be out in the ocean in Laguna Beach!