Sunday, July 17, 2016

A Fast Weekend

Well technically I was pretty fast a couple of times, not that the weekend went by too fast (but don't they all?) this time. Saturday morning started early with the Little Uno. I think four times I've done the Big Duece? They hold a 2 mile and a 1 mile open water swim race at the same time. Getting ready for all three of my Ironmans I did the Big Duece. Last year getting ready for the 12 mile Swim Around Charleston I did the Big Duece. This year I'm trying to do the series of all three local OWS races, but taking the shorter distances each time.

I'm ready to get started!
Big crowd came out

Buoys out there

Me with KC and Kristen before the race
The two milers started at 8:00 sharp. 5 minutes later they let the one milers go. We had 135 people starting at the same time, I lined up on the front row towards the left side. I expected that would mean getting other people swimming on top of me, but for the most part I managed to get a clean start!

I didn't get much of a warmup done, so I might have started out too fast. This race has two right hand turns in there, and my biggest goal was to be consistent. Every time I looked up to sight at the next buoy it was straight in front of me. I felt like I maintained a consistent arm turnover speed and stroke form throughout the entire mile. In the last 1/3rd of the course I swam next to someone and kept running into them, so I had to turn on the afterburners a bit to leave him in the dust. That also told me that I could have increased my turnover rate earlier and wasn't really going as strong as I could have been.

This is typical for the middle part of most races where you are supposed to go fast. 1 mile open water swims we slow down some between the two turn buoys. In a 5k race the middle mile is usually the slowest. Mentally I haven't figured out how to detect that this is happening or prevent it.

When the finish line got in sight, I really started chasing down the guy in front of me. He also did a finish line sprint, so I couldn't catch him. See if you can tell how that played out in the end....

I did ok
My real goal was breaking 30 minutes. Only about 15% of the entire field did that. 41/137 and 20th male is pretty dang good. 32:53 is "acceptable". Being 2 seconds away from taking 4th place age group, and 90 seconds away from an award is not really acceptable. I can put 25 minute miles in the pool any day of the week. Why open water? you fickle mistress. 33 minutes should be a half-iron swim split (1.2 miles), not 1 mile even. FWIW, Billy Su won my age group, he coaches our Masters team sometimes and was the overall winner of this race last year.

Actually maybe 20 people from the Raleigh Area Masters team competed in this race! The best part about the whole thing was getting to hang out with my friends by the lake. So many cool people. At first, I beat myself up a bit because I was the only person on the team who didn't take home an award. We won overall, master, and age group awards. People that were slower than me won awards. After I got home and looked up the categorical results I didn't feel so bad. Some of their age groups only had 2 or 3 people in there. I can't beat myself up over being 90 seconds short.

Me, KC, Kristen

Some RAM swimmers: Emily, Kristen, me, Chris, Sarah

I left disappointed. that was misguided.
Sunday my marathon training plan called for a 5k race time. Driving home from the lake I decided I was only going to beat myself up about not getting an AG award until I could start beating myself up about having a slow 5k time. Short memories are good for something.

Typically a 5k time trial that doesn't involve an actual race gets done on the treadmill. I do half a mile as a warmup, then use the distance counter to measure my 5k. So at 0.5 miles, I ramp the speed up to an 8.6 and hold on for dear life. When the counter hits 3.6 miles time trial is over and the last 0.4 is a cool down. If I don't have to break the speed that puts the 5k in 21:50, and I've only done it maybe 3 times before?  I attempted that speed several weeks ago and could barely make it half a mile.

But this Sunday, for some reason, everything felt good. So good, in fact, that I actually bumped up the speed to a 9.0 for the last quarter mile! Now I get to claim a new treadmill 5k PR of 21:48. I might not have mentioned it lately, but I am really enjoying this marathon training plan from PR Racer. I expected it to take longer for my speed to come back after all of that long, slow Umstead 100 training. But apparently this nice base phase has things right back in place!

So overall, that weekend had a nice fast open water swim race and a 5k PR with an asterisk. Pretty dang good times! I'll take what I can get.


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Sorry to hear you weren't happy with your swim time this weekend. Open water is so much tougher than a pool as there are other factors like other swimmers that you have to contend with. I'm glad you felt better after you saw why others placed given the low # of people in their age group.

Nice job on the treadmill PR!

Abby said...

Too bad about the swim, but great job on a new treadmill PR and the return of your speed:)