This weekend’s training was both easy and hard. Saturday was easy as I was at the Arena Pro Swim Series at the Skyline Aquatic Center in Mesa watching both the prelims and the finals. So much fun! The little kids there were all so excited to watch the famous athletes and then run over to get their autographs after each heat.
I fell into this “OMG, famous person!” excitement a little bit too. When I went over to watch the athletes practicing, I was just in time to see Michael Phelps get in the pool. I rarely get excited about any celebrity but Michael Phelps?! I was glued to the TV when he won all his Olympic medals in 2012. So then I was just like everyone else, snapping pictures of Phelps as he did a few turns in the water.
After the relaxed pace of Saturday, Sunday felt a bit harder. I woke up at 6am (this is so hard on the weekends) and got ready to meet up with friends for a 34 mile bike ride up the Beeline highway – the same route that Ironman Arizona will take.
Even though I’m smiling in the picture, the ride felt painful most of the way. The Beeline Highway is a false flat for about 8 miles then turns into an actual incline before you turn at Shea to make the descent. My thighs were cramping and my whole body felt sore for the majority of the ride. Along the way, I consumed Skratch (raspberry flavored) and a squeezy packet of berry flavored applesauce for energy.
Finally getting back to the car, I downed my Vega protein shake which I’ve started keeping in a thermos in the car so that I have it immediately post-ride. This gives me a half hour to hour in which to get home and make myself a humungous lunch in order to replenish.
That afternoon, I drove out to Saguaro Lake for the Open Water Swim clinic with WannaTri Triathlon Coaching. Coach Sarah started with some tips on open water swimming in general and swimming in a wetsuit at 4pm and then we got in the water at around 4:20 or so. We paired up with a buddy for the exercises and as an extra protective measure Coach Seth was present in a kayak.
In the water, we concentrated on sighting, drafting, turning, mass starts, and contact in the water. The water was totally murky and it was challenging to “follow your partner” when half the time you couldn’t see the hand in front of you (or you could see a hand but it was someone else’s hand as they swam right in front of you, cutting you off). All in all, we swam a little shy of half a mile. It was an awesome workout and I feel a little more confident now in sighting and mass starts. Also thankfully, the water was a little cooler this go round and I didn’t overheat like I did at the Splash and Dash.
Coming back into shore, the lot of us swam straight into a group of casual, recreational beach goers standing in the water with drinks. I looked up to see them standing right in front of me and quickly avoided them but I don’t know if everyone saw them in time! Staggering out of the water, I peeled down my wetsuit and stood for a group photo.
Here we all are at the end! I’m standing next to my swim buddy who was awesome at checking in with me throughout the workout.
Later at home, after an excellent dinner of Earth Balance Mac n’ Cheese with veggie hot dogs, spinach, and fruit, followed by So Delicious cashew milk Dark Chocolate Trufffle ice cream (btw AMAZING), we watched the newest episode of The Amazing Race. I love that show! The show features tons of drama, fighting, and includes great adventures to fabulous places. What a great way to cap off the weekend!