Tuesday, April 20, 2010

#2 New Orleans 70.3 April 18 2010

5:10 and I’m up! I am enjoying the 7 o'clock start times over some previous 6 am starts where you have to get up at 4..... barrrffffff. I actually got to sleep in 10 more minutes than the usually 5 am masters swim alarm. I quickly made my daily ROKIT FUEL and pounded a full cup, de-lish! Made sure to take my DUB Nutrition Muscle capsules to ensure myself the best chance at recovery. Lastly, I pounded my four ounces of ASEA to make sure my cells are well lubed and my oxygen capacity is at its peak. I made sure to get everything ready the night before so all I had to worry about was breakfast, supplements and GO! Every last minute of sleep is precious on race day, especially when race day is gonna be a hot one. I strolled down a few blocks, waited a few minutes and my ride came out right on que. A good start to having a good race- showing up!

The race start was down by UNO (University of New Orleans) so there was plenty of parking right by transition. After a complete set up I went down to the waters edge to check out the conditions. As expected the water temp was the same as yesterday; however there was one difference, what were those white things.... oh those are white caps. The winds were up and the water was rough. The race directer announced that anyone who didn’t want to do the swim didn’t have to. They could opt to just do the bike and run. Well that simply wasn’t an option, so I suited up and waited for my 8:04 start time. We always get put in the later waves of the race, which means I get to watch the pros compete. Andy Potts had an incredible swim with a ridiculously low sub 24 min, putting a few minutes on the rest of the male field. They always amaze and inspire me to work harder in the water. As the chase pack exited the water I notice former world champ Chris McCormick was missing his goggles. He must have lost them somewhere in the swim... insane! These are bad, bad men.

It was finally my turn and the winds unfortunately didn’t calm. Looks like it was gonna be a long day in the water. Let’s do this!! Slammed back my 2 Dub Shots and a Power bar. Worked well in Oceanside so I figured I would try the combination again. This was my first shore start which was fun. The horn blows and our group takes off running down the beach and splash into the water. We headed straight in the waves to the first marker. I realized early on that sighting was going to be difficult and breathing was going to need to be well timed. Nothing throws off a good swim rhythm than a lung full of lake water. The swim course has only 3 turns. Straight to the first marker, turn left and swim the long stretch to a turn around marker and back to a final marker. This is where we would make a right and head into shore. When I made the first right ,I knew I would be able to relax and do this stretch easier than when I have to swim back. See, I breath on my left side which meant the waves would be on my right - whew. It was still a very bumpy swim along the back stretch with sighting still nearly impossible. I made it to the turn around and started to head back having to breath with my face exposed to the waves as I tried to breath. I knew coming home would be a bit slower, as I would have to slow down and concentrate on the task at hand. Sometimes I would go to take a breath and see a wall of water about to crash down on me. I tried really hard to not break stride, duck my head and wait another stroke to take a breath. Next thing I knew, I was at the last market and success! I did it, I did it! I feel that despite my slower time this was a better swim for me than Oceanside a few weeks earlier where I posted a personal best. I had to relax, concentrate and really stay focused on the task at hand without getting too frustrated with the condition. I now am going to concentrate on learning how to breath on both sides. There are always areas to work on and improve.

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