Sunday, May 20, 2018

Tooting Bec Lido Aquathlon

What a day!
I had a lot of reservations about this Aquathlon. Hell, I was not even sure if I was saying 'aquathlon' right ('a qwath a lon'? 'aquacklon'?).  Then I reminded myself to shut up and stop worrying. I met a member of the Lido-- his name was Al. I met him previously the day I tested out the wetsuit. I asked if he was participating and he said, "No, I only race myself now." That should be how it always is... for everyone.

So I calmed down. I stretched. I listened to the race brief. I asked questions. I chatted with other participants. I kept telling myself 'This is not the end game. Just enjoy and learn.'  To be honest I was itching to get into the water... my wetsuit was a tad bit warm in the lovely London sun (yes it exists!).

Note to self-- if you are jumping in cold water, may be best to ensure the goggles are about the same temperature. Else, the fog up. Well. Now I know :)

The nine lengths went pretty well. The lanes were huge so people didn't have to stress about holding people up behind or getting stuck behind someone.

Such a badass :D 
Transition? Ehhh... let's just say practicing dry is NOT the same as when it's wet. Fair. Makes sense. Another lesson learned.

I was not feeling too hot in the beginning of the run. I am not sure if that was the quick (in some sense of the word) transition or maybe I drank too much water in the pool. Whatever it was, I kept it relatively slow in fear of vomiting. The sun was pretty strong at this point, so it was actually quite nice having a wet trisuit on. Oh, and I was rocking some sunnies. Priorities people!

We did three laps around the common. Some of those were along roads but there were volunteers at every corner to ensure no one got lost.

I rolled into the finish and tried to to a bit of a jump at the end. I was feeling pretty good-- huzzah I did an aquathlon! I got my medal and my flapjack. All one really needs at the end of a race.

Heck yeah!
If you are thinking about doing a tri-- or are doing a tri, or just want something different, I recommend this event. It's a great way of getting your body used to swimming in cold water, like an OWS, but without the murky water. It's also great to get your body used to working out when tired.

All that was left to do was tube home (Tooting Bec is about 20 minutes walk away) and soak up the sun. A great way to spend a Saturday. 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Triathlon - Let's Get Serious Now

I have kind of been floating around exercise at the moment. I feel almost 'back' from my injury, but I have not really done any distance to speak of, my excuse being I have nothing to train for. To which NinjaBoy said "Then sign up for something!". Well played sir, well played.

I have been kinda training for my triathlon in August. A swim or two here and there, throw a run in somewhere, and sprinkle in a dreaded cycle (still don't like it). But you know...  I figured I have done this before *cough* 2013 *cough* and its not a crazy distance. Here it comes guys: HOW HARD CAN IT BE?!

Hard. As I found out on Wednesday.

I was going to have a weird work day (2pm-10pm) on Wednesday so I thought I would be proactive and go to the unheated Tooting Bec lido to scope out what I am getting myself into for the aquathlon this Saturday. I also (begrudgingly) decided to cycle down there. It was 0930, I had plenty of time...

About an hour later, I get to the Lido. It's overcast. It's cold. It's England summer. Luckily though that meant only the die hards are at the lido. I ask the nice woman at the desk a thousand questions:

Me: "Do I have to wear a wetsuit?"
Patient Woman: "No, not today"

Me: "Would you wear a wetsuit?" 
Patient Woman: "Oh heck yes... it's cold!"

Me: "Where do I change?"
Patient Woman: "You can change in any of the little huts or if you are more comfortable in the unisex changing area"

Me: "Where are the lockers?"
Patient Woman: "There are no lockers, but you can leave small valuables with me."

So I opt for a hut, and a wetsuit. The huts are like those ones you see in old time photos. Colourful and fun. Bit dark inside, but that's the way it is! I was getting a bit anxious about leaving stuff in my little hut, but one of the locals was telling me its perfectly safe.

Me: "Would you leave stuff on a busy weekend?"
Him: "No Way!"


Such colours! 

The swim was tough. I felt incredibly slow and I took breaks with every lap. I enviously glanced at people with no wetsuit. I thought swimming in a wetsuit is meant to be easier?! My lower back hurt, my arms hurt. Oh my god. What is going on.

Such bliss!
Such agony!
 I finished 800m in 40 minutes. See the stats on the right. Perspective: my last pool swim on the left said I did 1000m in 30 minutes. I am not saying I am very slow or very fast. I am simply saying I was, how do we say, displeased based on past performances. I also don't know why Strava is in yards... also why is Strava saying different than what my Garmin says?! Thats an investigation for another day-- ::in New York Accent:: I'M BLOGGIN 'ERE!!

It was a deflating swim. I had a cup of tea to reflect. Oh christ I needed to cycle home too...

I had a quick stop to pick up Tim Horton's Coffee from a fellow runner (I love this community!) then back home with 20 minutes to spare before my work day started.

I felt tired and depressed. Am I going to be the slowest person out there on Saturday? Are people going to tut loudly as they swim past me? What the hell am I doing here?!

I go to work (no shower! no time!). I drink Tim's coffee and stew in self-doubt.

I flop on the sofa at 10:30pm and I see I got some post... from the London Tri. Oh wonderful... icing on the cake I think to myself. I open the package. It's a t-shirt.

Suddenly I remember. THIS is why I am doing the aquathlon on Saturday. To prepare for August. This is part of my training, learning what to do and what not to do on the big day. How to relax in the water, how to get out of my wetsuit without faceplating on the pavement. How to get my body used to multisport days. Saturday is not the end goal, its just a pit stop on the way to the finish....

Oh my gosh, am I in  training mode? I think I am!!

Amazing what a shirt can do! :D

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Privacy Policy for the London Running App

This app does not collect personal information in any way. What it DOES do is scrape Facebook pages for London based running events for a Google Calendar that I created. That information can be found at the link below.