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Open Water, Running and Hope

Early this AM at Mary Alice Park, a great cast of characters headed out for open water.

There was an Expert.  A Weatherman.  A Monster.  A Fish.  Columbus.  Pickups.

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(l-r) Pickups, Coach Monster, Fish, Ralph, and the Weatherman

Fish is the friend with a  new nickname…. Fish is Carrie.  I told her I was going to nickname her “Freak,” because she is an incredible freak of nature—she’s so fast.  In her first triathlon, she placed third. Overall. She’s one of the fastest swimmers I’ve ever seen. For example, when we share a lane in the pool… I can swim, and she laps me… on her kick sets. That is all.  But she’s also super fun and sweet.

Pickups is another newly nicknamed friend for IM CDA fellow, Michael.  His name comes from the swim today.  I was following him for the whole swim…  and I was scrambling to keep up with him several times—-out of the blue—because I thought I was slowing down horribly (“Geez, I must be getting crazy slow and tired”)… turns out, he was doing pace pickups.  Well, so did I. Trying to keep up. He was fast and pushed me. Enjoyed swimming with (er, behind) him.

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Me and the Expert. The ORCA brand love whales.

I cannot say enough… it was a  beautiful day today for a swim.  The water was still cold, but the sun was shining and there was a nice chill in the air.

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The fast crew (Monster, Fish and Ralph) took off and did about 2.4 miles in about 1:05.

Me, the Expert, Columbus and Michael did right under 2 miles.  I was thrilled with my time for the 2 miles—right around 1:06.

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Cheese with Columbus… his first Ironman is going to be CDA also. We had a little pep talk after the swim that consisted of something like “We are SO going to do this.” Gotta love the friend pep talks.

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Coach Monster & the Weatherman

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Columbus, the Expert and the Weatherman – only in triathlon is this photo not weird.

It was the Weatherman’s first wetsuit swim. He did great. Far better than I fared on my first wetsuit swim. For sure.

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I was glad for this great swim.

There’s been a ton of great swims during this training for Coeur d’Alene, but today was perfect. Truly.  The water was lovely. The company was great.  It was the first time wearing the full SBM kit for the swim (under the wetsuit) and the run, and I loved it.  (If you still want to get in on the orders they are open until Tuesday).

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Pretty snazzy looking kit if I do say so myself. 🙂

Up next after the swim was a 2-3 hour walk/run.

If I could run without pain, I planned to run.  If I couldn’t run without pain, then I was going to walk at a fast clip for 3 hours. Either way, I was getting some miles in.

I ran/walked 9.8 miles in 2 hours for approximately a 12:55 minute/mile pace.  I will take it, considering how my “running” has been going… I haven’t run farther than 6 miles in over 6 weeks. This was a HUGE blessing.

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One pair of these legs is very fast in SBM shorts. One is not.

And I was able to run with VERY little pain.  So happy.  My average moving running pace was about 11:15 pace… the walking was around 15:00… Coach Monster was running laps around me… but it was still great.

I needed this boost today. Needed it badly. So I am thankful for it.  A 2 mile swim. An almost 10 mile run. Both in decent times relative to my ability.

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No the Expert didn’t find an animal in the water… it’s his wetsuit 🙂

Tomorrow is another 100 miler on the bike.

The Expert is going out for 65 miles tomorrow too – which will be his longest ride since his torn meniscus. And he also had a 1.5 mile run today—first run since Christmas.  Proud and so happy for him. Nothing worse than not being able to run.

Time is winding down. One more 100 miler next weekend…and then… the race is SCARY close. I can’t believe it’s “that time.”  Time flies.  And I can honestly say that I can’t wait for the experience.

Ironman can be nothing short of amazing—no matter what happens—training alone has been a life changing experience.

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Coach Monster gave me some reassurance after the workout… he swears I’m ready for this race.

He made me say, “I’m going to finish this race.”   So I said it. And I believe him.

After today, I really, really do.

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