Saturday, September 24, 2011

Slowest Guy in the Pool...for now

I started swimming with the Masters group twice a week at the Bob Sierra YMCA and I'm officially the slowest guy in the pool. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, I'm just stating the cold, wet facts. Most of the group are members of the local T3 Tampa Tri Team triathlon club and have been doing these workouts all season long, while I just started. I'm getting back into a regular training routine and I know I need to build up my swimming endurance and work on technique, so this is perfect for me.

In the first workout I attended, I was working hard to keep up and though I didn't realize it at the time, the coach cut out 600 yards of my workout so I would finish around the same time as everyone else.  2,700 yards in an hour was pretty good for me.

In the second workout, I only missed one repetition of 6 sets and I was thankful that we ran out of time. After a bunch of other laps, we swam 75 yards, jumped out of the pool, did 10 push ups, swam 50 more yards, did 10 more push ups and then did an easy 25. On alternate sets, we did 5 jump squats instead of push ups and by the end, it was all I could do to haul my body out of the pool and flop on the deck before beginning the push ups or squats.

On the third workout, I actually finished everything the coach handed out. Thank goodness for timed intervals that allowed me to catch up before the next set started. I got less rest than my lane mate, but at least I could catch up. This workout was more focused on endurance with 4 x 200's, 3 x 300's and a timed 500 at the end of the hour long workout. I finished the swim hungry and tired, but that's a good thing. I'm thankful for the supportive coach and the faster swimmers who are making me work harder to keep up. I'm sore, but happy with the results.  For now, I'm the slowest guy in the pool and I'm OK with that.  I'll keep coming back.

Also, because the swim workout starts so early I have time for a quick run after the swim.  This has been a great way to test out my new Newton running shoes, but that's another story.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Ironman LP Journey - Accommodations...Check

Finding a place to stay in Lake Placid is a breeze if...

  1. You start looking the day after you register (ideally in Lake Placid since you would be there volunteering or racing, which I was not!)
  2. You plan to stay for 7 nights (eek, I only really need 4)
  3. You have a truckload of money ($3,500+...mere pocket change...NOT!)
While my experience was not a breeze, I'm pleased to report that after much emailing, phone calling and searching, I can check this off the long list of things to do before next July.  We'll be staying at "Grammie's House", about 5 minutes walk to the swim start and transition area, under the care of the home's 84 year old owner, Harriet.
Grammie's House Exterior
Grammie's Kitchen

Grammie's House only requires a 5 night stay and is over 4 1/2 times less expensive (you do the math)  and to top it off, Harriet is a sweetheart.  We had a great phone conversation and she told me about living in Lake Placid and how it's a beautiful place regardless of the season.  She told me about how she takes daily walks on a nearby trail and how tropical storm Lee washed out a number or roads in the Lake Placid area and she's hoping they are repaired soon.  We're looking forward to staying at "Grammie's House" and meeting our kind hostess Harriet in July.

Next up...Transportation.
We're thinking of taking the Amtrak Auto Train from Orlando, FL to Lorton, VA and doing some sightseeing on our way to Lake Placid, NY.  Sounds like a family vacation is taking shape.  Very exciting.