Taking a family vacation so soon after an away game marathon in Seattle put me a bit behind in triathlon training. The month of June was focused primarily on running. Post marathon, I had gotten in a 10 mile muscle loosening ride mid-week and a 53 mile ride over the weekend. My week in DC, however, yielded nothing more than walking my legs into the ground. Yes, Salome & I brought our running gear with us to DC, but we simply could not get ourselves out the door for a run knowing we would walk 6 to 8 hours that day. I also realize that I had not been for a real swim session since just before St. Anthony's in late April.
We had a sprint triathlon on the calender for the weekend of July 18th-19th, but which one to do? The Fort Lauderdale Sprint Triathlon scheduled for Saturday is part of a series throughout the State of Florida put on by the Publix Supermarket chain. Last year, this was Salome & my first triathlon ever, so this was the sentimental favorite. Besides, its our local event. Unfortunately, the organizers decided to cut the run portion from a 3.1 mile run to a 1.7 mile run. I was a bit put off by making the sprint event even shorter than what I considered a minimal distance. I'm training for a full ironman. How can they start shortening the course?
The other alternative race on Sunday is in Key Biscayne as part of a series of true sprint distance events. When we were away, however, we receive an e-mail informing us that due to emergency repair work on a bridge on Key Biscayne, the venue would be changing from the usual staging area at the end of Key Biscayne to the Marine Stadium closer to the Powell Bridge. Upon further investigation, we found out that the bike portion is being shortened to 8 miles. Thus, neither event would be a standard sprint distance. Both would be short courses. We were also concerned about any logistical problems in moving the staging area to a new location, so we opted for our home course. Support your local races I always say.
Awakened from our training slumber, Salome & I did a sprint bike/run brick on Sunday. Man, did it get hot on that run. In the afternoon, we took our son Alex to the beach and traded off times to swim in the open water. Oops! I swallowed a nice gulp of salt water. My stroke rhythm was nowhere to be found. Not good. I put in a call to tri buddy, Jacques Watters and announced it was time to get back to the pool.
So this week has been "kick it back into gear" week. We've were at the pool on Monday and Tuesday mornings. On the second day, it felt like swimming again. A nice body roll and easy arm turn replaced the clunkiness of Sunday at the beach and an awkward first pool session on Monday. To that, I've added an 11 mile bike session at high effort and a treadmill speed workout. Tomorrow, Jacques and I will do an open water beach swim as a dry run for Saturday.
Yes, its time to return to the training fold. The events start to get longer and the bike and swim sessions will go longer. Two weeks out from this weekend's tri is an Olympic distance event. After that, John & I are signed up for a half IM in Clermont in late September. That only sets the stage for the final push to the full IM in late November. Yes, this weekend begins the long, slow uphill climb towards our ultimate goal. No more down cycles; its all uphill from here.
It feels good knowing I'm coming out of the solo focus on running and back into multi-sport cross training. This is why I got into the whole triathlon scene a year ago. I look forward to the slow build up in time and distance. I'm almost anxious for this weekend's sprint to be over so I can go longer in the pool and on rides. I may think differently come the month of October, but here we go!