Thursday, August 30, 2012

the swim

time to start thinking about the course of ironman western australia.  the busselton course is famous for a few things - one of which is the swim.  pete jacobs thinks it is the best swim course in the world.  every year there is the busselton jetty swim which is the same swim but a stand alone open water swim.  i was meant to do it but withdrew due to the low iron issue.  it would have been a great confidence booster.

the busselton jetty has been around forever and has been restored with a train that goes out to the end - the jetty is 1.8km long and straight out to sea in geographe bay.  at the end of the jetty they have an underwater observatory with an online web cam. it is probably the only open water swim course that you can walk.  i spent quite a bit of time as a kid crabbing off this jetty.  i also remember the stingers.  

so the swim starts on the right side of the jetty and you swim straight out and turn around at the end and swim back.   sounds easy right ?  while the conditions are usually quite calm this is not guaranteed.  at this years 70.3 the waves, seaweed and sun were terrible and we were only 200m offshore.  as you can see from the photo adjacent it looks like the first part would be like swimming in an aquarium - and alot of people will tell you this is true.  it is that last deep dark part that bothers me just a little bit.  

the longest open water event i have done is 2.5k so faced with 3.8k i am not concerned.  while i am not a fast swimmer i am a strong swimmer.  i plan on covering the distance as a stand alone training swim in the pool prior to the event.  i also have to test out and decide whether i want two caps or one.  i need to make sure the wetsuit is stretched and lubed up.  and i have a really good warm up.

my other dilemma is the mass start.  i have done some open water events that have been a single wave start but not this size.  i know that i will start at the back.  i dont have a problem with this as i know that i will re-gain any lost ground the further i swim. 
i have to wait until i know what the conditions are before i decide whether to start on the inside and closest to the jetty or begin on the right and allow for drift.  i want to swim with a group but not too big and hopefully i will not get bashed around too much.  

my other concern is the big bad shark.  they changed the half ironman course due to the diver fatality a bit further up the coast earlier this year.  we have had five fatal shark attacks in the last ten months.  only one was a swimmer - swimming alone at cottesloe.  sharks have been spotted around the jetty.  this supports my decision to try and swim with a group of people.  safety in numbers.  i think that if there is a sighting or an attack in this area close to the event they will not let us swim around the jetty.  they will keep us closer to shore and probably change it to a two lap course.  

Monday, August 27, 2012

howdy stranger

okay so i havent blogged in awhile.  this is not because i havent had time or that i have been too tired.  i just havent had that much to say.  even now i dont know if i really have anything that interesting to mention.  is this what ironman training does to you ?  makes you even more one dimensional ?

it is 15 weeks until ironman western australia.  it is 8 weeks until mandurah 70.3.  i was right about trying to train through winter.  it sucks.  i hate getting out of bed.  i dont have as much energy when it is cold as when it is warm.  i like the heat.  i have just completed an adaptation week of my training and it really will be the last time that i have any spare time and opportunity to do anything besides train, eat and sleep.  i have been getting things organised.  i have had both bikes - the crisis bike and the roadie correctly fitted.  i finally found someone who could be trusted to 'do' the right thing and not rip me off.  the roadie has a different seat post which gives a position that is similar to the triathlon bike.  the triathlon bike had the seat raised quite a bit and the front end moved forward and lowered.  this position means i use my glutes more and should help my legs for the run.  but it made it quite uncomfortable to ride the roadie for long periods on the windtrainer - being in a different position.  the other problem i had to resolve was the seat.  ouch.  i dont need to go into the details.  all bike riders have been there.  so coach ironman suggested i buy a selle smp glider.  it is ugly but fuck it works.  i also had to spend a stupid amount of money buying another bottle cage frame to fit.  anything x-lab is a rip off.  the bottle cages are too erect so i still have to move them back.

i have two new swim toys.  my swimming has felt really good.  i have been consistent.  the key to any good training.  consistency.  i had a wetronome but it was a bugger to use so i invested in a finis tempo trainer and i love it.  i love setting a lap time, getting ahead of it and hanging on.  i also use the stroke rate quite a bit and this $50 tool keeps my swims honest and gets me working even when i am alone.  my other toy was the  swim garmin.  i have a garmin 310 (which we all know i love) but i still couldnt justify upgrading to the 910.  the 910 basically includes the swim garmin.  this was on sale for $130 so i could not resist.  while it is not perfect (if you do not swim the whole lap it can throw the lap time out) i enjoy using it and will really start looking at the numbers in the next few weeks.  what i like the most about it is it gives an honest and accurate report on your swim performance.  so now it is confirmed in another format.  i suck at swimming.

i read a really good article yesterday about blogging.  i needed some inspiration.

1. candor - be honest.  i have read blogs where people are brutally honest and leave nothing out about their lives and i think they are popular because it is like reality television in someways.  i am honest about what i want people to know but i dont think people need to know everything.
2. constructive.  basically dont dwell on just the numbers.  while training specifics can be interesting to most it will be boring.  people want to know more than just how far you rode or ran.
3. content.  people want pictures and video.  i agree.  i love it when people include this detail.  it makes everything real and you get to see how other people live and who they are.
4. consistent.  see this not only applies to training but it applies to blogging as well.
5. catalyst.  i need to make everyone a part of the journey with the catalyst being the ironman finish line.

ironman training is 90% physical and 10% mental.  race day is 90% mental and 10% physical.  i think this is true.  i am still stuck in the mind fuck that no one thinks i will finish and i have also realised that no one actually cares whether i finish or not.  i think this pisses me off more.  so i have to prove them all wrong and then i will get a big fucking tattoo so they know that i proved them wrong.  it is a mind field of a head fuck.  i have 15 weeks to determine why i am really doing this.  i do not have anyone to train with and i will not have anyway there to cheer me on.  i am going to have to have something to get me to the finish line.

molly dog says hello.  she is doing fine.