I love the smell of neoprene in the morning. Some triathletes love the smell of chlorine and I've never understood that. Pool chemicals-gross-and so bad for you. I prefer the smell of neoprene because it means my wetsuit which means summer and the excitement of race morning and open water swimming without the limits of lane lines and walls and stinky chemicals and psycho overcompetitive triathletes tailing me and watching the clock and are we on the 7th or 8th 100 out of 12 and what was the interval again? I love swimming in the Rez, enough to get up at 5:30 a.m. so I can be there on time for my early morning masters group swim. Usually the water is freezing at this time of year but temps were in the 90's yesterday and more of the same predicted for today. I had Strum at the Rez last night for a swim session and the water felt o.k. but I didn't venture in past the shoreline so I figured it might still be cold further in but when I got in this morning I was shocked at how nice it was. Now it was not warm, I needed my full wetsuit, but it wasn't that horrible take your breath away, what the hell am I thinking type cold either that you would normally get this time of year.
There's always a tense moment when I have to squeeze into my wetsuit for the first swim of the season. Will it fit? Some wetsuits have a decent range of weights/body sizes that will accomodate each suit size but mine fits relatively closely and doesn't allow a lot of room for winter indulgence. Somehow though I manage to squish my butt in for yet another year. Phew, what a relief, those suits are expensive.
Usually my first open water workout of the season is spent swimming back and forth parallel to the shore line for maybe 10-15 minutes because for some reason I freak out the first time I'm back in the open water. But today I started right into the 900-1000 yard loop course with no fuss or muss. The courses vary so it's hard to compare but usually they take me 20-23 minutes or so. Today's took just over 19. Of course it could be shorter than normal but still I was pleased enough to be able to do a whole lap my first time out let alone at a good clip. I felt like a wuss getting out after only one lap but I didn't want to push it and poor Lola was in the car freaking out about being at the Rez and not being out in the water playing with me. She was barking when I left her and I hope she didn't bark the whole time I was gone. I thought Memorial Day was the cutoff for dogs being allowed at the Rez but when I drove in the sign said May 15th (oops) so she was S.O.L. I let her out at the entrance to the Rez to play on the grass there but it's not the same as being in the water. Maybe tonight I'll take her to the north side of the Rez which is open to dogs year round but fills up with naked hippies and rattlesnakes during the summer months so I don't like to go there normally.
I got to work feeling all relaxed and happy only to be greeted with the news that my swim coach's brother, Dave Scott, had been hit by a car over the weekend while cycling on a street in my neighborhood where I walk the dogs all the time. For the non-triathletes out there, Dave Scott is something of an icon in the triathlon world. He won the Hawaii Ironman a zillion times as a pro and continues to race and coach athletes here in Boulder and is an all around nice guy. His sister Jane has been the swim coach of my master program since I started a zillion years ago and though I thought it weird that she wasn't at practice this morning I didn't give it all that much thought. I'm not sure if she was missing because of her brother but it's not often that she misses practice. There weren't a lot of details about the accident, only that it was bad enough that he needed shoulder surgery and that there was a big dent in the car. The stretch of road where he was hit is a very quiet, low speed suburban road, not a place you would expect to get hit. Anyway, that was an unfortunate jolt to the morning and I'm hoping he recovers quickly.
In completely unrelated news I rode a new (to me) trail with some friends over the weekend up near Horsetooth Reservoir in Fort Collins. The Blue Sky trail is only a few years old and it was fabulous. Beautiful smooth single track, rolling green hills with red cliffs at the top, gorgeous wild flowers, quad busting climbs and whee-ha descents, who could ask for more? Unfortunately I forgot my Camelback so had no way to carry my camera and didn't want to risk it falling out of my jersey rear pocket so I have no pictures. Darn, I guess I'll have to go back to get some.
There was a USDAA trial this weekend that I missed for various reasons but mostly to save money since it would have required an overnight stay and I have to say I'm sure I had just as much if not more fun riding that trail than I would have had trying to drag Lola around an agility course in the hot sun on Sunday. I'm debating whether I should enter her in the July 4th weekend trial since it's usually so hot. I was only planning on entering Standard and Gamblers with her but maybe I should bag it altogether and spend the money on triathlon entry fees. On the other hand my knee has been so wonky I go back and forth about whether I should race this year and surely Lola would be o.k. with 2 runs for 2 days, especially with the first run of the day and it's only 45 minutes away. Ah, decisions. At least they are good decisions.
I have lots to write about Strummer's dogwalk but the internet went kaput at my house and I've sort of been enjoying not being on the computer at home so I probably won't have it replaced anytime soon and I've been busy on my lunch hours at work so not much time for blogging I'm afraid. This weekend's DOCNA trial should be interesting. Thankfully there's only one dogwalk in Standard to worry about if I keep him off it for Gamblers. This running dogwalk training has certainly challenged my training abilities and my sanity. Fun! I think.