Yesterday was my first swim of the summer—actually, my first in a few years. It was also my first lake swim; I biked up to Olive Beach and swam along Lake Shore Drive. Truth be told, it amounted to my first triathlon in a few years—as I biked there and back (18 miles round trip, 1:25 total), swam for 20 minutes (about a half mile), and then ran for 3 miles or so (24 minutes).
It was more than 2 hours of exercising, so that is pretty good.
The swim was hard. My arms went in five minutes of crawl stroke; I alternated breast stroke and crawl stroke the rest of the way. Even breast stoking, my arms were tired. (They were very sore today.)
I made lots of old mistakes. Forgot to take off my wedding ring; when the cold water shrinks my fingers, I worry I will lose my loose ring. I bonked; didn’t eat any breakfast, not even my usual hard-boiled egg. I completed my workout at 1:00, so the bike ride home (against the wind) was slow. I’ve done this workout many times before, but not for a few years, so I forgot a few things.
Later that day I did talk with my wife about entering the Chicago Triathlon. “Can you still do that? Hasn’t the deadline passed?” were the firstquestions. “What about your cross country schedule?” was another.
These were perfectly legitimate ways to raise the question, “Do you really think you are ready for this?”
Actually, the Chicago Triathlon on Sunday, August 26, is probably the only event that actually fits my August schedule. We start cross country practice on Wednesday, August 8, and school begins with our first faculty days a week later.
There are a couple other options for triathlon events in July, but I’d like to get a decent number of swims in before a competition. Two swims a week, about a mile each workout, before the Chicago Triathlon would make me more confident. The swim is always the part of the event that worries me the most.
Besides, Chicago is the benchmark event, one that I’ve done before. I will be slower, I know, than I was the last time I competed—seven years or so ago. But because I have done it before, it would mean that much more to do the same event again.