another beautiful day in paradise

This morning, the conditions are virtually the same as yesterday…clear skies, calm Gulf waters, bit of a wind, and a little warmer…54F coming up to 8am…nice.

The forecast for race day, and the days around it still look great…high 70’sF in the afternoon…so it looks like it’s going to be a bit warm for the run, so will need to adjust down to a slower pace to compensate…low 50’s in the morning…clear skies…so far.

So first swim in the Gulf yesterday…I waited until later in the day to get a bit ‘rougher’ conditions than the morning glass…but the water was calm all day…a few ripples…but that was about it.

I forget just how clear the water is…beautiful…and very salty…great for bouyancy…bad for swallowing…water temperature was 74F…very nice.

Swam almost an hour, down the beach to the race venue, then a couple of laps from the beach, out to a marker buoy, and back to the beach and out again.  No real current at all that was discernable….very straightforward.

…there are jellyfish though…not a lot but did see a few…I’m not a marine life expert but I do know that from years past these tend to be the low/no stinging variety…not like those nasty man-o-war variety that created issues for Diana Nyad on her swim…so just to add some interest…a few schools of fish went slowly by…just a very pleasant swim in the Gulf.

I did wear my wetsuit and Heart Rate monitor…and new goggles…again…I’ve been having an issue with leaking goggles since I dropped those last few pounds…face contours seemed to have changed a bit…so I’ve gone back to Speedo Vanquisher’s…the older model…I get a bit of pressure on the nose bridge…but they fit the eyeball socket rather tightly…not comfortable…but didn’t leak yesterday, so that was good…tinted for the morning sun as it rises over the water.

So for almost an hour I was practising my stroke mechanics…working continously to dial in a relaxed form…as you can see by my Heart Rate graph, I’m definitely relaxed…when swimming, just under 1oo Heart Rate…the ‘peaks’ where it went slightly higher were actually when I was getting out of the water onto the beach for those couple of laps out to the buoy and back.

…almost too funny at the low level of effort…I am moving…I can see the sandy bottom going by…and you know, if I’m out there for 1:30-1:40 with a 100 Heart Rate to start my day…instead of 10 minutes faster with a 120-130 Heart Rate…I’ll take the relaxed start, and save the heart beats for the rest of the day

…of course, if I was 10-15 minutes faster _and_ a nice relaxed Heart Rate…I’d have an ideal swim…not this year…but maybe some day…as it turns out, if I add a lot more effort right now, I’m just not translating it into enough extra speed to make enough of a difference…so slow, steady, and ‘pretty’ I go 🙂

…and on race day, my Heart Rate tends to run a lot higher…so it’ll be interesting to see the difference

…and I followed the swim with an hour on the bike…once again to dial in my race day power and see what my Heart Rate is coming out of the transition area for comparative race day purposes

…191 Watts out of transition with a 115’ish Heart Rate…made the turnaround, moved it up to 198 Watts, and peak heart rate just under 120HR…so right on the numbers…even a bit lower than it’s been…19.2MPH going out…19.5MPH coming back…bit of a crosswind

…very nice ‘numbers’

If this were a space shuttle launch, at this very moment, it would be all systems Go

Finished the day with a drive down the beach to a favorite rooftop bar to watch the sunset with IronDaughter

…lovely dinner, down the road at a great restaurant…catching up on conversation

…priceless 🙂

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