The Big Shoulders 5k Swim
Two weekends ago, I traveled to Chicago with my Mom, a former collegiate swimmer at Purdue, to participate in the Big Shoulders 5k Swim. We met up with my Uncle Shawn, a former All-American swimmer at Auburn, who also thought swimming 5,000 meters in Lake Michigan would make for a good vacation.
Saturday morning we walked to the beach and were welcomed with 2-3 foot waves and 62 degree water temperatures. The water was frigid, but in my wetsuit I hardly noticed. The start of the swim wasn’t the usual washing machine that I’ve become accustomed to in triathlon, but sighting to the first buoy was near impossible. I followed the people in front of me and if I thought we were veering off course then I would wait until I was on the crest of wave in order to sneak a glance at the the buoy. As difficult as sighting was for the first buoy is how easy it was to sight for the next two buoys. I had heard right before the race about sighting off the ‘black and white striped building’ for the second buoy and then to aim a little left of the Ferris wheel for the third buoy. Those directions were spot on. The first loop was incredible. Swimming in the shadow of skyscrapers sure beats staring at a lane line for countless laps.
The second loop wasn’t nearly as enjoyable. I took a little bathroom break in my wetsuit after the first loop and set off on the death march that was the second loop. The lack of swimming the last three months combined with swimming my furthest distance ever started to catch up with me. The pace was horrendously slow. I was getting passed left and right by all the people in the older age groups. There were points in the swim where I had to put in surges of effort just to keep from moving backwards with the tide. It was a huge relief to finally stand up out of the water and stumble across the finish line.
My final time was 1:51:xx. My timing chip had come off in the water so I didn’t have exact results
The Corporate Cup 10k Run
Last weekend I participated in the Corporate Cup. My warmup for the race was a 10 mile bike ride to my sisters apartment which is near the start line. Taking a pre-race dookie in a legitimate toilet (as opposed to a port-john) is something I will have to do more often.
Leading up to this race, I was lucky if I could hit 8:30/mile splits. After the start, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was hitting a 7:20 pace, which kept getting faster as the race progressed. I had started about half way back in the 45-minute corral and quickly moved up through the field. It felt good to really get after it. Don’t get me wrong, it hurt like hell, but having the confidence to push it up the hills and fly on the down hills is invigorating.
I ended up running a 43:16, which comes out to a 6:58 min/mile pace. 86th out of 2,630 on a very difficult course.
Where Do You Go From Here?
I really enjoyed these two events. I didn’t enjoy the pedestrian results. I’m fed up with being middle of the pack. In order to meet my goals of swimming 1,000,000 yards, biking 10,000 miles, and running 2,000 miles I need to be much more consistent in my training. That starts now. No more sleeping in, no more skipping workouts because it’s cold, no more excuses. The swimming, biking, and running distance goals are all a part of a much larger goal which is this: In one years time, I will be a professional triathlete. Talk is cheap, results are all that matters.