Monday, March 03, 2008

Prepare for Re-Entry

Nothing beats a well-timed recovery week. I finally feel ready for my final 3-week build into my IM-AZ taper. 6 WEEKS UNTIL RACE DAY! Can you believe it? I'm getting excited. After my killer Borrego Springs training weekend, I felt trashed pretty much all week.
Friday Ocean Swim:
The ocean beckoned Friday morning, and I coaxed myself into the 57-degree waters at La Jolla Shores. The water was calm and clear as glass. Once the water was up to my waist, I knew there was no easy way around it. I dove in, the icy rush of water overwhelming my senses as it flooded down my back and burned my face. I did water-polo freestyle for a few minutes, avoiding full contact with my face. Finally, I dove underneath the surface, submerging my whole body. When I surfaced, I settled into a comfortable pace. My face was no longer burning--it had gone numb. I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of my swim. I only swam 1,000 meters but it was very soothing and relaxing. I stopped before heading in, surveying the view. One's perspective in the middle of the ocean is quite different than from shore. I felt quiet. Peaceful. Then, I swam in, letting the waves carry me in. I had forgotten had buoyant the wetsuit makes me, making bodysurfing wicked fun. Once I reached shore, I turned back and dove in for more, letting the waves carry me back once again. Nothing beats an early morning ocean swim before work.
Saturday Coastal Bike Ride:
I rode with the main TCSD group Saturday morning. I felt fresh and ready. I only wanted to do 40, and I wanted to hold back and take it easy. I loved that I finally felt good enough to have to hold myself back. It was also great to see so many familiar faces! The first 15 miles, I rode with a speedy friend, who has a competitive spirit, similar to I. Pretty soon, we found ourselves hammering. A group of roadies whizzed by, and we decided to latch onto the back. A few miles down the road, I pulled back. 24 mph is NOT a recovery ride. I knew I was subconsciously riding fast since the distance was short but that's not what I wanted. I turned around early at the 15 mile mark and found and another friend who wanted to take it easy and ride back at a conversational pace. This turned out to be a brilliant idea. Nothing like a good positive split ride for a recovery workout, eh?
Sunday Black's Beach Run:
After raging pretty hard in the Gaslamp Saturday night (hey, it's a recovery week!), I had no desire to wake up at the crack of dawn. I felt pretty good Sunday morning, just tired. I dragged myself to Torrey Pines State Beach and ran south. The beach was dotted with other walkers, joggers, and runners. The sky was a clear blue, the sun was bright and warm, and the ocean was a vivid mix of blues. The water was calm, and the waves were crisp. Numerous surfers were taking advantage of the perfect swells. So were the dolphins. I counted at least 12 on my run! They are so beautiful! That's got to be a good omen. I felt really fresh as I ran down the beach. My feet found the hard-packed sand, just past where the tips of the waves' fingers reached the shore. I ran as close as I could to the edge of the water, taunting each wave as it threatened to lap me. The packed, wet sand was very smooth; I felt like I was running on a sheet of glass. It was a beautiful run and put me in good spirits. Afterwards, I took off my shoes to dip my toes in the water. Either the water was warmer than Friday or the run had warmed me up. Regardless, the water felt luxurious and healing on my feet. I waded in further and further, until I was up to my waist.
I am now officially in my final 3-week Build leading up to my taper for IM-AZ. The final push. And I am ready.


Toby G said...

Hi Rachel, your description of the ocean swim was fantastic. It seems sooo cold but the temps have finally started to rise. Daylight savings on Sunday!

I also keep a blog that Brian Long links to from his site. I occasionally drop in and read about your training and competition and I wanted to leave you a comment this time.

You have such positive spirits heading in to this race. Keep up the great work!

Sherry said...

Sounds like a beautiful recovery week! Literally! I keep telling my husband that when we retire I want to move to SoCal for the pretty scenery and temperate climate.

Only six weeks until IM AZ! Wow! How quickly time passes. Bang out these next three weeks and then enjoy that taper!!!

triguyjt said...

I use frigid swims like that to tone my facial muscles..haha....

your recovery week is way ahead of mine...

az is around the corner

Shawn said...

I can't wait to try swimming in the ocean. Right now the ocean is around 41 degrees, a little cold. You commentment to training is awesome and inspiring. WTG!

Rainmaker said...

The ocean sounds awesome, I wish I could just got for ocean swims like that at a whim.

24MPH...damn girl! That in and of itself would induce a recovery ride.

beth said...

it was great to see you on saturday night! next time we need to hang out more! you going to the TCSD campout at all?

TriGirl Thea said...

Wow! What a beautiful description! :)

Six weeks til IM-AZ - how exciting...and the same time. The final stretch eh? Nothing can stop you now!

(Sending many loud cheers your way)

Carole Sharpless said...

Rachel ~

I somehow found myself on your blog... ? Keep fighting the good fight, sister. Go get 'em in Arizona....

Train on ~
Sharpie :)

Kewl Nitrox said...

Beautifully written, as always. This must be the best place to be - in recovery after a tough, tough bike and run.