Sunday, May 17, 2009

MI Beginner Triathlete Training Day at ILRA

Alright, first and foremost... today was awesome!  Gwen and I had a blast out in Brighton at the Island Lake Recreation Area with a bunch of other folks from Beginner Triathlete.  The weather was beautiful (a little chilly but pleasant) and there was a great turnout... around 20 people.  Here's a group pic... I'm on the far right squinting.  Makes me look like Sloth from "The Goonies."

There were two "courses" set up for the day; Sprint and Olympic.  In addition to that people were doing all sorts of things; aqua-bike, duathlon, run only, bike only, etc. etc.  I chose the Olympic Distance course and although we didn't have an "official" clock I came in somewhere around 2 1/2 hours.  Granted, there were a couple of stops in there and T-1 and T-2 took about 15 minutes total... but I was still pretty happy with the time.

To start the training off we all jumped into Spring Mill Pond.  Most of us were wearing wetsuits although there were a couple of brave souls that went sans protection and toughed it out.  The water was probably 55-60 degrees which isn't so bad when you consider that the air temperature was about 50 degrees.  At any rate, I came prepared with a wetsuit... and despite it being the first time that I've swam in a wetsuit I felt very strong.  Gwen told me that I was looking quite strong... but she's my wife and she's supposed to say that type of thing (just like my Mom telling me I was the cutest boy in school).  I was a little worried pre-swim about having a tough time adjusting to the fit/feel of the wetsuit while swimming but it wasn't bad at all.  I had one brief moment where I felt like I was having a hard time getting air but it passed quickly and I stayed calm throughout.  Below is a picture Gwen took of me getting out of the water and heading to T-1:

It's been a long time since I've come out of the water and hopped on the bike and it took me a minute to gather my legs (and wits) about me before heading out for the 24 mile ride.  Once I got out on the road I was feeling great and it was a really nice course.  It was basically a circuit with some decent little hills and chances to pick up some speed on the flats.  There were a TON of roadies out while we were riding and it definitely seems like a good place to get out and train... if it were closer than 2 1/2 hour away.  It was great to see a seemingly strong biking community and it was cool because there were a lot of people who noticed the Whisper and asked about it.  Hey, what can I say... if it looks good, rides good, you know it's good!  Coming off the bike I was feeling a little tired but was definitely ready to run.  Here's a pic Gwen took of me in T-2:

After I took some time throwing my shoes on and making sure I was ready to go Gwen joined me for the run!  We set out at a steady pace and made our way back out onto the course.  Again, I can't say it enough how impressed I was with the course today.  A big up to Coop from BT for taking the time to scout the course out and make sure we had the right distances to make this enjoyable for a wide variety of folks.  Gwen and I made it 4.6 miles (1.6 miles shorter than the official Olympic distance... but it was a great run nonetheless!).  After the run we took a minute to say goodbye to everyone and then were on our way!  It was a really great way to end the weekend and I would definitely encourage anyone who hasn't checked out Beginner Triathlete to do so.  It's a great resource with a lot of great people.

So, next week doesn't hold anything as exciting as this weekend but I'm looking forward to building off of what I accomplished this week.  I'm definitely going to try to get out and do some more OWS (open water swim) in the near future.  I much prefer it to swimming laps in the pool... but I don't think there are many who DO prefer the pool.

Hope everyone had a great weekend...

Later on...


  1. The water temp here is Southern Mississippi is already in the 80's - my wetsuit is shuttered for the year.

  2. The 80's?!?!?! That's hot tub warm!