These past few months (and I can't imagine it is related to the underwear so there is a prime example of correlation does not equal causation) there have been a LOT of walkers on the jungle path I run on. It is wonderful to see so many more people taking control of their health. I love seeing all them out there. But the other morning I was doing my 90 min run, which is 3 laps of the path and a little more thrown in, and on lap number 2 came along an unnerving cheerleader. It wasn't so much What she said but the Way I took it - "GREAAAT job!" that immediately made me think she was encouraging her 100 yo grandma in taking her first step out of the hospital bed. I know I have a distorted view of my "youth" and my "run" likely puts Newton's first law to great stress but I have always thought I was doing okay out there. I did render her pretty speechless when I was coming back around for my 3rd (to her it would have been 2nd) lap, so there is that...
I've been event-crazy this year and signing up for at least 1 event a month. This month I decided on the Puerto Morelos open water 1.25, 5 and 10 K swim. I found it ranked number 49 (IIRC) on the world's top 100 swims so that was a huge selling point right there. The fact that there would be no travel or hotel costs was another AND when I finally made it to the event I was able to get swimming federation signup at a fraction of the cost so really, I was SAVING money by doing the event. Right?
At any rate, I have a longer goal of a 10K swim from Cancun to Isla Mujeres in May and wanted to see how bad this 5K would feel. I had an absolutely AWFUL 5K last year in Bacalar and was curious about the increased swimming (albeit limited according to Slowtwitch standards) I've been doing over the past few months and what effect it might have on my swim. I was pretty worried beforehand as the seas down here (70km away or so?) were pretty rough and I was not looking forward to 3+ hours trying not to drown and seriously considered trying to downgrade to the 2.5K.
I finished swimming. So really, the swim was just going to be a warmup.
I was so impressed with the event staff. I was able to do package pickup just before the event AND paid a year of federation fees at about half off, so if I do the 10K and Bacalar this year I'm already paid for those. Otherwise I made I nice donation. They ran the 10K swimmers first and then the kids. They had kids doing 250m, 1k and maybe other distances. We were a little ways down from the start and didn't really listen well but I was really impressed with the organization. They were even running awards to the kids and earlier events while we 5K'ers and 10K'ers finished up our swims. This was their 9th event and pretty popular. There were kids from all over the country here and it also seems that this is a selection event for the national open water 5K team, so super popular.
We had a good current against us at the far point to the point where you seriously wondered if you were making progress. Luckily, even though we were the furthest out to sea at that point the sea bottom was the most shallow, so you could see your progress very well. Actually, the whole course had excellent visibility (the norm for here) but surprising to me as rough water here usually results in murky water. I had one monster leg cramp and thought I'd have to abandon along the beginning of the 4th (last) lap as I was totally unable to swim. Luckily one of the guys swimming behind me told me to grab a buoy (doh) and I was able to use it to stretch the leg out. I was really happy with how good I felt considering my last 5K and while I was tired at the finish I definitely had more in me and the top 3 in my age group all finished within 5 minutes of each other. That massive cramp, however, was likely a good indicator that I had reached my fitness limit so I now need to buckle down and train if I'm going to do double the distance.
I snagged 3rd and a nice plaque and while I'm rather disappointed with my time, I'm very happy with how good I felt during the swim and how strong I felt throughout the swim, especially in comparison to Bacalar last year.
Next week we have the 45km time trial so after stuffing my face Jamie and I headed to T1 to change and head out for a 50km bike ride and recon the route. Wicked winds very different from last year but we're still hoping all the TSS training we've been doing will allow us to podium again this year. Jamie wants to take the entire road division (they split the prizes between road and tri bikes) and he just might do it. I'm really looking forward (and with dread as this event is a KILLER) to see if I can better my time from last year and kick some more young ass. I'll likely be the oldest one there again and I LOVE beating ladies much younger than I. Nice to bring home some change too. I know it is going to hurt so much though and there lies the dread.
Not sure what else I have in store this month - I think we're going to Holbox for a run mid month and while I have no aspirations for my 10K (other than to break an hour again), I'm REALLY looking forward to visiting the island. It will be a long weekend for the kids (school) but since the boys are deep into practice for Aida, they'll be staying at home, taking advantage for dress rehearsals at Xcaret.