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Monday pep talk: take rest day seriously!

Monday, July 02, 2012

It's now less than four weeks to my tri, and the training schedule is shifting once again. From here on out the workouts are longer / more intense... but there are TWO rest days on each week's schedule. The goal now is to allow the body the recovery time, and avoid injury!

So, that's the plan, Stan.

On the home front, reading news of power outages and thinking of Spark friends who might be affected. When I mentioned it being all over the news that folks are without AC to my son, he commented that there are lots of soldiers without AC in the heat of Afghanistan... and asked if that made the news, too?

Got the message loud and clear, Son: Remember that we are not the center of the universe... we've sent these guys and gals into conditions we whine about if we see them here. They don't have power crews working around the clock to "fix" it... it's just not there. Don't forget that they ARE there. It's easy to be complacent here at home, and focus on our "first world" problems.

Meantime, I swim, bike, and run away from my maternal worries. Yesterday morning, I biked on the MoPac trail, out into the countryside, in the relative cool of the morning. In my mind I ran a comparison to the trail I rode in Wisconsin a couple weeks back. This close to town, ours is a little better maintained, and more used. I encountered several other cyclists, several joggers, a handful of dog-walkers... all pre-8 a.m. on a Sunday.

The day heated up as predicted, and my second outing, a "brisk walk, 30 minutes" was not my speediest brisk pace at 6:15 p.m.

emoticon And this morning, I'm off to work, with a stop at the post office to ship a few things to my son, including a birthday card, in the hopes it reaches him by the day itself, mid-month.

Live your life! Remember others, but also take care of YOU. Don't take a single day for granted. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 7/10/2012 9:23PM

    So many take for granted what they have as our sons and daughters are living and fighting in extreme conditions every day. emoticon

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KARIDIAN1 7/3/2012 10:33PM

    Be careful and don;t overdo!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 7/3/2012 2:00PM

    Ah yes, how quickly we are to complain about the little inconveniences in life. Thank you for reminding me/us about the MANY sacrifices the men and women in our armed forces are making for us each day.

On another topic, I am slowly starting to dip my big toe back into the SP water. As frustrated and depressed as I get over the slips and slides backwards, I have learned that if I never give up there is always hope.

Here's to hope and a happy 4th! May God continue to bless this nation of ours.

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    THANK YOU! to all our men and women in tough places. Your son gets a "mental"handshake from me. I appreciate the service and sacrifice.

As to the storm, it hit Dad's trees in a big way. Of course I needn't worry about him any more, he's safe somewhere I can't go yet. I can show before/after pictures later.
The wind took 1/3 of the greater than 100 year old maple andsent it across the yard...away from the house thank goodness!

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APRILLSCOTT 7/2/2012 8:21PM

    I feel so ashamed I was talking yesterday about how bad this heat is. How bad it is on the older people, and how I did not want to step outside because it takes your breathe away. Just trying to breath in it is a chore. I do feel so bad for those without power. I would hate to be one of them. Your son is so correct. Our guys that are over there protecting our country are out in this type of weather everyday. We need to be so thankful and remember how much they do for us.

I also feel bad for my husband this morning as he was told he had to sign a paper stating that he has to work this week, and if there are complications from this weather that the company is not liable in any way shape or form. He had to do this or not have a job this morning. I thought it was pretty sorry of the company he works for. He works on the roads and they are pretty use to hot weather. All I can say is I am so thankful for him and all he does to keep this family a float. I guess American men can rough all kinds of things for their families and their countries.

Wishing you the best on your training for the Tri. Please be careful and don't overdo! emoticon

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MIZCATHI 7/2/2012 3:08PM

    My daughter is one of those affected by the derecho weather system that went through a 670 mile radius. Wow. No, it's not Afghanistan. He's got a huge point.

Makes me feel kind of guilty sitting in my AC office having fun on my computer!

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_LINDA 7/2/2012 3:07PM

    Good for your son reminding us we actually have it easy here, and its all thanks to the military protecting us and giving us our freedom! I personally, would never use A/C, think its bad for my health and the enviroment. We are having high humidity here and I am not used to the sweat pouring off me when working out, but will never put any excuses up and still will just get it done. The gyms I go to also do not have A/C.
Good for you taking the rest days -this is something I have trouble doing. I feel if I don't move it I will lose it..
Good luck with your training, water being your new best friend to ward off the effects of that heat..

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KASEYCOFF 7/2/2012 3:03PM

    You're so right about how easy it is to overdo it, especially when the temps climb - sounds like your plan is right on track, tho. Do you think someone could take a bit of video so you can post us a clip of The Big Event?

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PENNYAN45 7/2/2012 2:09PM

    Your son had a good message for all of us - with a new perspective on all our 'problems.'

And you, too, Barb, are a real inspiration for us.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and views with us each day.

You are a bright shining light leading the way.


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SLENDERELLA61 7/2/2012 2:02PM

    Taking the rest days seriously is good advice. I was really tired yesterday. Not sure if it was my run on Sunday, didn't eat enough, didn't sleep well enough, or perhaps fighting off a cold - my throat's kind of scratchy and DD and DGKs have coughs. Anyway, I rested, and enjoyed my run today.

Thanks for reminding us of our young men and women who serve. Bless them.

Sounds like you are totally committed and right on track on your training. Good job!!

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WATERMELLEN 7/2/2012 1:53PM

    Not taking a single day for granted. And: thanks to your son for the reminder. All best to him and all his buddies. It's not a job anyone wants to do, but it's a job that has to be done.

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ANDI571 7/2/2012 11:52AM

    Wow, your son makes one think doesn't he? We have a tendency to sit in our comfort and forget what our soldiers have to endure.

My daughter was without her electric for 12 hours on Friday, and several in the neighborhood they were still working on throughout the weekend. We were lucky and didn't lose it at all.

Again, you are awesome!

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MSLZZY 7/2/2012 11:29AM

    Live life in the here and now and count your
blessings. It all can change in the blink of an
eye. So glad you gave me something to think
on today. HUGS!

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1CRAZYDOG 7/2/2012 9:44AM

    Barb, you hit the nail on the head. My thoughts are with our soldiers enduring conditions we've sent them to. Wishing your son safety and a very happy birthday!!

I do feel very badly for those without power, displaced by storm damage and other results of the catastrophic weather for sure. Wishing them safety as well. But let's not forget our soldiers.

HUGS, Barb.

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KALIGIRL 7/2/2012 8:14AM

    Here's to living life gratefully!

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LEANJEAN6 7/2/2012 8:05AM

    Good advice Barb!!---- And Happy Birthday to son #1--(yers!)--Lynda

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BRASKIN 7/2/2012 7:46AM

  good luck with the workouts....

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GOLFERGIRL21 7/2/2012 7:42AM

    Thank you so much for this blog. My cousin just got back in April from a 12 month deployment in Afghanistan, and will be going back within the year.

Good luck with your workouts! And yes- REST is great :)

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Next four weeks will be busy

Sunday, July 01, 2012

This weekend I have no formal commitments, thank goodness. And I will probably try to lay low over the 4th of July holiday, too. I am preserving my personal energy for the events that are my own passion. Selfish? Maybe. Worth it? Yeah.

Two Sundays, starting next weekend, I have promised chauffeur services for my sis and her daughter to see the matinee of the Melodramas at a State Park nearby. That will satisfy my "see family" need.

I have three Saturday races in a row, starting two weeks from yesterday: a color run 5K (never done a color run before, this should be fun), the following Saturday the 750 meter Open Water Swim, and then a week later, the "main event", my first officially timed Sprint Distance triathlon.

The training plan is sitting at its longest distances for the next three weeks, then it will dial back to taper in the big race week. Am I a little concerned about tucking those two other races in the mix? Not really... the color run is on a day that would have a longer run on it... but I figure the fact it's a race makes it a speedwork day, instead. No biggie. The open water swim is at the start of the taper, and it's on a long run day, too... if I feel the need, I'll do a medium run that day in addition to the race... or not. There's time to make these decisions.

July is here! Getting close!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 7/10/2012 9:20PM

    I know you are getting psyched!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KALIGIRL 7/2/2012 8:23AM

    Getting VERY close!

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    You are so energetic!

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SUNNY332 7/1/2012 10:37PM

    I am all for doing what you need to do for yourself. Look at all the years you put yourself last. You have a photo that reflects where this got you. Being your best always takes sacrifices so so what you have to do. The payoff has been and will continue to be worth it all.

Your ROCK!


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ALOHAEV1 7/1/2012 9:21PM

    Hmmm, color run - is that running with crayons? emoticon

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KARIDIAN1 7/1/2012 9:03PM

    Be sure to take some time for yourself.

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MSLZZY 7/1/2012 3:27PM

    You are going to have fun and challenging yourself
inbetween. You just have the time of your life and tell
us all about it. I know you will do awesome. HUGS!

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MNTWINSGAL 7/1/2012 2:13PM

    I can just feel your excitement as I read your words. This is going to be a blast for you. Keep up the good work - you make us all proud!

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_LINDA 7/1/2012 1:33PM

    Sounds like some great plans, these mini tune up races might just be the extra training boost to give you more confidence for the tri! Using your holiday weekend for a rest sounds good too. Enjoy!!

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1CRAZYDOG 7/1/2012 12:42PM

    You can do it! You ARE doing it!

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I give up!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Gotcha! I give up hunting for the old blog entry I wanted to link and reference... can't seem to find it in my archives. But some of you may have tripped over one where I blogged about finding the "zen" in a swim and whining that I didn't know if I'd ever get to "zen" gear in jogging/running.

It was sometime last year, that's all I know, and I scanned back to about page 14 of the blogs... so, as the church lady used to say on SNL, "never mind". We'll live without that link and trust that I once made such a statement here in a Spark blog!

The point I wanted to make in *today's* blog is that "I found it"! Zen gear while jog/running, that is! Let me explain, "zen" gear for me doesn't mean fast... it means long. There are some video games that have a "zen" mode in which score is not kept and you can just keep playing until you decide to stop. That's what running / swimming / biking in zen gear means to me.

And both Tuesday morning before work, and this morning on a long run, I seem to have found it! The gear where my mind can run free, and my body just keeps trucking. Where my breathing and my footfalls are easy, and I feel like I can just keep on forever. Of course we all know that's not true... and I will say that not every minute of my workout was in zen mode... but enough of it was for me to declare victory in my search for it.

Now, if only I felt as "zen" about the bike... that's the next goal!

Hope you're all staying safe in the heat and treating yourselves with kindness, living life full on! Life *is* good. Spark on!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRIS3874 7/10/2012 9:42PM

    Yeah its frustrating sometimes. I had another email I had wanted to use as part of my blog and do you think I could find it? Of course NOT.

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SHARON10002 7/10/2012 9:18PM

    As your body becomes accustomed to it, you'll find the "zen biking" mode.

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MSLZZY 7/1/2012 7:19AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TREESA57 7/1/2012 7:19AM

    you had me there. I thought oh no !! she isnt giving up is she?? I am happy to read you have your zen. I have achieved mine in my walking and I love it. This too will come with your biking, I hear bike shorts are a major necessity! I plan on getting a pair and maybe I will ride my bike more too.
enjoy your day

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LJCANNON 7/1/2012 12:52AM

    cONGRATULATIONS! I have felt that same way when out for a Long Walk! it is hard to describe, but it is BEYOND Wonderful! I Am so happy for You!!!

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LJCANNON 7/1/2012 12:52AM

    Sorry!! Double Post!!

Comment edited on: 7/1/2012 11:10:03 AM

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LJCANNON 7/1/2012 12:52AM

    Sorry!! Had trouble with the Borrowed I-Pad I was using!!

Comment edited on: 7/1/2012 11:08:56 AM

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CANNIE50 6/30/2012 11:59PM

    I am going for a long"ish", slow run tomorrow morning and I will be counting on that Zen gear. I am happy for you, that you have found this, and I am happy for me and the other Sparklers, that you have written about it.

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1CRAZYDOG 6/30/2012 11:47PM

    You are a role model in persistance!

Stay safe yourself in this heat!

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EBEAMS 6/30/2012 11:03PM

    I know that feeling ... and I wish it showed up for all over my runs! I was amazed this morning that the first 4 miles of the ride were slightly miserable. I was whining to myself by the 4 mile mark but by the 6 mile mark, I knew I could keep going and at the 8 mile mark I was ready to punch it up to get those last two miles in. My thighs felt like jello when I got off the bike and I was sure that I couldn't have run if I wanted to but wow, what a great experience! I am committed to doing more bike riding! I like covering more distance in a shorter time! Keep up your great work ... You are phenomenal!

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KARIDIAN1 6/30/2012 10:04PM

    You will find the bike zen, just be careful if you are in traffic!

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SUNNY332 6/30/2012 9:57PM

    I am definitely living life full on.

You will find the zen of biking. Of that, I am sure.

Home from Kansas City and glad to be home. I am tired so off to bed early.

Hugs, Sunny

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WATERMELLEN 6/30/2012 8:56PM

    We get these moments of bliss . . . now and zen!! Yay you! (And NO, I did not believe for one nanosecond that you were "giving up"!!)

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SUNNY1432 6/30/2012 8:44PM

    emoticon I hope the zen of biking comes to you soon! emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 6/30/2012 3:54PM

    Congrats on finding your running Zen gear!! Way to go. That is just great. Bet you'll find it often now --probably not every time. There are times I feel like I could just go on and on. Guess that's it!!

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BESTSUSIEYET 6/30/2012 12:19PM

    Good for you!

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Listen to the body, adjust the plan

Friday, June 29, 2012

After work yesterday, as planned, went to my sister's house and tried out her bike. It's a Trek 7300, nice and cushy... those shock absorbers on this hybrid took me by surprise at first. The gear shift on one side is backwards from the way mine works, but it is a twist shift like mine is, so with minor adjustments to my mindset, easily ridable.

One thing I found was that she has an extra gear, compared to my bike... mine is 3 x 7... hers is 3 x 8. I shifted up to the 3 almost at once, and got it up to the highest at some point on my 30 minute ride. Of course, riding from her house instead of mine, I got to cruise through some different terrain, always a joy. Saw several other crazy people out being active in the heat.

The heat, by the way: radio said the heat index was 107, as I was on my way from work to her house, and the actual temp was only 93. So you know it was steamy. I took my water bottle along, of course!

I got back to Sis's house, surrendered the bike, changed to my billed cap, grabbed the water bottle (refilled) and took off on foot, slathering sunblock on. From her house it's a matter of a few blocks to a part of the half-marathon route (the HILL), but I crossed the road there, and found my way to the starting point of a bike path. I kept the "jog/run" portion of the brick down to 10 minutes, allowing 20 to walk it on out... only doing a couple of 1-minute jogs at intervals in that bit.

When I got back to her house, toweled off, stretched, and paused for a nice visit. She had done her workout for the day in the relative cool of the morning, and she's getting ready to go visit her daughter. So we just sat and chatted, playing catch up... then I came home to a relatively late for me supper.

One pleasant thing I found in my mailbox was a letter from my son's commander over in AFG. It started out with words to make a mom's heart soar: "Your son rocks!" I am impressed with this commander. This is the second hand-written letter I have received from her... DIL has received her own.

This morning, my body is telling me a few things: 1) I sit on my sister's bike slightly differently than on my own, and in turn, my shoulders are excercised differently OR 2) The strength workout I did Wednesday after work was adding to the shoulders' response; and 3) something in the air is giving my sinus passages a hard time. Ugh!

Anyway, the adjustment for today is to defer the 1000 yard swim until after work. Once again, there will be more bodies in the water, and I might even make this an outdoor swim... more "acclimating" to eventual conditions I will have to perform in, a brief four weeks in the future.

Life is good. Spark on! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 7/10/2012 9:14PM

    emoticonto your son! Sounds like he is doing an amazing job!!! Careful of the heat yourself. . . You were out there, too!

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ALOHAEV1 6/30/2012 12:31PM

    That is sooooo cool, a letter from the Commander! It's those little touches that keep her squad going...

My sinuses are so gunked up thrown my equillibrium off, couldn't manage the eliptical the other day. So that crud is everywhere.

Gee when I grow up I want to be a dedicated athlete like you. But then I'd have to grown up and it's too late for that so maybe I should strive to just move and groove it!

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_LINDA 6/30/2012 1:19AM

    Awesome workout, awesom son and note -life is indeed good, pool in the heat sounds like perfect timing -enjoy your swim and have a great long weekend!!

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KARIDIAN1 6/29/2012 11:03PM

    Don't overdo in the heat. We have been taking it easy since it has been in the 90,s here in MN. Still haven't cut the lawn this week, just so hot and dry.

Good luck with the bike. Make sure it fits you if you ride it a lot.

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HEALTHYOTTER 6/29/2012 8:37PM

    Spark on, indeed! Love the note about your son. Thanks for reminding me to slather on that sunblock! Did you reach a decision about the bike?

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SHEILA-45 6/29/2012 11:03AM

    WOO-HOO!!! You rock! Look at you go... that is amazing.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

It's always a treat to hear others compliment our children. Kudos to your son on his success.


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1CRAZYDOG 6/29/2012 9:01AM

    You rocked the day1 And how awesome to receive such a wonderful letter HANDWRITTEN from your son's commander!!!

Have to admit, it's just those simple things in life that make the heart soar isn't it! Kudos to you and your son. Way to go.

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ANDI571 6/29/2012 8:21AM

    I agree fully, listening to ones body is just as important as the plan we have. Be careful in that heat. They say you don't always know it is getting you until you are inside.

That is so great that your son's commander writes you. I think he rocks because he was taught from the best. You rock in my book also. emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/29/2012 8:22:10 AM

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LEANJEAN6 6/29/2012 8:12AM

    107 swounds pretty hot to me!--Take it easy Barb in the heat!!--Your enthusiasm is contagious tho!--*S*--I enjoy yer blogs--Lynda

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MIZCATHI 6/29/2012 8:04AM

    Reading your blogs on this upcoming event is fascinating for me. On the one hand, I think - how does she have time for all this? And on the other, I realize, we have to MAKE time to challenge ourselves physically, and thereby the art of priorities. I always learn a lot from your blogs, even about myself and my own responses!

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PARKERB2 6/29/2012 7:41AM

    Be careful in the heat. You don't want to overdo it. Other than that, have a great day no matter what you do.

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MSLZZY 6/29/2012 7:40AM

    Always on the go and it seems that nothing slows you down.
Have a wonderful weekend. That letter sounds like you
have raised your son right and others see it. HUGS!

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KALIGIRL 6/29/2012 7:35AM

    Outdoor swim sounds like just the ticket.
Not only does the DS rock - so does his mom!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Almost as an afterthought

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thinking about preparing for the open water swim leg, I went out looking for places I might practice, and had a "doh!" moment. The same games (Cornhusker State Games) host an open water swim event, a week before the triathlon event. On the same course. Doh! Indeed.

So, last night I signed up for it. I'll be swimming the same distance, hopefully the same course, a week before the main event. I won't care about my finish time, I will care about becoming acclimated to the conditions. Done and done.

Going to be a scorcher here today, too... but I have a brick on the schedule. Here's to staying hydrated and taking it a little easier on my ride and run legs, since I can't do that all before work, and will be pushed out into the heat. Think of it as stress training. The day itself is bound to be better conditions!

emoticon emoticon emoticon Life is good. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 7/10/2012 9:11PM

    You're such a super sleuth! emoticon

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MSLZZY 6/29/2012 7:41AM

    emoticon emoticon

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ALOHAEV1 6/29/2012 7:14AM

    Brillant idea!

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WATERMELLEN 6/28/2012 10:13PM

    So clever of you!! Hydration during the practice swim might not be an issue . . . .

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SLENDERELLA61 6/28/2012 8:23PM

    That's great that you found a practice swim race just where and when you needed it. Be careful in that heat. Our HM in Nov could be a bit warm, so it may be really good practice for that as well. Your plan to slow down a bit and stay hydrated is right on.

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SUNNY332 6/28/2012 8:05PM

    Well, that certainly worked out well.

Good for you!


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1CRAZYDOG 6/28/2012 10:40AM

    Take care in this heat!!

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MIZCATHI 6/28/2012 8:59AM


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KALIGIRL 6/28/2012 8:17AM

    Take care in the heat!
Glad you found a practice run and in the same spot - emoticon

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