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Getting real

Friday, July 27, 2012

I'm back from my last abbreviated taper-down workout. I swam 400 yards, trying out the rinse your goggles with your own saliva deal... worked pretty well, actually. Then I changed into running togs, drove to the park where the race will really be held, and did my 15 minute walk/jog on the trail where the 5K foot portion will actually be held.

I was able to observe the transition area under construction, the chute to the running course being set up, the racks for the bikes, the chute into the water for the swim... it's all becoming very real now. So now I am like that proverbial race horse (even a plugger) that needs to be kept hydrated but not overly so, well fed but not overfed, and rested overnight leading to the starting line.

Thinking especially today of Diane JUST_TRI_IT, who was my initial inspiration to do this. Thinking of Becky KALIGIRL who encouraged me when I first voiced it last Summer. Thinking of my son doing his thing overseas. Of the athletes in the big show of the London Olympics. And of all others like me who are on the journey of following dreams, one day at a time.

To us, the dreamers who begin to take on doing what we dream! emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALOHAEV1 7/28/2012 9:03AM

    So excited for you, can't stand it! Be cheering ya on at the finish line...

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CONCHA77 7/28/2012 8:49AM

    Can't wait to hear all about your day. I am sure you did well. emoticon

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    I am "virtually" standing on the sidelines screaming.
"Go, Barb. Go!" emoticon

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_LINDA 7/28/2012 2:07AM

    That is awesome you got to look at the site and are getting a feel for the trail and how the transition is going to look. Should take some of the pre race jitters out. I certainly don't think you can be any more prepared, that is for sure!!
Wishing you a good, long restorative sleep so you will wake up refreshed and raring to go!
So glad you are making your dreams happen!! Gives the rest of us hope!
Go, Barb, GO!

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JUST_TRI_IT 7/28/2012 1:40AM

    I am thrilled for you! Wish I could be on the sidelines screaming and shouting and laughing and enjoying your achievement on this your first TRI. I will be there in spirit :) and I can't wait for the summary and photos.

Gooooooooooooo barb!!!!!!


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DRB13_1 7/27/2012 10:43PM

    Best Wishes on your event! emoticon emoticon

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HEALTHYOTTER 7/27/2012 9:20PM

    You're such an inspiration! Hope the tri is all you've hoped for! Congrats on ALL your work, dedication, commitment! emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 7/27/2012 9:18PM

    Cheering for you!! You're prepared, you're good to go!!

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KARIDIAN1 7/27/2012 9:16PM

    Am anxious to read how your event turns out.

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SUNNY332 7/27/2012 7:53PM

    You are going to do great and I can't wait to read your next blog.

Know we all will be thinking of you and cheering you on.

You have come so far and should be so proud.

Hugs, Sunny

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MIZCATHI 7/27/2012 2:51PM

    Glad the spit worked on the goggles! I didn't believe it either, or thought it was gross, until it worked and I'm a convert now. So impressed by your training, too!

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SLENDERELLA61 7/27/2012 2:49PM

    That is so exciting that you got to visit the transition areas under construction and swim and run a little of the area. Best wishes on the" hydrated but not over hydrated; fed but not overfed; and rested." I know you'll eat and drink smart; hope you can rest with all the excitement.

I'll be thinking of you while I'm running with my Galloway group tomorrow morning. Best wishes for a great experience. I know you are going to do very, very well!

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1CRAZYDOG 7/27/2012 2:41PM

    All good thoughts are with you Barb. A dream fulfilled. You rock!

Prayers and hugs for our soldiers and us. Blessings.

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ANDI571 7/27/2012 2:13PM

    I think I need to start dreamin' emoticon

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KASEYCOFF 7/27/2012 1:58PM

    Attagirl! And over here, we're getting ready to start watching pre-opening coverage - just a coupla armchair athletes, lol...

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Olympics and State Games

Thursday, July 26, 2012

This morning I read a blog entry by DRB13_1, in which, among other interesting Olympic details (and great photos... drop on by!) she quotes the Olympic Athlete's Oath:

"In the name of all the competitors I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, committing ourselves to a sport without doping and without drugs, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honor of our teams "

I took a similar oath at the opening ceremonies of the Cornhusker State Games last Friday:

"We, the athletes of the Cornhusker State Games..." it begins. We all (in the stands) raised our hands and repeated after the UNL track and field athletes. It goes on but contains a different sort of pledge: "we shall strive to win, but be proud just to have done our best."

Me. An athlete. Of an organized collection of games. It kind of sent tingles up my spine. I'm glad I went to the symbolic opening. I may not be an olympian, but I am out there, doing my best, and feeling the fellowship of others who love their sports. Tomorrow evening, when the opening ceremonies for the London Olympics air, I will have my spirits lifted along with many others around the globe... and I'll also be comparing it to my own little experience in these local games.

Life is good... Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LJCANNON 7/30/2012 12:45AM

    emoticonAs unlikely as it may have seemed a few short years ago, We HAVE Become Athletes, and we have EARNED the Right to participate in Our Own "Olympic" Games wherever they are held.
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SUNNYWBL 7/30/2012 12:40AM

    You brought tears to my eyes and a lump into my throat!

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WATERMELLEN 7/27/2012 9:21PM

    Ceremonies matter. And there is no doubt you ARE an athlete!

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KARIDIAN1 7/26/2012 10:19PM

    Great feeling. The ceremonies are important. Felt that way when we tried out for the '96 Olympics. Very proud to participate.

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    You are OUR athlete! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DEBRA0818 7/26/2012 4:02PM

    Yes, we organize things best emotionally with ceremony! I am delighted you found it such a positive and rewarding experience; just to think where you were a few years ago, it must have seemed surreal! But, you did it -- all you, day by day, being faithful (for the most part) to a vision and an idea.

A GREAT victory!

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DRB13_1 7/26/2012 2:50PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
You are an inspiration and an athlete!
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SLENDERELLA61 7/26/2012 11:13AM

    How exciting to have an opening ceremony and pledge for your games, Barb!
Such great timing, too, to be in swing with the whole world. You are an athlete and isn't that incredibly awesome, when like me, I suspect you spent much of your life without fitness goals. So glad you are enjoying your active life -- me, too, and I would not be doing it without great SparkFriend models of fitness. It is not too late! Thanks so much for all your inspiration. Can't wait to meet you in person!!! -Marsha

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_LINDA 7/26/2012 10:03AM

    You sure are an athlete!! And that is one awesome oath -I love it! Recognizes how hard it is to train and actually get to the point you can participate in these events! So wish I could be there to cheer you on!
Go Barb, GO!
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SUNNY332 7/26/2012 10:03AM

    Oh yea, you are definitaly an Athlete! Way to go, Barb!


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EBEAMS 7/26/2012 8:58AM

    I agree with everyone else here and add my hearty "YEAH" emoticonto the chorus of cheers going up for you right now!

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KALIGIRL 7/26/2012 8:40AM

    You are DEFINITELY an athlete!

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1CRAZYDOG 7/26/2012 8:19AM

    Sweetie you ARE an athlete, you ARE an ATHLETE! Wishing you success in your tapering and your Tri this weekend. Will be thinking of you.


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ALOHAEV1 7/26/2012 7:59AM

    Lynda beat me to it... emoticon

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MSLZZY 7/26/2012 7:31AM

    Barb-out there and leading the way with her drive
and enthusiasm!
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LEANJEAN6 7/26/2012 7:17AM

    You could be in the Spark Olympics Barb!!! What a role model you are!----Lynda emoticon

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The tail end of the taper

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I had my last biking so-called workout today. It said to bike 15 miles. Well, I bike commuted to work and home, and called it good. It wasn't a single session, it was broken up by the work day... but this way I got half the ride in better conditions than the 100 degree ride home. It added up to 15.3. And biking is done until TRI morning.

Yesterday I did my tapering swim of 1000 yards, and tapering jog of 30 minutes, keeping carefully to the plan, not OVER doing.

Tomorrow is a rest day. Friday, the day before the race, I'm taking off work, and will swim a brief 400 yards and run a brief 15 minutes. I will go visit the race site and plot where to park in transition if I can get it, then pack up my wardrobe, nutrition and tools into the car before I go to bed Friday night, as check in for the race starts at 5:30 a.m.

They sent us an e-mail with very specific instructions for the order at check in. When I went as a spectator last year, in time to observe the pre-race meeting, it was a crazy busy scene.

So... meditate... chill... and rest. The main event is nearly here.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 7/27/2012 9:23PM

    Some taper!! What a caper!!

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SLEEPYDEAN 7/27/2012 4:35PM

    Too bad they don't have pre-race pickup so you could get that part out of the way Friday.

Sounds like you are more than prepared for a great triathlon tomorrow!

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_LINDA 7/26/2012 10:10AM

    1000 yards swim is a taper, *whew*!! Kind of points up how much and how far you have to go in this race. 5:30 am start time, wow! Hope you can get a good night's sleep and not be too excited that you can't. Need all the rest you can get!
Enjoy your rest day, so glad you are taking off work the day before, don't need that to keep you wound up.
I read here the race horse trembling and eager to get out of the starting gate, with a few little trial runs to get warmed up!
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KALIGIRL 7/26/2012 8:46AM

    See you there!

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ALOHAEV1 7/26/2012 8:03AM

    Here I am grinning at your rest day of 400 yards and a brief bike ride. I want to be like you when I grow up!

We'll be there in spirit cheering you on emoticon

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    I'll be there in spirit to cheer you on! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MSLZZY 7/25/2012 11:38PM

    You sound like you know just what to do. Good luck!

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MNTWINSGAL 7/25/2012 11:28PM

    You must be getting so excited now - just a couple more days before the big race! We'll all be with you in spirit.....can't wait to celebrate with you afterward!

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KARIDIAN1 7/25/2012 10:16PM

    You are so prepared in all ways. plan your plan and then work your plan.

You will do great!

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BARBAELLEN 7/25/2012 10:14PM

    Hope the event turns out to be a blast for you! This is sooo exciting!

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1CRAZYDOG 7/25/2012 9:42PM

    Good luck Barb!!

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I would say we're now officially in taper - count down

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Walked / jogged in the late afternoon heat yesterday, as that's what the training plan said. This morning, though, it was deliciously cool at 73 degrees by comparison for my last "long" bike ride of 20 miles. I rode down to the University and back, taking mostly bike trails but some residential streets to round up the mileage.

Since then, laundry and puttering around the house. I am supposed to walk 30 minutes this evening, which I will do on the treadmill to my guilty Summer reality show obsession (Big Brother).

The workouts this week are shorter, leading to essentially just a loosen up workout of short swim and very brief jog on Friday before the race on Saturday. Ready or not, here we come! emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COMETER 7/24/2012 10:21PM

    You sure sound ready to me!

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LEANJEAN6 7/24/2012 8:58PM

    Wow!!--Ready to go Barb!--Lynda emoticon

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SUNNY332 7/23/2012 5:47PM

    I think you are ready without a doubt too.

Good job, Barb.


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KALIGIRL 7/23/2012 8:38AM

    READY without a doubt!

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MSLZZY 7/23/2012 7:38AM

    You are ready and I know you will do well!

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DEBRA0818 7/23/2012 7:34AM

    WOW, Barb! I leave for a few minutes and the next thing I know you're doing a triathlon. You go, girl!

I'll be very interested to read what your experience of the race is, and I wish you very good luck and joy in the running (and swimming and biking).

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SHARON10002 7/22/2012 11:03PM

    I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever that you are READY and Rarin' to Go!

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KARIDIAN1 7/22/2012 10:31PM

    One week to go and you are so ready!

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ON2VICTORY 7/22/2012 9:10PM

    you got this... go get it!!

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LJCANNON 7/22/2012 9:08PM

    emoticonI can't imagine anything you could have done to be 'More Ready' than you are. Congratulations, and Enjoy your Taper Week!!

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WATERMELLEN 7/22/2012 7:43PM

    Excellent prep: you're good to go!!

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SLENDERELLA61 7/22/2012 7:25PM

    How exciting!! You have trained seriously. You are ready, for sure! Enjoy the taper week. Take care. Get some good rest. -Marsha

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BARBAELLEN 7/22/2012 6:54PM

    What on earth do you mean, "ready or not?" As diligent as you are, I can't imagine anyone being more ready than you! Now that we know you're ready, let's hope that you have a great race!

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OPTIMIST1948 7/22/2012 6:44PM

    Go,go,go! Be ready, be rested, be loose. You'll do great.

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ACYCLINGMIND 7/22/2012 6:03PM

    Oh a race! Good luck! :D

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1CRAZYDOG 7/22/2012 5:56PM

    the countdown begins! You are well prepared. Kudos to you!!

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Open Water: what the pool will not train you for!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Isn't it pretty? This photo and the next two were taken before and at the start of the 1500 meter swim. The one I did, the 750 followed, an hour or so later.

Some things you need to be prepared for: the sighting distance is a whole lot longer than in a 25 yard pool. People warn you of this. You try to prepare, but when you get into it, it's an "aha", anyway.

This is a side-shot of some of the 1500 meter swimmers warming up. When it was my turn, discovered bathtub temperature water in the small lake.
It was done as a running start by countdown / voice command. The first 20 yards was through clumps of seaweed.

You are now a number. But they know your name.

Now let me say a few words about the numbers of participants and the support staff who were superb. And the Cornhusker State Games in general, for that matter. Your state may have such games. If they do, I encourage you to support them as a spectator AND participate, because sporting and fitness is not just for the elite and the handicapped... it's for ordinary folk, too, and that's what *these* games are about!

As you can see in the running start, there were not a whole lot of swimmers in the 1500 meter open water swim. Something like 10. There were 18 in the 750. I know, because I finished 18th. Got a silver medal for my effort, because they *do* age groups.

First thing I discovered was that I was too jumpy and too blind to trust myself at a crawl for very long. I ended up doing side and breast stroke for most of the swim. Second, I think it concerned the safety folks in the boats / kayaks... they kept asking if I was OK. I assured them that I was fine, I did not need a floaty, I could keep this up for a long time... I'm just SLOW!

Second thing was that between body temperatures and lake temperatures, the thing I began to miss almost immediately was my sight. Fogged up goggles. I mean so bad I could not see the next boat much less the buoy that was my target.

Third thing: choppy water, which contributed a lot to my choice of strokes. I just feel calmer at the side stroke and breast stroke. I mixed some crawl in there, but mostly kept on swimming a la Dorrie.

Most triathetes warn you about crowds in the water, people around you. Beyond the first 50 yards, this was not a problem. I was so far behind the pack, it wasn't funny. In the end, I had two boats, one on each side, making sure I didn't drift off course because they were aware (I told them) that I could not see. They kept telling me to go left or right as I would lose sight of the buoy and stroke three times and get turned again. Guardian angels, those ladies in the boats!

And you know what? In the end, I finished under my own power, walking out of the water upright, with a grin on my face, and wanting to do it again, hopefully a little better, next week.

My time? 27:29 for 750 meters. And miles ahead of anyone who stayed on her couch today!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANDI571 7/23/2012 7:44PM

    You are so awesome! emoticon

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    Barb, you rock!
You just give me so much confidence in aging beatifully!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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SHARON10002 7/22/2012 11:01PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticonBarb!
You did emoticon! You even won a medal!
You are not miles, but light years ahead of me, girl!
Thanks for the pictures, and you are looking AMAZING!

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WATERMELLEN 7/22/2012 7:42PM

    Miles ahead indeed: sing it out loud, you should be proud!

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SUNNY1432 7/22/2012 1:32PM

    emoticon emoticon congrats on finishing the race ad getting a medal! emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/22/2012 1:33:58 PM

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KALIGIRL 7/22/2012 11:31AM

    Glad to hear it - and glad to hear you were able to practice before next week - will join those watching over you next week!

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SLENDERELLA61 7/22/2012 8:35AM

    WOW! Impressive. So glad you did it -- yourself -- mile ahead of all those on the couch. And you look AWESOME! Totally buff!! Way to go!!! -Marsha

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ALOHAEV1 7/22/2012 7:51AM

    emoticon I'd say your test swim was a success. emoticon

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WONDERFUL2BME 7/22/2012 4:06AM

    Great job! I heard that motion sickness can plague people who swim open water from the land looking like it is bobbing up and down. Did that bother you at all?

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_LINDA 7/22/2012 12:33AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Well done Barb! Miles ahead of most people I know!

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MSLZZY 7/21/2012 11:46PM

    Definitely miles ahead of me! AWESOME!

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KARIDIAN1 7/21/2012 9:38PM

    Congrats- you did it! I saw the picture of you with the glasses and wondered if you swam with them. Then I read about the goggles, and not being able to see. I would be exactly in the same situation, and i would probably swim away from shore, or in circles. Good thing you had guides to keep an eye on you.

The pictures were great. And you look great.

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BARBAELLEN 7/21/2012 9:05PM

    Girl, are you ever persistent! I love your documentary, and I love your sense of adventure. Really enjoyed this blog.

. . . and, dang, do you ever look great in a swim suit! :)

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MOBYCARP 7/21/2012 8:55PM

    You're ahead of your brother in swimming this year; I don't think I've been in a pool, let alone attempted open water.

Good for you, getting out there and preparing for that tri!

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ON2VICTORY 7/21/2012 7:14PM

    way to go my friend. YUP, the pool will only give you a feel for the water but nothing will prepare you for the challenges of open water.Like you, I used the side stroke when my heart rate was getting high and was getting a little tired.. sort of like a run/walk interval. It helped me get my HR down and allowed me to recover enough to start a crawl again.

My tri suit worked just fine too. I was wearing a one piece unit and it was great also on the bike and run.

Also, the swim start was like getting tossed into a blender, elbows and heels everywhere. The side stroke was more for self defense than it was a necessity at the start.

I found that alternating strokes also helps if the chop gets to be too much and it prevents panic in the water. More than once I would breathe in the crawl only to get a face full and miss a breath. Switching up helped me regain control and offer a little extra sighting as well.

I also found that having tined goggles works well. things were great going out to the buoy but when we turned back into the sun, the glare washed everything out and you could only catch glimses of your exit area...

Keep going my friend... :)

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LJCANNON 7/21/2012 4:05PM

    emoticonDorie would be so proud of You!!! Congratulations on your Achievement!! Talk about Stepping (Swimming!!) out of your Comfort Zone!!
emoticonWAY TO GO!! emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 7/21/2012 3:08PM

    Hi Barb-I just showed my husband your fat picture and he finds it unbelievable how you used to look-Keep up the good work! --Hope you enjoyed yer swim in the open water!-Lynda

Comment edited on: 7/21/2012 3:09:04 PM

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OPTIMIST1948 7/21/2012 12:55PM

    You succinctly explained exactly what happened to me on my tri. Vacation next week at a lake with loads of family and boats. Plan on working on it. Nice numbers!

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EBEAMS 7/21/2012 12:27PM

    That's awesome! You are incredible!

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NEWKAREN43 7/21/2012 12:16PM

    What a fantastic inspirational blog! I honestly have tears in my eyes, I'm so happy for you, I can feel your glow of pride! Wonderful! This was a great experience to learn it, feel it, get one with it and know the support you have! I love this! Hugs to you and thank you for sharing your journey with us.
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MIZCATHI 7/21/2012 12:05PM

    Congratulations - what a tremendous accomplishment.

Wash your goggles with your own spit the next time, and plenty of it. Gross, but it definitely works!

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1CRAZYDOG 7/21/2012 12:01PM

    One word: AWESOME!!!!! Hugs to you. You are such an inspiration.

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