I bought an XTERRA Wetsuit at 50 percent off last weekend during the Mission Bay Triathlon pre-race expo. Paying around $200 for a $400 wetsuit was so worth the drive to good ol' San Diego (amazing place for triathletes; I know, I've lived there). But it made me think about something that happened back in April: San Diego Tri Club member David Martin, 66, was on a training swim in Fletcher Cove at Solana Beach and was tragically attacked and killed by a shark. Wow. That's heavy. First off, I offer my condolences to his family. Second: A triathlete? Fletcher Cove? That hits home. I did my first triathlon ever at that location -- the Solana Beach Triathlon in 2007 -- and after this news, I think my reaction was, "OK, well I'm done with ocean swims."
But now, six months later, though I see it as a tragic event -- it's one that I refuse to let go to my head. I remember my first-ever ocean swim at Main Beach in Laguna Beach -- it was a joke. I panicked, practically cried and refused to open my eyes under water! I've surfed for years, but something about being far out in the ocean minus a board scared the crap out of me. Eventually, I got over that with practice -- physically and mentally speaking -- and I won't let sharks prevent me from doing a tri. I tell people that I'm more afraid of a flat on the bike than any shark! But, ask my sister about that first ocean swim, she basically saved me! (P.S. The Catalina Island Triathlon is in an area where sharks have been spotted...check this out.)
Anyways, the point is: No. 1 - My new XTERRA wetsuit kicks ass; and No. 2 - Mind over matter. The chances of a shark gettin' you is unlikely. You're more likey to get killed on the way to your ocean swim!
Good week so far: Got a 20-mile hilly bike in before the sunset last night. It will be a tragic day when daylight savings ends!! Rode up the lovely Modjeska Grade Road -- I plan to start hill repeats on that soon, considering the rumor of Oceanside's bike course. And this morning, the swim was great. It sucked getting out of bed at 4:30 a.m., but my swim endurance is significantly improving. Got in a little under 3,000 meters in a little over an hour. For me, that's legit.
200 m warmup (and coach telling me what to fix, haha)
1x500 w/paddles, focus on stroke, faster on 2nd 200
5x150 descending w/ a 50 "chill lap" after each
5x75 of under/overs: 25 underwater, 50 freestyle
8x25 sprints at 100% effort
cooldown of about 100-200m
Swim tip of the day:
"Scoop sand," my coach says. In your stroke, reach out as far as you can, then bend the elbow and "scoop" under your chest/abdomen and follow through at the side with a nice slighly pausing glide with each stroke.