Almost Time For Incarceration

No, that incident in Tijuana has not finally caught up with me; the FEDS are still looking on the wrong side of the border…..but I digress.

My pending penitentiary participation refers to the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon. In just a few short days, I will be plunging into the water just off the most famous of Rocks, swimming across the Frisco bay, and cycling/running along Golden Gate Park and the Presidio. This reference deserves an Otis Redding video:

I know, I know. One of the most exciting races I have ever done is just 4 days away, and there hasn’t been my usual barrage of blog posts detailing every aspect of my preparation. Sorry folks, I just have been smashed lately with life, but fortunately today, I can finally breathe a sigh of relief. Charts are dictated. School work is nearly complete. After a few patients tomorrow, my mind is checking out of the real world and checking in early to the land of pain, pee, and probably panic.

Lots to do in the next 24 hours for sure. I’m heading out bright and early for San Fran on Friday. Hopefully, after arriving, I will be successfully reunited with my bike in working order. Per FedEx, it made it there okay, but I am still concerned some hipster is riding around San Fran on it on his way to some poetry reading or something.

Saturday, I will be out previewing the course, and hopefully I can take a dip in the bay. I will be sure to post lots of typical Ironvan pics of the course highlights and of the rest of my man-cation adventure. Speaking of course, let’s do a brief overview of the event. Everyone, including my life insurance salesman, has been wondering what exactly I am doing, so let’s see the battle plan.

Swim: 1.5 miles.

This is probably going to be the most difficult swim I have ever done. The bay is a moving body of water, so I can’t exactly just swim from point A to point B. I will have to keep my wits about me and sight landmarks frequently unless I want to end up under the Golden Gate Bridge. The Escape from Alcatraz Academy has some cool video tips if you REALLY want the details:

This will by far also be the most unique swim start I have ever done. I get to jump ship, literally, off Alcatraz Island. Skip ahead to 1:20 for the fun part:

Yes, there are sharks and other sea life, but most of the big worrisome things with chompers stay farther out. It apparently gets too salty this far in the bay for the big boys. Plus, hopefully my 2000 friends with flailing arms and legs will scare most things away. Of course, knowing my luck, this year’s race will coincide with something like the electric eel spawn of the century.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about the swim. It’s my first large moving body of water swim ever as well as my first salt water swim. I really don’t think it can get worse than the 2011 CDA swim, but I will just say it now: my only goal for this race to finish the swim without any kayak clambering, frantic flailing moments.


Ah the memories….

Bike: 18 miles.

Should be fun. Should be hilly. So hilly in fact, apparently it would have been fine to use my road bike. I’m going to try to go really hard on the bike as I heard there a lot of bottle necks on the run course. Got to make up as many places as I can here. Hopefully, I can do this without killing myself.

Run: 8 miles.

This run is a mix of my nightmares and dream come true. Lots of hills, which I tend to do better on. Unfortunately, lots of sand too. LOTS. There is the infamous sand ladder on the course; this is something I can’t wait to see:

So overall, there is a lot more to this race than the swim, but let’s face it, the swim from Alcatraz is the coolest part. I can’t wait to stop in the middle of the bay and look around to see Alcatraz behind me (hopefully), San Fran in the distance, and the Golden Gate Bridge to my right (again, hopefully).

Unfortunately, training hasn’t been the best in the recent 2-3 weeks. I have been getting workouts in, but I seem to be slowing down a bit. As I said before, for the first time in a long time, I just feel too busy to train regularly. I am most upset about not getting all my regular high intensity run and Trainerroad workouts in. I have plenty of endurance and speed over last year, but it’s still hard to stomach setbacks. Swim is also moving slowly currently.

I did get in a few hard outdoor rides last week as well as a fun eight mile run in Great Falls.

This week, I started with a fairly slow swim on Monday and a short recovery run. For Tuesday, I put in a rainy six miles at a decent pace, the fastest being a fairly comfortable 7:39/mi. Today, I put in a faster 2400 yards in the pool, Hell Hath No Fury on the trainer, and a 3 mile run in 25:30. For the rest of the week, I will keep training, but just to keep loose. I honestly wonder if some good recovery runs and rides might do me good at this point.

Okay, must sleep now. Pics of the packing tomorrow! Oh, and several cool ways to track me during the race, including Apps for both iPhone and Android. Will let you know!

About Ironvan

From couch potato to Ironman triathlete in 2 years.

Posted on June 6, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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