A Brick of a Different Color

Day three of training in Norfolk, sneaking in as many workouts as I can, trying not to rob family time.  We’ve got multiple generations of multiple branches of the family gathered for my niece’s wedding, so I don’t want to miss any opportunities for enjoying everyone while we’re all together.  That led to a different brick workout this morning; a swim followed by a run.

Thanks to the kindness of the local YMCA in downtown Norfolk, I was able to get swimming privileges for the weekend.  That let me make up the the swims I’d missed during the heavy travel schedule in the past week.  I finished a 2300 yard ladder workout yesterday afternoon right before a family dinner, and then hit the pool again this morning for another 2000 yard easy swim as soon as the doors opened at 7:00 a.m.  I was definitely still feeling yesterday’s workout this morning, but it was good to get the second swim in.

With the wedding scheduled for this evening, any second workout needed to happen this morning after the swim if it was going to happen at all.  I did a quick change into my running shoes, pulled on a shirt, and headed out the door.  I’ve never done a swim/run brick before, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as I took the first few steps.  Anyone who has done a bike/run brick has experienced that “legs like wood” feeling you get for the first 1/2 mile or so off of the bike.  Running after a swim is completely different.

The hardest part of the run was holding back.  The hour in the pool really got the blood pumping, and there was no soreness or stiffness in my legs at all.  I felt like I could sprint as soon as I got out the door.  Knowing that I had at least 4 miles ahead of me, though, I concluded that a sprint was probably not a good idea.  I settled into a smooth pace and rolled on.

A series of heavy thunderstorms moved through the area last night while we were at dinner, cooling things off significantly.  The temp was barely cracking 70 when I hit the streets, and there was a cool breeze to make things even a little more pleasant.  I was nice to see so many people out walking dogs, jogging, and riding bikes on a Saturday morning.  And getting the opportunity to run along the waterfront just added to the experience.

Thanks to today’s brick, I was able to finish out the week with a total of 10 hours of workouts.  On the surface, it looked like there was a lack of cycling; in fact, I realized that by shifting workouts around at the beginning of the week I was able to get two of my three planned rides in.  The last ride was replaced by an extra run while I was in one of the various hotels I visited.  Not a bad track record for a week that initially looked like it might be a real train wreck.  And three weeks out from my Olympic triathlon, it was just the right amount of effort.

This evening we celebrate my niece’s wedding.  She and her fiancee are both wonderful, accomplished individuals, as well as being experienced marathoners and triathletes, respectively.  If they’ve achieved so much individually, I can imagine what they can do as a couple.  Marriage is the  ultimate marathon… always a few hills, some parts are tougher than others, but the key is to enjoy it.  Best of luck, guys.

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