And on the 5th of July -- 07/05/13

So, yesterday afternoon Nancy and I did go over to a 4th of July party being hosted by friends. It was over in the Snug Harbor area. Besides partying (i.e., sitting around doing lots of talking and laughing and consuming food and various adult beverages), we also walked maybe half a mile or so to watch the 28th Annual Snug Harbor 4th of July parade.

This is a community-based parade that the people who live there put on -- there are home made floats, antique cars (and tractors), a "precision drill team" that performs with fishing rods rather than muskets, etc. Plus a few horses. (I put some photographs up on Facebook.) Lots of fun!... and all the kids (of all ages, including those my age) enjoyed it. A totally unofficial event.

Which reminds me that I need to send in an entry form for their "Celebrate Summer" 5k run and walk. Jill and I have run it a number of times -- it's coming up in a couple of weeks -- the weekend before the triathlon that I have been talking about entering. I really do need to get in some more running practice. The Celebrate Summer run is a pleasant, low-key community event. (Put on by SHEMCA -- a name that I must have on at least eight or nine t-shirts -- and which stands for Snug Harbor and East Matunuck Community Association..)

Ah, and about that triathlon... I had been having some doubts, not pleased with my swimming and not exactly thrilled with my running performance either -- but my trainer had been after me to meet him down at the site of the swim (the South Kingstown Town Beach in Matunuck). The first time we had made plans for that brought a few days of thunderstorms -- not ideal weather for swimming -- so we rescheduled for this morning. He said he could loan me a wet suit but that I should bring my bike.

So a little before seven this morning we met at the beach (which doesn't officially open until nine) and suited up and got into the water (which is a bit on the rough side, some fair-sized waves breaking because it is more open to the sea than are some of the other beaches in SK and Narragansett). Eventually we got out far enough that the waves weren't breaking right in our faces and began swimming parallel to the beach. I was so glad that I had bought a pair of swim goggles with prescription lenses. They were nice to wear to the YMCA indoor swimming pool, but what a remarkable difference they made at the beach. I was able to guide myself by picking out landmarks, etc. We did about 200 meters and then turned and reversed our courses. The trouble with that is that the waves were then coming at us, not head-on, but into our left sides...but we were headed at an angle into them. And my legs were reminding me that they were still sore from yesterday's four mile race -- so my simulated triathlon swim had not reached 402 meters (1/4 mile) when I turned toward the beach (although my total swimming was probably just about that).

However, given the added buoyancy of swimming in salt water and wearing a wet suit, I now feel that yes, I can swim a 1/4 mile.

Up onto the beach, get out of wet suit, hike back to our cars, put on shoes and socks (and a t-shirt) and get onto our bicycles. This particular triathlon that I want to do in three weeks (and two days) has an 11 mile bike race -- two laps of a 5 1/2 loop. We just did one lap of that loop, but it gave me a good feel for the course -- and I also felt that I could have done a second loop. (And then have been ready to curl up for a nap.)

I'm still not sure about having enough energy left after swimming and biking to actually run 5 kilometers. But I've got three weeks to improve my running. After all, when I first got the idea of doing a triathlon, I considered myself to be a runner and I knew I'd have to work on my biking and swimming. The problem is, my foot problems had stopped me from running and after my surgery in December, it was a long time before I could run at all... and I still have done very little running, just getting by on the fitness I've gained from other activities (exercise bikes, Nautilus equipment, TRX training, and bootcamp-style workouts. (My slow time in yesterday's 4-miler shows that.)

I think that if I crank up some running activities (on top of biking and swimming) I should be able to survive the triathlon. (Oh, let's not even think, for the moment, about the transitions -- the change of what you are wearing from one sport to the next -- you are timed for the whole thing, not just swimming and biking and running -- your transition times count also. Let's just say that I do need to practice escaping from that wet suit.)

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