Take me to the water (Entry #12)

Never has there been so aptly named aworkout as “The Brick”.  Useful?  Yes?  Pleasant?  Not so much.  Think of all the cliches you know that involve bricks and most of them aren’t all that soothing:

Hit you like a ton of bricks.
Just another brick on the wall.
Hit the bricks
Thick as a brick

So, waking up at 5:30 in the morning to tackle anything brick-related wasn’t ideal.  I should also mention that I’d just dropped my kids off at summer camp, so this was my first free morning…and I’d chosen to get up before my sprinklers went off.

This was a swim/run brick.  So, we had a few race starts, to continue the ongoing effort to reconfigure my facial structures using only other people’s feet and hands.

The facial massage was followed by a 1/2-mile swim.  Oddly, the swimming, once my greatest fear, has become a somewhat manageable activity, which I fully credit to the coaches and the constant repetition.  One issue that has continued to haunt me is my inability to swim anything that resembles a straight line.  I’m fairly sure that an overhead outline of my route would resemble an EKG.

At the turn-a-round point, one of the workout leaders who was stationed there to make sure we were doing ok, asked me if I knew I was taking the scenic route.  I can only imagine how much longer I made my swim due to my GPS-challenged route.  But, I wasn’t tired.  I was spacing out and would lose track of my stroke count.  “1-2-3, gee, I wonder what movies are playing later today and where am I going to get lunch once this is done.  I cannot believe I let Lynne talk me into going to a zip-line park after all of this, wait, how many strokes was this? 4-5.”  This sort of commentary would bubble through my mind, and I would then pop my head up to make sure I was still in U.S. waters.

After what seemed like forever, but was probably closer to 30 minutes (who knows really, time flies when you are open water swimming, as the saying goes) I stumbled out of the water like a much paler, Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Hauling off my wetsuit with zero grace, an inelegant dance from one leg to the other as I wrestled with the wet rubber suit, I sat on the ground to get my shoes on for the 3-mile run.  I’ve started wearing compression socks to try to deal with the calf cramp I’m prone to getting when I think about running.  These socks pull all the way up to your knee and squeeze your foot and calf as if they were tightly bound in Saran Wrap.  Getting these on with dry feet is a challenge.  Getting them on my wet feet and legs was comically slow.  Eventually, I tugged them on and headed off on the run.

It was warming up and humid…the course was a little uphill on the way out and all I could think was how I hadn’t run three miles since my kids were born over 12 years ago.  I was able to run almost all of the course, and even picked up my pace as we came to the home stretch.  That was a relief, because one of my ongoing concerns is my ability to string all three activities together.  I had just completed the swim and run distances I’ll have to face in the race, a great measuring stick for me thus far.

I’d always thought they called these workouts “bricks” because they were Bike + Run + Ick = BRick.  Now, I realize that it is more because these workouts more literally, hit you like a ton of bricks.  Phew.

Published June 28, 2013