Week 11

A great way to end the weekend:

Running the Coastal Trail

I love to run the Coastal Trail at this time of day as the sun is almost setting. There were some really scary waves at Baker Beach.

Running the Coastal Trail
The waves were pretty high, 6-10 perfect barrels closing out evenly but crashing hard and sending water back up vertically, immediately followed by another whomper. That was around the time the tide was changing from ebb to flood so it was kinda crazy. This is all happening close to shore where people are playing with their kids and dogs.

Running back through Golden Gate park the sun is low and streaming in through the trees like honey. A good 13 miler today, next week is the half-marathon! The new upgraded fuel belt works great. It carries 24oz water and a little pouch for the carb flask. I bring that with a handheld flask that I put nuun in that also slides onto my belt and I don't have to stop.

This week I had better results with spacing out the anaerobic training sessions. The spinning class is a maximum heart rate session, and so is the interval running. I'm making these shorter and after the half marathon will switch over to swim speed and mileage and longer bike rides. Really have to commit to some long bike rides in february-march.

R:23.75 B:70 S:2


Week 10 - Golden Gate Bridge to Aquatic Park Swim

Water World Swim Golden Gate Bridge to Aquatic Park

We had a great swim last Saturday morning on the flood current. After a little dancing on the boat, four of us jumped off the Dauntless about a half-mile east of the Golden Gate Bridge. The current wasn’t that strong, but there were big waves right by the bridge so we jumped parallel to the warming hut.

Golden Gate Bridge to Aquatic Park Swim

The moon was setting and there was a beautiful sunrise coming up and the colors in the sky were spectacular. The sun was glinting off the water in a dazzling way, making it a little tricky to navigate but our pilot Bill was guiding us with the kayak and the Dauntless was tracking us in close proximity. I wore the wetsuit so I could swim for a long time. The water felt really comfortable, probably around 52°F.

Golden Gate Bridge to Aquatic Park Swim

Swimming along Chrissy Field seem to take forever. The dome of the Palace of Fine Arts looked so far away each time I sighted. Then I remembered that I should enjoy the journey and not get caught up in the destination.

Golden Gate Bridge to Aquatic Park Swim

When I got near the stone wall of the Yacht Club I tried to stay away from there because of the back eddies that Coach Pedro warned us about. I realized I was on the inside of the buoys and not the outside, which would have been better. A couple of other swimmers took a faster ride farther out in the bay. I was being conservative by being closer to shore, therefore slower. Being farther out requires better navigation skills, speed and timing to get to the narrow opening of Aquatic Park on time. If you are slow you can still manage if you are a good navigator with a feel for the water. Every swim in the bay is different and good practice for a variety of conditions.

Once we got to Fort Mason, we used the masts of the Balclutha as a guide to get to Aquatic Park. Sometimes the water is faster by the opening and you have to rush to get into the cove. But it was so easy we just glided right in like an airplane coming in for a landing. Once inside the cove, a great feeling of accomplishment and enjoyment of the swim. It was about 2.5 miles distance but it took just a little over an hour. I would say that is almost twice the speed I normally swim, thanks to the current. I wasn’t racing, just trying to pace myself for a longer swim and save some energy for the end in case I had to sprint. Looking forward to the next long swim!


Week 9

This week I did spinning, run intervals, and also swam in the bay with Irene. I had an extra day off this weekend so was able to squeeze in a long bike AND a long run, both out in the Headlands with my WWS training buddies. It rocked.

Headlands Run
Headlands Run
Point Bonita
Point Bonita


Week 8 - Winter Swimming

I'm already on week 8 of my half-iron training plan. The first week of 2011 it's been a great week! Last week's emphasis was running, this week, bike and cold water swimming without a wetsuit. Starting on New Year's Day, my friend and long-time swim partner Irene and I have taken the plunge in 50°F waters:

videos by Al Jaurique

I find swimming in cold water to be rejuvenating and healing, and great for mental training. I wear 3 caps: a neoprene, a thermal, and latex on top. Gotta be organized so that after the swim you can get warm immediately and have something warm to drink. We started off with 15 minutes, then added 5 minutes each day. We are at around 30 minutes now.

June in Pictures

June is all about: The Escape, Back on My Feet Runs, Trail runs, bike rides, the beach, Water World Swim and SUP, the wind and fog! I star...