My first race of the season is tomorrow. Unlike last year, the ramp up time is filled more with excitement and less with nerves. I've been spending a lot of time visualizing the swim, because my goal is to show major improvement there. "Major Improvement" is defined as doing the entire swim with some semblance of a free style stroke.
I've been noticing something at the pool recently. It's that the first 200 yards is really hard. Once I get that set out of the way, I can pull off additional 200's, 500's 1000's without much problem. Slow? Yes, but doable. And it seems my stroke gets better the longer I go.
I don't have this issue on the bike or the run. If I look at my split times they suggest it takes me a mile or so to settle in on the bike and about half that on the run. But in neither case am I sucking wind as bad as I am in the first 200 yards of swimming.
This time I am going to do everything I can to warm up for the swim. To the extent possible, I'll be in the water right up to the start of my wave. We'll see what that does.
There is a chance it's going to rain. I'm a little concerned. This might be because just last night I read about this huge crash in the rain during a Tour De France mountain stage. Whatever, I'll get over it. It's not like I'll be going 50 miles an hour down a mountain. If I can hold 20 miles an hour I'll be high-fiving myself.
I shouldn't be concerned about weather, anyway. I grew up in New England and have been in worse, like I describe here. Yet I am a little worried. Funny how age and a move to California changes things.
For gear, the general consensus is normal stuff plus a fleece or long sleeve just in case. I agree. I might bring an older pair of running shoes in case it is super wet and I find myself being super precious about my racing flats.
And that's about it. A few errands to run this afternoon and then I am heading out. Race report to come.