I have become one of them…a fitness freak. (One of those people I used to mock.) I’ve just bought a wetsuit, a pair of running shoes (at full retail from a store that sells nothing but running shoes, and asks you to bring your old running shoes in with you when you shop there), and am researching to buy a new bike (designed by and built for women!) Lest you think I’m doing this as a poser, let me lay out the schedule that’s been going on…
Last Friday: biked to work
Last Saturday: swam for the first time in San Francisco Bay, at Aquatic Park in SF (Falling into the Bay while learning to windsurf in 8th grade does not count.)
Last Sunday: Hiked up and down Mission Peak for the second Sunday in a row
Monday (today): went swimming in lap session at the pool
Tuesday (tomorrow): go running (break-in those new shoes!), maybe bike to work
Wednesday: go swimming in pool
Thursday: go running
Friday: bike to work
Saturday: go swim in Aquatic Park or Quarry Lake
Sunday: Hike up and down Mission Peak
Has Celia gone nuts just because she’s worried about a little pudge? What is this explosion of exercise? Actually it’s been the culmination of several things.
As mentioned in an earlier entry, we’ll be hiking Half-Dome in late August. So we’re planning to do Mission Peak every Sunday morning from now till then. This means we’ll be driving, instead of biking to Farmer’s Market.
My friend Chris has been doing triathlons for a couple years now, and has been bugging me to do one with her, specifically, the swimming portion. Running is her strongest suit, swimming is not her cup of tea. I hate running (exception made for Bay-to-Breakers during college years), but can swim competently. And apparently there are some triathlons which you can do as a relay, i.e. one or person does one leg or two of the three legs, depending on their athletic expertise. So now we’re considering doing a sprint distance triathlon…on/around Treasure Island in November. The swimming will be in a cove off Treasure Island, which will still be in the SF Bay. Hence the wetsuit.
To be honest, I was a bit worried about swimming in open water, it’s quite different from swimming in a pool, where you can get a little boost from kicking off the wall at each end, and where you can grab onto the sidewall to rest. Open water will be choppier, windier, and there’s nowhere to kick-off from, or hang onto. Plus the Bay is cold… 52-62 degrees Fahrenheit, apparently.
But I found a couple of used wetsuits online (Craigslist rocks!), so Chris and I went to test our wetsuits and ourselves in the cold open water at Aquatic Park. If we could handle it, we would sign up for Treasure Island. And surprisingly we did OK. We were only in there for 20 minutes. When you first go in, even with a wetsuit, it’s cold. But then you swim a bit, and warm up, just like in a swimming pool. Actual triathlon conditions will be worse, where there are a hundred other swimmers thrashing about you, but I actually liked swimming in the Bay. And the beauty of wetsuits is…they’re buoyant, so you worry less about sinking or drowning. On the other hand, they seem to restrict swimming movement, i.e. breaststroke is near impossible in a wetsuit, and kicking is harder for the freestyle (Well, these are used surfing wetsuits, and at $40 a pop, as opposed to $250 retail for triathlon wetsuits….). I couldn’t really practice the freestyle much though, because I had forgotten earplugs, and the cold water that got in made my ear ache. I’m looking forward to going to swim in Aquatic Park again.
After this I was inspired, contemplating doing all three legs of the sprint distance triathlon. Chris was going to do the running and biking legs, if I didn’t swim for her, she would train for it and try to swim the 500m herself, or not swim. (Hopefully having a wetsuit will inspire her try the swim! Although she’d probably be sensible and spring for a proper triathlon wetsuit.)
But then I would need running shoes . . .
(To be continued in the next entry)