Monday, April 20, 2009
Day at the beach
After Saturday's long, long, long workout, I was due for an easy day (small laugh. why? Because in Ironman training, I'm finding there are no easy days. Only days with less work.) And thankfully on Sunday's schedule was (only) a small swim and easy run.
So, for the FIRST time since moving out to beautiful Carlsbad, California, Nathaniel and I packed up towels, drinks, beach books, slathered ourselves with sunscreen, and headed to the beach. A 10-minute walk later, we were trudging through the sand.
And yes, SPF 50 DOES work to prevent sunburn. I can attest to that, as my stomach has not seen the light of day since...since...well, gosh. I don't really remember when I last wore a two piece. Even during Masters swimming, I'm partial to the one piece, as I don't know how the bottoms would stay on. I mean - let's face it...one strong push off the wall and there go the bottoms...
So I made a special effort to keep the whiteness of my abdomen from becoming red. Sunburn is not fun, and tummy sunburn is simply awful.
The beach itself was great. Lots of people, plenty of sun, low tide but some nice waves, and even a few dolphins past the breakers. Nathaniel and I spread out our towels and books, dipped our toes at the water's edge (holy COW that's cold!), and settled down to read and relax.
At one point I asked Nate to snap a few pictures, "...for the blog!"
"Okay...hold on," he replied. "Wait....no...you wouldn't like this angle...or this one....oh, you'll hate this shot...."
Before he could finish the task, I had snatched the camera back. "Clearly, if it takes you THAT long to find a decent shot of me, either 1) I'm unattractive or 2) your camera skills suck. You be the judge."
No more individual shots were taken after that.
But the rest of the day was great. The sound of the surf lulled me to sleep, my book covering my face, occasionally awakened by shrieking children or the guys a few meters away playing Frisbee.
It was quite the contrast from Saturday's ride. I was grateful to Shannon and Stephen for joining me in the first three hours. We set out from my place (they were super great, willing to drive from La Jolla and ride at 7 am!), cruised down the coast to Solana Beach, rode up through Rancho Santa Fe and up Del Dios Canyon, pushed through Elfin Forest (where we saw the Swami Ride coming from the other direction - absolutely incredible how fast and how hard they were riding!), past San Elijo Hills, down La Costa, and back to Carlsbad...Then I dropped them off and (gulp) did the loop in reverse.
It was long, and at times I wanted OFF the saddle, OUT of my shoes, and to be DONE with the ride. And believe me when I say - that biking 100+ miles in the hills of California is VERY different from biking along the Florida Panhandle. But in the end, the miles were covered and I spent the required time in the saddle on the bike. The run afterwards was interesting - after 5 or 10 minutes I found my feet and my legs no longer felt like jello.
And the hardest part? NOT detouring into the ocean during my T-run along the beach. Those who read my blog on a regular basis know that I'm (slightly) afraid of sharks - so I'm not one to voluntarily jump in and swim out unless totally necessary. But Saturday afternoon, believe me when I say that stopping and wading out into the cool waters, felt necessary. But I held back, marveling at my own restraint, and finished my run.
Later, the ice bath was not too horrible, and the sushi that Nathaniel and I enjoyed absolutely spectacular.
And the rest, as they say - is history.
It was a long weekend, with lots of great training, time spent with friends, and some quality R&R on the beach.
(I guess Nate did get a picture of me at the water's edge. Wow - if you look closely, you can see the tan lines. But really? I'd much rather spend time swimming in a one piece than lounging around in a two...)