Thursday, August 9, 2007

Swimming and Other Liquid Pursuits

Well, last night I completed my fourth open water swim. One mile was on the plan and one mile was successfully completed. It was, as usual, an adventure of sub-epic proportions. I was calm and relaxed going out, having three of these puppies already under my belt (that makes me an expert, right?), and anxious to get in the water as it was Hotter Than Hell on Ecstasy. Funny, that resulted in the water being the temperature of bathwater - and, like most things - I like my baths HOT, so that's sayin' somethin'. Regardless, I felt like I was flying through the water, I was employing my Total Immersion technique and gliding like a freaking moray eel out there. At least, that's what it felt like. At first, I was right in the fray - arms and legs and swim caps all over the place - and trying to dodge the kicks and get around the arms and find a safe pair of feet to draft off of. After awhile, things spread out as the fast people (read, not me) and the slow people (there I am!) took their places in the water. I had one all out head on collision with a dude who had wondered into oncoming traffic (I didn't ask for a breathalyzer, I just didn't have time, ya know?) but it wasn't too bad - fortunately, neither of us was swimming with much force - and I cited more often after that. It still doesn't quite explain why, when I felt like I was haulin' some Phoenix ass out there - my time was actually slower than my first open water attempt which included 200 yards of full on freak out. I don't get it. My theory in solving this mystery involves a few possibilities: 1) The water was so freakin' hot, it slowed me down without my realizing it 2) I swam off course so much that I actually swam double the mileage 3) An alien time warp 4) I wasn't swimming as fast as I thought 5) The course was mismarked and actually longer than the last three swims (I vote for this one. Oh, oh and three, I pick three too!). The Bottom Line is as follows: I need to get faster.

On to the Other Liquid Pursuits. About a month ago, the fine folks at Accelerade made me an offer I couldn't refuse: One month supply of their product in exchange for becoming a "community influencer" on their site and writing about said product should I feel inspired to do so. Some of you may have been privy to similar/identical offers. Now, though I'm a newb, I know that you don't pass up swag - its just not done - so I accepted and began the experiment. I've been using Accelerade for my workouts since my FTE and feel that I have enough experience with the product to lay down some opinions. First - as I've heard others of you mention (or read others of your mentions or something along those lines)- there is a definite chalky afterfeel in your mouth when you drink this stuff straight - not too big of a deal post workout but something I can't deal with during. After some experimentation, I've found a formula that works fabulously for me - tastes great, minimal chalkiness and dry-mouth, thirst quenching and bonk preventing. I dilute the Accelerade 50/50 with water, then add a packet of my favorite energy drink powder, a.c.t., which has guarana, ginseng, stevia for sweetener, and green tea - its a calmer buzz than caffeine, but it gets the job done. So that's my homebrew "during workout" mix. I lurve it. For post-workout, if it was an easy to moderate effort, I just drink the other half of the Accelerade bottle straight up. If it was a particularly difficult workout, I add a scoop of whey protein to tip the scales in my muscle's favor. Seems to work for me. On the super positive side, Accelerade tastes really good - I actually like all the flavors, though it depends on my mood which I like best on a particular day. Today was a fruit punch day - I suspect I'll be up for the mountain berry on Saturday. Maybe a Mango day on Sunday. We'll see. On the extra super positive side, those loverly Accelerade people just up and sent me a Craft tech tee in my size convincing me that I need more of these tees. OMG, the fabric is soo soft and wicks sweat up like crazy. Awesome swag, people, awesome frackin' swag.

Well, that's all I got for today, gentle readers, hope your weekend is full of great and productive training and plenty of R & R. Be careful out there!


No Wetsuit Girl... overseas! said...

Never blame yourself when you can pass blame on to the elements. Your swim time was probably slower because:
A) You sustained some minor brain damage in your head-on collision that affected your gross motor skills. I smell a very lucrative law suit!
B) The course was long AND it was high tide AND there was a current AND the water was too hot.
C) The first time around your watch stopped, and then started again a few minutes later making your time look faster than it actually was.
D) Sharks, big ones, with machine guns.

~I heart my accelerade, but I would describe it as tasting more "gelatin-y" thank chalky~

PS Note to self: on next badass workout be sure to bleed more and then puke INTO the wound, then I'll have more bragging rights.

Vickie said...

Hard to say what happened during the swim, other than it was what it was. There are times still when I feel like I am flying through the water, smooth stroking, sighting really well, and when I look at my watch, I am a minute slower than when I had a hard swim workout. Swimming, like running and biking, takes consistency to see improvement, and maybe more so. Just get comfortable in the water and don't worry about your time. It is the part of the tri that will show you the least gain for the effort.

21stCenturyMom said...

Swimming is a great mystery. Lately I have been slow. There's no good reason - it just is what it is. I expect that soon I will be faster and I won't understand why. I just do what the coaches say and hope it all works out.

I wish the Accelerade people would drafte me because I need more shirts. I do! Actually I did a review for them last year - before they started giving out shirts.

Donald said...

You can NEVER compare open water times, even in the same spot - there are just too many variables. Just keep doing it, and you'll get faster, I promise.

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

community influencer - I like the term.

Yes, swimming is a crap shoot. I keep hoping that soon I will be as smokin' fast in the swim as I am elsewhere, but alas - I'm just...consistent...

this is not a bad thing.

I like the sharks with machineguns lawsuit - I think this is worth pursuing.