Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Flying Solo: SEBA #2

Even though Awesome Training Partners Wil and Shelley were otherwise occupied, I trudged over to Tiscornia Park this morning to begin a solo version of Steelhead Epic Brick Adventure #2.

Just to set the stage, I take back EVERYTHING I've ever said about Lake Michigan's waves. Those waves of weeks past were NOT waves. They were ripples on a millpond. Swirls of a trout rising to a fly. The vortex of a water strider making its way across a puddle. What I encountered today were WAVES. Big, freakin, nasty, roll-you-over and spit-you-out waves.

I jumped off the pier (which is pretty fun, by the way) and gave it my best shot, but after 800 yards I'd had enough. Yes, I bailed. Had it been race day I would have persevered and finished the sucker off, undoubtedly crawling out of the water seasick, puking and worthless for the rest of the race. Today, I...just...didn't...want...to. I hate not finishing a workout. Quitting once makes it easier to quit again...and that's not good. Quitting should never be easy. Crap.

Oh yeah, then I encountered the rip tide. I'm swimming maybe 75 yards from shore in shoulder-deep water when I decide to head for the beach. Only I can't get there. I swim, swim some more, take a sighting, yep there's the beach dead ahead, swim, swim, swim, take another sighting, beach still dead ahead but no closer. Hmmm. Now, at this point the danger is more theoretical than real; I have my trusty wetsuit on, I can touch bottom in between the waves and there are several crazy jet-skiers about if I get into serious trouble. So, reasonably calmly, I say "screw swimming. I'll just WALK in to shore." Only I can't. The outgoing rip, too strong to walk against, knocks me backward while the waves throw me forward; the combination is just enough to prevent any forward progress at all. At this point, childhood summers spent at Santa Cruz, CA's Steamer Lane pay off and I remember body surfing. It takes me three waves to reach knee-deep water and, finally, the beach. Sand between my toes never felt so good.

The 59 mile bike was blissfully uneventful, taking me about 3:05 to complete. Wil's 'Cujo the Devil Dog' never appeared. Probably knew I was gunning for him after last week, the coward. I pushed the run harder and further than I intended, covering 7 miles in 49 minutes. As y'all know by now, math isn't my strong suit, but I think that works out to about 7 minute miles and sorta makes up for the aborted swim, I guess.

All in all, not a bad day. SEBAs are way more fun with Awesome Training Partners, but even alone they beat the living hell out of a day in the office!


Shelley said...

thank god you got back to shore, I may have totally freaked out..good for you..and the run was fast eh??

mipper said...

great job. i would have definately freaked at getting caught in the tide. my worst nightmare and i spent my teen years near a beach. wtg today. have you been able to find those Seabands? just wondering what your options for the seasickness at Steelhead will be.

Wil said...

GAH!! Those waves sound nuts! Good for you for getting out of there, quitting once is better than drowning once. Way to go on that bike leg! Glad Cujo didn't come after you, he wouldn't be so bold :)

Flatman said...

Hey, that;s a damn good training day, even if the swim did suck!

Way to go, man!