Monday, January 01, 2007

Sweet End to the Holiday Season

Have you ever stuck your arm in a cooler full of ice and water, you know...trying to fish out that last remaining Coke or that one particular beer amid the Miller Lites and Budlights? Remember how cold it was? This morning's swim was bit like that. The cooler was San Francisco Bay. It was so friggin' cold. I'm sensitive to cold water, more so compared to the other swimmers. It takes me awhile to adjust. All exposed parts just hurt, they sting like hell. Once I got my feet and hands to adjust it was another 5 minutes for my face, neck and ears. I got about 5 yards before I had to pull my head out of the water and do one of those silent screams. Most folks in our group was able to just go and these guys went out to swim the perimeter of the park, hardy buggers. There was also a smaller group next to use who went without wetsuits. I've gone sans wetsuit before but only in the summer. I don't know how these guys do it year round. I guess it's all in the training, just like miles for running. Thankfully it's only this cold till about March then the water warms up again, enough where I can just hit the water and start swimming right away.

That water was a shock to say the least not that I needed any more help waking up. I was excited to be out and already had my first cup of coffee. I was home by 1:30AM last night, partied well but kept the drinking in check. However I was starving when I got home, so I ate and spent another hour letting it all digest. It was a quarter to 4 before I hit the sack. But I woke up ready to go, beat my alarm even. It was a bit hectic getting all my gear together, "WHERE'S MY GOOGLES and WHERE'S MY BODYGLIDE!?". I hadn't swam since September. A smart swimmer would have put it all together the night before. Not big on swimming, always the first program to get cut in my schedule.

We had a great turnout considering it was New Year's day. It was good to see Marshall and his girlfriend Leslie, those two were at the Elk's Lodge last night. I've been seeing them around lately. They attend a different church but I always see them in these inter-church activities and now Triathlon.

I was with the slower, short distance swimmers - I appreciated the company. A big patch of fog had rolled in while we were out and my googles kept fogging up. I could not see 5 yards in front of me, the bouy line was not visible and I would intermittently run into the swimmer next to me. Finally I had to let some water in the lens, the sloshing action cleared the inside. Good thing salt water doesn't sting my eyes. It was a great time, even when we were freezing I thought we were having a great time. That cold water is so...what's the word...refreshing. I didn't swim very far but I was in the water as long as most of the gang. Damn my short stubby legs and non flexible ankles. It was also great to be in a group setting again, the solo sessions was starting to get boring.

Went home ate and got ready for my run with my friend Jason A. Sun eventually came out and it was a gorgeous day. We ran along the bay towards the Golden Gate Bridge and shortly after the bridge, turned in to the Presidio. He was in an exploring mood so we ran down roads and trails that we hadn't been before. Eventually we ended up at the Presidio National Cemetery. I've seen, run past, biked past the cemetery several times but I've never actually been inside of it. A sobering quiet moment during our run. I regretted not having my camera. From the top of the hill you have the bay before you and the bridge. The last couple of weeks I've been watching "Band of Brothers", I've seen the whole mini-series but my friend Vicky lent me the DVD set and I got into it again. Scenes from the series played on my mind when I saw the headstones. After a few minutes of reflection we hopped a wall, went down a trail and made our way back to the Marina where we started. We had been out for 1:12. I was breaking in my new Vasque Velocity's and he was breaking in his new Northface Arnuva 50's. New shoes for the new year, may they survive many hard and gnarly miles.

One amazing day. I've had a lousy holiday season for the most part, I can finally admit to that now that it's mostly over. However the celebration last night and the swim/run today saved it for me. It's like the San Francisco 49ers, when they won their last game despite a losing season. They came back to upset the Denver Broncos with a field goal with less than two minutes to play and took them out of the playoffs. That's gotta hurt. Special shout outs to my friend Lindsay and Tim, thanks for twisting my arm and convincing me to go out. You saved me from a not so tender steak and a broken Netflix DVD. Double for my friend Kate. Thank you for dragging me to the dance floor and for the hug and kiss on zero hour. You're an awesome friend.


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  2. Glad you had a good end to the holiday season. Brrrr...what a way to start the new year! : )

  3. I loved the cooler analogy!

    Thank god I can't swim or Id probably be out there with the rest of you crazy people.

    I know what you mean. Ive walked through that cemetery many times, incredible views everywhere.

    I'm happy your first day of new year turned out to be a memorable one!

  4. Yeah, I think you all are crazy for getting out in that water. I am sticking to the wet muddy trails for now. Maybe one of these days I'll join you out there.

  5. burrrrr... I had to put on a sweatshirt to read the rest of the post...yes a candy ass FL peep here about the cold weather.When we lost our power to the hurricanes in the past and had to take cold showers that was bad enough nevermind swimming in it :)

    and then U went for a RUN on a few hours sleep, YES U had a GOOD NEW YEAR "Day"..way to go Rick!!

  6. Nah, no cold swims...I am a whimp on cold.
    A kiss? And who is Kate, you say?And you danced too?

  7. Hello all, kind of crazy that it's already 2007. Where does the time go.

    Olga, I danced...a little, if you can call it that:) Kate is a a very good friend who got me away from the bar, then later onto the dance floor when I was content to play the wallflower. I can be a wet blanket at parties sometimes.

    As for you not liking the cold, see latest blog entry.

  8. Rick, I don't know if you can squeeze another race into crazy schedule, but if you decide to do the Eugene Marathon, room accommodations are on me if you don't mind sharing ( at the Hilton)

    I'll be up there by myself , but will be hooking up with Phatgirlwalking and host of other walking/running blogging characters.

    Should be a fun weekend!

  9. I was reading the Wildflower Tri website. Sounds like a pretty hardcore event. You actually have to camp out the night before?

    A little too rugged for me , I need room service!

  10. Actually our club camps out from Friday night thru Sunday. Saturday is the Half-Ironman distance event and Sunday is the Olympic distance event. Being a club we want to be there for everyone for the whole weekend. Sunday racers cheer and support on Saturday, likewise for the Saturday racers. A lot of fun, camaraderie and competition.