Tuesday, September 05, 2006

First Day Back - Post IM Canada

Today was my first workout after Ironman Canada -- a long ocean swim. I waited a full week before working out, which I know is not required, but it felt like the right thing to do this year.

It was a very choppy day in the La Jolla Cove, but the ocean was still packed with swimmers, kayakers and lifeguards on Jet Skis. The water was warm enough for an hour and a half swim.

Next weekend, I’ll swim in the La Jolla Rough Water Swim– which is a 1 mile or 3 mile race. If the water temp stays warm – I’ll do the 3 mile event. – The Gatorman.

There are many thoughts that go through your head when you start to workout again after an Ironman, or any major event. I always find myself asking why. Why do I find the sport of Triathlon so fantastic? It does not take long until answers start coming to me. The fitness, the energy, the food, the travel, the sense of accomplishment, and the people.

The sun was bright today, the air was warm and the ocean about 70 degrees. I started to swim, then on a big swell I poked my head up and could seem some other swimmers going in the same direction – so I motored over to them. I met up with them at the ½ mile buoy and we swam to La Jolla Shores and towards the pier, then back.

You feel safer in the water when there are more people around. I can remember one of the swimmers I met up with was the younger daughter of a Mark Allen’s old chiropractor from quite some time ago. Say that ten times fast.

She was 12. And with fins on she could outrun her mom and the other swimmers around us, even though apparently her sport is tennis. In any event, I have a vivid image of swimming with this group and periodically looking up, and all the other swimmers including Michaela the speedy kid – would look around, make eye contact with each other, or sight contact on each other, then continue.

It must be a human instinct -- when we’re out of our element, flailing our arms about while a mile into the Pacific Ocean donning only a bathing suit and goggles – to make safety eye contact with each other. Looking around, checking in, as if to say, “You’re still there, that’s good, and we’re all safe still.”

I simply feel better when accompanied by others in the world’s largest body of water – the Pacific Ocean. And come to think of it, that’s true of all areas of life -- and most situations.

Is it not utterly human for us to want to look to our right or left and see someone else there -- making sure they are ok -- when we swim through the rough waters that sometimes can make up our lives?

My advice? Look around. Acknowledge the others around you. Find a few special people and build deep and meaningful relationships with them then glance over at them often, and let them know you are here.

When you’re in the largest body of water, it’s amazing to understand just how vast it is…

“The Pacific Ocean received its name from the global navigator -- Ferdinand Magellan. On september 20, 1519, 270 men and Magellan set sail from Spain on their around-the-world voyage in five small vessels including his flagships Trinidad, Conception, San Antonio, Victoria, and Santiago. It took the fleet, or at least the three remaining ships in the fleet, 38 days to navigate the strait around South America that was to bear Magellan’s name. During the last week of November, the fleet emerged into what Magellan described as a “beautiful, peaceful ocean.” Thus, it was named the Pacific Ocean (“pacific” meaning “peaceful.”)” - www.ocean.udel.edu

“The Pacific Ocean encompasses a third of the Earth's surface, having an area of 179.7 million square kilometers (69.4 million sq mi and 161 million cubic mi) —significantly larger than Earth's entire landmass, with room for another Africa to spare. Extending approximately 15,500 kilometers (9,600 mi) from the Bering Sea in the Arctic to the icy margins of Antarctica's Ross Sea in the south (although the Antarctic regions of the Pacific are sometimes described as part of the circumpolar Southern Ocean), the Pacific reaches its greatest east-west width at about 5°N latitude, where it stretches approximately 19,800 kilometers (12,300 mi) from Indonesia to the coast of Colombia and Peru. The western limit of the ocean is often placed at the Strait of Malacca. The lowest point on earth—the Mariana Trench—lies 10,911 meters (35,797 ft) below sea level. Its average depth is 4,300 meters (14,000 ft).” - Wikipedia