OK, where did I leave off? I guess I just kind of gave a quick overall. Maybe that's all that's needed :-) I can get so wordy, I'm sure a lot of people who go to my blog glance at the latest post and say, "Forget it." I gotta learn to cut down.
More on the swim: I found that when I repeated a mental mantra of "Glide, glide, glide," and emphasized the glide more than the stroke, I apparently swam better, because it was during those times that I gained on and even passed a few people. I also abandoned my bilateral breathing, and breathed to the left, my natural breathing side, every 4th stroke. After a while I tried switching to breathing to the right, to equalize the muscle effort, and after a minute or so discovered it had resulted in my turning 90 degrees to starboard from the course, so I gave up on that and breathed only to the left. It was comfortable and I didn't have to think about it.
Bike strategy: Coach Mary had recommended going nice and easy the first 30 miles, then bumping it up to about 65% effort till 90 miles, then, if I felt good, going for it and starting to aim at people to pick off.
Well, the way I accomplished this was, start out by selecting gears in which I could easily spin an effortless cadence in the 80's. And as a matter of fact, this is what I did the whole time, even though somehow I did pick up the pace after 30 miles and again later on. In fact, by about 55 miles, I was whizzing along passing a lot of people and hardly being passed by anyone. And I was thinking, uh-oh, I wonder if I've gone too hard too early; I wonder if I can keep this up for another loop.
Especially when the wind picked up on the second loop.
But I kept it up. When I started pushing my pedals hard and feeling leg effort and my cadence dropped to 78 or so, I shifted down to get back to effortless 80's. When it got to 90, I didn't want to move my legs that fast and shifted up to get back to easy 80's. And that is what I did the whole time. There's a "sweet spot" I like wherein it feels like the bike is going by itself, and the pedals are going around because the bike is going, and my feet are going because they're on the pedals, with just the slightest suggestion of helping it along the least little bit. That's my sweet spot and that's where I like to ride, and on a flat course that's where I was able to stay.
I finished thinking I was glad I didn't have a marathon to run, but also knowing that if that had been on the schedule for the day, I could have done it. Which, I guess, was the perfect place to be at the end of an Iron-distance swim and bike with no run planned until next month when I do all three in the real deal.
Some details, snafus, and funny things coming in the next episode of my continuing saga. But this is enough for folks to read for now.