For the second weekend in a row, I escaped the concrete jungle.
Eight miles + four hours = one incredible view at Slide Mountain
The time, the destination was the Catskills, and the fall foliage, weather, and hiking did not disappoint.
General training notes: before heading to the Catskills, I logged some solid workouts this week, specifically in the pool. We’ve slowly built my swim volume throughout the past few weeks, and I’ll log a few workouts before this Saturday’s meet—which will be my first one ever! I’ve been told my event list is aggressive (50m, 100m, and 200m freestyle, plus the 100 IM and most likely a 4x200m freestyle relay), but ignorance is bliss, a.k.a. I don’t know any better. It will a learning experience, and I’m pumped.
Monday – p.m. run
Nearly six miles after work
Tuesday – a.m. run; p.m. swim with Bearcat masters
Easy 3.5 miles before work, plus a surprise IM masters practice. (Tuesdays are typical freestyle while Thursdays are IM.) As the lane worked through the main set, I thought about how far I’ve come both physically and mentally as a swimmer. Sure, an IM practice isn’t my favorite thing, and I’ve altered these types of sets in the past (by swimming freestyle when the workout called for stroke work). But on this night, I didn’t think twice about it; I just did it. Also, during my first few IM practices last year, I had to ask what “IM order” meant, or which stroke I was supposed to do when. On this night, though, I led the lane. Whether I’m becoming faster is one thing (which I feel like I am), but I’m also excited about the mental/knowledge aspect of this progress. Something that originally scared me big time is now normal, although still challenging. To me, that’s what this sport is all about.
Wednesday – a.m. swim with Bearcat masters
Up until this point, I’ve avoid morning swims because of the logistics involved. But since I have a meet coming up—and since Earl wants me to swim five days this week—I put the hassle aside and got my butt to the 6 a.m. practice. And I was so glad I did. Not only did I get to see my Bearcat tri buds, but I also completed an endurance-focused workout that was a perfect follow-up to Tuesday night’s harder session.
Thursday – off
My family visited for a few days, and we hung out Thursday evening.
Friday – a.m. swim with Bearcat masters
I didn’t realize how much I missed these morning practices. I need to keep playing around with the timing of my commute (what time I need to leave the pool, what time the nearest train comes, etc.), but in the future, I should be able to be in the water for nearly 75 minutes of the 90-minute session. Aside from underwater drills—where you hold your breath and swim underwater for a predetermined length, a.k.a my nemesis—I felt great in the water and finally got a Bearcat masters swim cap. The hay is in the barn, and I’m as ready as I’m going to be for next weekend’s meet!
Saturday – hike in the Catskills
There’s nothing like escaping the concrete jungle for a fall foliage weekend north. The four hours and eight miles of hiking were absolutely perfect.
Sunday – a.m. run and hike
Easy six-mile shake-out in the Catskills, plus another hike
What are some of your favorite fall activities?