The late KABC-TV anchor, Jerry Dunphy, used to open his newscasts with a greeting along the lines of "From the desert to the sea, or wherever you may be, good evening." (I know that's not exactly it.) That's what my day of training felt like today. It started at 6:30 a.m. in Santa Monica for my first ocean speed circuit with the LA Tri Club. We -- and by "we" I mean about 100 other folks -- met at Tower 26 off Ocean Park and Barnard Way, where we then swam out to a buoy about 250 yards offshore and triangulated back to the lifeguard tower. We jogged the distance from the tower to the entry point, with the goal of completing at least three loops in the typical one hour allotment.
I was still feeling pretty crispy from the Fortius swim the evening prior, but had enough in the tank to complete three loops with fairly little effort. The water was cold but manageable and especially salty. I don't remember the water being as salty in Marina del Rey and Malibu. I'm not sure why that is. I didn't really know too many people at the swim, but friendly faces Byron, Bob, Mo and Liana made my first experience pleasant. Bob reminded me that some workouts just require you to show up and log the time. This would be one of those days.
Of course, my training didn't stop there. To conclude the day, I rejoined the LA Tri Clubbers at Griffith Park earlier this evening for our weekly brick. We "only" had 1.75 hours instead of the usual 2.25, but it might as well have been that long based on how my legs felt and my heart-rate performed. My bike ride was pretty pathetic, though I stayed mostly in heart-rate zone 2 on the climb up Mount Hollywood and managed to get out to the Griffith Observatory and back in just over an hour. That's kind of encouraging since I didn't exert much effort but still got up the big hills without much trouble. Still, I just didn't have much power in my legs and I have a 45-minute time trial tomorrow. I need to find the extra power for that one. Fortunately, my run was a pleasant surprise. Though I didn't feel great, I managed two sub-eight-minute miles at the end of he run, even getting down to around 7:30 without coming close to heart-rate zone 4. I didn't expect to see that kind of progress after beating myself up the past few days. I hope I can build on that moving forward. We'll find out on Friday, when I have a tempo two-hour trail run with the last 5-8 miles in zone 3. Wheee!
Perhaps the best part of the day came in the middle, when I visited the dermatologist. A year ago at this time, I literally was receiving some very light radiation treatments on my face for some pre-cancerous growth on my nose. Today, I received a 100% clean bill of health from the skin doctor, noting that I was progressing "perfectly." Considering how often I'm outside, this was a huge relief. I've been much better about using quality sunblock whenever I can, and it clearly has made a difference. I can only urge my friends to please do the same, and PLEASE get checked out by a dermatologist. Or at least have someone monitor your body for unusual moles and pigmentation.
We covered the sea. We covered the Hollywood sign. We covered Griffith Observatory. We ran trails. We ran on the road.
I think we did Jerry Dunphy justice today.
168 days and counting.