Followed by a special dinner in Newport Beach with Stephanie's family celebrating Mr. Van Schaik's 63rd birthday.
Just got home. Absolutely exhausted! Non-stop action from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. will do that.
But it really was a great day. It started off with my longest ocean swim ever, a 1.5-plus mile jaunt in Marina del Rey with my Fortius Teammates and the LA Tri Club. I was surprised at how easy the duration of the swim was, though I wasn't pushing hard. Richard and I stopped a few times to chat, spot our pier marker and look or other swimmers around us. Coach Gerardo even made a cameo swimming with us, still basking in his rightfully deserved glow of a 3:15 Boston Marathon time last Monday.
After the swim, it was time to run for an hour. Most of the group was going to eat breakfast but I needed to fit my workout in since we had plans this evening. My Fortius teammate, Paul, joined me for the run or I would have been on my own. Paul is competing in his first full Ironman, St. George, this coming Saturday, along with our teammates Lisa and Christina. We talked a lot about his thoughts going into St. George. His preparation. His mental state. His goals. What's next.
It's funny, but even though I'm not competing this coming weekend in St. George, a piece of me will be there. Only I and and a few others really know the hard work that Paul, Lisa and Christina have invested in this massive achievement. And while each of them fully deserve the accolades that come with competing an Ironman, a small part of me feels like I'm attached to the experience too. Like a bench player on a basketball team that never sees actual game time but knows his contributions in practice make the starters -- those who do actually play -- better.
I capped off the training portion of my day with a 1.5 hour restorative yoga session at Black Dog. The deep stretches, especially in my shoulders and hips, hurt and softened me in the best possible way. I'm returning again tomorrow night for a 7 p.m. session, along with Steph. The rest of my training week is quite light in preparation for Wildflower. Ah, Wildflower...I had forgotten about you for a few days. Let's hope this taper goes better than my LA Marathon training.
213 days and counting.