Whale Watching

Last week was a fairly normal week of training, three swims, three bikes, two strengths and two aqua jogs, the only excitement being that I was out of town speaking at the Summer of Body Love Conference (which was awesome, hi everybody!) and that meant the joy of working out in a sketchy hotel gym.  Biking on an ancient stationary bike, strength workout using body weight since they didn’t have proper strength equipment, and then aqua jogging in the moonlight in the hotel pool while an amorous couple looked like they very much wished I would leave.

This week had much more excitement.

On Monday I was scheduled for an Open Water Swim.  Julianne decided that she wanted to swim as well so we headed to the beach. We got into water only to be thrown out by the lifeguard.  It turns out there was a baby whale in the area. According to the lifeguard, the baby was separated from his mother in Mexico and he has been making his way up the California coast. He explained that the baby is confused and lost, and appears malnourished but because he is Federally protected (as a grey whale) there is nothing that they can do. A crowd was gathering and soon enough he surfaced in the middle of the canal.  Then a few minutes later he surfaced in the middle of the swim area.  We stayed for a while and saw him surface several times – it was both sad and magnificent – and then we wished him well and headed home.

So I swapped my Monday and Tuesday workouts and did my speed work on the bike trainer and strength workout on Monday.  On Tuesday Julianne and I headed back to the ocean and this time we got to swim.  I decided that it was high time that I do my open water swimming without my wetsuit. That is how I learned that I somehow feel like my wetsuit has stealth capabilities, as if being in the water without it would make me a sure target for sea creatures (this was not helped by my newfound knowledge that the swim area is deep enough to completely contain an 18 foot whale.)

The first half was against the current which is always interesting, feeling the small waves rhythmically hitting me in the head as I fought to make progress. The way back was MUCH easier except that I had to dodge four adolescents who had decided to paddle – well, try to paddle – inflatable boats in the swim area. It seems like no matter how I tried to get around or past them they kept floating really close to me and they couldn’t control the boats so my progress was slowed by constantly swimming around me.

I also realized that I have never named my Garmin, which is odd since I name basically everything.  At the end of this swim I realized that she had shorted me by quite a bit and that sealed the deal – her name is officially “Cruel Mistress” or CM for short.

Then yesterday was swimming speed work – I was totally thrilled with how it went, I was able to hold speeds much faster than I have previously been able.  I decided to really focus on breathing (I have a tendency to lift my head too far out of the water which hurts my neck and is inefficient) so I focused on breathing in the TI way of keeping one eye in the water.  It was more efficient and comfortable but it also caused me to swallow a bunch of pool water which was less fun, but at least I was fast. Then it was aqua jogging to finish off the day!

Workout Pictures:

About danceswithfat

Hi, I’m Ragen Chastain. Speaker, Writer, Dancer, Choreographer, Marathoner, Soon to be IRONMAN, Activist, Fat Person.
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5 Responses to Whale Watching

  1. Denny says:

    I’m glad your doing so great I’ve been so depressed lately I don’t know what to do it’s good to here good new.


  2. Great job working out while on a trip. I had a road trip to take my aging parents to Wisconsin for a family reunion and my workouts were marginal if not non-existent. I like your swim suit and want one.


  3. lsstrout says:

    The baby whale is both sad and magnificent. I hope it is okay.


  4. lsstrout says:

    By the way, how many swimsuits/pairs of shoes have you gone through on this ironman journey?


  5. standgale says:

    I have started running because of you! I’ve only been going a week, so I’ll let you know later whether this is a thanks or an accusation… 😉


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