Elle: This past Wednesday we had a great time hanging out with the Boston Triathlon Team (BTT) at The Asgard in Cambridge (of course we had to order the truffled tater tots while we were there). Ed Galante, who originally introduced us to the BTT, invited us to join them on Saturday for a swim at Walden Pond, followed by a bike ride around Concord. That all sounded good to us, so Saturday morning we got up at 6am, ate a little something, packed up our gear, and headed out to meet the team by 8am. Ed couldn't make it, but we met BTT coach, Jorge Martinez, the owner & head coach at E3 Training Solutions. Noah was there, who we had met at The Asgard, with his girlfriend, Brenda, as were a handful of other athletes.
The Walden Pond Swim
Webb: This was my first time swimming in historic Walden Pond. I went to the pond to swim deliberately, to front only the essential elements of open water swimming, and see if I could not learn what the water had to teach, and not, when I came to race, discover that I could not podium." (Cf. Henry David Thoreau, Walden.) We swam from the main beach area directly across the pond, about a half-mile across. As we approached the water, Elle pointed out the yellow-green film of pollen along the shore line. On that first swim over, I had to stop about 10 times to cough. Was it the pollen? Or maybe the wetsuit squeezing the extra pounds since the last time I wore it? Who knows? Fortunately, the return swim felt great. Unlike cycling and running, I have no sense of pace in the open water.
Elle: The water was nice, the weather was great, I was excited to jump in and do this thing. But the whole way across, I had trouble getting my breath. That worried me. When I finally reached the other end of the pond, I checked my wetsuit and realized I had pulled the top tab too tight, basically half-strangling myself. Once I loosened it, all of a sudden everything became a lot easier. The swim back was better, but the whole experience made me realize that we need to do A LOT more open water swimming.
The Bike Ride
|Parking lot full 'o cyclists
|Snack break w/ Brenda
Later on that day, Webb and I headed to Nantasket Beach, and had a nice dinner, ocean side. Good times.
SUNDAY in Purgatory
Webb: We made plans to ride the Purgatory race course with our friend Lenny. The course is an 11-mile loop featuring some sneaky climbs, a good albeit short, tempo/time-trial section and the signature climb, the one that puts you between Heaven and Hell. Our intent was to keep the ride easy and aerobic. As I like to say, let the hills do the work. Lenny was riding with a purpose so he took off almost immediately. I took the lead on the first lap to show the way. I had Elle drive the second lap, not so much to pull, but to learn the route. We met up with Lenny after lap 2 and decided to ride a final 3rd lap as a group. What that actually meant is Elle was going to drive in first position again.
|The signature climb is at 9.3 miles