The last couple months have been exceedingly busy between work, life, and trying to exercise in pursuit of my potentially over-ambitious endeavor to become a Paratriathlete. A couple days before the rideATAXIA NorCal event, I received response to my application, accepting me into the Challenged Athletes Foundation Paratriathlon Camp the end of August. Yeah, I am more than a little excited! The camp is hosted at the Challenged Athletes Center in San Diego, CA, and given that I need to have my recumbent trike and a racechair/pushrim with me, I will be burning a couple weeks of vacation so Greta and I can road-trip down there, visiting some family and friends along the way, as well as seeing a highly referred neurologist at UCLA to see if she has any fresh ideas in terms of my “uniqueness”.
One of the great (there are many) things about these CAF programs, is that through the Foundation and generous ongoing donations, they are completely funded for applicants such as myself. CAF will be reimbursing me up to $400 for travel expenses (we’ll be taking the FJ in order to haul the trike and chair, so that and then some will all be used for gas), and will be covering all of my lodging and food once down there for the weekend. In order to keep our expenses down (we’d have to pay extra out of pocket for Greta to stay and eat for the weekend), Greta will be dropping me off in San Diego on Thursday and leaving me to work myself silly at the camp while she continues on to Loma Linda for a weekend of friends, come Sunday, what remains of me will be picked up.
With this trip just around the corner, last week I realized I should probably start mixing in some swimming and racechair running instead of continuing to rack up miles only pedaling the trike. Getting back in the pool felt great (I managed to get in swims on two different days), and I was pleasantly surprised with my mile time, all that time on the trike has apparently been paying off. I am anxious to see how much different my mile time will be with the open water swimming when we get to Lost Lake again end of this month, and have a new Garmin Forerunner 920xt on the way so I can track distance when not in the lap pool (and give me more accurate reporting when I am in the lap pool).
Another item for the open water swims on my need list is a triathlon wetsuit, which are unfortunately on the expensive side. Checking yesterday with Mark, the coordinator for the CAF Paratriathlon clinic, one of the days will involve an open water swim in the Pacific, which, will not be to bad at 70-72 degrees, although a wetsuit is recommended. Turns out, CAF has an arrangement with Xterra Wetsuits (one of the big names in Tri-wetsuits) and looks like I will be able to pick one up at a heavily discounted price (sorting out the details/sizing and will hopefully order before the week is out)!
I’ve been waffling back and forth with my swimming. Part of the time I’m trying to focus on the pointers learned at the CAF Swim Clinic I attended at Nike a couple months back, and on the flip side, I try telling myself that while I have some refinement that can still be achieved, my stroke is unique like me, and it works for me to get the job done. Before getting rear-ended a few years back and going through back surgery, I was starting to work in more flip-turns with my laps, and I am happy to be getting back to that point again. Basically, when I feel like I’m in a pretty good rhythm, all I have to do is start throwing in the flip-turns and the air sucking frequency is guaranteed to increase.
And then there’s the track chair/pushrim for the running portion of a tri, I’ll get that post together in the next day or so!