One of the downsides to telecommuting is that it’s very easy to become withdrawn, especially if ¬†you are a natural introvert like me. I find myself going days on end without leaving the house unless it’s for a quick trip to the gym,and I’m usually under water for most of the time I’m there. I do make it off of our street quite often to go out running and riding, but that hardly counts as “going out”.

The upside is that training solo makes racing solo a little easier. The downside is that you don’t get that little extra push on the tough days when you’re training alone, and you don’t get little nuggets of wisdom and information from other athletes. I was really lucky to find out about an open water swim/run brick group that meets close to the house, and I was able to actually go out last night and participate, which was awesome!

The Running Zone sponsors this workout every Wednesday night at Pineapple Park near the Eau Gallie causeway. There are a couple of swim options, and all kinds of athletes swimming a variety of paces show up. Lots of people do a quick 0.4 mile out and back swim, but there’s also the opportunity to get a full 0.8 mile (~1400 yards) swim without doing two laps of the .4 course.

See how close that is to the 1500 meters you’d swim in a Oly? See how easy it would be to do the 0.8 + 0.4 for a total of 1.2, which just happens to be the exact distance you swim in a 70.3?

Dang. I wish I’d known about this when I was training for the Haines City 70.3. I did one short single solitary open water swim before that race, and I really paid for it.

The great thing about swimming here is that when you’re done you are in the perfect spot to get a run that includes the causeway. That’s the closest thing we have to a hill here. It’s not very steep and not very long, but it’s the the best we have, and it has a very nice pedestrian walkway that is safely protected from traffic by a bike lane and concrete dividers, so it’s very safe.

Now for the best part…all the added information you get by going to where people are and actually talking to them. I met a couple of good dudes last night who gave me all kinds of information on local and semi-local races. Better than that, I got information on even more organized open-water swims and group runs. There are all kinds of opportunities for long runs with Gatorade/water support and social runs throughout the week. I’m going to make it out Sunday for the group long run, and this Wednesday night swim is going to be a staple of my weekly schedule!