Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A quick trip to Sydney

Last month, I had to go back home for a week to renew my work visa.  While my main priorities were work and cleaning out our storage unit (after 9 years), I was able to catch up with family and friends and I managed to get a few decent training sessions in.  I am a bit biased, but Sydney has got to be one of the best training places anywhere in the world.

I have one more race this season, the Beach 2 Battleship half (70.3) on October 29th.  Since this will be a cool salt water swim, I wanted to get a few swim sessions in with my wetsuit.  So I headed down to Dee Why Beach, on Sydney’s northern beaches.  There is a 50meter outdoor pool, which sits right on the ocean, and is filled with ocean water.  This was a perfect place to get some good training in, and since the water was still cold (17c/63f) I could get some wetsuit time in too.  A 50meter pool is so much better than the 25yard chlorinated pool I usually swim in.  The salt water was nice too – every race that I do in fresh water (just about all of them) feels a little weird, having grown up at the beach.

Here’s a few pictures of the pool @ Dee Why.IMG_3811
after swimming, letting my wetsuit dry off a little.  That is Long Reef in the background, one of my favorite windsurfing spots.

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another view of the pool, the water was perfectly clear, sure beats my local pool.

For me, swimming with the wetsuit is much faster than without – I managed to get in a 2km (2,180y) in just over 35 minutes, that is so much faster than I usually swim.  I hope I can replicate this during my next race!

I also managed to get in a great long run, right in the heart of downtown Sydney.  My course took me from the Opera house, through the botanical gardens, across the harbour bridge, past Luna park, back across the bridge, around to darling harbour and then back to the opera house.  It took 2 hrs and was almost 15 miles.  This continued something that I started in San Francisco when I ran over the Golden Gate Bridge.  I struggled on the last 30 minutes of this run.  I’ll chalk that up to a lack of nutrition/electrolytes whilst running.  Better for that to happen in training than in a race.IMG_1917

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long run map
Map of my run course, from Garmin connect (used my edge 500 bike computer during the run)

I had also planned a great long ride, but due to heavy rain I had to give it a miss.  I was really looking forward to a solid 3-4hr ride in the hills national park from Church point, to Cottage point.

Even though it was a short trip (7 days) I think I made good use of my time, and get everything done.  I am looking forward to my next trip back home, however I am not sure when that will be.

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