Posts Tagged With: training for triathlon

And The Birds Were Mocking Me

It’s been a nutty week. Just crazy busy with me training for the half iron tri, my husband training for his first marathon, one son in football, one son in a parkour class the one day my other son doesn’t have football practice, a messy foster dog to vet, care for, and take to adoption events, and at the end of the day, we are beat. Worn out. Tired. Fatigued. But you know what, isn’t that what life is about? Living it? I believe so, and at the end of October, when my husband will be in taper mode, I’ll be done with my tri and on to “just” marathon training (I’m giddy even thinking about marathon training), my son will be done with football, and we won’t have our foster dog anymore, we are going to look at each other and say, “What are we going to do with all the extra time?”.  And I’m sure we will find something fun to fill it up with, whether it’s playing board and card games with our boys, doing yard work (goodness we really need to do some yard work), some house projects, or whatever. It’s kind of the way our lives go. The ebb and flow of busy.

One new venture that my family, including my sister who lives right down the road, has taken up is coaching the Stride running program at my older son’s middle school two days a week for ten weeks.  If you’re familiar with the Girls on the Run program, it’s the same thing but for boys.  Over the ten weeks, we will learn lessons about character and train for a 5k to be run in December. I feel there’s a HUGE gap in running programs for kids, and many middle schools do not have a track program.  So I brought this program to the school. Tuesday was our first practice, and I realized that it’s going to be tough to reel in some of these sixth graders. Many of them didn’t want to be there. Many of them didn’t listen AT ALL, many of them think they know everything. Typical, right? But the one thing I want them to learn is that they CAN do it, they CAN accomplish it, and whether or not they really want to be there, they are, so they might as well look on the positive side. They might surprise themselves.

Me with just a few of the 15 boys we will be coaching. Yeah, I'm not the tallest one.

Me with just a few of the 15 boys we will be coaching. Yeah, I’m not the tallest one.

While we were running, one of the kids told me that he had been having migranes, and he was on the edge of a headache. I told him that he can certainly walk if he needed to, but he kept going. He said, and I quote, “I need to push myself.” I found that very mature, and I replied to him that it WAS just the first day and there were many later times he could push himself. Then he said, “If I don’t start pushing myself now, then when?” Hmmmm, profound statement for anyone, especially a sixth grader, right?

I translate this over to my own life and training, and it speaks loud and clear.  If I don’t start pushing myself NOW, then when? I’ve been putting in a lot of training this past week, and really, triathlon training ain’t no joke! The time it takes to get everything in is a lot more than what I thought, but it’s good. I don’t mind it at all, and have found it to be a good challenge for me, as I’m facing a pretty big fear of mine. Failure. So I AM pushing myself. I AM doing things I never thought I would do. I am NOT doubting whether or not I can do it. I don’t have time for that. I don’t have room for that in my head. Yes, I’m scared, but I’m confident at the same time. Trust in your training is what I tell other people who question whether or not they’re ready to run a full marathon.  Well, if they’ve been following their training plan, then they need to trust in it.

For swimming, I went to the channel on Monday with my friend, and we planned a nice long swim at slack/no current, which is what I call “at real distance”. Well, we were late, had to pay the meters, and as we swam, we started swimming against a pretty fast current. Instead of stopping right away or getting angry, we kept going. Sure, we did get out before we got to our destination, but we swam long enough to get in a very good, hard workout. Then this morning, we tried out our wetsuits and did a short swim first, then a long swim. My arms were screaming and I was just tired, but I kept going. The waves got us for a bit in there and it was sort of like the light washing machine cycle. So annoying!!! But I kept going. I knew the conditions on race day would probably be similar, so I knew I was just building confidence.  As I passed the many many many boat piers on the edge of the channel, I saw many sea gulls sitting up on the top of the pier logs. As I was sighting, I would see them, and I think I saw one point his wing at us and laugh as if to say, “Suckas!” One was even paddling around as we came to shore, showing off on how fast he could swim.  He was mocking me.  A LAUGHING GULL was MOCKING me. Sigh.

These are the piers the gulls were pointing from. There were a LOT in the 1.75 miles we swam on Wednesday!

These are the piers the gulls were pointing from. There were a LOT in the 1.75 miles we swam on Wednesday!

I biked 60 miles on Sunday. I started out on the trainer, realized how TERRIBLE of an idea it was (can you say sweat fest???!), so left and went to finish my 48 miles on the roads in Carolina Beach. I had a tail wind going down the island and a head wind coming up the island. It was annoying as hell. But I knew it would probably be like that on race day. And I pushed myself. I felt fabulous (and hungry) when I was done.

I GOT TO RUN ON TUESDAY!!!! I was soooooo happy to lace up my shoes and go for a 45 minute “easy” run, which turned in to a hop, skip, and happy jump to a pace of 8:06, and I sort of pushed myself. It felt great. I missed running so much, so I got caught up in it all. I’m running a 5k on Saturday, and have a total mileage of 10ish that day. I’m working the 5k in for tempo work, but I don’t know how hard to push myself for this thing. I was hoping to be at a point I could come close to my PR, but without running the past few weeks, I just don’t think I should.  But I’m going to try my best and follow how I feel.

Total September Miles:

71 miles run, 6.54 miles swam, and 294.65 biked.

And as I face my first swim race next weekend I realize that I need keep pushing myself every day.  Keep going, no matter what. If not now, then when?

How far do you push yourself? How close to the limit do you get? Do you even know where your limit is?

I went over to the other side of the island after the swim just so I could see this.

I went over to the other side of the island after the swim just so I could see this.

 

Categories: beach 2 battleship triathlon, half iron distance, marathon, open water swimming, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

A Lesson From Last Year

This week his been interesting. When I was running a few weeks ago, I noticed a familiar feeling in my shins. It didn’t make any sense because I’ve been super active this summer, have incorporated additional sports, yoga, stretching, and haven’t been going crazy with the speed work YET. I did everything in my power to prevent them.  But my shin splints started coming back.  For anyone who didn’t know me last year, I melted down when I got shin splints, denied their existence, and made it ten times worse by running with excruciating pain. I look back and wonder who that crazy person was. I guess I was under a lot of pressure (that I put on myself), had just moved, and didn’t yet know if I was going to get into Boston. It was the perfect crazy storm.  I could feel that tightness, the discomfort, THAT feeling.  Instead of denying their existence and having a total meltdown disguised as a total freak out (or the other way around, I’m not sure) like I did last year, I decided to take a preemptive strike against the bastards and STOP RUNNING. This occurred before my legs had pain while running and before it got past the point of being able to fix it, like last year.  Note: Denial when it comes to injury doesn’t work, it just messes up your race! Anyhoo, my ten mile run on Friday, that included some nice pickups by the way, was the last big run for a few weeks. My shins don’t hurt when I’m running, but I knew it was coming if I didn’t do something about it.  My marathon is in January, so I’m in a position where I can afford to take the time off, especially since I’ve got the swimming and biking to do.

I had a run scheduled for Tuesday, so I thought it would be the best course of action was to borrow my sister’s gym and get in some elliptical work.

Fun, fun!

Fun, fun!

Thanks, sis, gotta love the guest policy!! I emailed my coach with my plan, and will let the chips fall as they may. I also went to see my chiropractor, who basically said I was a hot mess and all out of sorts. IF having one leg a little shorter than the other before the adjustment is out of sorts….then I guess he’s right.  He reminded me that running marathons, half marathons, and endurance triathlons wasn’t normal. He said that running THREE miles was normal. Not ten. THREE.  My brain didn’t really compute that and I got sort of confused, but I really tried to understand.  I think that means that I need to see him on a more regular basis….

Here we go again!

Here we go again!

So I’ve got plenty to do to keep busy….and since I sort of mentioned swimming….

Getting it done.

Getting it done.

I needed to get this done, just to prove to myself how goofy I was being last week. I swam 1.25 miles in the pool, no pushing off, no wetsuit, no salt water buoyancy, nothing. I did stop to change pools from the old lady water aerobic pool to the lap pool, and boy, that was refreshing. I felt good when I was done, wasn’t out of breath, and a am now confident that in my race conditions, whatever they are, I CAN do the swim portion of my half iron. Silly me, silly, silly me for thinking otherwise.

Anyway, that’s what’s going on with me this week.  Almost the same old thing, just a little tweak and hoping the splints shove off into the far distant plants of another solar system….

I hope that if any of you are anxiously awaiting word from the BAA, you get the news you want. I was there waiting last year and it was a time I will never forget, and a feeling I’d prefer to not have again. Until I got the email I wanted and about drove into the ditch, but that’s another story.

 

 

 

Categories: beach 2 battleship triathlon, half iron distance, iron distance, marathon, open water swimming, running, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Moment You Realize A Runner Has Become…. A LONG DISTANCE RUNNER

 

First of all, I have some ‘splainin’ to do.  I admit it, last week, I threw myself a teeny tiny little pity party over this stupid swim stuff for the half iron.  I’ve been known to freak out over things, exaggerate, panic and all that stuff, and this really wasn’t any different. EXCEPT that I’m doing something that I’ve never done and have always been afraid to do. But instead of being the shrinking violet who shivers with fear in the corner, then stomps her feet in frustration with balled up fists and screams with crazy eyes,  it’s time to bring out my inner beast and get this swim thing done.

no fear

I mean really, what’s the worst that can happen? 1) I can get bit/eaten by a shark. And as mentioned by one of my fellow running buddies Jack, that’s a hell of a way to go out. Extremely unlikely, obviously, but hey, if by some slim chance the sharks get nutty on race morning, I could make the headlines. I’ve never done that before. And 2) What IF I don’t finish? What am I going to do then? Cry? Quit? No, I’m not. Knowing me, I’d be even more determined to try it again. And the more space I get from the above-mentioned party, the more ridiculous it all seems.  Thanks for pointing that out, Gary. Sorry about that little blip, but sometimes, we all just need to have that party and then get over it. Getting over it is the important part.

But now, on to the title subject matter. It happened slowly. Very slowly, over a decade and several years.  He wasn’t planning on it happening either, and in fact, he probably resisted it.  Over ten years ago, he dabbled a little. He ran a half marathon, training here and there along the way. Just enough to get the job done. Then the running stopped. Ok, there were bouts here and there, but it certainly wasn’t enjoyable (for either of us) or lasting or consistent. He would find pretty much any and every reason to NOT run. Too cold, too tired, too windy, too much beer, not enough time, it’s cloudy, the sky is blue, you get my drift. Three miles was a pretty big deal to him.

Then a year ago, a shift in attitude started. He said, “I want to run a half marathon per quarter.”. I was surprised, but honestly, thrilled. His blood pressure was getting high and he had to be put on medication. I don’t know how much heredity has to do with high blood pressure without being overweight, but the coins were not stacked in his corner on this one. Don’t get me wrong, a half marathon is nothing to sneeze at, but he was able to run one without running more than 7 miles and probably only putting in 10-15 miles per week, if that.  It’s my fault as I was taking up all the weekend times for MY training for Boston. But then again, he never argued.

So, after two half marathons in 2014, IT happened. My husband walked into the room and casually mentioned, “I think I’d like to run a full marathon.” My first reaction was “PSYCHO!!! HAHA!!!! SUCKA!!!!”. No, it was a mix of dreading having to share weekend workouts, and it was a mix of excitement. Now he can see how it feels to train for a run a marathon. Now he can feel the joy of accomplishment like I’ve been able to. Now he’ll know why I’m exhausted and hungry all the time. Good Lord, our food bill is going to be INSANE! I told him that it would be an interesting shift in thinking and that running anything less than 5 miles would become the threshold of feeling like a workout. I must have made marathon running look good, eh?  He’s been my best supporter and friend in my running adventure, so it’s time that I do the same for him.

There he is, all innocent. He is totally oblivious to what decision he will make in just a month. Heh, heh.

There he is, all innocent. He is totally oblivious to what decision he will make in just a month. Heh, heh.

Signing up for a marathon doesn’t make you a long distance runner. But it does change you. You have to look at things differently, IF you do it the right way. You have to prioritize your schedule, your days, coordinate with your spouse on who runs when and where and who will take the kids here and there, who gets Saturday, who gets Sunday, and all that stuff. As you train, your mind shifts. You think differently. You slowly become a long distance runner. You. Slowly. Become. One. Of. Us. Phase I of the conversion happened a few months ago.  I knew he was an OFFICIAL long distance runner was when he said, “I only have 8 miles on Saturday”. Haha. “Only”. ONLY long distance runners think that running 8 miles isn’t very much. As soon as he said this, I immediately replied, “You’ve become one of us. You’re converted. Anyone who thinks that running 8 miles as “only” is officially a crazy runner. Welcome to the wonderful world of long distance running.  I’ve been waiting.”

Phase II of this conversion happened today.  We were talking about our schedule in October and when he would cut a tree down in our yard that makes a huge disgusting mess pretty much all year long. He told me he would cut it down the weekend of my swim race, when he would only have 8 and 12 miles to run so it would be easy, no problem to cut a tree down, cut said tree into pieces, and haul it into the back yard. I laughed at him again and said, “Listen to yourself.”

It’s not like there’s a vocabulary test to take to be a “crazy runner”. Hmmmm, I wonder what would be on it though.

DISTANCE RUNNER VOCABULARY TEST

DESCRIBE AT LEAST 8 OF THE 10 WORDS LISTED BELOW:

YASSO REPEATS

MEB

FARTLEK

CARB LOADING

HITTING THE WALL

LONG RUN

BQ

GU

GLIDE

NEGATIVE SPLITS

You slowly morph from a runner to a long distance runner. I know I did. And I watched my husband do it too. It’s been interesting. It’s been fun. It’s taken some patience and cooperation for us both to get our workouts in. The house isn’t as clean (totally my fault), and sometimes we run out of milk.  But it’s ok. We have our carbs and Gu. Haha.

Anyway, I’m so proud of what my husband has done in his training. He hasn’t missed one run. He runs in the rain, he runs when it’s a million degrees with a zillion percent humidity (seriously, I’m not exaggerating), he runs with a group, he runs alone, he gets up before 5 am to run, his blood pressure is LOW. He’s reading more Runner’s World than I am, he is learning what Gu tastes like, he is practicing carb loading and what meals work the best for long runs. He is being an excellent role model for our sons, too.  Week by week, his idea of running shifts and his perception of what it takes to run marathons is becoming reality. Going through an experience is so much more valuable and different than watching someone else do it, no matter how close you are to the other person.  And because I don’t hold back, he knows the nitty gritty of MY training experiences. All of it. His race is the RNR Savannah on November 8th, and I have full confidence that he will cross that finish line with a smile on his face and a feeling of accomplishment that nothing else could ever give him.

Welcome to the crazy long distance runner’s club, Andy!!!  I am SO proud of you!!!!

 

Andy is always there with me, so it's my turn to be there for him as he crosses that finish line.

Andy is always there with me, so it’s my turn to be there for him as he crosses that finish line.

 

 

 

Categories: half iron distance, marathon, open water swimming, running, running with friends, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Lessons From A Snail

I’ve been struggling with the swim portion of my half iron training. I’ve been worried about it since I considered even doing a triathlon, let alone one that included a 1.2 mile swim.  I started swimming last year on October 4th, and I find it fascinating that I can actually swim for a pretty long time without touching the bottom or support or getting winded.  I’m slow though.  Very, very, painstakingly slow.  That doesn’t bother me really, because I’m at least getting the job done.  My goal is to swim only, not swim at a certain pace.

Last week, curiosity got the best of me and I looked up the approximate start times for my half iron race at the end of October and compared that time to the tide charts. My stomach dropped. I won’t even START swimming until after high tide has come and gone, so the thought of having just a tiny little push quickly vanished. I knew that during about an hour on each side of high tide, the water is pretty slack, but I didn’t realize that I would be starting after high tide and probably ending the race against the tide. Lord help me.

I didn’t freak out about this revelation, but I did talk to my coach, who knows the water like the back of her hand, and I seriously considered deferring the race until next year. I do not want to miss my swim cutoff time (1.5 hours), and honestly, I don’t want to train any more than I already am to swim FASTER. I am happy just plugging along and getting the distance in, quietly being the turtle in the back of the pack. I find myself slightly resentful towards swimming, as it isn’t running or biking (which makes me run faster), and I just want to run (or bike because it helps running). I messed around all summer, and now I’m ready to attack my marathon training. This triathlon is supposed to be FUN, not a diversion from running!!!

snail2

While all of this has been going on, I’ve noticed some really cool snails at two of my son’s football fields.  They’re pretty small snails, too. But that doesn’t stop them. I don’t know where they’re going, but they have a mission and they don’t stop. I picked a few of them up and moved them to the side of the field so they didn’t get stomped on as the crowds made their way from the field to the bathrooms, but I don’t think there’s been one snail who said, “Hey, I’m just too slow, so I’m going to give up.” I don’t think it works that way for them. They’re determined by nature to go where they need to go without regard to how long it takes to get there.  I’ve never seen a snail with a watch. I’ve never seen a snail frustrated because he was late. Or slow. Or behind all the other snails.

snail

I thought about the irony of the triathlon debacle and my snail discoveries. The message seems to be clear. Just keep going. Don’t stop, don’t give up, don’t slow down, just go.  And I will.

 

The best advice.

The best advice.

 

Categories: beach 2 battleship triathlon, half iron distance, marathon, open water swimming, running, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Ten Books That Need To Be Written

Wednesday’s Workout: Impromptu open water swim at 8:00 am followed by a 90 minute bike ride at home on the trainer. You’d think that when I got home, I’d immediately change into my bike clothes, right? No. I had to take a quick shower to wash off the ocean water. THEN I got into my smelly bike clothes and sweated for about 90 minutes. I was thinking it was sort of silly to take a shower RIGHT BEFORE working out and that my towels are really never dry. And I came upon a thought of all the books that could be written by athletes and all they go through, and especially now for me, triathletes. Since I’m a fan of lists, here’s my list of

10 Books That Need To Be Written (and that I could probably write):

1)  Triathlons Part I:  Why My Towels Are Never Dry

2) Triathlons Part II: Why I Have No Spending Money and My Fridge Is Always Empty

3) Quadzilla: “No, I Don’t Lift Weights” – One Muscular Woman’s Journey

4) Are Those Biking Shorts or Are You Just Happy To See Me?

5) Relationships and DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness): “It’s not you, honey, it’s that I literally cannot move.” One Couple’s Story.

6) “I Only Need To Be Faster Than the Slowest Guy” and Other Tips for Open Water Swimming With Sharks

7) I LOVE Triathlons (except for the biking and swimming part): One Marathoner’s Struggle To Transition From Marathons to Triathlons

8) Bad Combinations: Post-race Euphoria, The Internet, and A Credit Card – An Athlete’s Guide to the First Week After A Big Race….

Special Pamphlet Included!!!! “The Night I Got Drunk and Signed Up For An Ironman”: What NOT To Do

9) Mary Lee: A Guide To Why Naming Dangerous Animals Makes Them Seem Less Harmful

10) Benefits of Open Water Swimming: You’ll Never Need Your Neti Pot Again

BONUS!!!!

11) You And Your Bike Seat: Why You’ll Never Walk Normal Again

Ok, y’all, what book could YOU write????  I’ll compile a list and make another post out of it!

Categories: beach 2 battleship triathlon, half iron distance, iron distance, marathon, open water swimming, running, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Sixty Miles of Bailando

Today is the last day of real summer break for my kids and me. I’m bittersweet about that. I think we’re all ready for a little more structure though, and really, we are sort of beached out. We tried to absorb as much summer as we could last week, spending over ten hours on or near the beach, playing with friends, reading, getting school supplies, swimming in the pool, and just being together. Every afternoon, it gets a little nutty with me trying to get dinner figured out and served by 4 so my youngest can go to football practice without fear of throwing up said dinner or getting hungry during practice.  I’m really going to miss having my boys around.

Summer

Summer

Since I’ve been off the grid for quite a while, I’ll recap what’s been going on. Last Saturday, I rode 40 miles pretty hard with my friend, Gary. I don’t think we were planning to go at the pace we did, but conditions were good (i.e. it wasn’t windy) and we both felt pretty strong. I made some adjustments to my bike seat which made a world of difference in how I felt. Wish I had done that before! We finished with an average pace of almost 18 mph!!!

The next day, I decided to get some miles in with a new running group that my husband started running with. When we got up that morning, we were met with 77 degrees and 94% humidity. I was naïve enough to think that the conditions wouldn’t matter since I wasn’t going for pace; however, I did want to step it up a little the last two miles. Yeah, that didn’t happen. The girls I followed then joined, simply because I didn’t know the route we were to run and definitely not because they were welcoming, took us on a wild path all over. It wasn’t a good route, the groups got separated from each other, and my husband ended up running two extra miles since he sort of got lost. I was disappointed in how I felt, but really, it was so humid and had to be one of the top five most horribly warm/disgusting runs I’ve had in the past few years. My shoes were sloshing the last two or three miles, which made me just want to stop, not pick up the pace. I wasn’t wearing my music either, since I didn’t want to be rude in a new group, but it sure would’ve come in handy since I was by myself most of the time, and when I was with the other girls, I felt unwelcome in their group.  Maybe they didn’t mean to be that way, but sheesh, they certainly didn’t go out of their way to tell me when they were turning around and just left me on my own route. Whatever.  The point of the day was to get ten miles run, and it was accomplished. I did meet some other very nice runners though, so it was well worth it.

I have missed several of my open water swims the past few weeks, mostly due to the weather and that pesky “bacteria warning”, so I finally made it last week. It was windy, which wind + water = waves. Right in our faces. As soon as we started, I was getting pelted with water in my face, stroke after stroke was met with a smack in the face with a wave. I immediately thought that I now knew what it was like to be in a washing machine. It was horrible. I started to cry because I honestly didn’t know how I could complete the swim in those conditions. I was looking forward to practicing my stroke, and I was just in survival mode at that point. Just get there! I sucked up the tears, put my face back in the water, and continued. A little while later, it seemed to get worse. I had gagged several times since waves were catching me in the mouth while trying to breathe, and I honestly felt like I was getting a continual enema to my face. The waterway was my neti pot.  I started to cry again, mostly out of anger, and my swimmer friend asked if I was ok, to which I answered, “NO!”. There was a really good get-out point right there, but I am NOT A QUITTER, and I knew that conditions could be just like that on race day. I needed to finish. I said the f-word about a hundred more times during my temper tantrum, but again, sucked it up and kept going. Thank goodness there was a strong current. 35 minutes after I started, I was done. Horrible, but I did it.  I was so pissed and planned to run anyway, so put my shoes on and took off. 3.5 fast miles later, I was hot, sweaty, tired, and happy. I love running.

She looks all nice and pretty, right? NO! The waterway was a tricky little bitch who lured me in and then beat me up!

She looks all nice and pretty, right? NO! The waterway was a tricky little bitch who lured me in and then beat me up!

The rest of the week included an hour of biking with intervals, more running, swimming sleeping in, and then I took Friday off in preparation for my second BIG bike ride of the month…. 60 miles. I rode with Gary again, and a new group with one of my friends, Renee, who is training for IMFL. A little ways into the ride, we happened upon this poor little crawdad (actually, he was pretty big) in the middle of our lane, holding his pinchers up like, “It’s MY lane, get OUT of it!!!!”. I wish I would’ve stopped for a picture and put him on the side of the road so he wouldn’t turn into a crawdad pancake.  Then I noticed that the song, “Bailando” was in my head. I couldn’t understand the words in my head, probably because they’re in Spanish and I don’t speak Spanish. A little while later, while we were riding in the middle of nowhere and still to the tune of “Bailando”, waaaaay in the “Bailando” countryside, a guy was just standing in the middle of the “Bailando” highway lane on the opposite side, sort of like the crawdad, but without the pinchers. Instead, he was smokin’ some weed, pot, gonja, dooby, Mary Jane. Hmmm. Maybe he was waiting on the next shipment? Then we all happened upon what I wanted to call the “Alice in Tulle Wonderland” house.

summer8

Maybe it’s “creative” but I don’t understand.

I still don’t really understand it, but I slowed enough to get my phone out and snap a picture. “Bailando” The lions in the front are cleverly adorned in tulle. And so is almost everything else in the “colorful” yard. After 30 miles, Gary and I split off and went out on our own to finish. The ride went well despite the constant barrage of “Bailando” in my head, and I was happy with how I felt – not depleted. Sixty freaking miles of “Bailando”. Oy. That day was the first time I felt confident I could complete the half iron and still be in decent form. It’s a good feeling! I was super hungry and had a strange and first ever craving for Chick-fil-A. On my way home, I grabbed a sandwich and the most delicious Diet Coke ever poured.  Finally, after 60 miles, “Bailando” was out of my head. I couldn’t even think of how it went just a few hours of arriving back home. Weird.

Yesterday, I started a new running challenge (from those who brought me the 10×10) by running a 5k in 24 minutes. Every day, I’m going to run a 5k with one day running a 10k. I’ll post my proof on their Facebook page and be entered to win a pair of shoes. Hello….shoes!!!! Plus it’s fun to have a challenge. And hopefully win shoes! You only have to do one to enter, but each day you do a 5k, you get one more entry, and you get THREE entries with the 10k. Why not do it?!

Today is supposed to be my open water swim, but guess what?! It’s WINDY again. I think I’m going to be the ex-girlfriend and drive by the waterway to see how choppy it is, all stalker-like. It’s set up to be a replay of last week, and I don’t think it will get me anywhere. If I DON’T go, I have already vowed to swim twice in the pool and work on drills. Or find another day for the open water swim.

On September 1st, I’ll be starting back with my coach and training plan.  There will be no more “Oh, I’ll just take today off”. There’s a lot of work to be done, not only for the half iron, but for my marathon that is quickly approaching. This pesky half iron race is seriously cramping my running, but I know for a fact that the biking has strengthened my legs (picture of my Quadzillas ® coming soon), which will only help me get faster.

I’ve been reading so many blogs, but just haven’t taken the time to comment or interact. Same with my Facebook page – hey, I’m on that almost every day, so check it out and “like” my page!!! (See the link in the column to the right.) As much as I’m looking forward to a little cooler air to run in, I’m also dreading the end of summer. I love college football, but it also marks the end of summer, the beginning of cooler weather, then GASP! the holidays.

 

My son, compliments of his parkour class.

Are YOU looking forward to fall? Football season? Cooler weather?

Categories: 10x10 challenge, beach 2 battleship triathlon, half iron distance, iron distance, marathon, open water swimming, running, running buddies, running challenge, running with friends, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Two Beach Chairs and a Few Bruises

It’s not always often you go to the beach for a fun afternoon and end up at the police station. It all started when my kids and I decided to take my sister to the beach for a few hours on Friday. We chose Wrightsville Beach as opposed to Carolina Beach because WB is just a lot bigger and wider. It was a lot of fun and the weather was great. We picked up some food at the store and ate while watching the kids play with some other kids they met in the water.

On our way back to the car, we had to cross a normally busy road. The light was green for cars to cross the road we were crossing and no cars were around in any direction, so we crossed accordingly without pushing the button so the thing would flash for us to go. My sister and kids got through the intersection fine, but when I was close to reaching the sidewalk, a big red car came hurdling towards me to take a right turn. She stopped her car VERY close to my legs and I could tell she was noticeably irritated that I didn’t have a crossing sign and that I was in the road, albeit, barely in the road. I stopped in my tracks. She then was pointing at the crossing thing (What the heck IS that thing called???) mouthed, “WHY DON’T YOU JUST GO?!” to which I responded by standing right where I was, holding my arms out and saying, “Are you KIDDING me?”.  . Yeah, pretty dumb. For both of us. I was probably about two feet from the curb. This lady was in such a hurry that she barreled her car by me, skidding her tires as she went. (And she wasn’t some goofy teenager, she was 62 years old – old enough to know better.) I was holding two big beach chairs on my right shoulder, and when the car went by, it hit my chairs. I did my best to hold my chairs as close to me as I could. Part of me was so shocked, I didn’t know what the heck was going on. Who does that???!!!! Part of me was hoping to scratch the hell out of her car as she grazed by me, feeling lucking that I had the chairs as a barrier.

Bruises caused from the car that hit the chairs I was holding.

Bruises caused from the car that hit the chairs I was holding.

I looked at her car as she sped down the road and realized there was no way I could get her plate, so we just went on. A few minutes later, I started shaking. As we were putting our beach gear in the back of my Escape (I have to say it the way Dori does in Finding Nemo – “es-CA-pay”), another lady drove by and told us that she saw what the other lady did and got her plates, then made an effort to find and give it to us. She agreed to be a witness if it came to that.

Upon my sister’s repeated orders to GO TO THE POLICE, I did. No pedestrian should be accosted by a driver. I wasn’t crossing a street full of traffic and without caution. There were NO cars there, plus the light was green to cross. Yes, we will now wait for the little walk guy from now on, but still. Her hitting me was no accident, that’s for sure. Thankfully, the police were so good to me, showed my kids the fire trucks as I was doing my reports, and hopefully this will help teach the driver to slow the hell down.

It made me really think. We are so fragile. Had I been in front of her instead of beside her, she could have run over my foot, broken my leg, or given me a head injury. Yup, I should have kept going. We were both wrong, but I wasn’t the one in a vehicle that could easily kill someone. Part of me had the “deer in headlights” reaction, part of me had the “fight” reaction, which is why I stood my ground. Maybe the driver was in a hurry. Maybe she was upset. Maybe she was super late.  I don’t know, but there’s really no excuse for doing what she did, especially when there were two kids right there. Part of me felt sorry for her.

My sympathy runs deep for people like that driver.

My sympathy runs deep for people like that driver.

On Saturday morning, bright and early, I started out on my ride. I was on my own since I couldn’t find anyone to ride with me.  I only stopped twice, once to take my underwear from the innermost part of my crack, and another, to eat my test meal. I can’t remember what it was exactly, but I’ll be buying more of them. Yum. At the first stop, I pulled off to the side, and I totally fell down because I totally forgot that I was clipped in. It was quite graceful, and thankfully, it didn’t hurt. I actually laughed and said to myself, “Well, I’m guessing that’ll be the last time I forget I’m clipped in.” Hopefully so. I readjusted my handlebars and went on my way.

car2

This was my total time, including the “fall” and my snack. I was a little disappointed in it, but hey, I’m still at the beginning of training!

I was on a highway with cars zipping by at 50-60 mph. Because of what had happened with the car the day before, I was a little more sensitive to the fact that these cars were so close to me. At some points, I was probably a foot away from a vehicle that, had the driver not been doing his/her job, would totally kill me. Some drivers gave me plenty of space when they passed, others couldn’t be bothered and gave me my foot and passed so close where I could feel the power of the car.

Life is so fragile. Not to make light of it, whenever I say “fragile”, I am always reminded of “The Christmas Story” when the dad gets his leg lamp delivered. Here, watch this.

Where am I going with this? Well, I think that we go on about our days, one after the other, many of us in a hurry to get to work, to school, to our kids’ sports, to our workouts. We get impatient at red lights, at a slow driver, at bikes in a two-lane road. We run in the street, believing the cars will go around us. While we go on with our business, we need to remember to be aware of our surroundings, to be a little more patient with others, whether they are driving WAY TO SLOW or just a pedestrian crossing the street after an afternoon at the beach. We need to be diligent while running, always paying attention and assuming the car doesn’t see us. Let the car go and use the pause button on your Garmin.  Give the bicyclist an entire lane when you pass.  Just slow down, wait for the moped driver to turn right instead of barreling around him/her. Don’t text and drive!!!! Leave earlier if you must. Get there late. It’s not a big deal if you consider that being in a hurry could cause you to make a decision you wouldn’t ordinarily make. Don’t live to regret that decision. Life is so freaking fragile.

That being said and because I haven’t posted much recently because I’m trying to absorb the last few weeks of summer break with my kids, here’s my last week’s workout recap:

Last Thursday, I went to the pool to work on my swim drills and get a mile in. It wasn’t very pretty and I decided it was ok that I never turn into a really good swimmer. I need to continue working on my drills to improve form while getting the distance in, whether I hate dislike it or not.

Friday was an easy 3 mile run with my dog while my kids rode their bikes along side.

Saturday was my 60 mile bike ride. It went well until the last 10 miles. I only said fuck twice too, so that’s good! Ha!

Sunday and Monday were off.

Tuesday was a 5 mile run with some faster paces worked in there.

Wednesday was an hour on the bike with some strength – ended up with 17 miles, which isn’t great, but I wasn’t feeling it. While at my son’s football practice, I got a 3 mile run in. It wasn’t speed per se, but the average pace was under 8, so I was happy with that. I know at some point, I got to a sub-6:00 pace. That didn’t last long, but hey, I did it! I love running.

This morning: Oy. Back to the pool. I REAAAAALY didn’t want to continue past a quarter mile. I knew that would be a really bad decision and would regret it, so I made it a mile. Am I crazy to even consider a full IM if I hate swimming just one mile? Is this normal? Do other triathletes have one sport they just don’t like but do just to be able to do triathlons???

I feel like I’m cheating on running while doing all this biking and swimming. I miss it. I miss the real stuff, the speed, the distance, the tempo runs.  I’m looking forward to getting back to the track next week. Ahhhh, running!!!!

What’s everyone else up to? Dreading the end of summer like I am?

 

 

 

Categories: beach 2 battleship triathlon, half iron distance, iron distance, marathon, running, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Flicking The Stupid Little Monkey Off My Back

A few notes before I start talking about monkeys…. First, the dog that we fostered got adopted on Saturday. He was awesome and was so happy to hear the news. My son is already badgering me about the next foster.

Second, my entire workout schedule has been totally messed up because of the weather. It rained from Friday morning until, well, I’m not sure if it’s quite done yet.  I’m suffering from depression from the lack of sunshine and outdoor activity. Sure, I can run in the rain, which I did on Friday and this morning. I can swim in the rain, but I won’t because I have enough issues breathing when it’s not watering from the sky. I can bike in the rain, but I won’t do that either.  I did get my 50 mile bike ride, if you can call it a ride when you’re not actually going anywhere, done on Sunday, here, in my living room, on the trainer. I hated 95% of it and almost quit at mile 20. Seriously, the trainer is a really cool and convenient thing, but it’s also torture!!!! You don’t go anywhere so you just watch a movie that you love but suddenly hate because you’re stuck there RPM’ing away and forced to watch something. I watched Elf. Then I watched part of The First Wives Club. Then I watched some of Property Brothers. Thankfully, I got done in the time I planned, but my cadence was a little slow. I’m ok with that because I just needed to get the miles in. I’m actually proud that I finished and didn’t quit. I really wanted to quit. So the weekend was a buzz kill when it came to working out beyond the bike ride, but I’m enjoying the last few weeks of flexibility and the freedom to say “I’m just not going to work out today”, when full on, heavy duty, 100% training starts September 1st. The only thing I must do, because my coach told me to, is get two 60-mile rides in before that. Game on. Now, back to monkey business.

 

50 miles. Done.

50 miles. Done.

Last week, I got some stuff from the Boston Athletic Association in the mail. I still think it’s cool when I get emails and actual mail from them. I’m like a kid. THEY KNOW ME???? THEY SENT SOMETHING TO ME???!!! They. Know. Me.

This time it evoked an emotion that I’m getting tired of. It’s not an emotion that I can easily explain nor easily get over.  As many of you know, I ran the Boston Marathon this past April.  Here’s the post I wrote about it that day.  It took me many years of blood, sweat, and tears and many failed attempts to finally break the time barrier and qualify. After that, it took months of waiting to see if I would actually get in since my time didn’t give me much margin, and I knew pretty much anyone who qualified this last year would go and celebrate after the devastation of 2013. I qualified by 1 minute and 43 seconds, but I only made it in by four seconds. But I made it in.

That race was the best of the best AND the worst of the worst. My feelings after the race were so torn on feeling awesome and how great the entire experience was and that I was there and I got to be a part of something that so many only dream of.  Added to all that awesomeness was a feeling of emptiness. Of sadness. Of anger. Disappointment. I haven’t been fully able to shake those feelings. So many people have told me, “Hey, you were there, you FINISHED the Boston Marathon! Just be happy for that!”.  Well, they’re right and I am. I mean, it was AMAZING  to be on THE course, to be a part of the entire thing.  But I’m also a competitive athlete who was thisclose to re-qualifying and getting a good marathon PR. I was so close. But yet, it was so far away. Actually, it’s not even about the PR or re-qualifying. It is about running the Boston Marathon, which in the technical sense, I didn’t get to do. Sure I ran most of it at a rockin’ pace, but I didn’t run the whole thing. It feels very, VERY incomplete. The journey feels unfinished.

After running six prior marathons and after training my ass off for months and months, the Boston Marathon was my slowest marathon finish time EVER.  In fact, I can’t even actually say, “I ran the Boston Marathon.” Those words don’t/can’t come out of my mouth.  I ran the first 20 miles and I walked the rest. I DIDN’T run the Boston Marathon.  The finish was very unexpected.  The time that I crossed the finish line doesn’t even really matter, it was the way in which it ended.  It wasn’t what I set out to do, it wasn’t what I was capable of doing, and I was extremely shocked at what happened during that race. I can’t get over it. I look at my medal and I’m so proud of all the work I did to get it, but it also brings up so many bad feelings in me. Then I get my finisher’s certificate and it shows my time, and I I’m reminded of gripping the crowd barrier so I could throw up. It reminds me of watching my foot go in front of the other one and wondering if I could make it six miles. It makes me think of the feeling that my neck was on a spring and that I couldn’t see straight. It reminds me of having cramps so bad that I gasped for air, scaring a guy running past me. It reminds me that I didn’t want to make eye contact with the medical crew so they wouldn’t pull me from the course (they wouldn’t, but at the time, my mind wasn’t right so I wouldn’t take the chance). It reminds me that I walked.  It makes me angry.  Then there’s that struggle. Many people would be happy with that time. Many would be so grateful to just be there. Well, it’s not as simple as that.  The Boston Marathon is the stupid little monkey on my back.

This is a monkey my son drew. Too bad the one that's sitting on me isn't cute like this one.

This is a monkey my son drew because we live in an area of town called “Monkey Junction”. THIS is the monkey. Too bad the one that’s sitting on me isn’t cute like this one, giving me a nice shoulder massage.

I need redemption. I need to do it again. I need to go back and RUN to the finish. Whether or not it’s a PR, it re-qualifies me, or is done during a thunderstorm/hurricane/blizzard, I NEED to go and do this race again.  I need that feeling of seeing the Citgo sign, of coming onto Boylston Street, of the crowds. Of finishing HAPPY.  Of finishing HEALTHY. I need to be able to look at my medal and know that was the best race. Ever. I want it to be a good story. Not of one that includes: “It was good until….” “Yeah, I had to stop so I wouldn’t throw up.”

Good.

Good feelings.

 

This is how it ended.

Bad feelings.

So as I train for my half iron distance at the end of October, my sights will be set on the Houston Marathon.  And instead of being a whiney little putz like I am being now, I’m going to concentrate on all the GOOD that happened on April 21st, 2014.  Or I’m going to try. It gave me a huge boost of confidence. I KNOW I can run the race of my life in Houston. I RAN WAS AT THE FRIGGIN BOSTON MARATHON. Heller!!!!  It reminded me that a marathon is just that, a marathon. Anything can happen.  The good, the bad, the ugly. You can prepare all you want and can have a terrible race. You can have minimal expectations going in and can be surprised at the awesome outcome (my BQ race in 2013). Marathons are their own organism with so many factors that can effect the outcome. The best thing I can do NOW is to start getting ready. I need this goal. I need to move on.  Get off my back, you silly little monkey, there’s no room for you here.

 

**Update before this is even published…. I feel better just writing this. I struggle since I don’t want to come across as ungrateful for being a part of the Boston Marathon field. But I’m sure many of you can relate after having a “bad” race. Thanks for reading. The little monkey is a lot smaller than he was just last week. I’m sure he’ll always be there in some sense, but at least he’s smaller.

Haha, I was looking through pictures and knew this was there but overlooked it…. THIS is the epitome of how I was feeling. Sense the sarcasm in my “thumbs up”?

761540_1257_0011

Categories: beach 2 battleship triathlon, Boston Marathon, half iron distance, iron distance, marathon, running, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

The Other F-Word

Fruit. Forest. Forget. Forget to forage for fruit in the forest? No. That’s not it. The other F-word is……wait for it….. FUN.

FUN

A few times this weekend, I was a part of different conversations with different people about running, racing, triathlon-ing. As you know, I’m training for my first triathlon at the end of October. I’m kind of using this triathlon as cross-training for my marathon in January, where I completely plan to kick boo-tay. The difference between the triathlon and the marathon for ME, is that I plan to just race the triathlon for fun. WHAT?! I’m not going to go for certain times and all that? No, I’m not. My husband doesn’t believe that I will actually only care that I finish in the allotted time, and sometimes I don’t either, but I’m determined to leave this race as a fun experience that I will enjoy. I mean, I do care about time, I don’t want to dilly dally around and chat up the people at the water stops and all that, but I want to just do this thing.   If you can “just” complete a half iron.  I want to have a blast along the way. I need to. Because that shit is hard.

When I first started running as a kid and then doing races about 18 or so years ago, it was for fun and exercise. As therapy, too. And so I could drink more beer. Yes, I ran as fast as I could, but that was it. I put some miles in and I did what I needed to do to finish the race. By no means did I have a training plan, do speed work, run fartleks (although I’m sure I did plenty of farting while I ran, especially after drinking the beer that ironically, I was burning off), or really, anything besides the basics in preparation. My preparation plan was this (it’s highly complicated so you may want to read it twice): Get some miles in and then run a race.  Boom. And it served me really well. I had a lot of fun. I finished several marathons this way, and it was an enjoyable, FUN experience.

It may look like I was trying not to poo myself, but really, I was having a blast that race. I have no idea what my time was either.

It may look like I was trying not to poo myself, but really, I was having a blast that race. I have no idea what my time was either.

Then I wanted to qualify for Boston.  I started using training plans, got a coach, did speed work at 4:30 am at a vacant track in the middle of winter IN IOWA, ran 200 times around a 1/10th mile indoor track when it was way too dangerous to run outside. For several years I did this, and along the way, I fell in love with training for marathons. I love speed work. I enjoy tempo runs. I like the challenge of having a time to meet. I truly LOVE to train, to run, and all the parts of an all-encompassing training plan. Really, truly, I love it. L.O.V.E. I get runners highs right before racing, I get it in my off-season time, and when I mix post-exercise endorphins and caffeine, wow, a runner’s high is amazing.

THIS girl is having a blast! It's what the whole thing is about.

This girl is having fun! THAT’S what the whole thing is about.

So is running still fun for me? Yes. It is. I didn’t feel like my last training cycle was a job, and that’s probably because I take time off between big events. I had fun along the way, as I trained. I need down time and freedom after my big races, and I take it.  But sometimes racing can be daunting. Especially when you’re surrounded by a million competitive athletes and are always hearing about how fast everyone is and improving and doing more and doing better. And a lot of the time, I’m one of them. But when it seems that whatever you’re doing is never fast enough, is never ENOUGH enough, then you know you might be living in a bubble. Have you or your friends ever said, “It’s only a half marathon/ only a half iron/only a 10k,/only an iron distance but not a sanctioned Ironman”? Yes? Then you know you might be living in a bubble. Pop it. Where did the fun go? Pop that damn non-fun bubble. I can’t even really race anymore without a concern for time. Yes, I do love it, but that competitive drive can take the fun out of it. And I can live with that, only because I really, truly love to run, train, and race.  I do admit though, racing isn’t always fun anymore.  Most of the time it is, but sometimes, I can’t help but care about the time on the clock when I cross the finish line. More than once, I let a time determine whether or not I had fun. And that’s not good.

What I won’t do is let that mentality get into my triathlons. I refuse. I won’t make these events about time. Yes, I’d like to kick some half iron boo-tay, but really, isn’t everyone who crosses the finish line kicking boo-tay? YES!!!! And athletes who have fun along the way are even better. Because why do something if it isn’t fun?

Do what you want for fun, not because you HAVE to or because someone else expects you to, or because “every one else is doing it”. Do it because you truly WANT to do whatever it is. Do it because it’s fun. If you want to climb up a rope onto a platform and then do a hundred one-armed push ups while a monkey sits on your head and whacks you with a book when you’re done, then do it, if you want to. Smile while he clonks you in the head. But when the fun starts slipping away, maybe it’s time to re-set your barometer. Maybe it’s time to really think about your motivations.  But mostly, ask yourself if you’re having fun. I have the most fun when I’m gritting my teeth trying to run an 800 in 3:15. Whether or not I make it, I have fun along the way. Call me crazy, but I have fun running 18 miles.

FUN: THE NEW WHITE MEAT. 

(Vegetarians → FUN: THE NEW EGGPLANT)

Give it a whirl, you may just like having fun!

On a side note, I mentioned my husband above, so I wanted to pass along his newly minted blog. The point of it is to just talk about life, Clemson, Red Sox, running, living with a Libra runner, kids, and oh, BEER.  Go check it out HERE.  Enjoy!

 

Categories: beach 2 battleship triathlon, Boston Marathon, boston red sox, half iron distance, iron distance, marathon, running, running buddies, running with friends, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Let’s Get This Thing Started! YEAH!

**Disclaimer: I’ve had full caffeine today. ** This is sort of what I feel like:

challenge25

“Ohhh, yeahhhh, kickstart my heart….”  It’s a great song, isn’t it. It’s even on my marathon playlist. THE marathon playlist. I have declared today to be my first day of real triathlon training. The darned thing is in about 13 weeks, so it’s about time, ya think? Yes, I’ve been swimming, biking, and running, but not much of anything lately besides running. So today was the end of my running challenge shenanigans and it’s time to kickstart this training season!

It’s been weird taking so many days off at a time. Refreshing, yes, but strange. I honestly love to work out. It makes me feel better, and it’s really a part of my life. My legs were pretty sore from The Scream 1/2 marathon I did on Saturday, so I didn’t feel too guilty taking extra time off.  My kids are staying with their grandparents this week too, so my husband and I have been acting like college kids, going out every night, having fun, and sleeping in.  Well, the sleeping in is just me since he has to go to work. Sorry, honey! Not really 🙂 We caught the Dave Matthews Band concert in Raleigh on Wednesday, and was that ever a good time. This was our 23rd show, but I think we enjoyed this one more since we haven’t been able to go in FOUR years! Oh, the humanity.

I think I lost 75 pounds from sweating so much before it even started. Even Dave said it was hot.

I think I lost 75 pounds from sweating so much before it even started. Even Dave said it was hot.

What better day to start “real” training than today.  Monday was supposed to be the open water swim, but because there was a bacteria advisory (seriously, I wasn’t going to go anyway because I just didn’t want to, but no one really needs to know that) in the waterway from all the rain. I am new to this sort of open water hazard. I mean, I am aware of sharks and jellyfish, boats, floating pieces of Styrofoam shaped like snake heads, but bacteria and another new one, sea lice baby jellyfish? Seriously? How much more dangerous can I get here?

I went to sleep to the sound of thunder and rain, woke up in the night to thunder and rain, so I was really hoping it would clear off and everyone that I had planned to swim with would still come. Timing worked out and when it was time to go swim, it was nice and clear.

It was a little lighter when I started to swim, but it was pretty dark for what I was used to.

It was a little lighter when I started to swim, but it was pretty dark for what I was used to.

I found a huge group of people at the start, none of whom I knew, and they all looked like they could keep up with the penguins, so I knew I couldn’t swim with them. I waited a little longer and my peeps showed up, thankfully. There were four in our group with one paddle boarder and one boat. Two of the swimmers took off and one had problems with her goggles so was behind. I was right in the middle. I was by myself. It was the waterway, and I was by myself. And it was still a little dark.  The creeps took over and I could really see how people who aren’t used to open water would freak out. I figured there’s nothing I could do about it, but just keep swimming, so I did just that. I felt pretty good, except when I tried to breathe on my left side. Seriously, I just can’t get it done without choking on the bacteria-laden water. So I kept with the right side, and I honestly felt good the entire .93 miles of the swim. I didn’t even try to be Michael Phelps when I went under the bridge either. I did imagine trolls positioning themselves in between the supports in the bridge, staring and laughing at me in their cutoff jeans and ratty red shirts (image compliments of The Gremlins).  But they didn’t jump down and try to drown me, so maybe we’ll be friends. There’s always a point in there when I feel like it’s NEVER EVER NEVER NEVER EVER going to end, but I knew I was making progress, even though it was slow.

Because I’m a slow swimmer and I’ve heard it’s all about “form”, I decided to bite the bullet and get a swim lesson from my coach. She’s a top level swimmer who’s actually going to the world’s competition next week, so she has soooo much to teach me. I’m extremely nervous because I am embarrassed about how dumb I will look. I know I need some help, but really, I feel like a big nard flopping around in front of anyone, let alone an amazing swimmer who also happens to be my friend. It’s time to get over that fear and just do it. So that’s Monday morning. Wish me luck!

When we got done swimming, I changed into my running shorts and put my shoes on, and I planned to run 6 miles with one of the friends who was swimming from farther away. Two other girls were running too, so we all four ended up running about 4 miles together. What fun and great conversation it was! Then two of us split off and I finished with 6 miles. Yeah, my first real brick workout was complete!!!

I was told about some “nectar of the gods” coffee (tastes like buttah) so we went to grab a cup before coming home. Mmmmm, it IS delicious and I love FULL caffeine. I think I can conquer the world after just one cup!

As for my schedule tomorrow, I’m taking my newly updated and geared up bike for a 40 mile ride. I’m taking it easy and bringing my toolamabob thing so I can stop and adjust it along the way as needed. I’m pretty excited about getting my bike stuff all figured out, since for a while there, I didn’t know what bike to train on and which one would fit me best. I finally decided and got it all taken care of. Here we go!

I'm trying to figure out what her name should be......

I’m trying to figure out what her name should be……

Sunday, I’m running with some people, but I don’t know how far I I’m actually going to do, then I’ll be back in open water again on Monday. I’ll have to throw in some strength, plank, and arm workouts, just to keep balanced.

I’m lucky that I know so many people who have completed sprint, half iron, and full iron distance triathlons.  There’s so much information to be had from all of them, so I look forward to learning the ins and outs of a new kind of race for me. My goal is still the Houston Marathon in January, but this triathlon, thing, yeah, I think I’m going to like it!

Categories: beach 2 battleship triathlon, half iron distance, iron distance, marathon, open water swimming, running, running buddies, running with friends, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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