Friday, April 30, 2010

Taking it to the lake

So tomorrow is my first swim lesson in a lake. Lake Reston to be exact. The instructor that's taking me out is the cream of the crop when it comes to these types of swim lessons. She assured me that after tomorrow and Tuesday, I will be ready to complete the swim leg of my Triathlon.

I was a little nervous today about my lesson, because I have not been in the pool for over 2 weeks. As soon as my flight landed this evening, I headed straight to the gym to swim. Confusion quickly set in as I tried to figure out why my darn heart was beating so fast that I had to take many more breaks. Usually it's my breathing that I have to try to slow down, but tonight it was my heart and my breathing. I took some time to think through it and calm myself down with some positive thoughts and practicing my backstroke. I think that I am just anxious about getting into the lake tomorrow. I decided to get out of the pool after 30 minutes.

I will rely on my training tomorrow. I have taken enough lessons, I know exactly what to do and I know some recovery strokes. I know that I float very well and if I get in trouble, I can always lay on my back and calm down.

This is a big fcuking deal to me, but I know that I will do just fine... at least I hope I do.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Riding with Tri Unify

Yesterday I rode with Tri Unify. The plan was to cycle for about 10 miles or so and then run. We got together in Greenbelt Park which has a few hills and we went for it. Now, this was only the second time that I rode hills and I have not really figured out all of the gear shifting stuff. I learned that riding on the flat Hains Point route has spoiled me in a terrible way. We started riding together and Adrienne spent some time explaining what I should do on hills. Trudy hung back with me for awhile while I tried to get it together. However, before long, I was all alone with folks zipping by me. I really needed the time to figure it out and power through it. Trudy was awesome with her motivational tips. I felt beat. Defeated. Slow. Confused as to why it was so hard for me. But I went 10 miles.

When it was time to run, my legs were jelly. Trudy tried to push me and I was so... relieved that it started to drizzle. I turned around with the excuse of not wanting to get my freshly relaxed hair wet. I hated to do so, because I am not the chic to deter a work out for hair issues. But baaabay, my legs needed the excuse on yesterday!

Riding with Tri Unify was great and created a whole 'nother level of competitive edge within me! I now know what I need to do and it has jump started me to train HARDER. I have been a little 'laxed lately, especially this week.  No 'laxed no more! It's ON.....! I'm going to be a Triathlete yall!!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

OCD or just wanting to be prepared??

"As you get closer to your goal race(s), try to spend more time on the road and as little time as possible training indoors"

I read this online on tonight. It was in an article on traveling while training for a Triathlon. It jogged my memory of a comment by a good friend tonight when I expressed my concerns with traveling for work next week while preparing for a race. Her comment: "Well, we know that you are OCD...". My response was that I didn't want to drown (we were talking about me not being able to swim in preparation for a relaxer that is needed prior to my trip and not swimming while on my trip due to just getting a relaxer and the thought of what I was going to do with my hair. See, black women and hair maintenance can be a major issue with all of this swimming and working out). As the only minority woman in my company, I feel that I can't change my professional look to an urban one and therefore the dilemma...

So, am I OCD or just desiring to be prepared?? I think it's the latter. Triathletes who are swimmers already train hard. I am starting at a disadvantage as a new swimmer and cyclist and trying to get back into running. I want to be able to not only compete, but finish. I don't think it's OCD if I just want to be considered average. I just want to finish...

2 weeks off from swimming (1 week to prepare for a relaxer and 1 week while at a meeting) is making me nervous. The day after I get back, I have a swimming lesson in a freaking LAKE.

It's not OCD if you are not prepared. It's just called getting prepared.... *hard stare*****

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Random thoughts of a soon to be Triathlete

Running is so hard, but I never want to quit. I get mad and feel like a wimp when I have to stop and catch my breath

I scream when I am on my bike and my legs start to hurt and I can't go faster or keep up

I like screaming when I am on my bike riding by the water

I am completely pumped about becoming a Triathlete!

I am confident that I will be prepared to complete the swim, bike and run!

I am specifically excited that I will have 2 swim lessons in a lake before my first Triathlon (May 9th), which I am using for a "test run" before the big date JUNE 20th!

I am so proud of myself for learning to swim!

I want to be able to swim laps continuously and not be so tired...

I ran the 6K Race for Water today and it kicked my butt!

I wasn't nothing more than to be able to ride and run hills, to run continuously and swim continuously

I think that some of my friends don't understand my level of commitment to this

While I do want to meet for drinks, dinner, happy hour and to date, I would much prefer to go for a swim

My hair has taken a back seat to swimming. I hope that it is not damaged when I go to get it relaxed at the end of the week.

I wish that I had a different hair type and not have to deal with my hair so much!

I want to pick it up and perform better RIGHT NOW!

I know that patience is key and rest is so necessary

I like sleeping for hours after a good swim

I now see the importance of getting massages!


That really makes me smile on the inside....

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Learning some new things

Today ended this swim class that I was taking at a DC Public pool. It was really good for me in that it taught me some basics that I need to know. I can Freestyle swim, but I needed some "oh darn, I'm tired of swimming in this nasty lake/river and I have too much to live for to drown" stokes. We were taught to backstroke (which I don't feel is a recovery stroke AT ALL), breast stroke (which takes a whole lot of coordination), how to tread water, introduced to deeper water (10 feet) and today we learned to dive! While it was cool to dive (minus my goggles coming off twice and becoming very... familiar with my right eyeball, which hurts like hell and probably will  look nasty by morning), it won't help me for my race. It was really about increasing our comfort in deep water and testing out our ability to tread water. I am so confident in my freestyle that I was like, "hell, if I get in trouble, I will just freestyle or blow bubbles till I get to the top". I found that I treaded water with ease once I had to.

I have been practicing the drills that I have been learning in my Total Immersion swim lessons. I am ready to pick it up with that instructor, but he is very careful to make sure that I have the basics down pat. He swears that I will be ready to do my "test race" and not tire easily because he will have me swimming more efficiently.

I am MOST excited about this open water swim coach availability to take me out into a lake on May 1st and 4th in advance of my "test race" on May 9th. She swears that I will be ready!!

Also, I FINALLY met my DC Tri  Club New Triathlon Program mentor Tania.  We have been emailing over the last few weeks and she is just as cool in person as her personality is over email! She has committed to tackling some hills with me starting next week, because apparently, my "test race" is quite hilly.

Things are really starting to come together for this race. I will go running again tomorrow and try to go 3 miles without stopping. I will also commit to swimming laps again soon to build my endurance. I'm getting excited again!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Respect the hills!

There are certain things in this Triathlon sport that will gain your respect and one of those things are HILLS. Running hills are tough as heck, but try cycling up them jokers and you are in for a nasty word that is an antonym for a treat.

I went for a bike ride on Sunday with Shani and Neisha in Virginia. Shani had found a loop that would take us from Shirlington, around the airport and back to Shirlington. She mentioned that it wasn't a completely flat course and I wasn't fazed. I just figured that  I could handle it, as I usually do. I guess it really didn't help that we had a little bit of confusion as to whether or not we were crossing at this intersection and some people went and my friend started to go and I started to go and then she stopped and the girl behind me ran into me and I lost my balance and CRASHED. I got up and made it across the street with bent handle bars and a newly squeaky bike. We fixed it best we could and kept moving. Although my bike computer wasn't registering and gears were not shifting right. So, when we hit the first hill with malfunctioning gears.... it was TOUGH. The hills on that ride which turned out to be 18 miles round trip gained my respect.

I reached out to my mentor today and we have committed to getting together once weekly to ride hills and work on gearing properly to get up and down hills. I think I may need to do some squats and stuff to strengthen my legs too. Those hills are no joke. I plan to run in Rock Creek Park weekly again this year and master a few of those hills and the one by Cardoza this year. Last year, the one by Cardoza kicked my butt repeatedly. This year, I want that hill to respect ME! Okay, off to bed now. I'm getting delirious....

Friday, April 9, 2010

Being a Tortoise

Being a tortoise isn't easy. But through consistency, determination and commitment, I keep getting up and out on the street to run, bike and to the pool to swim. Some days are tougher than others. Some days I have to question my level of sanity. However, the results are the same. I say out loud: I'M COMMITTED! And that is all that it takes to get me going.

I have a plan that I think I will stick with. I have to prepare for 2 5K's that are coming up in 2 and 3 weeks. I have to build my endurance to the point of not stopping while running. I may not do the Kinetic Sprint Triathlon on  May 9th that I was going to use as my "test race", unless this instructor can get me out into Lake Reston prior to experience what it is like to swim in open water. I'm cool with skipping that race, if I need to. I will have plenty of opportunities to swim in a lake/river before the big race on June 20th.

The swimming is coming along nicely. I have great technique, I'm working on learning more and building endurance. I have full confidence that I will be able to complete the swim leg of my race.Cycling is not a challenge for me. I still just need to get an idea of how fast I should be going while training. I know that a cadence of at least 90-95 is good for race day, but am I supposed to be training at that cadence?? That's fast and super hard to do, but I have time to build up to it and get comfy there if I learn that I should be going that fast now.

I have to remind myself that the tortoise gets to the finish line. She gets there and gets there slllooowwwlllly, but she gets there. And that's all that matters. Finishing. Finishing is my goal.

The Tortoise and the Hare is a fable attributed to Aesop. The story concerns a hare who ridicules a slow-moving tortoise. In response, the tortoise challenges his swift mocker to a race. The hare soon leaves the tortoise far behind and, confident of winning, he decides to take a nap midway through the course. When he awakes, however, he finds that his competitor, crawling slowly but steadily, has already won the race.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Building endurance

For the person who likes to make a plan and make it happen, building endurance can be a bit of a slower pace than desired. I know that I signed up for a 20 week training program and that the key was to be consistent and work out 6 days/week, but I feel like I could be doing so much more! I have learned that would be counterproductive, so I have slacked off and tried to stick with the training plan. However, now instead of feeling lazy, I feel kind of bored. I guess  it's just the thought of training for an event with 3 sports. In my mind, I need to be training hard and all the time. The truth is, when building endurance, you build it slowly... When I think about it, it does make a whole lot of sense. Last week I was freaking out about not running more and all that, but then I realized that I can't be pounding my body around like that every other day for 20 weeks and then be ready to compete. I have swallowed the chill pill and am sticking to the program. I will just try to make the best out of the trainings that I do have and maybe only extend them for another 15-30 minutes, if I can.

So far this week:
Monday: PLAN: Bike 1 hr ACTUAL: Bike 1 hr + 30 min swim class
Tuesday: PLAN:Swim 30 ACTUAL: 60 min swim lesson
Wednesday: PLAN:  Bike 45 min ACTUAL: run 45 min (3mi) + 30 min swim class