Saturday, May 29, 2010

Today was a great day

I think that the best thing that I could have done for myself is to take a few days to rest last week. I'm thinking that is what lead to such a successful training day today... well that and some motivating words from my niece.

I went out to Rock Creek Park with Yolanda for a run this morning. In total we ran about 4 miles with minimal breaks. I felt really good. At no point did I want to stop except for a much needed stretch of my calves. Then after several hours of hanging out with me niece and her telling me, "You can do it Teedy, don't doubt yourself", I was ready for my open water swim lesson in Lake Reston. In total today, I swam 600 meters (my race is 750 meters). I took a break after every 100 meters. The goal is to swim for 200 meters continuously next week. I feel like I can do it right now, but since I have the time I will be sure to get in some non-stop laps at the pool to be even more prepared.

All in all, today was a very good training day! I guess that I am really building endurance. Now, when I get tired or don't think that I can make it, I think that my niece's voice will play in my head and I will think "You can do it Teedy, don't doubt yourself"!! I love that kid and I love me... especially after such a great day of training!! 3 weeks to go!!

Burned out?

I started this trek towards becoming a Triathlete in late January. Most of the time has passed with me learning to swim, get used to staying vertical on my bike and very little time running. I guess it's because I have been at this for so long that I am starting to feel a little burned out. I have found myself just not feeling like training. I never used to not feel like training. Something that probably has me a little disinterested is the fact that although I am doing so much more than I ever could, the shyt is still hard. I know that it's hard even for those that have done this before and the fact that I am extraordinary for even setting out to accomplish a goal like this, but the shyt is still hard. If anything, I need to be picking it up and getting stronger and increasing my endurance even more in these last few weeks. I am very grateful that my call for help to my friends was very well received. I know that no one wants to see me quit while I am so close.

Quitting has not come to mind, but the fact that I am getting burned out is a little concerning. I took a needed break this week on Tuesday to prepare for the arrival of my niece and then again today (Friday). This morning I simply did not feel like getting up for an early bike ride. I wrote to Tania to cancel the ride and went back to sleep for 2 hours! I felt so well rested when I awakened. I think that my body needed a rest! I have a pretty jam packed training weekend and I will take up every one's offer to train with me next week.  I will run with Yolanda tomorrow morning and swim in Lake Reston with Mei Mei in the afternoon.On Sunday I will be taking a long bike ride with Tania and friends. Monday the plan is to swim at the Wilson pool (if it's open) and then run with Tania. I plan to run a whole lot more after this June 20th race. I am a little disturbed (well very disturbed, actually) that I still don't like the way my body looks after all of this training! I know that running will help to fix it along with Pilates and some other things. I think that me not seeing physical results is leading to my disinterest with training too.

Next Saturday is a training Triathlon at Hains Point with my training group. The swim is in a pool and it's 400 meters, the bike ride is 17.5 miles and the run is 3 miles. My goal is to increase my comfortability with swimming laps this week and by next Saturday, I will be able to swim the distance with ease!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

29 days to go!

The Triathlon that I have been training for is only 29 days away! For those who would like to come out to see me accomplish my goal of crossing the finish line, the finish line will be on Pennsylvania avenue between 3rd and 4th Streets on June 20th. I think that I should be done by 8:30.  I can sure use some cheerleaders! I'm still trying to figure out how/where my friends can be to cheer me on during the swim and the bike. I have a little time to figure this out, but for now, here is the link with more info.

The training is going well. I swam 1150 meters on Wednesday without stopping to take a break until after 700 meters. BOY have I come a long... way! I have a few more lake swimming lessons, will increase my comfort level with swimming long distances in the pool and will continue to get more comfy on my bike. I also promise myself that I will run more. The running is what has been lacking and I suck at it because I simply have not been running.

Thanks to all who have supported me throughout this journey! I have 29 more days of this and then it's the big day!! I can't wait!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Training with an experienced Triathlete

Today I trained with my friend Trudy, who is an experienced Triathlete. She is doing the race on June 20th also, but the one that is twice the length of mine (Olympic distance). We have committed to training HARD for the next 4 weeks and taking it light in the week prior to the race. Now, I knew that this chic was experienced and expected the workout to be hard, but dang.... training with her kicked my butt today!

We met up at the Wilson pool because they have 50 meters lanes. The benefit of training there is that you have to swim for a longer time before stopping to turn around. I was a little nervous as the lanes looked so.... long and the depth is like 13 feet or something. I worked on some drills and focused on some things that I received feedback on. I swam 800 meters (with many breaks) in total. We left the pool and headed to her gym, Results, for a ride on the stationary bike. Trudy shared with me how she trains on the stationary bike and how it corresponds to riding her road bike. I set my bike up similar to what she did and baaaby, it was HARD! In total, I rode 1 hour = 15 miles on the stationary bike, with the resistance set at 8 and I maintained a speed of 15 miles per hour. Trudy increases the resistance to 11 and rides 20 miles per hour = hard core! I have never sweat so much in the gym before! After we were done, she insisted that we get on the treadmill for at least a mile. I lasted 1/2 mile at a 2.5% incline.

Whew... I was so tired and hungry! I ate a turkey burger and salad faster than I have ever eaten in life after we were done! So, now I know how an experienced  Triathlete trains. I now know that I need to push myself harder for the next 4 weeks. I'm committed. The train of thought is, if you train hard, then the race won't be so foreign to your body on race day. Embrace the pain is my new mantra!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Swimming in the Chesapeake Bay

The first group swim in the Chesapeake Bay is behind me. The water was cold, but I was prepared for that. There were currents, but I was prepared for that too. What I wasn't prepared for was how HARD it was going to be to swim. I found that I got tired easily and it was tough going, but I didn't freak out or get into any trouble. It was so hard that I got mad that I didn't have more endurance. But I am committed. It will get easier and I will be able to go for a longer time before I get tired. I am committed to swimming 20 laps at least 2 times a week to build endurance. 20 continuous laps which equates to 1000 meters (my race is only 750 meters). I will get stronger. I will!

We dried off and got on our bikes for an hour and  a half ride. We went through Annapolis which has some hills, so it was tough. I still don't have the gear shifting thing down, but I went for an hour and a half and covered nearly 20 miles!

The one thing that I have to remember is that it is tough for everyone and what's important is that I finish. Today, I finished and that's all that matters.

Next up: Swim Clinic again on tomorrow in the Chesapeake Bay. I'm hoping to find someone to run with me when I make it back to DC.

I can do this!!

Okay. Today is the day that I swim in open water with a group of people. We are swimming in the Chesapeake Bay. I'm looking forward to seeing what it feels like to be in the water with a lot of other people. I sort of feel confident about this, as I have been out in the lake a few times, but I hear that swimming in the lake is different than swimming in the Bay and swimming alone versus with a whole lot of other people is different. I'm trying to quiet my nervous jitters by reminding myself that I now know how to swim and I have been in open water before. Sure, I freaked out that one time, but I continued to swim and I have been back out there since that experience. I CAN DO THIS!

I will have 3 experiences of swimming in open water with a group before race day on June 20th. Each time will be clinics for beginner swimmers in open water. I have a few more times for private lessons before race day too. I trust that I will be fully prepared by then and possibly, much before then.

The mantra in my head this morning: I CAN DO THIS!! I CAN DO THIS!!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Randoms of a soon to be Triathlete

I feel really good about myself today.

I recently committed to doing some core exercises to make this unfavorable part of my body go away.

Today I did 20 minutes of Pilates and 20 minutes of Turbo Jam Abs  on my lunch hour, because this unfavorable area has GOT to disappear before it's bikini time!

I was committed today.

I swam in Lake Reston although it was drizzling and less than 60 degrees outside.

I am still psyched that I swam 20 laps on Sunday.

I want/need to make that a habit.

My friend Dawn signed up to complete my Triathlon with me!

I went for a jog after dark today. I only ran 1 mile, but it was well lit in the area and I overcame the fear of running alone after dark.

I am feeling REALLY good about my level of commitment to becoming a Triathlete.

My friend Monnie gave me a gift on Sunday and told me that she is proud of me, even if I didn't do the race that day.

My friends completely F'ing ROCK!

I am still awake and need to be at the gym in 6 hours for swim and spin.

I am in love with myself for setting out to do something that once seemed impossible.

I now know that nothing is impossible if I set my mind to it.

I can't wait until I can say that I am a Triathlete!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The journey continues

The journey is definitely more important than the destination. I learned this lesson this week. When I realized that I was not ready to do the Kinetic Sprint Triathlon today that I was going to use as a test race, I decided to not quit, not feel defeated or feel slow or irrational for thinking that I can do this. I decided to continue on my journey and do all that I can to be prepared on June 20th. It was imperative to me that I make this weekend a very good training weekend.

On Saturday I went for a bike ride. 20 miles round trip. My race is 18 miles on the bike, so I now know that I can complete the bike leg of the race. I got dropped by the group because I wasn't as fast as them. I got lost because I lost sight of the group and had no idea which way to go. When I ended up on Wisconsin Avenue and I started in Rock Creek Park, I knew I had gone too far, turned around and met up with the group right near where we started. None of that mattered. What mattered to me is that when I got back home, my bike said said that I rode for 20 miles (even if I was so pooped that I walked my bike home for the last block). Then, I went to Rock Creek Park with Yolanda and we walked/ran 3 miles, which is the distance of my race.My legs were so... tired from the bike ride that I could not run the entire distance, but I know that I can run 3 miles and if push came to shove, I could walk the 3 miles to the finish line.

Today I went to the gym with Tania, my mentor, and we warmed up by swimming 4 or 5 laps and then I told her that my goal was to swim 20 laps with no breaks. It's pretty difficult to not stop at the end of the lane to turn around and I did take 2-3 quick breaks and had to relax on my back twice, but I DID IT!! I SWAM 20 LAPS!!! My race is 750 meters which is equivalent to 16 laps, so I now know that I can swim the distance of my race plus a little further.

This weekend was a good training weekend on my continued journey to become a Triathlete. I know that after this weekend, which started with me feeling like a failure for not bring ready for my race today, ended up being a great training weekend in which I biked and swam more than the distance of my race. I now know that I can do the distances. Now, I just need to get ready for swimming in open water and get used to running 3 miles after biking 18 miles and swimming 750 meters. It's all about building endurance and I can do it. I WILL do it. I will be a Triathlete on June 20th. I hope to have some cheerleaders to help along the way.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

There comes a time...

I'm sure that it is pretty normal at some point during training for a Triathlon that you begin to question your level of insanity. Today I did that. I also realized that sometimes there comes a time to re-evaluate the circumstances and re-strategize. I did that today too. I went for my second swim lesson in Lake Reston today in advance of this Sunday's Kinetic Sprint Triathlon. The plan was to use it as a test race prior to my big race on June 20th. I was feeling pretty confident until today.

The wind was blowing and there were currents and fish and a whole family of ducks and my goggles were all fogged up and I couldn't see my instructor in the kayak and pollen was on top of the water and... all of a sudden, it was like, I forgot what I was supposed to be doing. I started thinking about what to do with my arms and my legs and tried to backstroke and found my self screaming, "I NEED A BREAK". My instructor was right there with the kayak. I grabbed a hold of the kayak like it was going to save my life. I started to tell her how I'm not ready... and I can't do it... and I need more time....

She was really patient and made me realize that I am doing more than most people ever would. She reminded me that I am doing more than I could do 5 months ago. She reminded me that I am extraordinary for just signing up to do a Triathlon. She brought me to shore and asked me to tell her 3 things that I did well. We talked about some things and together realized that, yes perhaps I do need more time. I calmed down and then she went out into the lake a bit in the kayak and had me to swim to her. I rested and then swam back to shore. We did this about 4 times and each time she went further and further out and gave me some tips. By the last time, I felt like she was way to close to shore and I could have swam further.

The new plan is to swim in the lake weekly and at least 2-3 times between that, work on building my endurance. I will work on swimming 16 laps in the pool comfortably (which is the distance of my race) but work my way up to swimming 20 laps comfortably, as it is always better to know that you can go a little further than you have to.

So, there comes a time when you have to realize that you need a little more time. I will not be doing the Kinetic Sprint Triathlon on this Sunday. By no means am I quitting. I'm just taking the time that's needed. I have 6 weeks until my goal race on June 20th and by all means I will be ready!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The F word

I love the F word. Now, I'm sure that some of you are thinking that I mean Fcuk or Fabulous or maybe even Fart. I'm talking about Friends. My friends are absolutely phenomenal (boy, how I wish that word started with an F). Often times, you find out who your friends are during trying times. Recently I had the opportunity for my true friends to step up when my health was compromised. When I started on my journey to become a Triathlete, I did not think of this as the opportunity for friends to step up again. I only started this blog because I wanted to record the experience. I didn't expect anyone to follow the blog, or cheer me along or even join me in my journey to become more physically fit. My friends have repeatedly stepped up and gave advice, tough love, shared in my chuckles about embarrassing moments and have even helped me to train. I love my F words. They rock and I am forever endeared by their level of friendship to me. Thank you to all of my F words!! I love yall!

The wetsuit and lake experience

Triathlon wetsuits are designed for speed and warmth during an open water swim.

Take note that there is no zipper in the front on the picture above. Or on ANY wetsuit. These things are extremely hard to put on. It's like putting on an extra think pair of pantyhose that's too tight (don't ask me how I know that feeling). The lady gave me a few tips on how to get it on easier and she handed me mine with them almost turned inside out and instructed me to call her so that she can zip me up... I stepped in like she instructed and worked.... it up. When I was finally ready to flip the top up to work my arms into it, I noticed that the zipper was in the front. I worked my arms in and then I thought.... "hhmm... now why should I call her to zip this up? I am more than capable of doing so." Thinking nothing of the zipper being in the FRONT of my wetsuit, I stuck my head out and called the girl for her help. This guy caught sight of me and told her out loud that I put the thing on backwards, which was obviously pretty hilarious to everyone in the very packed store. After fighting with that thing to get it on backwards, I was not happy about fighting to get it off and then on again the correct way, but I did.

The instructor that took me out to swim in the Lake was the best! She hugged me when we met up and just immediately made me feel more at ease. We sat and talked for awhile before I got into to the freezing azz Lake Reston (we think it was about 60 degrees). She was really good with helping me to get acclimated to swimming in  a lake. I think the best thing that she could have instructed me to do was turn over on my back. This was for me to learn that the wetsuit helps me to float and that I can not sink. She told me to take a breath with every stroke and look where I am going often. We worked on a few things and then I got out. She said that we will do more on Tuesday and believes that I will do fine on May 9th and beyond.

This experience taught me the importance of remaining calm, that the wetsuit is really my friend and that I can do this! I'm sure that I will be even more sure of my ability between now and race day. The one thing that she wants me to do is work on building my endurance in the pool. So, back to swimming laps again with no breaks or flipping to my back when I get tired.

Who would have thought that I would be swimming in a lake not long after learning how to swim for the first time?? I ROCK!!