A Brick Before Work Keeps My Mood In Check

My foiled plan to grab a pre-work brick workout was foiled twice: once because I stayed up too late one night and subsequently overslept, and another by a sudden 9am office meeting. However, I tried to go to bed at a decent hour last night (decent, meaning midnight) and woke up relatively early enough to get to get a cold shower in and head to the gym by 7am or so.

That first cold shower was a good idea. I’m trying to get used to swimming in cold water since 1) I moved to the Pacific Northwest and 2) the pool at the gym is not heated. So, I hopped into another second cold shower before hitting the pool. It was an outstanding idea since by the time I jumped in, the pool felt decently warm to me.

I swam about 10 laps (500 yards is my goal for each day of swimming, currently at 3x week). I remember when training for my sprint triathlon, I’m swim up to 16 laps (32 lengths) and that was about a half mile or so. 10 laps still winds me, so I’m hoping to work up my endurance. I’m still noticing that my fear of the water is still lingering. Every once in awhile if my mind wanders to my open water swimming experiences or I imagine swimming in darkness, I immediately get freaked out and stand up. (Granted, the pool is 3.5-4.5 feet deep.) It’s still something to work on. I take 11 strokes to get from one end of the pool to the other. I get air every 3rd stroke. I notice that when I think about work and swim, I clench my teeth. If I also fixate on avoiding getting water in my mouth I clench as well. If someone is in the lane next to me and we begin pushing off the wall at the same time, I see if I can try to keep up. (That’s usually a no.) My swimming feels very distracted right now but maybe that means I’m not working hard enough. It’s only been two days of swimming this week, but it’s two more days than I’ve had in a long time.

After my swim I hopped on to the stationary bike. Not as good as the real thing, but I’m not about to find out if I can still keep my balance in Seattle traffic. Eventually I’ll build my confidence back up but thankfully my trainer arrived yesterday! I just need to get some tools to put everything together. I sped along at a nice pace (okay, it was kind of slow) and then suddenly I got a meeting request from my manager to come in at 10! I got it at 9, when I still had 5 miles or so left to go on the bike. I hustled and hustled, finished the ride, and headed to the bus stop and by then, she had decided to reschedule for the next half hour. My legs felt like jelly and I really wanted to head out for a run, but just didn’t have the time to spare…so I went to work.

My mood was remarkably high throughout the day. Could’ve been because I got the bulk of my stressful work done the night before or that the endorphins were just kicking in. Either way, I’m already feeling a bit sleepy so I hope to get a good night’s rest and perhaps head in for another swim/bike session tomorrow. And hopefully I can get a nice run in during the evening. I’m supposed to get 8 miles in but I don’t know how that’ll be possible. We’ll see I guess. It’s worth a try.

I’m really trying to work in this tri training into a hectic work schedule. It’s insane. I don’t know how anyone with families or *real* commitments train for events like these. I know you need to make the time, but even I struggle to do that — and I don’t have a family (I mean, like a hubby and rugrats) nor do I moonlight for extra cash. And I don’t have any health issues I’m trying to overcome. Honestly, I have it really easy when it comes to this. All I have to do is train…what more can I ask for? (Oh yeah, maybe some tools to set up my bike trainer.)

Last night as I was laying in bed, I was looking up Ironman races I wanted to target. My goal is to finish an Ironman by the time I’m 30. I haven’t decided if that also encompasses the year after I turn 30 (in between 30 and 31) but nonetheless I think I’ve found THE ONE: Ironman Coeur d’Alene. Their promo video is so awesome. Their marketing…it works!!!

It’s also a decent drive from Seattle so I won’t have to ship my bike, and that’s a definite plus. There’s also the Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens, which is next July…the unfortunate timing of IMCDA is that it’s in June, so I’d have to wait until June 2014 to race. I really wanted to complete a fall triathlon though, and I think the only ones I saw for the full distance are in AZ. I guess we shall wait and see!

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