Weekend Surge, and an Olympic-to-Half Ironman 11 Month Bridge

It was quite the busy weekend! I’ve concluded that I’m quite impulsive when it comes to big decisions. Well, maybe impulsive isn’t the word that describes it, but I get these lingering goals that make me feel incomplete and I will suddenly, out of the blue, decide to finally do something about it. That happened twice this week to me, about the same two things that keep plaguing me — grad school and the HITS Triathlon I’m registered for in November.

I secretly submitted my application to Golden Gate University for readmission into my masters program and got in. And then I secretly registered for one class. (That’s my limit, even though I’m really tempted to register for two.) I don’t even know who I’m secretly keeping this from because now that I’m blogging about it, the world now knows. So I think class starts sometime this month, but I already bought my book. It was finally available as a digital textbook, thank goodness! Anywho, I’ve already read it from cover to cover (it was an easy read) but it got me thinking — do I really need to hash this stuff out for 16 weeks? What would happen if I just looked up every class I had left (about six of them) and just buy the book and read it on my own? It would probably take me a few months to go through all of that text but would I learn/retain the same amount of information? I guess there’s some value in the discussion and lectures, right? As much as I was tempted to subsequently disenroll from this inner conflict, I decided to hold out a bit to see how I felt about it a few weeks from now.

Anyhow, this is a training blog, not a school blog, so onward to my second dilemma — the HITS Triathlon. So I’m registered for the half (70.3) but I don’t have enough time to get myself back on track for that. If I’m strict I’ll be barely ready for the Olympic distance. If all else fails, I could just do the Sprint distance but really — a $300 flight, plus hotel, plus rental car, plus bike shipping…for a sprint triathlon? MEH. I’m going to put my eggs in the Olympic distance basket and just try to stay as diligent as possible. It’s 14 weeks until the event, so I spent most of last night planning and plotting an extended 12-week training plan.

Oh, and I can’t forget the marathon either. It’s about three or four weeks after the triathlon. This season is going to be a complete butt kicker! So, on top of an Olympic triathlon training plan, I also have a loose marathon training plan sprinkled in there for good measure. I guess if it comes down to it I can downgrade to the ultra-half marathon at Birch Bay.

So, my weekend training totaled 29 miles: 3ish miles running, 5ish miles hiking, 20ish miles biking, and a half mile swim. I felt great on Saturday on my run, ride, and hike. It was a bit warmer than usual but it felt nice. However, today (Sunday) was quite brutal. I went out for my workout in the morning but it was incredibly hot and demotivating, so I focused on more important things like buying furniture and unpacking my final boxes. I saved my workout for the evening, when it cooled down a bit.

It was my first time back in the pool since April 6th. That was 4 months ago!!! I can still remember that last swim workout…it was amazing. I actually made it a full mile and felt great afterwards. This time, I was huffing and puffing every 25 yards. I was surprised by how much my chest felt constricted, by how little air I was getting in, and how I tired I was even after such a short distance. My endurance has definitely taken a nosedive and I’ll have to work very hard to get it back to where it was (and go beyond it). I also felt a bit shaky in the water, just like when I was first starting out. I kept thinking about open water swimming and how I wouldn’t see the lane markers. I imagined swimming in darkness and immediately my chest tightened, my breathing labored, and I began losing form. A few times I felt like I was panicking a bit but I kept trying to at least make it to the end of the pool. It’s strange how those old mindsets can creep back in, even after having a few open water swims and a few triathlons under my belt. If anything, this is more reason to get back into a regular swimming routine. Actually, who am I kidding? I’ve never had a regular swim routine…but it is my chance to implement and stick to one.

So my upcoming season’s training plan looks like this:

August: 500-750 yards swimming 3x week, 15 miles bike 3x week, up to 11 miles on the long run

September: 750-1000 yards swimming 3x week, 20 miles bike 3x week, up to 15 miles on the long run

October: 1250-1500 yards swimming 3x week, 25 miles bike 3x week, up to 14 miles on the long run

November: 1500 yards swimming 3x week, 25 miles bike 3x week, up to 20 miles on the long run

Race the Olympic distance triathlon on the 11th of November and race the full marathon on the 8th of December.

My plan for December-July is to have a gradual training load up from the Olympic distance to the Half Ironman distance, and to register for the 70.3 Lake Stevens (in Washington State) for a July race.

Let’s see if I survive! (This is the fun part.)

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