A Good Day of Training Deserves A Blog Post

After feeling like things were on the rocks for awhile with my training (and life, in general), I decided to make the most of my Saturday and celebrate the Ironman Championships the only way I knew how — by swimming, biking, and running.

The day started off with a Team Dress for Success run through Griffith Park. We had set the course for 9 miles and I think some of us achieved it…other people — like me — didn’t quite wrap the 9 miles but still put forth our best effort. It was really nice seeing my teammates again after being away for so long. I always wish I had pictures of us but alas I never quite remember to snap some while we’re together. Maybe next week! Anyways, one of the women has been training hard since day one on running. She had previously completed the Avon 3-Day Breast Cancer Walk, and was looking for another challenge. I can’t tell what’s more challenging — walking 20 miles a day for three days, or running 26.2 in one go. I was so happy to see her climbing the hills of Griffith Park with no issues. She had recently gone through quite a bit of family issues — a lot of deaths in her family these last few months, but after finishing the 9 miles her smile could light a room!

What I love most about the running trail at Griffith Park are the little signs along the way. They are remnants of other training groups and motivational coaches. There’s a sign that tells you when you’re one mile away from the finish, and then a very silly smiley face reserved for the finish.

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After the run, I headed home to pick up my iPod and settle in for a quick protein shake. I then headed to the gym near my boyfriend’s house and go to work. This was my first time biking at this 24 Hour Fitness but they had these really neat spinning machines that actually would set intervals and guide resistance and CPM for you while calculating mileage. It was really neat — different from the other stationary bikes I’ve used in the past — and was really fun. I’m hoping to be able to get a lot more miles in with this bike in the near future. I spent about an hour on it and the meter read 21 miles, so all in all it wasn’t bad. Unfortunately that’ll never be a distance I’ll be able to achieve on a road bike while training since I’ll have to deal with things like flat tires, traffic, and potholes. Eventually I’ll have to get back on my bike soon.

Then came the swim. Yes I took things in reverse — like the reverse triathlon I completed a few months ago — but I really wanted to relax into my swim. I have a tendency to tense up and get nervous in the water, even at 4 or 5 feet, but today I took it stroke by stroke. I swam for distance and not for time. Since it had been a very long while since I was in the water I wanted to take an easy day, so most of it was backstroke. About 2/3 of the way for each lane I’d switch over and practice getting my head in the water and alternating my stroke. I have to work on my breathing before I can work on technique. Most importantly I need to spend more time in the water.

I was famished by the time I had finished my workout. It was nearing 3pm by the time I stepped into the sauna to relax. I grabbed a lentil wrap and some sushi at the local Trader Joe’s and have been relaxing ever since! I’m glad to be back in the swing of things with my triathlon training. For awhile there I hadn’t done any biking or swimming, but I’m glad that my abilities are still there. (I guess they never quite go away, do they?) However, I think I feel more confident about the training season ahead now that I know I will have the time to devote to training.

How did you spend the weekend? Did you get any good training in?

A Few Observations From Today

 

On my run:

  • I ran theĀ Miles for Melanoma 5K this morning in Fullerton. Along the run route they had volunteers hold signs of people whom have passed from cancer. It was also very nice to see families and teams working together to fundraise for a cause that was so close to them.
  • The run route was pretty — a short trail to a small fishing lake. It looped around and on the run back I felt like I was going to either trip and fall over rocks or walkers. Both would have been equally painful in my opinion.

Regarding my timing:

  • I really do need to leave a bit earlier. I have a tendency to drill everything down until the last minute. I had the map to the race venue months in advance and still didn’t bother routing my drive there since I knew where the city was. I arrived with just enough time to check-in late and head to the start line!
  • In regards to actual timing of my run, I did pretty well compared to my last 5K. I ran a 9:23 mile compared to my 10:20 mile at the LA Big5K at the end of March.

On my bike ride:

  • It is easier to maintain momentum than it is to fight inertia. (I think that applies to a lot of areas of life.)
  • I’m having a difficult time turning and braking…pretty much anything that deviates from riding in a straight line. And even that I don’t do very well yet.
  • I get skittish with people around. I get especially nervous when there are cars around.
  • Nonetheless I’ve somewhat mastered staying on for continuous blocks and dips in the road.

In my personal relationships:

  • It’s easier to just speak your mind than it is to wallow in doubt.
  • Time spent with friends is time well spent.

In my work:

  • Spent the better part of the afternoon working on a visual overhaul for a friend’s website. It’s always difficult removing myself from the equation and making sure I design for someone else’s preference and their audience than for my own taste. I think that’s a challenge all designers face whether or not they choose to own up to that responsibility.
  • When working on weekends it is best to apply the law of diminishing marginal returns.