Week 8 Base Training: Be Fearless

I’m tired and I can’t think straight, so here’s a few things to consider before I jump into my recap.

Be fearless. I try to remind myself of this every time I hear “I can’t.”
Treat every new day as a blank slate. You can start anew whenever you want.

Recap of week 8 base training:

14.1 hours; 6,816 yards of swimming; 35.75 miles of biking, 17.88 miles of running.

Monday, January 7: Personal training session in the morning with my coach. 5 min bike warmup, 30lb  dumbbell squats 3×12, bosu ball lateral lunges 3×10, lateral lunges 3×10, plyo box jumps 3×10, high knee running x 1min, high kick back running x 1 min, 50 min/3.1mile interval run.  Went back that night to sign up for the tri team (whooo!) and for a group swim session. No one else showed up so I got a personal session. Swam for about a half hour and learned that apparently I’ve been swimming all wrong for the last year. Here comes the learning curve. Hands need to go into the water thumbs first. I linger too much over the surface of the water because I want too much air. I kick too much for fear of sinking. I keep my shoulders square to keep things predictable. Everything I’ve done in the water, I’ve done out of fear. And now it’s being beaten out of me. AHHHH!

Tuesday, January 8: Spent about an hour in the pool. Swam 1320 yards and worked on reworking my form based on what I learned Monday. I’m seriously starting to doubt my ability to go for 2.4 miles based on what I’m trying to rework. I worked out solo so that I could listen to my own thoughts and try to remember all of the points from the night before. This is hard. Way hard. I follow up my swim session with 47 minutes/3.12 miles on the treadmill doing hill intervals thinking about my swim.

Wednesday, January 9: 30 min team swim and 30 min solo workout. 1 hour, 1320 yards. I start using the swim paddles and the pull buoy to help me with my form, thanks to my teammates and coach. After our swim session, I drive out to the nearest Sports Authority to pick up similar swim paddles (that are too large for me!) to practice with. I feel like I’m behind. 140.6 seems like a far-away fantasy if I can’t get a simple swim stroke right. Argh!

Thursday, January 10: 1 hour 10 minutes/2000 yard swim in the morning with my new swim paddles. I didn’t buy a pull buoy but instead use an aquatic dumbbell. Dumbbells in the adjacent weight room begin to wonder what that thing in between my legs are and end up staring a few minutes here, a few minutes there. In the evening, my friend invites me out for a shindig with some other folks, and knowing I had to get my run in, went ahead and hauled all of my equipment home so that I could embark on a short 30 minute run to the destination in the crisp Seattle evening air. It was so much better than running in a gym. When I arrive my friend looked at me in disbelief that I actually ran like I said I would. I take a cab home afterwards because I’m too lazy to run back. 30 minutes/2.54 glorious, beautiful miles.

Friday, January 11: 1 hour team core strength training session. I learn more about Amie and Nathaniel, the two other triathletes on the team. Amie swears by pole fitness (something that I wanted to get into, for fun and for core fitness) and she seems to be able to pound out all of these insane exercises while I’m dying. I’ll have to look into them! As for the circuit, here’s what we worked on — Treadmill warmup 5 minutes, kettelbell core bridges and lunges (3x10xL/R), stability ball crows (3×10), up Vs and toe touches (3 minutes), stability ball planks – walk and back – 3×10. I have so much energy that I follow it up with a short bike ride — 30 minutes, 6.65 miles. I then follow that up with a 35 minute/2000 yard swim and I finally feel like I’m getting the hang of the water again. This is with my paddles and dumbbell, so I need to practice a bit more without the equipment to truly get a feel. I leave the gym and enter a world of sunshine and blue skies and learn that the entire weekend will be this way. Huzzah!

Saturday, January 12: Long run day. I need to sneak in some extra miles to get my body ready for the Rock n Roll Half Marathon next weekend in Arizona. I go for 2:39:19/12.22 miles around Seattle. I tried to cajole some friends to join me but they bailed before I even had a chance to start. Oh well. There’s always next time. They did miss a beautiful run though.

Sunday, January 13: I’ve been telling my friends and coworkers how much I’ve been wanting to take my bike off its trainer and actually get back on the roads. Not sure what has been the holdup. I think I’m just a bit skittish about my biking abilities. However, with the beautiful weather at hand I knew that I’d regret not taking it out as soon as the rain returned, so I reluctantly put the axle back in and rolled it outside…and found a nice empty street to get balanced on. And then, before I knew it, I was off. I went for 2:52:28/29.1 miles. I was really looking to get to 30 miles but ahh, the mileage just didn’t add up. Gives me a nice goal for next time though.

Things I accomplished this week:

1) Continued eating vegetarian despite many, MANY temptations (external and internal)
2) Got my bike off the trainer and onto a real road. For you know…tactical triathlon training.
3) Joined a tri team. We’re small for now, but that just means more attention for us.
4) Re-working my swim stroke and kick. It’s really hard to un-learn something you’ve learned over the course of a year.
5) Still got in all my weekend training despite my procrastination.

Things I’ve learned this week:

1) Re-learning something is harder than learning something new.
2) Training is a really good mood enhancer, and sometimes stabilizer.
3) Most of my coworkers are convinced that I get all of my smiling out of the way before 10am everyday.
4) I really appreciate my urban tribe.
5) Apparently pole fitness is pretty legit.
6) My coach is pretty awesome. So glad he is helping me.
7) I started looking for an alternate race but I think I should keep gunning for April 28th. No harm in aiming high.
8) Some things seem harder than they actually appear.
9) Riding a bike on a road is certainly not the same as riding the bike on a trainer.
10) I ride really really slow compared to other people on the trail. They just zip right by me. Effortlessly! I wonder what I’m doing wrong.
11) I just have to keep my head down and keep on going. No sense in overthinking anything.
12) Some people are more honest than others. Those are the ones worth keeping around.
13) I don’t have to prove anything to anyone else. I only have to impress myself.
14) It’s going to be tough to find friends who share all of my interests. I can at least find some that enjoy one of the three sports and then go for a swim/bike/run with them. I still wish I had a tri bestie though.
15) I never feel it right away. I always feel it tomorrow. Thanks, DOMS.

And now, a bunch of pretty photos from my weekend of training. Enjoy!

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