Triathlon Training Week 2

When we last left off I was feeling pretty confident about this whole triathlon training thing – and I still am! So I dove headfirst (literally) into week 2 of training with a nice quiet swim last Monday night.

IMG_6690Nothing like having the whole pool to yourself!

I’m so happy: I finally figured out how to avoid the witching hour when swim lessons end at the pool! In the past, I would arrive at gym just as the locker room filled with kids screaming at top volume, playing hide and seek in lockers, splashing each other with water from the showers, and generally causing unsupervised chaos in the locker room. So now I stay at work a little while longer, change into my suit at the office, and arrive to an empty parking lot and silent pool. Bliss!

So I did the 6×50’s on my schedule and rocked them hardcore. Seriously: the breaks I need to take between 50’s are a lot shorter, I don’t start spluttering at the end of the lap like I used to, and I’m generally feeling stronger with each stroke. This plan is really working!

Tuesday was 20 minutes of biking, so I hit the DeskCycle throughout the day and pushed to 30 minutes and 6 miles. It just felt right, even in skinny jeans.

10986564_841050789320941_8441742770079039186_nWednesday was a run day, and I surprised myself with that unbelievably fast 2.5KM I talked about in my last post. I’m not going to lie – I also downed a quick cup of coffee moments before the run while I watched the hotties on the NHL Awards, so my performance was somewhat enhanced by all that extra adrenaline. But what the hell, I’ll take a 9:38 first mile and 10:17 avg. page for 1.6 miles!

IMG_6675Thursday was another swim day, with a full 300M on the schedule. While I still had to hold onto the side of the pool after every 100M to avoid drowning, I tested myself by not pushing off the side (simulating that dreaded open-water swim I’ll face in 4 weeks) and still managed to complete 400M relatively quickly! Yes, I still need to take breaks every 50-100M, but with 4 more weeks of training I’m pretty sure that even if I have to float for those recovery periods on race day, I’m not going to die nearly as quickly as I initially thought! That is, unless a shark happens to catch me straggling at the back of the pack.

Friday was supposed to be a rest day, but a friend and I schlepped into Peddler’s Village and New Hope, PA and managed to clock almost 6 miles of walking! Not exactly restful, but oh so pretty!

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The rest of the week’s schedule was kind of thrown off: I drove up to Connecticut and met my best friend of 25+ years for our annual girls’ weekend, and blissfully forgot all about training for 36 hours. We watched Chris Pratt’s thighs (err, I mean Jurassic World), hung out in the hotel hot tub, laughed until our stomachs hurt, talked about life, and drank wine until we passed out giggling in the same bed. She’s good for my soul, this chick.

IMG_6772Did I mention Chris Pratt’s thighs?

As a result, Saturday and Sunday were both rest days – but I hit it hard again on Monday by taking my bike ride to the DeskCycle. And yeah, about that “15 minutes easy” it said on the schedule…

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Sorry – I accidentally biked a half marathon in 48 minutes.

To my credit, I felt like I had a little bit of a price to pay by skipping the whole weekend, but it was totally worth it!

Last night’s swim was a little tougher than I’d hoped it be though – I had 3x100M on the calendar but for some reason I couldn’t hold it together past the first 100M. I started spluttering after 150 and had to stop entirely at 200 for a full minute or two. I was super glad to have the pool to myself, because that last 100 was ugly. But it was done!

Now I’m looking forward to getting a run in sometime today, even though it only says I need to walk/run 2.5KM. I have a feeling I’ll end up doing more but can’t wait to run by feel and just fall into the groove again. I missed my long run this weekend and need that runner’s high again!

How’s it going by you? Any of you folks in the US looking forward to a long weekend? And Happy Canada Day to my friends in the Great White North!

Triathlon Training Week 1 (and Hello, Negative Splits!)

Even though I officially registered for and started training for the Jersey Girl Triathlon last week, I’ve been unofficially “training” for it for a few weeks. In the last month or so, I focused a little harder on biking in addition to running to see a) if I could keep up with two sports and b) if I noticed any improvements in my fitness. And after checking off both boxes with a big fat YES, I went for it feet (fins?) first and am thrilled with how things have gone in this first official week of training.

Since I started in the middle of the week, I had to modify my schedule a bit and kicked off Week 1 with a swim last Wednesday – where I pleasantly surprised myself!

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The schedule called for 4x50m in the pool, but I mistakenly thought that the “25” in the distance of our local YMCA pool was meters when it’s really yards. Not a huge difference, but this is just one of a dozen other misadventures I’ve had while swimming that illustrate just how painfully cluelss I am when it comes to this sport.

The last time I swam, I needed to stop after each length to catch my breath and bring my heart rate down to safely make it to the other side of the pool. This time I promised to push as hard as needed for the full 50 each time, and I did! Sure, I needed a few moments in each turnaround to regulate my breathing, and by the 3rd lap I was hanging off the side of the pool gasping for air, but dammit I did those 50’s. And instead of the prescribed 4, I did 6 because I had to know that I could do the 300M distance I’ll have to cover on race day! And I didn’t have to be bottle-fed a Gatorade to get moving again after I finished, so yeah. #WINNING!

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The next day I took to the DeskCycle for the prescribed “15 minutes easy” ride the schedule called for, and found myself wanting to push a little harder. I can’t help it when the schedule I’m following recommends that I “try to run” the whole 2.5K recommended for the run workouts. I know what I need to do to maintain my fitness levels, and it sure as hell isn’t walking a mile and a half twice a week. So I did about 20 minutes and covered a little more than 5 miles Thursday, then took the recommended rest day Friday.

Saturday was rainy and cool and breezy (and I had a little too much wine at Happy Hour on Friday), but I still got out there for the 5K bike ride the schedule called for.

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I like to think the wind and the mist added to my training – it sure as hell made me work harder fighting through the wind gusts – but really all it did was make me wish I hadn’t ordered that second bottle of wine the night before.

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Either way, I got it done (while Mike walked/jogged a few laps around the park) and called it a day! And on a semi-related topic, Friday was officially the last time I’m going to really indulge in the vino until after this race, thankyouverymuch.

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It sure was nice having him around in case I toppled off my bike to nap in a roadside bush though.

After a LOT of water and sleep on Saturday, I was ready to run on Sunday. But then Mother Nature laughed in my face and spewed fire and 90% humidity at me. So I fueled up, double-fisted my coffee and water, and headed to the Y for my first treadmill run in months.

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multi-tasking at its finest

I’ve talked a bit in the past about how I don’t hate treadmill running as much as some of my running colleagues do. I actually kind of dig the mill. It’s temperature controlled, there’s a bathroom a few feet away whenever I need it, and I can push my pace in a safe, controlled way (and hide the speed decrease button to challenge myself even more) – what’s not to love?

As such, I’m pretty sure my positive attitude – coupled with the bottle of Nuun that I sipped on every 10 mins or so – turned this into one of my most successful treadmill runs ever!

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I rocked out to T-Swift and ran negative splits for the first time in my life, and the 10:xx pace was surprisingly easy to maintain, even for the final mile. Time was the only reason I had to cut my run short, and I felt like I could have gone much further. The treadmill and I were both drenched in sweat when I was done, too, which is remarkably satisfying!

While I haven’t been running as long as I was while training for the half, the consistently faster miles I AM running are proof positive that all this cross and strength training really is paying off, finally! After running 12:30-13:00 miles pretty solidly no matter the distance for the past year or so, I’m so relieved and energized to see some results, no matter how small!

So that was week 1 in a nutshell – how has your week gone?

What Have I Done?!

Ohhh boy… what did I just do? After all the thinking and hemming and hawing, and “maybe I shouldn’t”, “maybe I should” flip flopping, I’ve finally gone and done it: I registered for my first sprint triathlon!

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That’s right, just 2 days after my birthday this summer (in about 6 weeks!), I’m swimming 300 yards, biking 11 miles, and running 3 miles to officially earn the title of “triathlete” in the Jersey Girl Triathlon!

They say you should do one thing every day that scares you, and this is like, a year’s worth of scary for me. I mean, I know I’m capable of doing this – even if I have to crawl across that finish line I’m still going to finish – but it’s still completely and entirely new to me. But if I never try, I’ll never know exactly what I’m capable of, right?

So now it’s your turn – have any of you ever done this event before? Or a sprint tri of your own? I’m looking for all the advice I can get here, share the love!