“You should be biking faster than you are; you must be doing something wrong.These words and more came from a trusted advisor at the start of July. Hearing this triathlete, this woman I admire, speak of my efforts with such scorn just wrecked me. I felt so old. So slow. So incompetent. And so foolish.
You certainly aren’t biking as much as you need to.
And you aren’t clipping in to the bike? Well, that’s just crazy.
You are just now swimming 100 yards without stopping? After all your practicing, that’s it? You should be farther along in your swimming than this by now.”
I came home and ranted to Karen for an hour. After the rant, there were shaky tears. For the first time in 6 months, I seriously considered giving it all up.
When I was calmer, Karen asked what I wanted to do. I laughed and said, “I want to give her a ticket! The way a traffic cop gives a ticket. I want her to pay a fine. I want her to know that it is not ok to speak to me or anyone else like that!” The entire month of July, I wanted to give her a ticket. I composed speeches in my head that I wanted to say to her. Her harsh words hurt a lot and it took me a while to heal from them.
It's the first time since I started this journey that I've had someone say, "I don't think you can do it." But now, at the start of August, I can wholeheartedly say "Yes. I can."
When I’m facing a struggle and trying to overcome adversity, I look for the truth. My search for the truth starts with data. So I looked up sprint triathlon results from a ton of races from the past three years. With all that data, I created a time-based goal for my first triathlon. In searching bike statistics, I saw that 14mph is the average speed for most beginners on the bike. I am not “too slow”; I’m right where most beginners are. I need to be around 17-18 mph and I confident that in time I will get there. Same with my swimming. And I'm actually ahead on my running.
After crunching mountains of data, I felt calmer. And from my calmer space, I found these truths. Triathlons are filled with more “elite” athletes than “average” people like me. But I still want to train for and complete a triathlon. I love the training. I love facing my fears every time I get in the pool or on the bike. It’s hard to feel scared so much of the time but it is exhilarating too. I feel physically and mentally stronger as each month goes by. I love working out in all three sports. I’m so damn proud of my small triumphs.
What’s true is that I’m intimidated by some of the elite athletes that I bump into. I have no desire to train with them or hang out with them. I would rather hang out with the people who are at the start of their weight-loss and get-fit journey. When I’m running down the street and I see someone who is overweight and slogging through a 12-minute mile, I want to give them a high-five and tell them that they are fantastic and that it does get easier. Because I know how much courage it takes just to get out the door and exercise.
I guess I still identify with Biggest Loser contestants who look so amazed at how far they’ve come. I feel that way too. Like a former fat girl who is out there giving it her all. So I don’t care if it takes me one year to feel ready to do a triathlon or 2 or 3 years. I will keep on training and I will do my triathlon when I know I’m ready.
With that said, here are the stats for July.
For the month, I worked out 23 days and had 8 days off.
8 swim practices all with my coach. Here were my favorite practices for the month. If you don’t swim laps, this might look like blah x numbers = more blah but I just loved these practices and wanted to share them here.
7/13 Swim. Warmup 100free, 50 kickboard. Then same with fins. Then 8 25s, 4 50s, 2 100. Then 4 100s w fins. Total 900+400 fins = 1300 yards
7/15. Swim. Best set ever! 10min warmup. Then 3 100s, 6 50's, 8 25's. First with fins then without. First time I've done 3 100's! 800 + 800 with fins = 1600.
7/20 Swim. Warmup. Then 6 75's with kickboard and fins (50 regular, 25 fast). Then 2 25s, 1 50, 8 25s, 1 100. Then the same with fins. Then same again without fins. 800 + 850 with fins = 1650
7/26 Swim. Warmup. 4x50’s with kickboard and fins. 4x50 with buoy (work on stroke and right-side breathing). Then 100 (75free, 25 breast), 2 x 50 (10 second rest), 100, 1 x 50 fast (54 – 58 seconds). Do that set twice. 700 + 400 with fins/buoy = 1100
7/28 swim. Warmup was 50 free then 25 kickboard (no fins) four times. Then fins on and 8x25, 4x50, 2x100 kicking with kickboard. Then 2x100, 4x50, 8x25 with fins swimming. 1200 with fins + 400 = 1600. Last thing was timed 100 freestyle. Did it in 24, 28, 32, 34 seconds for a total of 1:58. First time to swim 100 under 2 minutes.
10 miles in 47 minutes. 13mph average, 16.9 max
13.5 miles in 1 hour. 13mph average, 17.6 max
24 miles in 1:43. 14mph average, 17.3 max
10.4 miles in 45 minutes. 13.9mph average, 17.5 max
10 miles in 45 minutes. 13.5mph average, 17.8 max
25 miles in 1:43. 14.5mph average, 17.9 max. This ride is my personal best.
Plus 4 spin classes.
Tempo run or off-the-bike runs
3 miles in 27 minutes. 9:00 pace
3.25 miles in 28:03. 8:60 pace
2.5 miles to warmup before strength training. No time.
6.5 miles in 1:00 9:23 pace
13 miles in 2:09. 9:92 pace
10 miles in 1:41. 10:00 pace
9 miles in 1:27. 9:66 pace
13 miles in 2:11. 10:07 pace
I had two sessions with Joy. I’m utilizing a free month at Karen’s gym. I did 2 of their Performance/Strength workouts and I just loved them.
I’m impressed you made it through this L-O-N-G post. Please leave a comment. Comments mean the world to me.
June 2011 summary
May 2011 summary
April 2011 summary
March 2011 summary
February 2011 summary
January 2011 summary
December 2010 summary
Goal: Triathlon in 2012- initial post from December 2010
One Little Word: Triathlete post