Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Triathlete- January 2011

Since some of you have shown an interest in my healthy living journey, I thought I would share how I'm progressing in my triathlon goal with you once a month. For January, I had 23 days of exercise and 8 days off.

I'll start with the bad news.
My swimming has just been horrible. I was in the pool by myself for three solo swims and had two private lessons. My solo swims have left me feeling like I'm turtle slow and that I have horrible technique. At times, I'm gasping for breath at the end of one lap. I know I'm cardio conditioned and shouldn't be gasping but I am, either from fear or I don't know what.

I had really high hopes from my swim coach but she was sorely disappointing. The sum total of her advice was that "it will just happen when you relax". Right. Not helpful.

I had one very bad day where I only got in 10 laps and struggled hugely the entire time. Afterwards, I had a huge crying fit in my car. Karen (God love her) listened as I sobbed into my phone saying that I wanted to give up my triathlon goal and in the same breath saying that if I did give it up that I would regret it for the rest of my life. Once she had me calmed down, she assured me that we would find me a good coach who could help me swim. My trainer Joy assured me as well. Friends, this swimming goal feels so huge right now--like climbing Mt. Everest huge.

The rest of my training went very well.

I had 5 strength training sessions with my trainer Joy. She weighs me every week, which helps me stay on target. Her workouts are wonderfully hard and are never the same. She offers me so much encouragement in her easy, no-nonsense way. I feel blessed to have her help. I did two strength training sessions by myself and I was pleasantly surprised at how I could push myself to work hard.

My runs are right on target. My ten-mile long run was awesome; I felt the strongest I had since the race. The running stats are:
Long Run
9 miles in 90 minutes, 10min pace
8 miles in 80 minutes, 10min pace
10 miles in 94 minutes, 9:24 pace
Speed Work
6 miles in 57 minutes 9:30 pace
6 miles in 55 minutes 9:10 pace
Easy/Regular Run
5 miles in 47 minutes 9:24 pace
5 miles in 48 minutes 9:36 pace
6 miles in 60 minutes 10:00 pace

I had a big breakthrough with regards to the bike. I had been biking only in my small neighborhood but one day I felt comfortable enough to bike on a real road. Cars went around me and I didn't freak out. I felt like a real bike rider for the first time. I had three neighborhood rides. On one I traveled 7.5 miles in one hour. The other I traveled 8.7 miles in an hour.

For perspective's sake I'll share with you that for the triathlon, I need to bike around a 3 minutes mile. In an hour's time, I need to be logging around 20 miles instead of 8. So eventually I need to bike at least TWICE as fast as I am now. So, I have a long way to go. But I'll take my little "win" and smile about it. The day I biked on a real road was a good day.

I also attended 3 spin classes which are helping me build biking muscles (and making me sweat absolute buckets).

My favorite day of the week is Tuesday because I get to train with Joy and I get to attend Body Combat class. I got in 4 of those classes this month and grinned the whole time. That class is fun!

Karen's been taking circuit training classes at a different gym three times a week (she also Jazzercises twice a week). One day this month, I got a free pass to attend her circuit class. It was awesome. I would love to find a way to work this class into my schedule.

At the end of January, I attended the National Figure Skating Championships in Greensboro, NC. My mom and I went together and had a wonderful time. While there, I worked out on the elliptical machine for 75 minutes. I did that 2 of the 4 days we were there.

Lastly this month, I got to walk with my friend Sarah twice. We walked between 3 1/2 - 4 miles each time. Its a great time to gab and burn a few more calories.

127. Down 2 pounds since December. Weight loss isn't my primary goal but I'm always pleased to see the scale dip down a bit more.

And there we go, another month summarized!

If you are interested, here are more posts about the journey.
Goal: Triathlon in 2012- initial post from December 2010
One Little Word: Triathlete post
December 2010 summary


Alayna said...

Wendy, it sounds like you are doing an absolutely AMAZING job with all this! You are working so hard and it will pay off, I promise. I'm sure you'll be able to find a good swim coach and that that will make all the difference. And, the faster biking will come with more practice.

I've never done a triathlon, but I used to run competitively in college and I was always injured, so I did TONS of swimming and biking to stay in shape. At first, I could barely make it through a lap, but eventually I got to the point where I actually enjoyed swimming, and even now I feel like I get a lot of frustration from the day out when I'm in the water. I know you can get there, too! Please keep us posted on how you're doing as you continue your journey...

frankncents said...

Congratulations on your triathlon goal and progress! Speaking as one who has now completed five triathlons, let me assure you that the swimming will get better. When I started training for my first triathlon, I was the slowest person in the slow lane at our local pool, could only do breast stroke, and had to rest after every 2 or 3 laps. I worked on different parts of my stroke independently, and slowly improved. I know it feels SO slow when you're starting, but you will get there!

noxl said...

Hey, you're doing an amazing job! Nobody's an expert in the beginning.
Concerning the swimming I can tell you: try to stay patient. From my and other's experience you can be in the best shape on the bike or while running, but swimming is different. But it will become easier - I promise! :-)

icanhavsdelooshunsovadekwacy said...

Hi, I don't normally comment but your swimming problem reminded me of a problem that my mum (also a long distance runner) had with being out of breath swimming.

She was told that it was because she was breathing the way she would while running rather than in a way suitable for swimming. What really helped her was slowing right down and concentrating on breathing all the way out while her head was under so she had time to breath in fully when her head was up (hope that makes sense!)