Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Triathlete- July 2011 Overcoming adversity

“You should be biking faster than you are; you must be doing something wrong.
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.”
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.

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

Long Run
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

Strength Training
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


ECW74 said...

I rarely comment but I just wanted to tell you I think you have come an amazingly long way and I look forward to your monthly updates. You are amazing and inspiring!

Laurie said...

Rockstar. Do I say that every month? I think I might, but it's true! You continue to inspire and amaze me.

livieandhermommies said...

I NEVER comment - just admire your blog through lurking, utilize some scrapbooking ideas for my family and admire your photos. BUT, since you asked for comments, here goes - YAY YOU!!!! That is amazing and I am very impressed with your determination and training! I cannot even imagine being able to do the run portion, must less the triple aspect!!!GOOD FOR YOU!

Jenn said...

I rarely comment on blogs but your blog is on my daily checklist! I love to read your older post about your pregnancy because my wife and I just found out we are having a baby! (Thanks to IVF!) You can certainly do this!! Look how far you have come!!!!

j.k-c. said...

I'm so impressed! I'm glad you got to a place where you can feel proud of your accomplishments and not get hung up on others' opinions of your accomplishments! I'm totally one of those slow runners right now. I did the c25k program starting on April and ran my first 5k in June. I've been working towards a 10k but have been a bit distracted and not as motivated lately. I'm going to take a little time off as my wife had a baby this weekend but reading along will help me stay motivated to get back to it!!!!!
Maybe you can help me with something? Part of my lack of motivation comes from that fact that I have not lost ANY weight since starting my running. My eating has never been bad but I've been very lazy about exercise. I would think that working out 3 days a week would have made some difference. I'm running for health not necessarily weight loss, but I feel so discouraged.

Anonymous said...

First, you are a rockstar. You've overcome major fears surrounding the swim and the bike. Not to mention how far you've come the last few years with running! I'm shocked that a triathlete and friend would tell you that! When I trained for my 2nd sprint, I did so with the help of 2 friends who have completed ironman distance tris. I received so much support and help! I mean, we both knew that we'd never ever see each other during the race, but they understood that my "oh HELL YES!" moments came at a totally different level, but that they were to be just as celebrated when they did happen. I'm so sorry that you didn't find that! If you haven't actually signed up for a race yet, I'd like to suggest an all women tri. It's less intimidating so you'll find more beginners like yourself. And there's a natural "girl power" vibe going on so everyone supports everyone - even the elite athletes. I'm not even going to say "you can do it" because you ARE doing it - just look at that schedule! Lord, you've got me all fired up :-) I'll stop now.

kathy said...

i never comment either....but u r doing great and u have encouraged my friend and i to start the couch 2 5k......
DONT LET SOME FOOL TELL U THAT YOU CANT DO ANYTHING...look how far u have come! u look great, u feel great, u r doing great..............snack on that mean lady!!!!

A+K said...

Great job, Wendy!!! If you see that woman again, smack her with a flipper!!! What a horrible person to say such mean things. YOU have busted your HINEY to get to this point...who the heck does she think she is to try to bring you down!!! Hope you are feeling somewhat better but so sorry you were feeling down to begin with!!

PS I love the monthly triathlete posts!! Keep 'em coming!!

Molly said...

I've been a lurker for a while but never commented. I trained and completed my first triathlon last year, and am now doing more this year. It also opened the door for me to half marathons etc. You are doing phenomenal. It's unfortunate that these remarks were made because it's just not true. Keep your chin up because you're doing great!

Anonymous said...

I think you are doing awesome! You have more courage and will power than I ever will! Don't let her get into your head space any longer, you are doing excatly how you should be doing!! Keep it up!

Lissa said...

You can't quit now because I haven't even begun and you are my hero. That picture of you running which you recently posted is beyond amazing. Every time I think of what you've done I stand in awe. Who cares how far you've come at what rate. The fact is, you've done this which is more that most will ever do. Don't give up because you're inspiring all of us. We need you to keep leading the pack. xo