June 15, 2006

Triathlons are moderately difficult: Week 4

Had a fantastic training session yesterday that leads me to believe that we're taking the right steps in our "race" preparation. Earlier in the week, Meagan and I had tried a swim/bike brick with mixed results. I was able to get in the full 500, but with multiple long breaks, though I did manage two seperate 100m endurance swims and found a good rhythm with my breaststroke, something that might be key it settling myself down if I overtire myself with freestyle. Biking went well, even on a spin bike for 45 minutes (though it was hooked up to a tv, and there was no trainer to really push the tempo). I even ventured out to run a couple laps (about 5/16 mile) to complete my own "wuss triathlon". Needless to say, there were many sore muscles over then next couple of days.

Had a small breakthrough yesterday, though. Our training class met for our first brick together, a swim/bike! We were slated for a 20-minute swim, and I actually started with a 200m endurance swim! During my break (read: time to gasp for air while keeping a death-grip on the side of the pool), I talked with the swim trainer working with us, who asked to analyze my stroke over the next 50m. After the lap, she had a few suggestions, and we talked a little more about breaststroke as well. At the end of 20 minutes, everyone was told to get out of the pool (we were trying to focus on transitioning), and was finishing at 450 -- so agonizingly close! I felt like had I had a couple more minutes, I would've been able to get the 500, and would've had them without the training mini-session. To me, the important thing was feeling like I COULD do it, which is a huge difference from a few weeks!

Biking was rough, but in that good "if I can do this, surely I can do it later!" knid of way. The worst part of it was trying the PowerGel they'd passed out earlier that afternoon. I'd chosen the "Cola Buzzzz" flavor after being warned against the Orange Gel flavor. This was a mistake, as it tasted like two thick shots of Kahlua, only coming back up rather than out of the shot glass. I downed a good chunk of what was in my water bottle to get the taste out of my mouth. By the end of the ride, however, I really think it was worth it. The group decided to run a lap around the track to complete our own version of a "slightly less wussy triathlon", and Meagan challenged my to a race, and I was able to sprint around the track with good speed.

All in all, is was a great training session, and I'm finally in the mindset of "I can do this" rather than "they're gonna have to search for hours to find me after I pass out in the lake/on the course." There's still a lot of work to be done (especially on the running front), but I think now I'll be able to focus on honing what I've learned rather than feeling like I've never done any of this before.

In addition, I've joined the MP3 revlotion, but not through iPod because I AM NOT A SLAVE! I found the Rio Forge 256MB MP3 player for a great price on woot during their most recent woot-off, and I LOVE it! It's really easy to get songs downloaded to it, and even though it's 256MB
(which is still a nice, long 4 hours) I can add SD memory to it and store a lot more on their if I wanted to. It also has a decent FM tuner that you can actually record, creating something akin to TiVo (RadiVo? Sounds too much like a blind techno group). All this (including headphones and an armband) for 30 bucks -- who says I'm not a good spender?

What a week -- feel better about the swimming, know that PowerGels are the devil, and have something to keep me from being bored during run training. In my book, that's a Tri-fecta!


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