My first week of triathlon training is officially OVER!
I logged right at 20 miles between the bike and running this week and started my swim training by swimming 200m (8 laps in the indoor pool at our rec center).
I'll start with my run on Monday. It was rough. I was sucking wind. Although I've lived in Colorado for almost 7 years, I am going to blame it in part on the altitude. It can be a little harder to get deep breaths when your house is at 5900 ft elevation. I always remember when I lived in North Carolina and Florida and would get on the treadmill (because its MUCH too hot and humid to run outside) and just run and run and run some more. I never felt winded like I do when I run here in Colorado. The only thing that got me through my run was the 90s hip-hop station on Pandora. The beats were just what I needed and each song was a total throwback to my high school days...and knowing pretty much every word helps. Yeah...
Tuesday I had to bike 7 miles. I went 7.55 and I was pulling Amery behind me in the trailer. We had to stop a few times - once when she was SCREAMING about a bee being in there with her. It was a little fruit fly. Everything is a bee when you're 3. Then she needed help with her water, etc, etc... you get the point. Not optimal as far as time goes, but it was a lot harder on my legs, especially on hills, with her behind me. I felt like I could have gone further, but the training plan I am on strongly suggests sticking to plan so you don't overwork your body and are ready for the next day's workout.
Wednesday is my off day and will be for the entire training plan. (Yay for off days!)
Thursday was my swim. I was most nervous about the swim because it'd been so long since I'd done it. To my surprise, it was the easiest of all my "first" workouts (I guess the bike doesn't really count since I'd been going on rides on the weekends prior to official training). Everything seemed to come back to me pretty quickly from my swim team days - my stroke, kick and my breathing rhythm all need some help. Years of voice lessons and being a singer help with the breathing - much of the focus in proper singing technique is breathing from your diaphragm and controlling your breath. Telling my body to breathe properly when exercising... a little more of a challenge. I'm workin' on it. ;)
Friday was another off day. The training plan starts off pretty slow to help avoid muscle injury early on. Each week I will increase my activity. I will talk about that in a minute.
Yesterday, I ran again. This run was MUCH better than the first, but still hard. The breathing is still the hardest part. I kept telling myself to focus on good, deep breaths from my diaphragm and not my chest - which is what people tend to do when exercising. We tend to raise our shoulders up into our necks, tense up, and take shallow breaths from our chest. This is not good. So I kept trying to be sure my shoulders were nice and relaxed and that I was breathing properly. It was still tough, but this helped. And of course, Slick Rick, Mase, and Biggie helped me out.
Today after we got home from church and ate lunch we loaded the kids in the trailer (Asher is way too big, but he came along) and headed south on the trails. I love that you can ride a paved trail to and from pretty much anywhere in and around Denver. It was overcast and windy and we hoped it wouldn't rain, but if the weather is crummy on August 31st, the race is still on. Chip pulled the kids like a beast and trying to pace with him shaved off 2 minutes per mile from my previous time! I still have difficulty with not wanting to brake coming downhill and around tight turns, but its getting better. I am going to invest in some cleats soon so that will help optimize activity once I get used to them. We did right at 8 miles and I felt pretty good when we got home. :)
Week One - COMPLETE.
Tomorrow starts some back to back workouts - Run 20 min followed immediately by a 200m swim. That should be interesting. I will tell you all about it after I finish out Week 2.
What have I learned this week?
Although the journey ahead is a long one, when I focus on just one day at a time, it is doable. Seeing my plan even for the end of next week seems difficult right now, and it will be hard work when I get to it I'm sure, but taking it day by day instead of focusing on the mountain in the distance is HUGE. I think that can be applied to most any area of our lives. Life is a journey. Our relationship with God is a journey. If we focus on today, the big picture doesn't seem so intimidating.
What is happening in your life right now that seems extremely difficult when you try looking too far down the road?