Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tri Training Week 3

This week's blog will be a little different...

Instead of a progress report, I am going to hit it a little more emotionally because there is a lot of emotions wrapped up in what I am doing. While I am training, it is hard - really hard at times. I feel like a can't breathe when I run, my arms and legs get tired and I start to suck in water when I swim, and on the bike I have to constantly remind myself to not give in to the pain in my quads - push through it!

This week has been more emotionally draining than others - theres a lot going on - for one, Chip is out of town. I've realized he is such a strength for me even through this training - I pull from him when I'm tired and feel like I can't do it on my own - I know he is rooting for me.

The second reason is it is HOT. Colorado is experiencing record breaking heat this week, so it is really hard to stay motivated through trainings when its 90 degrees by 9:00am. Sweat pouring, the sun beating down, cotton from the cottonwood trees flying everywhere - sticking to your face, strong winds blowing HOT air swallowing you up as you try to catch your breath... not my favorite things. But it is what it is. I keep telling myself "This will only make you stronger..."

An amazing friend (Missy!!!) is watching the kids while I train this week and I am SO thankful for her. I was so nervous for Chip to be gone - afraid that if I didn't get to train I would revert on the progress I have made, so she is truly saving me this week.

He is a hunk :) 

On Saturday I was training with my friend who used to be a women's cross country coach - she had some great tips and helped me push through the times when I wanted to quit. About halfway through our run, I noticed some pain in my right shin. I didn't think much of it, stretched it out and we went on our way. Later that day, I saw a lump under my right knee on the top of my shin. It doesn't hurt to the touch, is hard, and I have no idea what it is from, but my knee is doing some funky things as of now. The bump is still there, I have a gnarly clicking in my knee that wasn't there before, and it does bother me some when I am walking around. Yesterday after my swim I had a run planned - about 5 minutes in, I knew something was wrong so I decided to call it a day. This morning I did a 12.6 mile bike ride and had NO problems with it. I am going to rest for the remainder of today, take tomorrow off (its an off day anyway) and resume my swim and run routine on Thursday. Hopefully things will be better by then because I am determined to push through it and get it done!

In lieu of all of the heat and frustration, I continue to come home with a new fastest pace every time I train. Today I thought for sure my stats would be lacking due to the tough ride I had, but I set new records all around. It is really hard to stay focused and motivated during the training, but when I see the end results, it gives me encouragement for the next time. I can do this. 

I saw this on Twitter today and it describes exactly how I feel...

Go find something you can't do, something you're scared of, something you know nothing about. Now go become good at doing exactly that.

I want to become "good" at triathlon. I want to push myself until it isn't something I fear and know nothing about, but something I love and embrace. My reasons for "why" have already evolved and I am only in my 4th week of training. 

- I feel good. I am so much less stressed than I normally am about kids and life. My mental and emotional health are great - I am steady and happy. PMS who???

- I feel strong. My legs, my abs, my arms, and my mind are all getting stronger by the day. I feel those muscles growing, and I experience my mind becoming stronger than my circumstance with each new day of training - I can do this. I can push through. 

- I feel young. Ok, so I am almost 32... not "old" by any means, but I am starting to feel like a younger version of myself. My body is getting back into shape - and will soon be in better shape than ever as my stamina and endurance continues to grow and reach new levels in this sport. I've never been a distance athlete. In swim team and in soccer it was all about the sprint. Building my endurance, although very hard and tiring, is making me feel better than I have in a very long time. 

- I am able to give. Being a stay at home mom can be one the more tiring and draining professions in this life. You are constantly giving and never getting anything for yourself. By the end of most days, I would feel totally spent - like my tank was on empty. Now I have energy at the end of the - because that is when I normally train, because my mind is healthier, and because exercise is just GOOD for me! Good forYOU! Good for the people I love! Sure, my body feels tired here and there, but I am finding that after almost a month, I am adjusting to the 5 days a week training schedule. Next week begins 6 days a week.... that will take a little bit of time to adjust again, I am sure. But I know I can do it!

- I am seeing results. Now, I am thin. I know that. I have, except for when I was pregnant with my children, been the exact same size as I was in high school...still shop at the same stores and buy the same size jeans. I thank my parents and grandparents for this, because God knows I haven't done my part to maintain. My goal in doing this is NOT to lose weight. I don't need to. However, I do want to be strong. I want to have some muscle definition and to be tone all around. I want to look like an athlete - I see those women a lot around here - you look at them and just know they could crank out a marathon or 50 mile bike ride right then and there. It isn't that I am comparing myself to those women, because I am not, but I know based on how they look that they are endurance athletes. The hours they put in on the bike and running, even swimming, show. They're not only strong on the outside, but they are strong inside as well - you cannot be an endurance athlete and be of weak mind. It pushes you both physically and mentally. Endurance athletes are over-comers. That is what I want... I want to feel that strength both inside and out. 

Until next week...

Sunday, June 2, 2013

TRI Training Week 2

This week was a bit harder than last...

I experienced a LOT of muscle soreness this week. Namely in my hamstrings. I've had to stretch everyday, and then stretch some more... and some more. I've even woken up in the middle of the night with sore, tight hamstrings to have to get out of bed and stretch. Eek! My hamstrings tend to me pretty tight anyway, so add on this new muscle growth - oweeee!!!

The good news is, when I am training I don't feel any soreness. The pain usually sets in at night or on my off days. Of course, soreness = muscle growth.

Stretching is at the top of my list so I don't injure myself. Even when I feel like curling into a ball on the couch and fading into a deep sleep. :)

Here is my week... (I know this is boring stuff, but I am hoping to use it as a personal progress gauge.)

Monday -  I swam 200 meters in the indoor pool while Chip and the kids took part in the Memorial Day festivities at the outdoor pool. It wasn't terrible, but I was pretty winded. The best part (being sarcastic) about this tough swim was that it wasn't actually 200m. I came to find out later in the week that the pool is 10m shorter than I was originally told. Yeah. That kind of stinks.

Tuesday - I went on an 8 mile bike ride going South from the bike trails behind our house. The entire way there was CRAZY windy (Parker, the town where I live, is very windy. We sit at 5900+ ft elevation and we experience a LOT of strong wind.) and uphill, so I was struggling to get to my destination, but I MADE IT! As soon as I could see the turn around spot, I was thrilled. The way home the wind was at my back and it was mostly downhill so I felt like a beast having my fastest overall speed ever - shaving off an entire minute from the last time I rode. The downside of this ride was the sideways slithering snake making his way across the path as I approached. I couldn't tell if it was a stick or a snake until it was almost too late. I missed his tail by a few inches and squealed like a little girl. I still get heebie jeebies thinking about that thing. I am not a fan of snakes. Poisonous, harmless, friendly, whatever...they are all the devil.

Wednesday was an off day and for the first time since starting this thing I was limping around like and old woman because my legs were so sore.

This was also Asher's last day of second grade and Amery was sick with a fever and nasty cough so we spent the first half of the day at the doctor's office getting treatment for Am and the second part at Asher's school celebrating the coolest kid in the school. :)

Thursday - This was a difficult day. It was pretty chilly outside by the time I was able to get to the pool and swim laps. I swam in the outdoor pool because the indoor one was full of little kids doing lessons. I swam an actual 200m this time and it was hard! I kept at it and as soon as I finished I did a VERY quick change into my running gear and started a run. The run lasted for about 5 minutes when I could no longer feel my legs. I did intervals until I hit the 20 minute mark, did some cool down and went home to crash. **Chip was awesome and grilled some mahi-mahi and veggies for me to come home to** YUM!

Friday - Off Day. Praise the Lamb! ;)
...soreness ensues

Saturday - The hardest run I have done yet. I was so sore and unmotivated - it was in all honesty the LAST thing I felt like doing. I had a lot of trouble breathing - I kept telling myself to breathe from my diaphragm and keep away from the shallow chest breaths my body wanted to revert to. Thinking about that helped a lot. I just kept pushing and pushing and my 90s hip hop station on Pandora was once again the motivation when I had none. Its really amazing what a great beat will do to get you moving!
After I got back to my house and collapsed on my driveway, I checked my stats to find it was my fastest run yet! That was so encouraging after such a hard workout.

Sunday - Today I did 10.72 miles on the bike with a climb of 402ft with headwind and hills my WHOLE WAY HOME and I made record time! Longest distance, fastest pace... you know what that means? I am getting stronger! 

Although I am still scared out of my mind for the actual race and wonder if I will truly be prepared, but little successes like that seem worth it. The fact that I can physically feel myself getting stronger on the bike is encouraging. I will take it!

This week I learned that even when I don't feel like training, it is worth it in the end. My best run happened to be my hardest run.

I suppose this spills over into most area of life... How much do we miss out on spiritually, relationally, physically, and mentally because we live by how we feel instead of what we know?  Our feelings are flighty and change on a whim, but knowledge and truth - those are steady and unchanging.

..."I don't feel like training but I know I have to finish a race in August and training is the only way I can do that."

What feelings or emotions try to get you down or keep you from doing what you know you should?

P.S. I didn't proofread this because I feel too tired, even though I know I should have. ;)