Monday, July 29, 2013

Keep Tri-ing

Its been awhile since my last post, and I apologize. We are typically slammed during the summers with youth ministry. The first week of July we took a team of high school and college students to the Dream Center in LA where we served the homeless and had LOTS of fun taking food to needy families and neighborhoods. One of our favorites was Kidz Jam - where we went into government housing communities and played with the kids and told them how incredible they were and how much Jesus loves them! GREAT WEEK. I will write more on serving later...

 I figure its time for a training update.

I have been at this for 10 weeks now!

I cannot believe it either! At the start of my training, I was swimming 200m (8 laps in my Rec Center pool) and it was leaving me well out of breath. This past Friday, I SWAM A HALF MILE or 750m (30 laps in my Rec Center pool). Although that 750m swim was tough workout, I finished with a smile on my face. 10 weeks ago there is NO WAY I could have done that. Tomorrow morning I will add 2 more laps onto that 1/2 mile swim length and I will not have any problems doing so. :-)

Ten weeks ago I cranked out a VERY SLOW 7 mile bike ride for my first week. A lot of coasting was involved and I wasn't too worried about my times. Or hills. This week I am up to 20 miles and I am faster than I have ever been. I just purchased my first cycling shoes and pedals two days ago, so today I will ride with them for the first time. I will let you know if I fall (praying I don't) and how much time I shave off my ride. Because I WILL shave off time. :)
**Friday night we went to Boulder and scoped out my race course for the first time. Good thing we did because those hills are rolling. Lots of long hill climbs. Now, I have done some rides with hills, but it has not been my focus. I came back realizing I have 4 weeks to become a beast on some hills. So that is my focus now - hills. Lots of them. Every time I ride I will be going after hills. And when I finish, I will turn around and ride up them again so that I can better my times and become comfortable on them.

My first week it was all I could do to run for 10 minutes without wanting to stop and walk. My 20 minute runs were very difficult and spent doing intervals of walking and running because I was so out of breath. I was also dependent on my music to keep me on pace. Currently, I can run for 40+ minutes without even stopping to walk with NO music. I have been running with just me and my thoughts... and the gorgeous scenery on the paths around my house. I can hear myself panting for breath, but I run at 6000 ft above sea level, so that has something to do with it (right????!!! haha), but something is very calming about running unplugged I have found. I find myself talking with God about different things, or focusing on a particular song, and sometimes I am simply counting my steps or focusing on my arms when I am tired. Its nice. Its quiet.

BRICK WORKOUTS- This is where I bike for 30 min then get off of my bike and run for 20 min. If for any reason this sounds easy, I assure you, it is not. 30 min on the bike is right around 8 miles for me, then close to a 2 mile run after. These are called "Brick" workouts because that is exactly what your legs feel like when trying to run off the bike...bricks. Heavy and wobbly. Now, these did not start until week 5 of my training plan, and although they are still hard, I can do the whole thing without walking, which I could not before. That's pretty neat I think. ;)

So, you can see that the training is paying off. I am still training at 6 days/week right now with one day of recovery and rest, but I will taper down to 5 days/week next week and just stack on more miles and harder sessions on my training days. I am just following my plan. It calls for this so that my body is recovered nicely on race day (August 31st).

Practice and Persistence Pay Off! 
I am seeing results all over place and though it is still super tough while training, every session when I finish leaves me smiling. I am surprising myself and hope to continue to do so daily. I started out just wanting to finish this triathlon, but now I want to finish... in 2.5 hours or less. Can I do it? We will see. But one thing is certain, I am going to put in the work and try my hardest to do so!

If you didn't know, I am raising money for Orphans in Haiti as I race. Through Heartwork on my "Your Cause Sports" page (Click the Heartwork link to donate) you can help me. Every $100 will feed 6500 meals to orphans. Please consider helping. $5 will go a long way!

Thanks for the support!