Monday- AM swim (long) PM bike 25 miles
Tuesday- AM track (run?walk) PM cross train
Wednesday - AM bike (20ish) PM swim
Thursday - AM bike (50ish)
Friday - AM swim PM cross train/runwalk?
Saturday - AM bike (20ish)
Sunday - none! Relax at Sunday in the Park!
So there you have it. A promise. When the alarm went off on Monday morning, I got up and I was feeling good. I thought, "I told everyone I was doing this. It's time to make it happen!" I went to the gym and began my first workout of the week.
I have never seen the pool so busy! There were two water aerobic classes going on, so the water was choppy, but still manageable. By the end of the workout, I swam 2000 yards, or 1.136 miles. I just have to keep it in my head that I have to complete the swim in under 2 hours and 20 minutes. Swimming in the pool is very different from swimming in open water, so there is that aspect to consider as well. Working on long swims helps me to build my endurance for not just the swim, but for the other sports as well. Swimming is so different from everything else because you have to think about when to breathe or else you will choke back water. In cycling and running, you just breathe and don't have to think about it. Your lungs are like a muscle and have to worked out in order to improve endurance. Another thing I can offer is to not focus so much on kicking in the water. Your legs should kick for the purpose of keeping your body straight in the water instead of using them for propulsion. Your legs have so many muscles that you will wear yourself out if you kick too hard. Not only that, you don't move as far forward with a strong kick as you do with a strong pull with your arms. According to swimming coach Terry Laughlin, kicking should primarily be used to keep your legs from dragging behind you, which in turn makes you faster. As a triathlete, you want to save your legs by kicking them only as much as you need to in order to keep your body balanced in the water. You need your legs for the bike and the run! If you are a natural born swimmer, this may not apply to you. To each his own, but I find that this works for me. Okay, moving on...
At 6pm, I met a group at Bicycle Post that would ride a 25 mile course. It is advertised as no drop, but I think that's somewhat arguable. It is a women's only ride, however men are allowed as long as they do not lead the group at any point, which is not always enforced. I rode with the group some last summer and was able to keep up nicely, but things have changed this year. I feel I am a stronger cyclist, but the group is riding much faster than last year. Typically, a group ride will create a pace line where cyclists line up one behind the other in order to draft off the person in front of them. The person in front "pulls" the group, by breaking through the wind, and the other riders cruise behind. Sometimes, there is a double pace line where there are two rows of cyclists and people take turns pulling the group. This was executed perfectly last year but this time when I rode, riders were all over the place, sometimes three and four across on the road, and the pace would speed up and slow down drastically, just to speed back up again. Not wanting to catch anyone's wheel and fall, I was hesitant to get to close for fear of a crash. Before I could realize what was happening, the group did a surge and I was off the back of the group and no longer getting the benefit of drafting. We were at 17 miles and the group slowly started to get farther and farther away. I felt defeated and frustrated, as the group never looked back to see if anyone was missing, which the exception of one rider who thankfully stayed with me for the rest of the ride and got me back to the parking lot. I was thankful for her staying with me and not leaving me behind like everyone else. I guess I still have some work to do to keep up with this group.
I decided that I wanted to do a workout DVD since my friend Wanda was not able to meet for a workout. I originally wanted to do a BeachBody 21 Day fix workout but couldn't seem to kind the DVDs, so instead I stumbled upon an OLD DVD called "Stability Ball Workout for Dummies". A stability ball is great for working out for abs and stabilizer muscles. Any time you are working out with a stability ball, you are working out so many muscles at once. The next day is when you really feel it! If you bring up a full size image of this picture, you can see that I had a pretty good sweat going on for this workout!
I met some friends in Winterville who were planning to ride 12 miles. My plan for the day was to ride 20 miles, and to have company for any amount of miles was welcomed! We started about 5:30am, just before the sun was coming up. I am not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination, but there is something magical about this time of day. It's pure... I rode the first 12 miles with the group, and then added on what was left to reach 20 miles. I have a lot of work to do in order to be ready for Ironman, but every workout is mileage towards the goal, so no matter what, I keep going! Each week, I ride more than the week before, so I am now feeling like I am making progress toward my ultimate goal of crossing the finish line in October.