Triathlon Sisters

July 6, 2007

Everything I Needed to Know About Life I Learned from my Triathlon Mishaps

Filed under: beginning to train,inspiration — by hawk @ 8:38 am

Here are a few recent learnings.

Mutual fear makes friends of strangers.
I wrote about this in my last post. I went swimming for the first time by myself in Lake Michigan. After taking leave of my friend Pepper in ankle deep water, I stoicly marched out to deeper waters. “In about thigh-deep water, I met a shivering woman who had a swim suit, cap and goggles on. Death-defying acts like trying to swim in cold water for your first time tends to make strangers bond quickly.” This experience reminds me to be always gracious to others and to offer a kind word especially when we are in a vulnerable space (like potentially freezing to death or drowning).

Keep an eye on the girls.
This past Tues we had a 1/2 day at work so afterwards I biked down to the lake and went for a 1/2 mile swim (with multiple stops). I was thrilled to have done my first 1/2 mile in open water (Lake Michigan was slightly choppy that day too). As I waded back toward the beach, I caught a flash of white from my chest. One of the girls was ready to escape. Fortunately no public decency laws were broken, but it was close. I dunked back in the water and readjusted the girls to ensure they were tucked in.

They don’t call it endurance for nothing.
As I ran my first full mile this morning, I was mentally complaining about how hard it was, how my feet were getting hot and my lungs were getting desperate. I thought, I must really suck at this getting in shape thing because I still feel all these “discomforts.” Suddenly a dim lightbulb went off in my head: Perhaps this is why they call it an endurance sport. It occurred to me that part of this training has to do with working through one’s own limitations — real and perceived. Endurance means “carrying on through, despite hardships; undergoing; continuing in existence; lasting; suffering patiently without yielding.” Now I’m not talking masochism here. Endurance doesn’t mean not knowing when to stop. For example, when I start wheezing while running, my body is giving me valuable info and it behooves me to listen and stop.


May 25, 2007

Holy Flying Barracudas, Batman!

Filed under: beginning to train,health — by hawk @ 5:15 am

It’s true. My older sis Barracuda is flying into Chicago tonight! Tomorrow we are going to hit the pool and swim in a lane with no wall (see earlier post). She’s working on her “picking apples and dropping them in the basket” side stroke and I’m still trying to breathe on both sides for my front stroke. Some days I can do it; others, not so much.

I went out biking on the lakeshore on Tuesday which I probably shouldn’t have because I was already tired. I have been tired for a few weeks now. I think I have to pace myself better with the training and give myself some quality rest time. It’s hard to rest though because I have this “deadline” that I want to meet so I’m always worried about not being ready. Plus, when I do choose to not workout, a little voice inside says, “Lazy”. Now I know intellectually that is not true, but sometimes it is very hard to rest without thinking “I should be running/swimming/stretching/biking/etc.” The thing is, I’m actually feeling much better and more healthy with two days rest. I have to make this a regular part of training otherwise I think I’ll run myself into the ground.

May 16, 2007

Couch to 5K Running Plan

Filed under: beginning to train,running — by hawk @ 7:11 am

Picasso - running

Love Picasso’s running women, but pray for no tri-wardrobe malfunctions!

Well it’s time to get going on the running/jogging portion of my triathlon training. I can swim 750 and bike 12 miles (though not together yet) but I can’t run more than 1 minute without keeling over. So I thought I’d try the “Couch to 5K Running Plan” from the web site. Very handy little plan. When I had run before, this is basically how I started — the walk / jog thing, even if by minute increments. Back then I worked up to a 45 minute jog. Don’t know I can do that this time around, but I’ll give it a shot. In the meantime, I’m hoping that the running will jump start my metabolism. My tamoxifen-influenced body is not wont to give up the pounds, but I’m going to do my best to drop some weight. I’m eating better — actually I’ve been eating healthily for a while, just that portion-control thing that gets me.

So there are three workouts per week for this running plan. I did my first jog on Monday and today I’m going to do the second workout. Here’s what this week’s workouts are:

Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

First workout went okay. I did fine but towards the end of the 20 minutes I was gasping for breath. We’ll see how it goes today.

April 30, 2007

Every day is an Event

Filed under: beginning to train,cycling — by hawk @ 8:31 am

Some of my buddies at my old bike shop are into cyclocross. Never really knew what it was until I talked with them.

“Cyclo-cross is a form of bicycle racing. Races take place typically in the autumn and winter, and consists of many laps of a short (2–3 km) course featuring pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills, and obstacles requiring the rider to dismount, jump the barrier and remount.” (Wikipedia)

I’ve always thought that would be totally fun and once even tried to do a lap the day after a big cyclocross race (you could still see the markers). It was crazy! Anyway I’m trying to envision my weekday routine as one big cyclocross event …

    1. Hop on the bike for a 3 mile sprint (avoid being hit by a car or truck)
    2. Hop off (leave bike at work) and run (walk quickly) to the gym
    3. Swim for 1/2 mile
    4. Run back to work
    5. Work for 8 hours
    6. Hop on bike and sprint home
    7. Collapse on couch or go for a quick run (a real run)

Today is my first day of trying this. I’ve made it to #5. I’m not sure I could do this everday, but it’s really helping me to begin thinking about putting stuff together, not just 3 discreet sports. What I like is that during the week I can do the shorter segments and then on the weekend I can do something a bit longer. Like this past weekend I did a 20-mile bike ride. It felt fabulous! I was tuckered out on Sunday, but it was worth it.

I think my break is over now so Cheers!

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