Thank you to everyone for your well wishes!
Ohhh so much to catch up on…
I had trouble sleeping on Friday night, partially because I had done so much sleeping over the previous two days, and partially because I was a little worried about Saturday’s workout. I just wasn’t sure what to expect. Would I be the only one not in Lycra? The only one who didn’t own a $10k racing bike? (all I have right now is a trail bike with road tires on it). Yeah, I worry too much, I know
Saturday morning came early. I was supposed to be there at 7:45AM and I live an hour away. I had packed the night before so getting ready was relatively easy, and the drive to the workout was uneventful (whew!). I even found the rest of the team without incident. Even better I wasn’t the only person not in lycra - yet.
The day started with a nutrition/hydration and short swim clinic, all good stuff. There was a lot of stuff in the nutrition clinic that repeat information for me (I am a professional dieter after all – just ask me about protein, carbs, fat, basial metabolic rate and/or calorie deficit! But there was some stuff specific to endurance sports that I found really interesting and that was good to add to my personal knowledge store. The hydration clinic was really good and swim clinic was great if short.
Finally, after all that we hit the locker rooms and pool. Now, I had gone to this workout with the promise that I would only workout if I was feeling ok. Well, I had the sniffles still and a bit of a cough but no fever and I was feeling strong so I went ahead and decided to try.
The pool (heck the whole school) in San Ramon is amazing, crystal clear and HUGE! The water was the perfect temperature for the day (which was quickly warming up to the 80+ high of the day). We started with a few kick drills that are pretty standard – and that I use in my personal workouts too. It was nice to have the stuff that I’ve been doing on my own validated. I did alright on the kick drills – got caught in the face by another swimmer who accidently lost her way but otherwise it went alright. Then came the ‘marker set’; we were supposed to swim for 15 minutes and see how many laps we could do. I was in a lane with some rather quick swimmers and because of that I felt the need to try to ‘push’ myself a bit. For some reason when I did that I completely let my newly learned swim form fly out the window. Of course that meant I was swimming less efficiently and loosing even more ground on the fast swimmers then if I had just swim my own pace. THEN because I was pushing, I was losing my breath – layer on top of that still recovering from a cold and I didn’t show the way I would have liked in the marker set. I ended up having to ‘pull out’ to rest a few times and let others pass me. At one point I thought I was going to have to give up on swimming all together – I just couldn’t seem to catch my breath anymore but a little coaxing from the coaches had me back in the water and chugging a long. One coach reminded me that I wasn’t getting the rotation that I should and that ‘clicked’ with me. Suddenly I realized I had been fighting against myself. I slowed down, checked my form got my efficient stroke back and was able to do four more lengths in the remaining 5 minutes. My total? 11 laps. (550 Yards). After that was a 10 minutes cool down swim in which the coaches were going to talk to us one on one on things to work on to improve. Apparently the rotation that had been pointed out had been my one major flaw because I wasn’t stopped again. Better yet, with my efficantcy back I was able to keep on swimming through the 10 minute drill! That means I got 15 minutes in AFTER I thought I was going to have to pull out. Yay!! Thank you TNT coaches! - I believe my total for the day was 950 yards for the 45 minute swim.
Then it was a quick change, and the joy of learning how hard it is to put on a sports bra and biking shorts (under my sweats of course – I’m not wearing lycra in public!) while fresh from the pool… Crap that was a work out in and of itself!
Everyone gathered out in the parking lot with our bikes. The coaches gave a short bike clinic with the focus on changing tires, divided us into groups (advanced, intermediate and beginner) and sent us on our way. I had taken off with the intermediate riders because coach had described ‘beginner’ as someone who couldn’t take a water bottle out while riding and/or didn’t know how to change gears. Unfortunately, due to a few ‘oops’ by me I didn’t actually take off with the intermediate group and I found myself over a block away from the group as we started off. One of the coaches happened to see me in the waaaaaaay back and slowed to let me catch up with her. What I got over the next five miles or so was my own personal bike coach. I actually didn’t realized how ‘BAD’ I was at something I had been doing since I was five years old! She explained about tempo and quickly got me out of the gear I was in. Coming from a weight lifting background it seemed really natural to me go on the lowest gear and ‘muscle’ my way through the ride, up the hills etc. It was really counter intuitive to me to sit there spinning my peddles too fast and to feel as if I was getting ‘no where’. The good news is she didn’t have to correct anything else in my ‘bike form’. My tempo was all that was really off. It’s going to take me a while to really get the hang of it, but that’s probably the first time I’ve really used the gears on my bike I have a feeling they are going to continue to get a workout as the season goes on. I didn’t go as far as everyone else in the intermediate group, but I was pretty happy with the 11+ miles I did go. (PS – I wasn’t the only one not in Lycra! Or on a trail bike)
All in all Saturday was a great day and a great time with the TNT group. Guess it’s much easier to get to know and to pull together with people when you can actually see them by the light of day!
This morning was another early coached workout. I had to be there at 8:15 and again it was about an hour’s drive. I was chuffed to be able to find the place without too many wrong turns. The TNT folks were really apparent in the parking lot and easy to find. I appreciated that!
After a little chit chat all the runners split into advanced, intermediate, and beginner runners and took off. I hadn’t really thought about warming up first – I kind of thought that was part of the team run thing. So, when everyone (even the beginners) took off at a run I just shrugged and walked to warm-up/wake up my legs. As I expected I eventually caught up with the beginners and we ran/walked together for the 20 minute workout. As far as I can tell I went 1.5 miles in that 20 minutes which is a slight improvement over the 1.4 from last Saturday. There was some social time after the workout that was a lot of fun – best was standing there as the Iron team showed up for their workout. I have nothing but the upmost respect for the folks that are doing the Ironman. Totally blows my mind to think of doing that kind of mileage and the training that would have to lead up to it – hats off to all of you!
Oh and the whipped cream on the top of this workout filled weekend? After running 1.5 miles, hubby and I threw ‘the Zeus’ in the back of the FJ and took him on a 4.3 mile hike in the Pleasanton hills. Honestly hills seem to be my real ‘trouble spot’ both running and biking (probably due to my weight) so I figured a little extra practice lugging my backside up a few couldn’t hurt.
Without the hill work this afternoon here’s my stats for the past week (plus one day).
After missing two days of workouts due to illness my totals for Nov 9th through Nov 16th:
Swim: 2 miles
Run: 5.9 miles
Bike: 11.5 miles
Add my hike from today and that’s 23.7 miles. I think that’s an excellent start!
The best part – even though I’m still recovering from my cold (stuffy head, sniffles and a cough) I feel better right now then I have felt in years. Honestly! I had forgotten how wonderful regular exercise can make you feel – mentally, emotionally, energy wise. It’s even been easier to eat right.
I’m excited and looking forward to the next week – heck the next five months!
(PS – on top of everything else I managed to squeeze in an audition for a local select choir group (yes I auditioned sick – what could I do?) so keep your fingers crossed for me!)