Sunday, January 25, 2009

Times Flies....

Has it really been a whole week since I last blogged? My apologies but it's been an uneventful week of work (many many meetings!) and training.

After all the beautiful sunshine and warmth we've had for the last couple weeks, it was no surprise when proper January weather returned, the temperature dropped and it rained for five days straight. Despite that, I stayed right on schedule with training. I ran in the rain (one day, I even ran in and out of the rain, alternating between strength moves on a stability ball in the house and drills/running down the street). I made it to masters swim at 6am three days this week, in large part due to peer pressure. Melissa would know if I failed to show up.

One word on masters swim at 6am on Saturdays?


It's just wrong, I tell you!

Today I had a 2-hour hilly bike ride scheduled. The forecast called for pouring rain overnight and into the day, so I came to the conclusion that I'd learn how to ride in wet conditions (after all, if it's rainy on race day, I'd better know how to face it, yes?). After all that, it was dry as could be -and even sunny! - this morning for our ride. It was, however, full of swirling whipping winds. Guess what happens when you put a lightweight on a light bike and send her downhill at high speed and then blow wind at her? I came close to wiping out a couple times but thankfully was not blown over. It's raining outside now so it appears we timed the ride perfectly nonetheless.

Training totals for week 5 (January 19-25):
Swim: 5100 yards
Bike: 42.6 miles
Run: 13.4 miles
Strength: ~1 hour
Total time: 9.5 hours

I have been thinking about my training this week. My husband will tell you this is a bit of a recurring theme.

I'm not obsessed.


Now shut up and listen.

Even with days of nonstop rain, I'm not facing the harsh weather conditions and endless indoor training that other triathletes in more wintry locations are. I might delay workouts for a few hours while I deal with tasks at work, or whine a bit

OK, a lot

about getting up early to swim (outdoors! in rain! in freezing rain! in a pool that has not been adequately heated!), but I am jazzed up for every workout. I get excited when I see new additions to my training schedule - I read them, I re-read them, I check my calendar and start blocking space off for them... NOT obsessed! Anyway...

So what's different for me this year? I really think having a coach who is determining the best training volume and mix for me helps.

Let me give you just one example: Last August, the last weekend I trained on my own before contacting Coach, I did a brick workout: a 39 mile hilly bike ride followed by a 9 mile run. On the hottest day we had last summer. I didn't take enough water on the run and had to ration it. I ran 9 miles TO A BAR and after chugging one water HAD A BEER. With all this in mind, let me add that my only upcoming races at that point were a sprint tri 3 weeks away and a half-marathon over 3 months away.

Science degrees, IQ and whatever else aside, the plain fact is this.

I am not smart enough to train myself.

Oh yes, I could read books and design a training plan. But I am not smart enough to train myself smartly. To know when to listen to the feedback of my body, when to change up a workout, when to NOT push myself hard, when to push properly.

Having that hard brick day was the best thing that happened, to help me realize that. And now? I have someone else who does the heavy thinking for me. I have stayed uninjured and happy, even while training to my fastest 1/2 marathon to date. My job is to do my workout as indicated, report back, and trust in the mastermind to get me to race day healthy and prepared.

Sounds like a good deal to me.


Andrea said...

Don't you just love that? Having a coach to do all the thinking for you? Okay, not ALL the thinking, but, man, it sure does make it so much easier.

Great work this week! You are braver than me...I'm scared to ride in the rain (even though I have done it in a race before). I just do not like it at all.

beardies3 said...

Your coach has done something else, she had given you a new sense of confidence. Hugs to you both! Capital A Attitude really helps!

Melissa said...

I agree with you 100% on the coaching thoughts! Doesn't it make you so excited for your first triathlon race?

You have a great mentality on riding in bad conditions...makes you THAT much stronger than the people who don't do it.

6am Sat masters outside in freezing rain is not wrong, it's crazy!

Rainmaker said...

Masters at 6AM on a Saturday? The person that designed that idea should be removed from society. Sent away to swim with polar bears in Greenland or something.

ShirleyPerly said...

Yeah, I think a coach is going to do me good too. I think nothing of going for a 20+mile run or a 100-mile bike ride but put me in a pool at 6am on a Saturday? Now that I would not do on my own. Good for you!

Marit C-L said...

Great post - I totally agree! Coaches are wonderful - find the right one and life is GREAT! Sounds like Liz is doing a fantastic job. Hooray!

Eileen Swanson said...

Glad you're doing great and enjoying the coaching! You are going to have a super season with loads of fun ;-)

Herself, the GeekGirl said...

I'm with you. There's something so wrong with cool water in the winter. I can't get into it. Kudos for you if you're getting it done!