Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Then and Now

Last week I got drunk and did something stupid that I regretted the next morning.  OK, OK not really...but I did somehow decide at 11:00 one night, under the influence of nothing other than a hockey victory, to sign up for the local tri club again.  I was a club member during my first year in triathlon but I wasn't able to participate in a lot of their events and I got dropped like a hot potato the few times I tried to join a group workout.  The year I did Wildflower, I joined their Wildflower training weekend and then camped with the club for the race, but I let my membership lapse after that first year and a half.  Since I've been working with a coach for several years my schedule has never really fit with the club workouts either.  But lately I've been thinking I'd like to get more involved with the sport on a different level, to give back and contribute and hang out with like-minded folks, so what the heck, I signed up.

Mary and I went to the club monthly meeting last night.  It's held in a local sports store so it was a good opportunity to pick up some things on our shopping lists at the same time.  It turned out to be a really good time, with some excellent speakers on the topic of functional strength and how to avoid breaking down from training.  It also really brought home to me how different of a place I am coming from in the sport now than when I began and used to be a member of the club.  Naturally there are a wide range of abilities and experience within a tri club and that's one of the best parts - everything from multi-time Ironman to ultra marathoners to newbies.  As the heavy-on-audience-participation talk about strength and our imbalances went on, I was surprised to learn that quite a few of the people around me didn't incorporate strength work into their routines or know how to do so.  It was in that moment that once again I was grateful to have such a wonderful coach to do all the thinking for me!  Everything the speakers were suggesting that we do, Mary and I already do!  (And I have to give Mary a lot of credit for catching on a whole lot quicker than I did...I sure toiled away in those early years going nowhere for too long, but more on that later)  In any event, the evening was a fun one and we learned the reward for attending a club meeting is scoring big in the monthly raffle - we both picked up some awesome prizes (mine was a free race entry!).

I even bought a club bike kit.  Because if this "big bike block" has taught me anything,
it's that you can never have too many fresh comfy pairs of bike shorts!
As we wandered around Sports Basement doing our shopping before the meeting, I spotted a rack full of swim shampoo/body wash products, specifically the ones I used in my first year of triathlon, and had a total flashback to those days...where a lot of times I just wouldn't quite make it to the pool when I was supposed to, where swimming seemed darned near impossible, and boy was I instantly depressed!

I'm not sure what I was thinking back then, toiling away in the pool by myself thinking that would be the answer to mastering swimming but I am glad for friends who slowly moved me in the right direction.   As I swam this week, I realized how easy it is to just mindlessly do drills and not really connect that form into your regular swim.  I'm grateful to my current coaches for explaining WHY we do certain drills and what they are meant to improve in my stroke.  I'm able to focus on a few key points each week during all of my other swims so I can come back to lessons ready to tackle the next tweak to the stroke.

Anyway, I hope rejoining the tri club brings even more fun to my training and racing life.  We put on the largest kids triathlon in the country and just added a fun new event, a chick chaser 5k, next month.  I think coming at this opportunity from a more experienced place in the sport will help me get even more out of it.

In other news, TrainingPeaks officially debuted the Ambassador program today!  My fellow teammates are some pretty impressive (and fast!) folks and I'm lucky to be included in their ranks.

If you want to check out TrainingPeaks premium membership for yourself, go here and use discount code TPA14 for 15% off!


Jill said...

omg---i totally think i am gonna do the chick chaser! how fun!

ADC said...

I love being part fo my tri club. Have been so for over 5 years and it is really them who got me into triathlon (I only joined to do running workouts). So I am certain you will enjoy it too.

Christi said...

I was once in a tri-club but didn't take advantage of the opportunities it presented. I am a shy person so getting to the meetings was very difficult for me.

Here's to a great tri-year for you!

GoBigGreen said...

It amazes me too, Molly. i have a few friends that say "gosh you are lucky at nearly 46 yo you can do all this and you are never injured." I am thining of course that i do strength and PT nearly EVERY day, and i recover like a champ. Get massage, do all that stuff. I think stretching ( if that) is all some people do and then they think "why is it so easy for others?"
Cute kit. Yes I did a bike ride yesterday in tri shorts and am not looking forward to race day!

Mary M said...

LOL! It's called not having patience! I had you to help me see it would be better to have a coach.

Bobbie said...

I think that's exciting! When I get my feet back on the ground and start training again I'd love to join a real training group!

elizabeth said...

YES! Strength training is HUGE! And Molly, seriously, don't you have 1,000,000 things on your plate already? Don't get me wrong, I think it's fantastic, but you're one busy bee and I might be a wee bit jealous of your ability to handle it! :)