Training for this tri has definitely been a different experience than anything thus far.
All other big bad races thus far, I planned out my training to the day, and then by the time the race rolled around, I had checked each workout off the list and came to the end, and breathed a sigh of relief that training was over and it was time to rest up and get prepared for the race. This one, however, I took a different approach.
Instead of a 3 month training plan, I sort of laid out overall goals:
-Be able to do the distance of each (done)
-Get more comfortable with swimming (done-ish)
-Learn how to do those distances together (done)
-Get comfortable with the conditions (outside in hot summer, open water, etc) (done)
-Go rock the sprint distance (Sunday)
Then there is a shortened cycle for the longer distance
-Be able to do the distance of each (done)
-Learn how to do those distances together (working on it – have done the bike/run back to back in the gym but definitely need more of these)
-Get comfortable with the conditions (it will be cooler, but a 25 mile ride/10k run outside != one in the gym)
-Rock an Olympic tri (Oct 3)
Then each week, I did about 2-3 key workouts that progressed me towards these goals and about 3 days of workouts to get some miles/calories/endurance but were kinda secondary workouts.
It’s been very relaxed, however, I almost feel like I want to lay out the next 6 weeks to make sure I’m getting what I need, but for this one, I feel prepared. Then 6 more weeks and a half marathon (maybe, still haven’t registered for anything yet, but that’s the plan). Then… a break. I’d like to be able to not have to force myself to run outside all winter if I don’t wanna. Maybe speed training to try and shave some 5k time off again? Maybe become a yoga bum? Perfect my swimming stroke? Try kick boxing? Reduce my workout scope and eating scope and make a real glorified push at losing some weight? Pump some iron? I mean who knows…
Oooh, look, it’s shiny syndrome. I’ve not even gotten through this WEEKEND and I’m already planning life through next Spring. Ooohkie. Focus.
I think the problem is I’m feeling so not intimidated and I should be. It’s like if I had a marathon on the horizon, and the goal was really the marathon, this is just the half I signed up for to tune up. It’s my first race of this type, so I should be freaked. I was 2 weeks ago. Getting through the open water swim was huge. Getting ok with being out in the hot sun again was huge. As always with tapers, I feel like I haven’t done CRAP this week but I know it’s for the best.
However, there has been a lot of PREP this week. Bike breaks fixed. Emergency kit to change tires almost assembled. Bike rack to transport it to the race obtained. On the list still: a shammy (I know it’s spelled chamois but that’s just ridiculous and I protest) to dry my feet, something brightly colored to tie on the back of the bike, and an actual new tire in case I get a flat (and learning how to change it). In preparation for the 5 am wakeup call on Sunday, I’ve been getting up early all week.
I’ve been reading lots of first time tri tips (mmm, tri tip) sites out there, and most of them say pretty much, in summary, just get through your first one, enjoy the experience, and don’t worry too much. There are lots of people around to help and guide you if you’re flailing. So, I think that’s where I’m at. I’m ready to have a new experience under my belt, call myself a triathlete officially, and drink my celebratory mimosa. Until it really kicks in and I start flipping the hell out.
So the week of hell and wellness is going fairly well. I say hell and wellness because:
Monday – up early for an hour of outside run and bike, work, grocery shop, cook, chores, sleep.
Tuesday – up early for a 2 hour dentist appt, work/meetings all day, open water swim after wook, eat dinner, cook lunch for the next day, relax an hour, sleep
Wednesday – up early for a doctor appt, work/meetings all day, shopping for tri supplies, yoga class (which was actually HEAVEN), help cook dinner and relax an hour and then sleep
Today- up early to take my car in for service appt, work/meetings all day, having to deal with idiotic fax machines and bs all around (can you tell its about that TOM)…
…plan was spinning class tonight, and then I thought we had a party after but THANK THE DEAR FLUFFY LORD it’s next week. Instead I did…nothing. It’s that one day a month where I muster just about everything in me to not lay in the fetal position on the couch. People at work asked me what was wrong. I elevated the threat level from nominal/green this morning, to elevated/yellow by lunch and to high/red this afternoon (seriously, window crayons are the most fun). It wasn’t completely due to hormones but I’m sure it didn’t help. I figured if I was in that bad of shape, spin class wouldn’t be a great idea. It wouldn’t be the end of the world if I popped some pain killers and sat on the couch.
What I wanted to do is sit out on my back patio with a) a cheeseburger b) a big slice of chocolate cake c) a bottle of wine or d) all of the above, but I decided it was a bad idea. Instead, I had some lowfat hot dogs with whitewheat buns, veggie pasta salad, and some baked beans after a snack of baby carrots (I totally stress ate about half a lb of carrots, I am pathetic, tee hee). And… I split a bag of coconut m and m’s with Zliten. And had two thin mints. And about a cup of frozen grapes. I think I’m ok with less than 150 calories of sweets on a day like today. I was in the mood to take down a half lb burger and fries and a couple slices of ooey gooey chocolate cake. I think I mitigated my cravings pretty well.
Tomorrow, luckily, there are no more crazy appointments – I will be getting another short bike and run in tomorrow, gotta make it through work/meetings, then pho-riday, more work/meetings, and then relaaaaaax. Up early Saturday so my clock’s not off – run errands, packet pickup, hang with the folks a bit, sleep early and then… RACE DAY!
Ok, writing about it is getting me excited. Getting the race day prep packet in my email is getting me excited. Honestly – thinking about a burger and fries and some froyo is getting me REAL excited. Is it possible I might approach a new experience totally and completely excited and not nervous at all? I mean, I get nervous going to a new restaurant or taking a new route to work, I swear…
So, I’ll see you on the other side. With pictures, and race numbers, and finish times, and I’m sure one hell of a story to share. So, I ask, what’s next for you? What’s the new and shiny on your horizon? Of course, any first timer tri tips more than welcome too. 🙂