Friday, 27 February 2015
As you have probably noticed, there hasn't been many race recaps lately. That's because I've been busy training for my first triathlon. Training for a tri in itself poses several challenges, but there are quite a few additional challenges I am faced with.
First off, this race has to happen. Those familiar with my blog and/or my reasons for running, know that the date of my first marathon was rather serendipitous. Lavaman is no different. In addition to being my first ever tri, it takes place the weekend of March 29th (the 3 year anniversary of Abi's passing), and will be held in Hawaii (a location that Abi had always wanted to visit, but never got the chance to).
Aside from the obvious challenges that come with training for a tri, weather has been a challenge. Training for a race in Hawaii in March mean training through the winter in Vancouver. Needless to say, I have not taken my bike out for very many rides. The rides I have taken went very well and were all over 30k. But I have been training with a few other people in my coaches spin sessions. These sessions are an hour and a half long, twice a week (On Saturday I spin for an hour and a half, then run for a half hour. This is known as a brick workout).
The spin sessions are a pain in the ass. Literally. My main struggle on the bike has been getting used to the seat. I had always biked growing up, to and from school, helping a friend with his paper route, and biking was my main mode of transportation all through college. But a road/tri bike is a different beast.
My coach payed me a huge compliment in regards to my biking. He told me that not very many people (new to road/tri bikes) can handle an hour and a half spin session twice a week and that he wasn't sure if I could do it at first.
Some people may take "didn't think you could do it" as an insult. I don't. There have been so many moments in my life that I have told myself that, only to look back and realize that the challenge is what drives me. This determination, hard work, and ultimate success makes me feel alive. A feeling and state that so many of take for granted.
Go back and time and tell the 5 years ago me all that I have accomplished, and he would laugh at your face (while scarfing down Pizza Rolls).
I am not worried about the biking. I know I can ride for 40k no problem. And after all the spin sessions, I can do it efficiently.
The run. No problem. The run at Lavaman is a 10k, a distance I know I can do. The challenge with the run is that you just came off a 40k bike ride. This is where those brick workouts come in handy. The last few bricks have proved easier and easier. The combination of conditioning my muscles and being more efficient on the bike are most likely the reason for this.
Now for the boulder to my Sisyphus. The swim.
The first time I went to the pool to swim, I was exhausted after 15 minutes. Turns out I was dong so much wrong, but I figured that out later.
I was/still am worried about the swim. My coach was unable to coach the swim potion of training due to schedule, but he did recommend a great swim course that I signed up for.
The course has helped immensely. During the first class, the instructor told us to not worry about speed and that the class was about efficiency. Needless to say, my form has improved 10 fold. My big hurdle at the moment is breathing (which I've been told will get easier the more I train).
Will I be ready to swim 1500 meters by March 29th? Probably. Just not very fast.
This is another area where weather us a factor. All my swim workouts have been in a pool. No open water swims. I am hoping to get one open water training swim in a couple days before the race while in Hawaii.
In talking with both my swim coach and coach, I know I will finish. The mindset I am taking it one of no expectations.
I had a great talk with my swim coach about this. He informed me that even people who have done several tris get frustrated when they go from pool workouts to open water. You never know the condition of the water on race day. The current could be strong, it could be choppy, the pack may be crowded.
The one thing I am good at is taking stock after a race. When I ran the Vancouver Marathon, I finished 20 minutes over my average time. But looking back, the weather was cold, windy, and raining, not ideal for a great mental game.
My swim coach said he wished more of his clients had my mindset. For me, things go wrong. They just do. You can sit there and beat yourself up over it, or be proud of what you've done, identify where you need some extra work, and hit it next time.
When I ran my first marathon, I did all the training, but had no idea what to expect mentally (you can read all about that in a previous post). I did much better on my second marathon, being more mentally prepared.
This is how I am approaching my first tri. Do all I can training wise, but have no expectations. Just finish. Get my head around what it is to do a triathlon. Then identify what I need to work on, work on those areas, and kick ass in my next one (and the one after that, and the one after that).
Although still a bit nervous, I am also very excited. This experience will only fuel the love/obsession I have for endurance sports.
My goal is to be able to attempt an Ironman within the next 5 years. I will need to work extra hard on my swim and running, but that is training update for a different blog entry.
It will be a ton of work, but it's one of those challenges that Pizza Roll mouth stuffing me would scoff at.
Screw that guy. I'm going to do it.
Thanks, as always, for reading my blog!
Be on the lookout for the Lavaman race recap!