Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Learning

I know it has been a while since I posted.  I've been learning how to manage time with work, life and training for a Half Ironman. It is tough, but I think I've worked it out.

I hired a coach in Feb: Hollie Kenny.  She has a spectacular resume, pro triathlete, places in just about every race she does, etc.  She has given me motivation and accountability to do what I know I can do- finish the 70.3!  (in the 8 hrs 30 mins allowed).

I get up at 4AM most days so I can complete at least one workout before work.  If I have time I can do two workouts before work, but most days I have to do the second workout after work.

We use Training Peaks to communicate and log workouts.  I find this tool PERFECT for me.  I can log into my calendar and see what's up, I can upload my Garmin info, write post workout comments, keep track of nutrition, etc.  I am a data geek by trade but this takes me over the top.  I love the accountability of the workouts too.  "I have to finish that 90 min because I have to report to Hollie."  When I would workout alone, I would skip workouts or just quit because I didn't feel like it.  There have been at least 10 workouts in the last couple of months that I would have never done if it weren't for the accountability. (heck ALL of the running workouts).

I went on Vacation in Feb, and actually continued with my training. There is no way I would have done that without a schedule.  Really though, I found I love to run on the beach, and oooh warm open water swims in Feb are AWESOME! Who wouldn't want to swim here?



Coaching has helped me get from NOT running (I would walk most of the time) to running 50 min and NOT thinking about stopping every 10 steps!

I am an endurance athlete, but I'm not a fast one.  Tell me to go for a 4 hr ride - easy!  Except don't count on how many miles that will be!  Hollie is helping by programming workouts to make me faster. It isn't about "go as fast as you can every time and hope you get faster." It's slow, methodical, and efficient training.  I am building and starting to feel the results.

I am about 5mph faster on the bike already, and from zero to ~14 min mile on the run.  I'm totally embarrassed of my run time but zero to 14 min is just fine for me. I had a few miles this week that were in the 13's so I can see the number coming down.  The trick is to not get frustrated and give up.  Seeing progress is pretty nice, but it hasn't always been like this.  My running has been miserable for years and I only do it because its part of the triathlon.  This is the first time that I actually looked FORWARD to a run to see if I was getting better. Oh how the tides have shifted!

My swimming has always been ok.  Oddly, I'm even leading in this picture!



Tell me to swim for 3 miles, no problem! I just can't do it FAST.  So that's what I'm working on!  I joined a Master Swimming class at the YMCA, which is great, but I swim Total Immersion.  The coach there has been great as well and has tweaked workouts for this alternate style.  For example in TI you do not pull, you use your body for rotation and arms basically as rudders, so given that you wouldn't have 'pull' drills.

In the words of Dori, in previous years I would "just keep swimming." I never did drills, but turns out that's how you get faster and stronger!

I'm learning!  I'm motivated!  I want to finish this Half Ironman!  As of right now, I am 'close' to the times individually. Add them together and I'm going to be slower. BUT, this is a GREAT place to be in April, I still have 14 weeks to get faster!

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