My Strongest Weakness

I had a great double-workout today that was a slight confidence booster on my two weakest sports in the triathlon discipline. This morning ay 6:45am, I headed towards the Veloway/South Mopac area for a morning 17 mile bike ride. My original goal was to do the 8 mile loop twice, with the first 8 miles being a warmup and the 2nd 8 miles being the actual workout. I wanted to give it all I had on that second trip around South Mopac. Problem?? I shot my wad on the first 8 miles (sorry for the graphic metaphor). As soon as I started my mock “time trial,” I found myself instantly in race mode and decided to give it all I had on that first loop. The good news is that I set a new PR for me at 25:30 (19 mph avg). The bad news? When I look at the results of the people that do the monthly time trials on the same course, I still fall way in the bottom third. I have to remind myself that a lot of the top-notch triathletes and cyclists do these time trials each month. Some of them avg between 25-30 mph, which is pretty insane. Very few “mere mortal cyclists” take part in these time trials. I rode for a mile just to recover and feel my legs and headed out on the 2nd 8 mile loop. There was no way I could beat thetime on the first loop. I just rode comfortably and worked on gaining power in the aero position. I finished the 2nd loop in 26:52 (18.1 mph). If I can avg between 17-18mph during the Half-Ironman, I’ll be freaking giddy. Overall, I was pleased with the workout even though I’d still eventually like to be in the 23-24 minute range. My legs were definitely fatigued by the end as I tried to focus on the pull as much as the push of the pedals.

The swim workout tonight kicked my booty, but I completed 2650 meters total…We did tons of drills to warm-up and cool-down, but the actual workout was a killer for me.
4 x 150m (avg time3:23-3:31)
5 x 100m (avg time2:15-2:20)
6 x 50s (avg time 1:05)
I haven’t done a lot of interval/pace clock swimming and had to work extremely hard to stay on pace. The slower you go, the shorter your rest breaks. Towards the end, my form was breaking down and my breathing was labored and difficult. I lost my 3 stroke breathing pattern and I wasn’t full catching the water beneath me. HOWEVER, I finished the complete workout once again proving that I CAN do this swimming thing! It’s not easy and I’m not fast, but I’m getting better!

I noticed something interesting about swimming. I hear my inner voice louder with swimming than I do any other sport. I don’t know if I can adequately explain. When I’m running, I can hear my feet on the trail, my breathing, birds, cars and other runners. When I’m biking, I hear my pedals , cars and the wheels of my Kestrel. Because I’m swimming under the water surface (ideally), I don’t hear anything external. I don’t hear the swimmers in front of me breathing or switching gears. I don’t hear them complaining about the heat or their arms. It’s just me and my inner voice that taunts me…”You can’t catch that girl in front of you.” “You’re falling behind.” “Don’t forget to breathe.” “Work on the catch.” etc, etc…Sometimes it’s frustrating, but tonight it was good because having that “inner annoyance” also allowed me to fully focus on the task and not everything else around me. I don’t fully understand this sport, but I’m slowly but surely unlocking the mysteries of swimming.

I plan to swim at Barton Springs in my wetsuit on Friday morning and then go to their Sunday morning workout. Even though I ate a healthy portion of cereal before swimming, I was still famished post-workout.

6:15am w.w. toast with PB and honey
9:30am Kashi, blueberries, yogurt (coffee with soy milk)
1:00pm Zen–steak and veggies stir fried on udon noodles, 1 crab spring roll, 1/2 oatmeal raisin cookie
6:00 1/2 turkey sandwich and bowl of kashi with yogurt
9:30 2 small raviolis that I nuked


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