Tri training is bringing with it a vast array of new experiences.
My new existence as a quintessential and perpetual newb ain’t easy, believe me. Training for any event is challenging, period. But challenging yourself physically (“I know I can do this . . .“) is much more difficult when you’re also challenging yourself mentally (” . . . if only I knew WHAT to do!“)
Remember when swimming was fun? Remember when you’d form a coalition of neighborhood kids, caucus, then threaten one of the moms with the sanction of hyperactive ice-pop-feuled holy terror unless she agreed to shuttle you all to the local pool? Remember carefully flattening to soggy dollars from your summer backpack to gain entry to “community swim,” jealously guarding your crispest dollar for an orange soda to be more-than-enjoyed on the ride home? Remember diving for rings, racing camp counselors and older siblings, high-dive cannon balls, and whining your hardest at closing-time? Well, this is not that.
One of the books I’m reading about all this training (yeah that’s right – ONE of) implores athletes to remember: Swimming Is Fun! It is? Lap after lap, meter upon meter, the form (or lack thereof), the breathing (or lack thereof), the struggle, shoot – the COUNTING! Oh, and I’m sure you know that you can’t train for swimming unless you wake up in the middle of the night! Terrible.
It’s true that I haven’t been riding as much as I should be. I’ve been more than a little discouraged after coming to the realization on my first tri-training ride that there were runners in the Austin Half Marathon who ran faster than I am could ride! Tough pill to swallow. To help myself back into the groove, I’m joining a twice-weekly spinning class, and committing to a long ride on the weekends. It think the spinning drills will help me get strong more quickly, and the weekend rides will help me remember that this whole this is actually going to take place. In real life. On a real bike.
You read right. Not running, but wunning. I’m going back to basics, square one, remedial running for baby runners. After spending all winter exclusively devoted to all things running, I think this is as good a time as any to drop back a bit. It’s no secret that any time I have to train for a triathlon needs to be much more laser-focused on the swimming and biking parts (see directly above). So, runs are dropping back to 5K and less. To make them challenging, I’m finally breaking out the Vibram 5 Fingers I got for Christmas. I’m sure there’ll be (much) more on that later.
Not in the Tiger’s Blood/Adonis DNA sense, but winning anything is still a major motivator. I recently entered a little contest over at anther blog I enjoy reading: Fit City. The blogger, Pamela LeBlanc, was giving away Chris Charmichael’s new book The Time-Crunched Triathlete to the best commenter on her blog. All I had to do was convince Pamela that I had the least time, the most crunch, and the greatest need for this book. And can you believe it – I won! I got the book in the mail a few days later and have already read some of it. Hopefully this, together with learning to remember “Swimming is fun,” figuring out how to propel a bike faster than Miss Mabel propels her walker, and not falling completely off the wagon with running will be all I need for total triathlon success!