Saturday: It was an early foggy run. I got through it but it was humid.
Sunday: I was feeling very tired, and took a rest day. Sometimes you just have to and that's ok.
Monday: I was feeling much better. I woke up looking forward to meeting my coach at the pool for a swim workout later. I procrastinated my run as long as I could. Finally, I pushed myself out the door, headed to a nearby park with a trail, and started my run. I smiled through most of my run. Running has become fun again. I pushed myself through my intervals, told myself to breathe, and kept going. Remember, your mind is a muscle too. It needs to be worked. There are still so many times I think I need to walk but I tell that voice to shut and finish my intervals because running, even if it's slow is still faster than walking.
Next up: Swim. I love my swims with my triathlon group but swimming with my coach and his wife is fun. I always learn something and we work on new skills. My coach is from Canada and spends the winter months here in Florida. The first year I worked on DPS(distance per stroke). This blog on my swim pro explains distance per stroke. https://blog.myswimpro.com/2022/02/15/how-to-improve-distance-per-stroke/
Now we are starting to work on faster arm cadence and speed. I tried my best to make my arms go as fast as they could while still maintaining the good technique and DPS we had worked on in the last year. I pushed the parts ot the set that were supposed to be fast as hard as I could. When it was time to get out of the pool, my arms were numb. It was a good thing. I was so proud of that feeling knowing I worked hard, and possibly opened up a new gear I didn't know I had. I felt my triceps starting to hurt 3/4 of the way through the set.
"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great." A League of Their Own
This is one of my favorite movies of all time and one of my favorite quotes.
As my body has adjusted to the medicine and is feeling normal again. I have seen improvements in my workouts. This quote resonates with me when I want to give up. I couldn't help but think of this quote as I got out of the pool. It is hard, but it truly is pretty great. I would think about this on Tuesday as I was doing a double swim day. I would be joining my team and doing a 500-yard time trial at the afternoon swim and joining other teammates in the evening for an evening swim when my coach was helping out and coaching our tri-team workouts.
Tuesday: Double Swim Day. The 500 Yard Time Trial. As a team, we have been doing a 500-yard time trial at our swim practices once a month. Honestly, I dreaded every single one. On Monday nights, I would start thinking about how I could go to practice later in the week and not have to deal with it. Tuesday morning, I woke up. "I don't wanna go to practice." I thought. It was time to get ready, I made my electrolytes, got dressed, and out the door, I went. I could still feel the soreness in my triceps from yesterday's workout. My stomach did flip-flops as I got out of the car. I wasn't sure how this was going to go. I walked onto the pool deck and saw a few of my other dedicated teammates. There were four minutes to go on the clock and eight of us were there to swim. It was going to be a quiet practice. "Don't everyone show up to practice all at once!" Our coach said as she walked onto the pool deck. "There are a lot of people who are ditching the last 500 of the year." We warmed up and it was time for the 500. I pushed off the wall. "Find your pace." I thought. During the first 100, I found a sustainable pace that I knew I could do the 500 without losing speed. Two hundred and fifty yards came and went. I felt good with my pace and did not fall off. Four hundred, only a hundred left. "Woo-hoo. Fifty left." I thought. "Give it all you got." I gave everything I had in my arms for my last 50. I sprinted to the wall, touched the wall, and stopped my watch. My time was 10:45, only 5 seconds slower than the PR I had set last month. When we started this challenge in January, I completed the 500 in 12:05. In a year I have taken one minute and twenty seconds off of my time. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. The 500-yard time trial challenge was the challenge for 2023. For 2024, we will be doing 10 X 100s on an interval based on our best 500 time. I'm not looking forward to this at all. I don't like 100s. I will do any other distance without a problem, but I find breathing so hard. I either go to hard and die 75 yards in or get to the wall and go I should have gone harder. I'm sure I will think about the challenge the night before and my stomach will do flip flops just like it did with the 500, but I can't wait to see what will happen with my swim speed and how much lower I can get my interval by the end of next year. Practice ended and it was time to go home, refuel, and rest until my evening swim.
"I'm tired." I thought as I arrived at the pool in the evening. "Who cares?" I thought. "I get to swim again. I get to enjoy the water." I did. My arms hurt and my lungs burned but it was so fun. I had a few friends show up at practice that evening, and we swam, laughed, and had fun.
Wednesday: I woke up incredibly sore but happy and decided to take the day off.
Thursday: It was another swim workout today, and my last one of a heavy swim week. My coach was coaching our tri-team again. "I figured you would have grown gills by now." He joked. The workout was good and I felt how much I had been swimming. My arms felt the extra swimming I had done this week. I could feel my triceps working with each stroke. My arms felt heavy, but I pushed through it, one stroke at a time. Soon enough, my workout was done and I hopped out of the pool.
Friday: I woke up feeling very tired. I relaxed most of the day and attempted to get on my bike trainer in the evening. My hips were achy, so I did 25 minutes and stopped.
My long workout day. Today's workout was a long bike followed by a short run with a goal of 80 rpm or better. RPM or cadence is how many times your pedals revolve in a minute. The Global Triathlon Network talks about cycling cadence and triathlon in this video.
I rode at a Lake Louisa state park that has some elevation and is a fantastic place to ride and run. My ultimate goal for cycling cadence is 90 rpm. When I started working with my coach, 80 rpm was difficult. High RPMs always feel like so much work to not go very far. Today was absolutely beautiful. The weather was perfect for a ride. It was sunny with a slight breeze with a temperature in the seventies. I began riding my bike. I found a comfortable gear and began spinning. I felt fantastic. Fifteen minutes went by. I looked down at my bike computer. My average cadence was 90 rpm. I evaluated myself. I was feeling good, and enjoying the ride. "We can average 90 for another fifteen minutes," I told myself. For the rest of the ride, this mantra continued to repeat itself. Two loops around the park later, I arrived back at my car with my bike computer reading 90 rpm. I was ecstatic. I couldn't believe I had held 90 rpm for 20 miles. Now it was time to run.
I loaded my bike into my car and I was off. I was feeling my legs from riding, but this is why we practice running off the bike, right? It's so you can run off the bike efficiently and not spend three minutes in transition trying to get your running shoes on because your legs hurt so badly from the bike. (Yes that's happened to me.) Still on a high from such a great bike, I felt a pep in my step as I started the run. My legs were turning over, one in front of the other. I felt like I was flying and I was...at a pace that I couldn't maintain for very long. I slowed down to a normal pace, smiling the whole run. I did walk/run intervals and soon slowed to a comfortable pace. I ran nearly 2 miles, and my workout was over. I couldn't stop smiling. I had slept in and was worried it was too late, but as my coach says, "The only bad workout is the one you don't do." I told myself missing my workout was not an option and it turned into a great day.
Sunday: Today was a run or walk to keep the legs moving after a tough workout yesterday. I had great company for the first twenty minutes. The puppies enjoyed sniffing and exploring the world. They spazzed, ran and enjoyed the simplicity of a walk in nature. May we all relish in the little things like a nice walk.
After a short walk with the puppies, it was time to get back to business. My legs felt like lead today. I just wanted to sit and recover, but it was on the training plan so out I went to get it done.
My body continues to amaze me now that it is getting what it needs. If you haven't read my story you can get it here.
I am loving the gains I am seeing and cannot wait to see what 2024 brings for me.
Recipe of the Week
Creamy Chicken with Sundried Tomatoes
This recipe is super quick and easy for a weeknight dinner. If you are vegetarian, you could make the sauce and put it on pasta instead of chicken. I modified the recipe by using arugula instead of spinach because I'm not a fan of spinach. It works great. I also grill my chicken on the grill while I cook the sauce. If you want more or less spice, modify the amount of red pepper. This recipe is in my rotation for easy weeknight dinners. I hope it is one you can enjoy as well.
This week's meme was found on Heavyglare Eyeware's Triathlon Meme's Pinterest board. This makes me laugh because how many of us have tried to get friends, parents, significant others, or anyone else in our lives to get into this crazy sport? I'm pretty sure we all have and we have all gotten a resounding no or something thrown at us. Plus, if you are a Pirates of The Caribbean fan, this scene plays in your head as soon as you see the picture. So go on Disney Plus and turn on Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest now and enjoy. On the rare occasion, that you do have that person in your life who gets into the sport, relish everything about it. Enjoy the training days, conversations, times together, and races. Also, hug those in your family who are your supporters and cheerleaders, because spectating is a tough sport too. If you're lucky enough to have people who want to see your race cherish and love them.
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