Thursday, June 28, 2012
Thinking about preparing for the open water swim leg, I went out looking for places I might practice, and had a "doh!" moment. The same games (Cornhusker State Games) host an open water swim event, a week before the triathlon event. On the same course. Doh! Indeed.
So, last night I signed up for it. I'll be swimming the same distance, hopefully the same course, a week before the main event. I won't care about my finish time, I will care about becoming acclimated to the conditions. Done and done.
Going to be a scorcher here today, too... but I have a brick on the schedule. Here's to staying hydrated and taking it a little easier on my ride and run legs, since I can't do that all before work, and will be pushed out into the heat. Think of it as stress training. The day itself is bound to be better conditions!
Life is good. Spark on!
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Swam my 1000 yards before work this morning, and felt good about it. I thought about going outdoors for that swim, but they don't turn on the lights out there, and I wimped out, figuring what I really need to do is find a lake in which to practice some open water swimming... and a swimming buddy to go with me, for safety, sometime before the main event.
Right now, I have the championship swimmers on the TV (Olympic trials). It's being done right up the road in Omaha, so I could in theory even get tickets and go watch in person... but my goodness, those guys look incredible, don't they?
It's HOT outside here today, the radio on the way home from work was saying 102 degrees F. I overcame my inner slug and stopped at the gym and did my trainer's #2 workout. I'm very pleased with myself for sneaking in some weight training with all the TRI other cardio workouts.
And... we're halfway through the work week! Life's good. Spark on.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
I went to one of my events, and being me, started reading slogans on T-shirts. This one struck me: "Your workout is OUR warm-up".
Well, I could rephase that: "today's workout is tomorrow's warm-up". Or "Yesteryear's workout is today's warm-up".
Seriously, fitness is cumulative. Beginners, take heart if all you can do right now is something a "real" exerciser would just use as a warm-up. Someday, if you keep at it... it WILL be your warm-up.
It is now Summertime, for real. Temperatures are climbing into the 90's (F) and threatening to top the century mark tomorrow. Today was a running day, and not wanting to run in the after work 90's temperatures, I cajoled my body out of bed and out the door.
I did my full 9-minute warm up - 5 minutes brisk walk, followed by a minute jog, minute walk, twice, then started "running easy". The training plan said I was supposed to run 9 minutes, walk 45 seconds for the remainder of the run... I had not been doing the walking breaks, but this morning I decided I would give them a nod... and put in 30 second walking breaks at those spots.
Deal is: as I was running, being me, those random thoughts popped into my head. It dawned on me that things about my thought pattern related to the run have changed!
What's your thought / motivation when you look at your watch, for example? Used to be, I was thinking .oO(OMG, how much longer do I have to keep doing this before a break?) This morning, I found myself thinking .oO(I have X minutes left... how much farther can I go in that time?)
And I noticed something: my breathing was easier. And I found myself experimenting with lengthening my stride. Focusing on running quietly (something my trainer mentioned last winter).
And when I got to the end of the run, into the cool-down walk, it dawned on me I felt GOOOOD! I may be making the turn from jogger to runner? Is that even possible? Time will tell!
In any case, life is good here with the patriotic oats and the Spark coffee mug. Hope it's the same with all of you! Spark on!
Monday, June 25, 2012
The fresh fruits (blueberries and strawberries both) are in season here, and I just had to show off my breakfast, because it almost qualifies in the "food as art" category today.
It's a rest day on the training schedule, and I am ready for it. I have plans for the week ahead, part of which is doing my brick workout (Thursday) from my sister's house. I love my bike, you see. I don't want to change its tires. But my sister has a hybrid bike, that would be better for the tri... if it fits me and I can adapt to it.
So, Thursday after work, I'm going to go do the front half of my brick on her bike from her house, then run in her neighborhood. HINT: Changing things up also alleviates getting bored with the training workouts.
If things go well, I will borrow her bike the week of the race, get it tuned up, and ride it for my bike leg. For those of you who were wondering what happened to the plan to ride son's bike for that leg (also a hybrid, and one I've ridden before)... that's still a back up plan. But this one is a women's bike and there are slight differences. I figure I'm also exploring my options, getting information in case one day I might want to add a second bike to my garage. And as a bonus, I get to see my sister before she leaves to spend the 4th with her daughter's family.
Saw one of my other sisters and family yesterday afternoon (between my bike workout and my evening "active recovery" brisk walk). We went to the Melodramas, hosted by my brother in law. My sister was in an impish mood and taunted the villian. Warning: if you're gonna taunt the villian in a melodrama, be prepared by wearing washable clothing. You might just find yourself covered in popcorn when he retaliates! Short version: a good time was had by all.
The cream on top? E-mail and IM's from son. What more could a mom want from a weekend?
Life is good. Spark on!
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Cathy (Karidian1) commented on yesterday's blog: "So looking back say two years ago, would you ever thought you would be doing a triathlon, or all the other fun and exciting things you have done the last year or so? "
That is the inspiration for today's reverie! So, for you, Cathy, and anyone else who might be wondering or peeking into your own futures in terms of what you'll do / how your life will be in YOUR maintenance... fear not... you need not be QUITE as nuts as me, but you can have every bit as much fun in your maintenance, by simply doing it YOUR way!
Two years ago I was at the beginning of my maintenance phase. My son was deployed. His unit had suffered a significant loss. I wanted to participate in some way in the memorial that was going to happen on the one year anniversary of that loss, in November. The memorial event was to be a half marathon, a significant distance (13.1 miles), as it was to honor 13 service members and one unborn child whose lives were lost that day.
Two problems: one, there was NO WAY I was half marathon ready, or with my work schedule thought I could GET half marathon ready in time. And the event was several states away. Fortunately the event also had an attached 5K. I at least felt I could GET ready for that. By November, my son would be home. So, about two years ago, I was starting to think about participating in events. But did I envision all the way to a "real" triathlon, i.e. one with chips and timing? Heck no.
I achieved my goal of doing a 5K on the memorial race day, although I did it with my son, remote, right here in town. I added some elements to make it meaningful (balloon release with the names attached, wore the unit's number on my shirt even though it wasn't a real bib, etc.) And then it became a question of "what's next"?
Enter some Spark inspirations: JUST_TRI_IT (Diane) blogged her way to her first triathlon. In December HOT4FITNESS (Deanna) Spark-mailed me and challenged me to walk the Lincoln Half Marathon with her in May 2011... and suddenly that half marathon distance didn't seem quite so daunting. If I WALKED it. But Deanna is a fast walker... she doesn't just walk, she speed-walks!
I trained, and she trained, and we met for the first time at a local 10 mile prep race... and then did that half together. After that Half... I did the fun things... I had fun things among my goals for the year, you know the ones, the ice skates, the horseback ride...
Real life inspirations also contributed to my craziness: my son saying he thought I'd be able to pass the Army physical fitness test for my age and gender... so of course I had to set that as a goal and work my way up to it. Took me eight months to get to the point where I could pass the sit ups test (have I mentioned I hate abs workouts?), but the running and push-ups were not an issue.
Meeting other Sparkers in real life, KaliGirl (Becky), Loves_2_Laugh (Mary) also kept me inspired. I'm really no different from any other Sparker: we're all here because we have something we want to do or achieve, and Spark gives us the tools to work on it, and a place to find and inspire one another.
The tri? I've had a tri in my heart since the first time I saw the grand Hawaiian IronMan covered on television. NEVER thought I could do it... but once I found out they had shorter distances? Hee-hee...
Baby steps, Spark friends, baby steps! In 2007 I challenged my siblings to a private triathlon. We swam half a mile in the gym pool, then drove to our sister's home, biked a 10 mile out and back, then walked/jogged a 5K in the August heat. But I still have wanted to put a real one under my belt.
Two years ago did I have a clue? Heck no. But I had a private, deep in my heart desire... one I wouldn't even let out into the thought arena maybe... but waiting for the spark.
Thank you, Diane, for the Spark for the TRI. Thank you every Sparker for being here, for reading and commenting and writing your own stories. Because we all have dreams and hopes. Some we believe to be impossible; as we grow we find they are achievable.
Achieving those dreams is all about preparation, planning, and execution... one little step at at a time. Life IS good. Spark on!
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