Tuesday, February 22, 2011

And it begins....

Its finally time to hang up my running shoes and go back to being a triathlete again.  Er rather I guess its time to not hang up my running shoes, but instead put some bike shoes and flip flops next to them.  Anyway...   point is its time to stop thinking like a distance runner and start thinking like a triathlete.  In fact its actually time to stop thinking like a runner completely.  I'm putting myself on a hiatus from running in hopes that I can let my legs heal up, loosen up, and then strengthen them up before I start running again.

Lets backtrack for a minute with a few quick thoughts.  I'm a little conflicted currently.  Theres a part of me thats really dissapointed in the way I've spent the majority of my offseason.  Instead of making huge gains in the pool and doing a million intervals on the bike I focused on distance running.  And then I beat my legs to hell to the point where all I did was pretty much run and take lots of rest days.  So I'm bummed that as far as swimming and biking goes I've made pretty much zero progress to this point.  I'm exactly where I was at the end of last season.  A mildly decent cyclist with a lot of room for improvement, and a lousy swimmer whose too stubborn to admit I can't actually swim.  So the fact its almost March and I made zero progress really kind of sucks and I'm really bummed out about it.

Then theres the other side...   the side thats damn proud that I finished the goofy challenge, and that by February 14th I'd run two marathons, a half marathon, and a 5K.  Not too shabby!  And I PRd my marathon.  So I'm pretty proud of that.  But this side of me is in direct conflict with the triathlete side of me. 

The point of all this is that theres a lesson to be learned...   I can't expect my body to be able to go out and run a couple of marathons right on the tail of the tri season and expect to be able to keep up all my other training at the same time.  I know there are athletes out there that can do it all...   but I'm just not that person.  Theres an energy cost to doing these things and I don't have enough money in the bank to pay for all of them.

Some other dissapointments...   the scale this morning read 153lbs.  I've been very bad foodwise lately.  Thats up from my race weight of 138lbs.  So I've got 15lbs to lose before June.  Some of that should come off quickly as I start training again...   the rest is gonna take some work!

Ok...   now back to the present....

Today marks the start of the triathlon season for me.  Its time to get serious and stop with the excuses and focus on going forwards to make myself as fast and as strong and as successful as I can be.  Its time to start swimming and biking my ass off and then reintroduce the running again somewhere around mid April.  I will instead use that running time to focus on strength training and flexibility.  Thats the plan.

So...    today the plan starts!

I spent a brutal day yesterday flying back from LA and got home around 1AM east coast time.  Up at 730am and right to work, cranked out a few things and then headed to the Y to get back in the pool.  Wow..   what a crappy swim!  I guess I shouldn't be surprised after a month or so away from the pool that it wasn't going to go well.  I had an 1800 yard workout in mind with ladders and a 500 yard set in it.  But I quickly realized that was a pipe dream.  My technique was awful, I felt awful, and I just could NOT relax in the water no matter what I tried.  I was getting distracted by the floundering wave maker I was sharing the lane with who seemed to be good and driving a small tsunami towards my mouth every time I tried to breath and I just couldn't find my happy place in the water.  So I had to mentally really focus on doing my best to get something out of the workout.  I shifted gears and decided to skip the workout I'd brought with me and focus on form and relaxation.  So I stopped trying to do anything beyond a 50 yd repeat after I suffered through a brutal 200 that felt like ass frankly.  The 50s didn't feel great but its better than giving up.  I hate taking steps backwards in the pool but I guess sometimes you have to take one backwards to go forwards.  I just need to stay consistent in the pool and I can make some progress.  But my travel and work schedule have been BRUTAL so far this year so its been extremely difficult to get any sort of pool rhythm down.  Its not an excuse... but it is a reality.  So...   I suffered through 1200 yards today.  I started to feel a little better by the end of it but not much.  I wanted to get out after 1000 yards but I forced myself to do two more 50s.  After that the tsunami maker got out of my lane so I decided to do two last laps and try a flip turn in the middle.  I managed to do them and keep swimming without breaking stride.  So that was good.  The second one was definitely much better than the first.  And they weren't great...  but they were a start!  In a way they felt better than a wall turn.  I feel like I want to stop when I poke my head out of the water and the flip turn keeps my face in the water.  I know it sounds stupid but I swear that makes a difference.

So day 1 I swam.  And it sucked...  but I did it.  And tomorrow I'm going right back to the pool.  And again on thursday.  I just need to keep at it and I get somewhere.  I know when I put a wetsuit on I'll be able to go long... but the point is to be able to do that without the wetsuit crutch.

Next up?  Tomorrow I'll swim in the morning and spin in the afternoon.  Thursday I fly to West Palm Beach Florida for a show and I'll do my first TRX strength training workout, yoga, and hopefully swim while I'm out there.  In fact I'm going to pack a wetsuit and try and get some ocean swimming in if I can.  We'll see how that works out though.

Ok... time for me to go back to work.  Oh and I got my wheel back from wheelbuilder.com while I was away.  Theres now a lovely powertap in the middle of it.  More on that tomorrow!  : )

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