I know it's been ages since I've written anything here. Part of the reason has been due to the exhausting nature of the triathlons, but also the high emotions that came with them. I shall leave the race reports for future posts, but I need to get back on track with my training. Writing about it here helps me focus and set new goals for myself. Thus far I have achieved 2 of my 4 main goals which I set myself this year. I did 3 triathlons (rather than the 2 I originally aimed for), and now in the second half of the year I aim to do 2 half marathons.
Doing these sprint triathlons turned out to be challenging and allowed me to push past some of my fears. I think thus far my biggest joy comes from having learned to ride a bike, and discovering that I actually enjoy cycling! I am now the proud owner of a super sexy pair of Specialized Women's Pro BG Road Shoes. I got them after the Witch City Tri which I did as a relay with Stuart and Nancy, as a pressie. Thus far I have only managed to clip in one side as I have not quite got the hang of unclipping yet. Well, when I get back to Boston I would like to get this sorted out and get a few miles in before the end of summer.
The swimming front has not been so successful. Although I have swum and managed my fears, I have not been quite as successful in overcoming them. I still feel panic-stricken in the water, and as a result I need to calm down and swim very slowly. By swimming slowly I can think about each stroke and think about what I need to do next and control any feelings of panic. Naturally the downside of this is that I cannot swim fast. All this thinking and control slows me down and the whole process is just exhausting. I need to find a swim coach and work on this seriously. Swimming lessons are not enough - I need to follow a proper programme. One of my immediate goals is to take the plunge (literally) and buy a wetsuit to do some open water swimming before the end of summer.
Finally, difficult though it is to believe, I am actually getting stronger on the run. I thought I was getting worse as I no longer do any strength training, and I can feel the lack of upper body strength most acutely when I am in the pool. In general I feel that I lack the conditioning I had 6 months ago. My body feels tired and blobby....and I feel like a goldfish most times. I feel that I am putting in the miles but somehow they seem to lack the intensity and quality of my earlier workouts.
In view of this I am going to do a few sessions with a conditioning trainer, whilst simultaneously working on improving my upper body strength. I think this will help me to develop a more powerful stroke in the water, and hopefully this will in turn increase my confidence and speed. At my last run (the Witch tri 3.1 mile run), my time was 26 minutes. I would like to chop 5 minutes off my time. I found a brilliant site through Runner's Lounge, a running forum I joined at the end of 2008. Alas, I have not been a very active participant in the lounge, but will remedy this in the near future. Another member of the lounge has the goods on how to chop off those 5 minutes, which are posted on his website half-fast.org under the banner "The 2009 Shave your 5K challenge". In the light of this challenge, I have 4 months left to get down to 21 minutes. Is it possible? I'll see you here on 31st December and then we'll know......