Before I get to the last two days of training for me I have to start this blog with the news that my wife completed an ultra sprint triathlon today. There are a group of women here on Guam that have triathlons every month to help them train and experience a triathlon. They swim 200 meters, bike 10K and run 3K. Zinnia was pretty anxious about this last night, mostly because of the swim. 200 meters is a reasonable distance but she (we) have only been in the open water one time and as reported in a previous blog, it didn’t go so hot. Drowning has a way of getting people (including me) into a tizzy. But today she did it all on her own. I was at work but got the text mid-morning that read, “Finished!”. I was very excited for her. Now she wants to keep going and do more. As I may have mentioned, she was the one who first had the idea to do triathlons and she motivated me to train with her. Now, she has one event in the books and once again I am motivated to go do the same. As long as she keeps inspiring me I’ll do fine.
As for me, the past two days have been filled with new milestones and plenty of fatigue. I took Sunday off to rest, but I did take my bike into the shop to have a “computer” installed on it. The device will be able to tell me distances, speed and other fun facts while I am riding. It’s a wireless gadget that will hopefully give me lots of good gouge on the bike….gouge I can then track, monitor and report to all of you keeping score at home. Yesterday (Monday) I was back at the training though with an early morning appointment with Dr. Treadmill. Still finding the best time of day for me to train is before work. I can get 45-60 minutes in at the gym, shower there and then head straight to work and still be early. Not sure I would say I do more before 7:00 AM than most people do all day (old commercial reference), but I do quite a bit. So yesterday I decided I wanted to complete a 5 mile run in preparation the 10K this Saturday. I had been gradually increasing my distance by running 3 miles during the week 1-2 times and then doing a “big” run on the weekends. I popped on the iPod, turned on the OSU-Michigan State basketball game on the treadmill’s TV (that’s right, it started at 5:30 AM Monday here due to the time difference …perfect timing) and took off. If only the triathlon allowed me to use the iPod and watch TV I would be set. I got so into the game and the music that the miles and time flew by. I did briefly think of stopping at 4 miles, but I knew you bloggers wouldn’t let me live that down, so I pressed on. 5 miles in 41 minutes….and…..done. I finished just as the first half of the game was closing. I felt decent afterwards and had relatively little stiffness last night and today. Perhaps I am starting to get into shape. Anyway, I will try and run maybe just a mile or two on Thursday and then shut it down. Saturday is the 6.2 mile race that I am hoping to just finish. Anything under an hour will be a success. Luckily Zinnia is running with me, so I have my lucky charm.
Today I wanted to swim but didn’t dare go back to the pool before work, what with all the dark pool monsters that hang out there at that time of day. So, instead I opted for a water rendezvous after work. Sadly I didn’t leave work until after 5:00 and wasn’t at the pool until 5:45. I knew I wanted to get at least 500 meters in to build on the 750 meters I did over this past weekend. I started out very strong…too strong. I got winded after just 100 meters because I was trying to go too fast instead of finding a nice rhythm. I ended up doing 25 meter sidestroke laps every 100 meters (75 meters freestyle/25 meters sidestroke) for the first 300 meters just to get my pace down. But, I stayed “Off the Wall” (every time I say that I think of Michael Jackson circa 1979) and kept my body moving to build endurance. After 300 meters I had a smooth rhythm and my breathing (above water inhale and below water exhale…..finally got that down) was very controlled. After that I didn’t do another sidestroke lap, just continuous freestyle. I was doing a 2:45-3:00 100 meter pace. Not particularly fast, but smooth. I just kept going and going. 500 meters. 750 meters. 1000 meters! Yes, I figured I would keep going and see if I could get to 1000 and I did….in 29:10. 40 laps! All with practically no rest on the wall. Just 2 weeks ago, as I struggled with my breathing, swimming form, and conditioning I could barely do 10 laps without vomiting (and that included resting on the wall for a few seconds between laps). I think the key to my progress was a couple of videos I watched on youtube. I think I just searched “triathlon swimming” or something and got a few good instructional videos on breathing and technique in the water. One in particular was called Total Immersion Swimming and the instructor has a series of vids that help the beginner. I have applied those lessons to my workouts and I have seen my results improve by about 500% in 2 weeks. I also purchased last weekend and wore today my new speedo swim shorts. No…not thay type of Speedo…these are long lycra shorts that come down to my knees. They are really comfortable and reduce drag in the pool compared to my other baggy swim trunks. So, I am getting aerodynamic! Probably took a whole 3 seconds off my time, but I look like I know what I am doing now. What with that and my goggles people probably are mistaking me for Michael Phelps.
Tomorrow is another off day. March 14 here in Guam. My son Liam turns 3! His party isn’t until Saturday (the afternoon following the morning 10K), but tomorrow is the actual birthday. I want to make sure I spend all the time I can with him. Going to leave work to go have lunch with him, Zinnia, Keilani and my mom and then come home after work and just be with him. The little guy is getting so big. He knows his mommy and daddy are doing a lot of running, biking and swimming and probably thinks we are a bit crazy. But tomorrow it is all about him. It is also the 3rd anniversary of my father passing away, so March 14th will always be a day of celebration and reflection……but not for training.
The pic above is the pool on the Naval Base in Guam, taken this past weekend. Typical March day in Guam….88 and sunny. The lanes are arranged for 25 meter laps here.
Back at it on Thursday. Later!