No, I do NOT have any triathlon race on the horizon.
Many of you were asking me if I’m training for any triathlon since I decided to be a triathlete, and witness my whining about the early morning swim and my bike ride adventure because who woke up at 5:30am and be in the pool at 6am if you are not training for a race, right? Apparently, this girl does.
I purposely do not want to register to any tri race this year, not because I have a second thought of being a triathlete, but because I really am trying to build a good baseline for my swimming, biking and yes, even running, before I commit myself to many weeks of triathlon training program. Beside, I am still in the middle of Fall Season of Team in Training for several upcoming race and have committed to their training program, plus some other Disney races that I have already registered. My plan this year is to swim and bike on my active recovery days as a cross training while learning the correct way to swim, bike and run.
My ability to swim is limited to thread water, float and dog paddle myself across the pool. I can somewhat sorta do a breast stroke and went from one side of the pool to the other, but that’s pretty much it. I contacted several swimming coach, and went for an assessment swim lesson. Coach Kimberly Lorton is fabulous and I did a lesson with her in Seattle pool. I really like her (and she was TNT coach a couple seasons ago!) but I can’t seems to find a schedule to work for both of us, and she only coach on a handful pools. After some more search, I contacted another coach that her name seems to be all over beginner triathlete forum. Coach Theresa Trinka-Hoard is a 5 (FIVE!) times Ironman finisher and a wonderful coach. I began my lesson to her at Redmond pool and managed to have consistent schedule with her on the club pool that I belong to which is so awesome as I don’t have to go to a different pool for my lesson. First few lessons – I felt like I a big fat whale. Actually, worst than whale since at least whale know how to swim. I realized now that I know nothing about swimming efficiently. There were many frustration on my part, but she patiently taught me the basics. I mean, really the basics. I learned many drills, and more drills. I have a lot of work to do, but I know that I am improving a little bit. I didn’t feel like I’m inhaling the whole pool water anymore whenever I did the drill now, and actually understand and can acknowledge when I didn’t do things correctly. I haven’t even work on the endurance training part of the swim yet (no swim lap) as she wants me to focus on the drill and technique.
I have a confession to make. I was 10 years old the last time I rode a bike, before my big fuss about ‘I have decided to be a triathlete’. Yes. 10 years old. So, the bike and I haven’t really friends for over 30 years. Can I ride it? Sure, I know how to balance, pedal and ride on straight line but can I really ride it? At that time, I didn’t even own a bike so my first challenge is to find me a bike. After several, okay, seventh trip to the local bike shop, spent hours of talking to many bike-expert on the shop, test-ride about 6 bikes, I finally purchased a bike that I believed fit my needs. Meet Ariel, my new best friend. Her and I are getting to know each other and I like her more and more every time. A lot of you asked what made me decide to get her, so I’ll let you in my thought process. Fist of all, I know that I will mostly ride around my local trail which consist of gravel and compact dirt road, and maybe on asphalt/paved/some back road so I want something that can do that, and also can be use for ride around the town. I also want to have a bike that I can use for my first triathlon race, and you know, be decent. I figured if this whole swim, bike, run business really sink in and I want to do the unimaginable (like.. the half Iron or even (gasp!).. Ironman) years from now, I’ll invest on different bike for that. Since I brought Ariel home, I have taken her for a few rides and loved it. The bike that fitted for you, just for you, made a whole world of different on how you feel while riding it
I recently joined Always Running and Coach Tony Williams agreed to coach me and help me run more efficiently. Yes, I am a three-times marathoner (plus handful of half-marathons) and know how to run, but just like swim and bike, I don’t know how to run efficiently, utilizing my strength and work around my limitation. I respect Coach Tony greatly (and challenged him constantly) and probably raised his blood pressure and gave him gray hair since he agreed to coach me. I enjoyed working with him so far and he helped me with my running form, my confidence and gave me many insightful advice on how to make running as a lifestyle, instead of focusing on a race. I’m still coming for Team In Training practice and run with team as well as following their training schedule, but Coach Tony adapted the schedule for me, for my current ability and help me plan my run, how should I run it and what’s the goal for each run.
So there. That’s what’s going on with me lately. I have decided to be a triathlete and I am making it happen and will continue to push forward towards my goal, which is pretty simple for this year. I want to be comfortable with the three sports and learn how to do it efficiently.
My workout schedule still follow Team In Training plan, but with slight modification to incorporate swim and bike, so it’s something like this:
Mon: Rest (My favorite day)
Tue: Run (Hills/Tempo)
Wed: Run (Target pace)
Thu: Swim (Drills)
Fri: Rest (Another favorite day)
Sat: Long Run (Slow steady pace)
How do I make the time, you asked, between this schedule, work full time, mama of two kiddos, and a wife? Ongoing fatigued from life in general AND for me personally, my personal battle with my health? I’ll be the first one to admit, it’s not unicorn and rainbow. In fact, it’s full with stormy sky, a gloomy day and many, many tears, but I made it as a priority and find a way to make it happen.