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Monday, July 1, 2013

August Adventures: Part I

Here I go again, my next big endeavor. This time, I'm crossing waters I never thought I would
swim...literally. In 49 days I will be competing in my very first triathlon sprint up at West Point.

This all came about in a very interesting way. Not your typical motivational goal per say, just a four hour
long drive back to NYC from upstate with a family friend who happens to be a professor at West Point
and mentioned I should do it. Immediately I started listing all of the reason I did not want to do it with
the biggest being, I just didn't want to do it.  Then I realized the true fact that I was actually very capable
of doing it. I have a bike, which I ride often and spin weekly, as much as I do not like running, I can do it
and finally, I have a pool in my building. Enough said.

Before I committed to this said triathlon, I figured it would be a good idea if I could swim. I mean,
it is 1/3 of this thing right? Fortunately, I had easy access to a pool. I ordered a one piece suit, some
goggles, a swim cap and a kick board (just in case). If I was going to do this, I was going to do it right;
all the cool gear included. My first day at the pool I decided not to push my luck.  I obviously knew
I could swim, I just didn't know for how long and how more importantly, how well.

What took me the longest to learn was how to breath and swim at the same time.  As funny as that
sounds, It's hard! Swimming 101....I did not understand the concept of exhaling under the water
(basically blowing bubbles) and was just trying to hold my breath while breathing in and out between
strokes. Do NOT try. I repeat, do NOT try.

After the lesson on breathing was over, I started alternating  between breast stroke and free style as
I felt more comfortable breathing during breast stroke but needed to be able to maintain the freestyle
stroke. I realized this was actually working and for the first month I tried to keep a consistent
swimming schedule.

After the first month, I practiced swimming longer lengths of just freestyle with adding in a length or two
of breast stroke when I needed a break. Within two months, I was swimming consistent freestyle laps.
The only drawback with swimming is my pools length, a measly 15 meters. If you take 15 meters
and multiply it by 54 laps, it equals 810 meters. With the swim element of the sprint being 800 meters,
this girl has been swimming 54 plus laps in that pool for three months now. How boring! I am pretty sure
 the lifeguard thinks I'm crazy. Three months later, I am now swimming 70 laps two times a week
and enjoying it.

As I did not have to learn a whole new skill set with cycling and running, I continued to spin once a week
to practice climbing, stamina and sprints while I cycle for distance on the weekends. The 15.5 mile bike
ride should not be too difficult. I checked the elevation mapping of the course and emailed it to a
few experienced friends who told me basically what I already knew: The two hills in the course are
both Category 4, the easiest. Cat 4 means the hills are typically less than 2km long and about 5%
grade, or up to 5km at a 2-3% grade.

Slowly, I've added in running. As we all know I am not a fan, I've decided, as long as I'm in great shape,
the running will just happen. Therefore, running once a week is as much as I am really going to do.
I am competing in this triathlon to complete a triathlon and have some fun doing it. I am not actually
"training" for a triathlon. I will work out and push myself just far enough to where I will still want to go
out and do it all over again the next day.

I recently started working on my transitions. A friend recommended hopping on the treadmill
 after a spin class to get used to the feeling of running after you've just pushed yourself to the max.
After a gruesome spin class two weeks ago, I hopped off the bike and ran to the treadmill. I noticed
my adrenalin was up and I easily able to run for 15 minutes. I didn't know if this was a fluke so I
decided to do it again. Yesterday, after my 22 mile ride to the George Washington Bridge, I hopped
on the treadmill and ran two miles. Again, it was very easy. Thank goodness!

Along with swimming two days a week, spinning one, cycling and running one, I've also started
working out with a personal kick boxing trainer who is also into plyometrics. After an hour and a half
with Vinny, Sara and I are crawling in exhaustion, sweatier than a spin class, and have slight issues
 walking (insert waddle).  But it seems to be working/helping.

All in all, by August 18th, I should be in pretty good shape. If not, then I have no idea what to do
because it seems like I am doing it all. Thankfully, my dear Mother will be flying in to support
my first triathlon. It will be great to know she and Oliver will be on the sidelines giving me
strength, motivation, and courage. I am blessed to have such great parents.

My Dad will also be flying in later that week to join us to celebrate. I am sure I will be exhausted
but we will have a nice relaxing week. Although, I am making one dinner reservation for their visit.
This one, a New York Times write up that is so popular, I have two reminders in my calendar,
one month in advance, to make a reservation.

As much as I would like to say my Mothers one and only reason for visiting is to support me
during my first triathlon, this is not true. The real reason behind my parents visit
will be revealed soon!

1 comment:

  1. So proud of you!!! Can't wait to talk to you when you're done!