Sunday, June 8, 2008

Week 1 done, take a breath

Wow, this training stuff is hard. Heh, I guess I'd forgotten what working out 6 days per week is like. On the one hand I feel like I'm not doing anything ("only 10 miles on the bike??" "only a 3 mile run?") and on the other hand I'm pooped. I don't know if it's just so many days in a row or maybe it's the cross-training. Although I've heard rumors that cross-training is supposed to make you feel better, not worse.

To recap, week 1 consisted of running a half marathon on Saturday (well, that was really my own decision, not part of any training plan); swimming and cycling on Sunday, running with Pam on Monday (again, my own decision on what should have been an off day), swimming in a pool on Tuesday, circuit drills at the track on Wednesday, swimming in the pool again on Thursday, and collapsing on Friday. Oh wait, that was my decision too; it was an optional day off and I grabbed it with open arms. A girl's got to do laundry some day!

Saturday was another swim/cycle day, complete with clinics. This week we were at College Park High in Pleasant Hill. Less pool than at Campolindo so it was more crowded. I jumped into the pool with the intermediate swimmers and I think it was a good choice, but the lane had 5 people in it so there were lots of pauses to space ourselves out. The advanced swimmers are just too fast and although I have the stamina to keep swimming without all the pauses, I'd have to keep pausing anyways to let them pass. We all swam the same total time and I don't think anyone made it through all the sets of drills.

I was told I keep lifting my head when I breathe and I think I sounded defensive when I replied that I do that because (1) I've never tried breathing on the right side before and I'm learning, and (2) I noticed I don't swim straight and I'm doing that partially to sight. I really wasn't trying to be a smart ass to the coach, I'm very appreciative of critique and criticism. Otherwise I might as well just train alone, right? Sigh. I think I'm getting that pain in the ass reputation I was trying so hard to avoid. He told me to work on form and worry about sighting later. Okey dokey. I liked it better before we had to put our names on our caps so they'd know who we were.

Speaking of failing in my plan to fly under the radar, it's not easy being invisible when you have to stand up in front of the entire group with a silly hat on your head. Before the swim they announced the person who had raised the most money so far. Claudia tried to tell me it would be me, but she was wrong. Whew. But that was "whew" too fast; he wasn't there and I was the second highest fundraiser thus far. So I got to stand up wearing the purple pirate hat. I know that this all promotes team spirit, as does the spirit cape, yada yada, but I really detest having to get up in front of everyone. I didn't like it when I was a mentor and I don't like it now that I'm a plain old peep. I mean participant. Then I made the supreme mistake of scurrying out to get my bike and legitimately forgetting the hat at the pool. Ooopsie. Got a couple of dirty looks for that. Hey, I'm just trying to do the training, do the fundraising, meet some people, do a tri. Let someone else be the problem child.

The bike ride didn't go badly at all. I stuck with the Olympic group on that one; scheduled for an hour ride. By then it was warm, sunny, and my quads were feeling like melted jello. I was surprised how little oomph they seemed to have. I tried to hang with the front group and made it almost a mile with them. But only because they had to keep stopping at red lights. We're big on following traffic laws in this group, but that means you can't blow through a stop sign even if you can see the way is clear. Even if said stop sign is at the middle of a big freakin' hill, and you know you'll have to continue climbing from a dead stop.

The route was somewhat easier this week. It was just as hilly but rollier; there'd be a big uphill, followed by a big downhill, rinse and repeat. I'm getting to know my granny gear very well. Those 5 mph uphills were followed by 25 mph downhills. I was happy to get to 31 minutes and turn back. Whereupon I tried my utmost not to get lost. This time I made it back since I was able to follow someone, but within the next 3 months I know I'll get irretrievably lost. Either there aren't street signs, or I can't read the street signs, or I'll turn the wrong way. That'll be me, the lost person who doesn't sign out and has to be the little teapot.

We met this morning at Heather Farm in Walnut Creek for a lope along the Contra Costa Canal Trail. Unfortunately we didn't meet until 8:30 and didn't get started until even later. You know how I've been whining about how cold it's been? Buh bye coolness, hullo sunny heat. I think it was only in the low 70's, but the sun was just pouring down. The groups were running by time and I picked 40 minutes; less than the longest group would be out there, but long enough so I'd feel I actually ran a bit. Nobody is running my pace so I ran alone. Probably anyone running my speed is just a beginner and not out as long as I am.

So I'm wondering when the fun starts? We're at such small mileage that I don't feel I'm really doing anything, but we're doing so much of it that I'm tired. I'm frustrated with my lack of conditioning but not experienced enough to do anything about it. I want to schedule a half or two this summer but I don't know how I'll manage to get in 6 mile runs, let along a 10 miler. I feel like I'm swimming wrong, cycling wrong, and if anyone actually saw me they'd say I'm running wrong. After running a gazillion races I was feeling like a pro (fine, a very slow pro) and now I feel like the rawest beginner. I had come to terms with my lack of running speed but confirming that I swim and cycle just as slowly as I run is hard to take.

And then I feel I should just stop whining about it all and suck and up and embrace my ineptitude and inexperience and just get over it. Yeah, the inside of my head is real lively these days.

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