Last Sunday the triathlon group and I went to Guelph Lake for the last time before the big race. It’s nerve wrecking to think that the next Saturday is the race where we do the full distance of each event back to back.
We had an awesome practice session! We got into the water about 5 times to do drills and practice running up that dreaded hill to the transition area. My first couple of tries were a struggle because I couldn’t breathe…the wet suit was cutting my breathing. I ended up lowering the zipper and it was a teensy bit better, but not a whole lot. I was still really struggling because I kept getting out of breath and my body would tire really quickly. On our last swim out in the lake, the coaches were yelling out that I kicked way too much and not through my hips. Oi. Once I began to slow my legs down the swim got a lot easier and I felt amazing.
My coach approached me afterwards and told me that I was a great swimmer, but there are small things we need to tweak. She says that as soon as I spend more time with the group, I will be well on my way to becoming a great swimmer!
My lessons learned are:
1. Kick from the hip (I totally thought I always was, but I guess I never did)
2. Kick less and focus on staying calm.
Last Sunday was the second time (this year, fourth overall) that I went open water swimming. I have gotten a lot better with my swims, but open water is a different beast of its own. To recap my last triathlon club training experience: I was dead last only because I could not put my head in the water. I didn’t feel nervous heading out in the water, but as soon as our coach yelled, ‘GO!!!’, I froze and slowly got in. The part that freaked me out the most was my inability to see in murky water. Once I got my head up, I was fine, but I ended up treading the whole route. Myself and one other lady came out about the same time and since I was a little dizzy/tired, she managed to get onto her bike before I did. We did the bike route for 10km and came back to run for 2.5km. I felt pretty strong for the bike/run transition.
The following Sunday we did a shorter swim where I swam most of the way…still dead last, but I caught up in distance. The 50km/hr winds were a killer in the water and on the bike because there were a lot of choppy waves and strong head winds. I was really debating about practising, but I am so glad I did because I conquered it! We did the swim once and the bike and run twice to practise on transitions.
I feel a lot more confident in open water–I’m really calm in deep water and I hope to do better this time! Some things I would probably need to work on are sighting because I feel that is the biggest factor is slowing me down. I heard from our coach that we’re swimming close to shore and working on transitions and speed. I’m definitely looking forward to it :)
I’ve been reading a lot of Brendan Frazier’s books and after reading Thrive and Fitness last week I decided to give dates a try because he uses them quite often in his recipes.
Here are the nutritional data for a single date (from MyFItnessPal):
- Servings: 1 date, pitted 100 g
That’s a huge pack of carbs for a single date! I was pretty surprised and decided to give them a go for my early morning workouts. I found it great that it was a no brainer, just roll out of bed, pop about 4 dates and head out the door type of food. A lot of my runs and swims have really benefited from eating dates, I had no stomach problems, and I got the instant energy within minutes! Normally my energy levels significantly drop if I were to use regular gels, but this little piece of fruit has surpassed what any prepacked energy gel can do. One instance was when I did a 10km yesterday, my energy level felt increased midway through my run and I was ready to keep going! That never happens!
There are a lot of energy gels, sports drinks, etc in the Thrive and Fitness book. I’ll definitely give some of the energy gels a try. I also picked up a food processor to start making them ;)
What are some of your favourite energy foods?
WARNING ALERT: MY BORING POST
This past week was really difficult. My energy levels crashed completely for 3 days following the race. It was a complete surprise for me considering that all my races up to this point were completely normal. It definitely meant that my body was completely stressed throughout the duration of the race.
I forced myself to go to the gym on Wednesday night as much as my body pleaded not to go. I did a full body strength workout and it really helped! I was also super sore the next day so I guess it shows how much strength training I have been doing this time around *facepalm* I’ll definitely keep in mind that strength cannot be an after thought–it’s essential to training. I also did a swim on Thursday morning to get routine going again. I really missed the pool during taper week. I slept in on Friday by accident and I had plans to workout, but I was falling asleep by 6pm. I rode my bike on my trainer for about 2 hours while watching Archer yesterday. I was surprised that I only had a banana and lasted pretty much the entire workout. I was planning on going for a run this morning, but I strained my right calf during my sleep =/
Some of the tris that I was planning on racing early in the season will probably not be done…I am going to join a Triathlon Club here in town and get some guidance before I feel ready to race again. Currently I don’t feel ready…which sucks, but I was never in a rush to race :)
How has your week been?
I realized how poorly written my previous post was…sorry! I am very used to writing technical documents, so it comes off as very factual. It’ll take me a while to get back into my writing style.
After reflecting for the past few days on recent half-marathon I ran and some of the long term goals I have, I really need more help. I really feel like I have plateau’d and tumbling downhill with my training regardless of what I do. Although I have a lot of resources nutrition and running wise, I am still very lost. I gained 12lbs (I would like to think muscle, but I don’t know for sure), my times are starting to get really slow, and regardless of what I eat, it hasn’t helped me improve: I would feel like fainting, tired, too hungry, or come up with a lot of stomach issues, there has never been a happy place with my eating/training.
For my last Tanita measurement, I had about 22-26% body fat at about 142lbs. I am a girl all about efficiencies and carrying all this extra fat/unwanted fat is not helping me at all. I think my goal for the summer is to fix my nutrition and lean out. I’ll be measuring my progress by my athletic performance and how I feel rather than the number on the scale…it’s probably (mentally) healthier that way. I try not to own a scale for that reason.
Having said all that, I am currently scoping trainers/coaches to help me out. I am contacting people who are more runners/triathletes to get me started. Thinking about the cost is pushing me away, but establishing a base again that I can always fall back to would be worth it.
I’ll update this blog regarding my quest to achieving my goals–who knows, maybe I can do it this time with a little guidance and coaching!
What changes are you making to better suit your goals?
So, hello. I guess it goes to show that I am really bad at blogging (heh). I have a feeling because I’m generally a really private person and I bottle a lot of my emotions and nothing ends up here. I do feel bad because a lot of my posts are very dry in nature just giving facts and very little of how I feel about my training, eating, etc. I’m also not an expert either, so I feel really bad for posting advice/facts on my blog for people to follow when I was never educated in this field.
I will definitely try to personalize my posts more because resources are all over the internet and it makes no sense for me to repost everything here. I do admit that I am really scared about posting ‘me’ on the internet. For the most part I had a lot of issues in the past that I still can’t let go. If I were to do that ‘Draw my Life’ video on Youtube that everyone is doing, I think I would cry through most of it. I was bullied a lot, my parents didn’t know how to handle these situations other than to tell me to shrug it off (I guess I can’t really blame them since they lived much harder lives when they were young and my issues were probably just minuscule compared to theirs). I thought that being in university would be much better, but not so much. I made a friend in first year who eventually scarred me by the end and made me lose a lot of trust in everyone. I wasn’t very good at being assertive back then and looking back, I would’ve given this friend a piece of my mind if I had the proper mindset like I do today. I am not going to go into details because that’s just plain mean, but it still hurts me today. Since I haven’t seen her/him, my life has gotten a tiny bit better, I still have a ton of trust issues in expressing how I feel giving myself a robotic, lone wolf presence.
I’ve tried to be the lone wolf for a long time, but I need my pack. There are things I can’t do alone and it would be nice to trust in others again. It would be nice to have companions that I can rely on and not have them outcast me…for being me.
…I felt really awkward about writing this, but I feel a bit better :)
A while back I spoke to a trainer (who was in the business for 10 years) said it was best to build muscle during my off months and eventually ease up/do little strength training while I train cardio more. I gave it a shot and I going into month 2, I really don’t like the results I am seeing at all. I’ve put on some weight and I don’t feel any different cardio wise. I will be getting back into strength training because one of my goals was have an efficient body–meaning that I carry as little as possible.
I know that I still have a month left before the half marathon in May, but I am fairly optimistic that things will be good on race day. I am really excited because it kick starts my training season. Regardless if I get a PB or not, I am super pumped to get behind a start line again–it’s so much fun!
I am still on the search for my bike. I’ve been to some stores and currently they are waiting on 2013 models. A lot of them are selling $5000 bikes in my size! Soon…….I feel like I am searching for my better half.
Currently my dinner consists of: two eggs and a sticky rice wrapped in bamboo leaves otherwise known as Zongzi. I wasn’t planning on eating this, but there are many deadlines due this that I’ve been starting to stay at work late and very little time to cook.
Don’t let the title confuse you, I know how to cook, but not properly. My eating is still not super great, it’s not easy to think of making delicious food after coming home around dinner time. After browsing /r/askculinary, I decided to work on my cooking techniques, so I could whip up anything in a tight pinch without spending an hour sifting through recipes. I got a library card and went all Hermione on some suggested books. My goal is to eventually like to cook again, and to eat properly.
I really enjoy learning about techniques so far…it takes things and puts them at a scientific level so it’s easier to grasp!
My coworker will start teaching me new techniques to improve my swimming.
I’ve decided to take it a little easy this week. My body was struggling a lot last week to run, so it needs to chillax for a week and I can get back into it properly. I guess it works out since it’s crazy week.
I am usually not really good with updating my blog, but whatever. I really don’t want to post a paragraph for each thing that has happened to me. I rather just point it in point form:
- I did a physical at work to be fitted for a respirator. Found out that I have asthma and since I got my puffer, my runs have been so much easier. Hooray!
- I got a pair of Brooks Pure Flows…and I love them so much that I ordered another pair! I have a bestie who lives 15 mins from the border, so he is going to pick them up for me and mail them to me. Guess how much I got my pure flows for? $50.89. HOLY SHIT. I paid over $100 in Canada. No more buying shoes in Canada. I’m going to get them shipped to me :D
- I also picked up a pair of Feetures socks. Got a hole in them already =/ Damn you thick socks! You were supposed to be more resilient than that!
- My eating and training have been easier with MyFitnessPal and my puffer, so I am excited yay!
- I picked up a pair of hand paddles, but my shoulder got a bit hurty, so I should take it easy.
- My coworker was a competitive swimmer, so we were at the Swimplex and he taught me some new tricks to be more efficient at swimming. I’m trying them out, but my muscles fatigue so much faster.
- I sold my triathlon bike that was too big for me (yay!), so I’ll be looking at some new bikes soon
- I went to the Spring Bike show in Toronto and picked up the CycleOps Fluid 2 trainer. I wish I took some pictures. All the bikes were so pretty and calling out to me to take them home…
Those are pretty much my updates! I should definitely try to take more pictures, but I get kinda lazy. Maybe if I get a DSLR I’ll be in the mood for pretty pictures?
Hey everyone, it’s been a while. Lots have happened since I have last left and I am pretty thankful for it. It was a great adventure to experience once in a lifetime. I’m now working full time and I couldn’t be happier.