Saturday, October 8, 2011

All in a (Tri) Day's Work

I'd love to dive right in to my training day today but I have to mention my weigh-in on Friday first.  Down a full 3 pounds!  Can you believe that?  I was shocked.  Of course my neurotic mind went a bit off the deep end wondering if losing three pounds in one week means I'm burning muscle instead of fat.  My percentage of fat is staying somewhat steady, I think it was 41 or 41.5% this week.  I worried about this for about half of the day and then I realized I was being silly and let it go.  I lost three pounds this week and that's a good thing.

Yesterday (Friday) I went to Sports Basement to rent a wetsuit.  The salesman was fabulous and he picked out one that fit me well, though admittedly I have nothing to compare it to.  Getting it on was an experience.  The salesman had to help me adjust it to get it on all the way and I wondered how I would do this by myself! In any case, how do I look?  It's nowhere near as bad as I imagined, the wetsuit sort of acts like a body spanx.  While there I broke down and bought some "fat" tri shorts because I realized the night before that my only other option would be to wear a swimsuit and then change into my regular biking shorts. Dear me!  

So on to today.  I got up and packed my gear.  Unfortunately my bike had a flat and I was out of tubes.  Miguel, as usual, saved me.  He agreed to run to the bike store when they opened and fix my bike at the rec area.  He'd be done before we were even done with the swim.  Love him!  I was driving to the park and got hit with a bout of nerves.  Why am I doing this? What makes me think I can do this?  The combination of anxiety and self doubt was powerful and I actually started to tear up a little bit. I told myself I was being melodramatic and to Snap out of it!  - that pretty much worked.

I arrived at the meeting spot and checked in.  I shared how nervous I was and got support, empathy and great advice.  It was also good to chat with some other women who were dealing with their own struggles in relation to the swim, kept me in perspective.  It was time to suit up.  I had never done this by myself.  I put the body glide on my ankles, wrists and neck (I had to add more to my neck after I got it on and realized I was already chafing - moral of the story, you can't use too much body glide) and went to work.  It actually wasn't too bad.  I got it on without too much effort, though I needed help to zip it (too bad you can't "suck in" your back fat).  We got briefed on things like currents, tide, sighting, exit strategies, etc.  There was a plan for people doing the sprint and a longer version for those doing the olympic distance.  First, a quick group photo and then everyone in the water!  How cool do we look?  That's me on the far left. I'm wearing a "thermal" under my swim cap, one of the trimorefitness team loaned it to me.  I didn't even know such things existed.

I got in the water and was pleasantly surprised.  It was quite tolerable.  I think I had heard from so many people how freezing cold it would be that I was expecting something on the order of just melted glacier water.  This was definitely cold, my feet and hands were freezing at first, but once we got moving I was fine.  I swam and swam and swam.  I got a bit off course now and then (and found out later I wasn't sighting nearly enough) but in general there were no moments of panic.  I started to think I might be the last person in the water when a kayak support person was hovering.  I was, but honestly I didn't care.  I just swam nearly 2/3 of a mile, in a wetsuit, in the bay, for the first time and I couldn't be more pleased.  Wait, nearly 2/3 of a mile?  I swam too far.  What happened was, I got so focused on the buoys and swimming around them that I forgot to make a left and swim ashore early.  Oh well, I survived and the longer swim was a confidence booster, I know I can last 30 minutes in the water if I need to.  A review with the trimore team and we were off to change for the bike.  Miguel had fixed my tire and was still at the park with the kids.  When it was time for me to leave Marek had a MAJOR meltdown, "I want to ride bike with mommmmyyyy!"  Screaming and having a fit.  Sorry little guy.  I'll have to take him for a little ride tomorrow.

Coach Neil said we'd be on our bikes for about 90 minutes and for some reason that was a surprise.  90 minutes sounded like an awfully long time given my previous max (since having kids) was probably 20 at any one time.  I was the slowest but got wonderful company from a member of the training team and I just felt so glad I did this - and grateful for the opportunity - that being slow didn't bother me.  A far cry from my near breakdown in the car on the way in this morning.  We rode the bike course, starting with the big ass hill just to get out of the park, and I made some rookie mistakes, like shifting too late on some hills, but all in all I did what I was told and felt good about it.  The last time I rode this course was in 2008 when I was training for the Marin Tri back then.  I had just found out I was pregnant and still believed I could do the oly distance 5 months pregnant.  That was over 3 years ago!

We wrapped up the biking just when I was going to throw in the towel and head back to the park.  Good timing.  All the coach asked us to do was run for 10-15 minutes just to practice getting off the bike and running.  I did that but my pace was glacial, my legs just felt so heavy.  That didn't stop me from ending the day feeling triumphant.  My confidence for the sprint is way up and, barring any disasters, I know I'll finish.  A big thank you to the trimore team and all the women that shared their stories and lended support.  I love nice people!  And especially nice people with cameras - thank you Mitchell Marriott for taking all these awesome pictures and sending them to me so fast!

When I finally got home and took a shower I noticed I had what felt like a burn on my neck about the size of a 50 cent piece.  I guess I needed more body glide but I was thankful it was only in one little spot.  The kids were napping so I got to relax for a short while before going into evening/dinner mode.  I was tired and felt bad I didn't have more energy for them.  I'm going to get a good night sleep tonight though and give 'em all I got tomorrow!


  1. How great, Michelle! You little over-achiever, you, swimming farther than needed. Guess the swim won't be a problem now ; ) When's the tri?

  2. Oh wow, that is just so awesome to be able to have a training day like that, such a confidence builder (esp since you went over-distance). Oh yeah, that neck burn from the wetsuit can be unpleasant when you step in the shower and first find out about it! Chamois butter is great for that, the other place is under the arms...which you often don't find out about til the run when your arms brush past your body.... :) Congrats on losing 3 lbs, maybe the body is catching up with the consistent exercise?? Whatever, take it and go forth!!

  3. Awesome job on your workout! Confidence is so very important!


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