Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hill Yeah!!

A week from today and I will be done with triathlon #1!  Which means it is time for another dedicated training post as not only is it one week from my first triathlon, but two weeks after that it will be triathlon #2 (and the "A" race), three weeks after that will be triathlon #3, and two weeks after that will be triathlon #4.  To recap, that will be 4 triathlons in 8 weeks.  Wow, this is going to be an interesting few months.  And on to the training.

The pool swim was status quo, except I was feeling slow, as though I was swimming through molasses.  I tried to shake off the feeling and power through.  It's such a mental game.  I started playing games with myself, trying to finish a length in less strokes as the one previous, which did help with slow feeling. 

I finally took advantage of the beautiful weather we've been having and rode my bike after work.  I knew it was time to start working on hills so it was off to what I consider my "hill" park.  Besides lots and lots of hills, this park has the added benefit of being part of the actual course for 2 of my triathlons.  The first three hills feel like one long ginormous hill.  My motto became shift down, shift down (said in a way as to exaggerate the daaoooown).  A short downhill and a flat and then it was my personal nemesis uphill.  It is long and windy and doesn't seem to end.  Last year I had to stop each time for a breather before finishing the hill.  Not this time!!  I started off and 20 revolutions later I shifted down, 20 revolutions later I convinced myself to go another 20 revolutions before shifting down.  This pattern continued until I was at the crest of the hill!  Woohoo!!  That's enough hills for today right?  I can turn around and go home now, can't I?  I did seriously consider it for a second (or 3) but kept going.  After all, I only had 2 more uphills and all these downhills to enjoy on the way back.  So I kept going.  Down the hill and across the bridge, and up the final hill before turning around where I paused for a picture (pausing for a picture is code for taking a break).  It was on the way back that I started feeling slow again.  On the second uphill, the slowness really kicked in.  I stood up and started pedaling.  I normally try not to stand up since someone once told me you get more power from pedaling sitting down.  But the burst of energy propelled me to top of the hill.  My reward?  Mostly downhill back to the car!!  Slow or not, I did manage to conquer some hills which was the goal. 

Today it was another brick.  Normally my long trail day is Sunday, but I switched it this week to run a 5K on Sunday and so it was interesting being there on a Saturday.  My observation was that there was a lot more recreational people, as opposed to serious people.  There were times where I was feeling quite slow on the bike, but then others when I was feeling really good.  Evidence that I was slow - lots of recreational people blowing by me.  Evidence that I wasn't - I finished right on time.  Again, I think it is a huge mental game and for whatever reason I was in a very slow frame of mind this week.  The run went well.  I went the opposite way than I normally do because it was much more shady in the opposite direction!

Add in hot yoga and kickboxing and you have my week.  So other than the feeling of slowness that infiltrated my training, it was a good week!  As per usual, the nerves are settling in and will remain for the duration.  This isn't my "A" race, and I know I'll finish, so what is there to worry about?  And since I haven't done this one before, it'll be fun trying out a new course!


Mandi said...

I can't believe you're competing in 4 triathlons in 8 weeks! How did *that* happen?? In any case, you sound like a rock star, and I'm looking forward to all the race reports!

Emily said...

Ha! I'm still not sure how it happened (although I'll post a theory later). Hopefully I can make it through all 4!