A Slow Fall Into Soft Dirt

First, I’m going to take a moment to truly appreciate my partner, Julianne. She has been unendingly supportive of this journey in every possible way, many of which were drawn into sharp relief when she took an extended trip to vist her best friend out of state.

I’m well aware of what she deals with generally, and on a daily basis – filling our home with enough gear to make it look like a survivalist lives here, creating a truly shocking amount of laundry, requesting early morning help with getting sunscreen on my back, and being just, generally surly a lot of the time.

Then there are our dogs – Bu (named by the people Julianne rescued him from) and ChadShannel Royale (named by us after rescuing him, he is named after three of our favorite drag queens)

Baby Bu!
He’s actually happy in this picture, Bu has RSF (Resting Sad Face)
ChadShannel Royale
He is my grumpy little man

Julianne takes care of feeding them, and holding them so they don’t bum rush the door when I’m trying to get my bike out. And, critically, normally during 4th of July season (which, for our former and current neighbors means setting off fireworks from about 2pm – 2am every day starting the week before and ending sometime in August) she comforts them and keeps them from stroking out at all the loud noise. With her gone, I ended up missing a bunch of swims because I needed to be home with them. Not ideal, but not as bad as missing bikes and runs. I am delighted that she and her Bestie got time together, and suffice it to say that while I would be thrilled to have her home regardless, I am also eternally grateful for everything she does to support me in this ridiculousness.

Let’s catch up on workouts:

Tuesday

Long Bike

I had a great long bike ride last Tuesday. It was cloudy for most of the ride and cool outside which was lovely. There was enough wind to be a challenge but not so much that I was cursing my life. The new trail I found was working great, and I found little games that I could play with myself to both help keep my cadence up and keep me from getting bored which is a huge help to my mental game. I get bored so easily and then my attitude (which, let’s face can be marginal on a good day) goes to total shit.

I have changed fuel which has also helped. And when I say that I’ve changed fuel, I mean that my IRONMAN race has changed from Clif Bars to BASE bars (I wonder if it’s because of all caps solidarity?) While there are certainly people who load up their bike with their fuel of choice (sometimes looking like they are pedaling out to set up an aid station at an ultramarathon) it’s about a million times easier to just use the course support (so that if you drop your bag or whatever you’re not stuck without nutrition/trying something new on race day which is one of the biggest no-no’s in triathlon.

Anywho, I got a variety pack of BASE bars and they have been a lot better for me. Clif bars are not a great fuel for me – they seem to work great for a lot of people but for me they are dense and tough to digest. Also, I don’t love most of the flavors. The BASE bars are easier to digest and the flavors I’ve tried so far has been good (though I’ve not yet summoned the courage to try Cranberry Lime) but they are also less calorie and carb dense so I have to eat more. They are also more melty, which I learned the hard way.

To preface this, there are people who can make a sandwich, mix a fresh berry protein shake, and groom a matted Pomeranian all while keeping their cadence at 90rpms. I am not one of these people (if there is some aspect at triathlon at which I particularly excel, I have yet to find it.) I can do basic things with my hand(s) of the bars – get a drink of water, reach into my back pocket for stuff, shake out my hands and arms etc. My bike frame isn’t really set up to hold bottles so I hydrate using a backpack. I keep my bars – which I cut precisely so that I can control the amount of nutrition I’m getting – in the front pocket on the strap of that back pack. In order to get to the food I unzip the pocket, pull out the number fo pieces I need and then rezip it.

As I reached in I found that my precisely cut bar pieces had melted together. Now instead of a precise amount of calories and carbs, I was just getting whatever I could grab in between my thumb and index finger. Sigh.

Finally the ride was over and it was time to go back to my car. The exit from the trail to the parking lot is a 90 degree turn and then immediately through a narrow gate, made narrower by a pole in the middle, then up right up a little hill. This isn’t remotely a big deal, except at the very end of the ride I was going downhill with the wind at my back so I had the bike in a pretty hard gear, pedaling hard (like I could significantly change the average speed of an hours-long ride in the last 10 minutes – ever the optimist.)

As I went through the gate a group of skateboarders went through the other side so I got nervous and I stopped pedaling, hit the brakes, and slowed almost to a standstill. As I started up the hill I went to pedal and realized that I wasn’t going to be able to do it in this gear. I could have just dropped the seat and put my feet on the ground but in my panic I thought that since I was on a hill I could just tip the bike sideways and catch myself with my foot. Friends, I was incorrect. What followed was a slow motion fall from an almost standstill into soft dirt (which assured that, while I wasn’t injured in any way, I was covered in dirt as I walked to my car.) Honestly, this is 100% “on brand” for my triathlon experience. I’m thinking maybe I should have named this blog DisasterTriathlete!

The skateboarders had come back and asked me if I was ok. I told them that I was fine and the scars were all emotional. One of them (they were probably 14-16 years old) said “I totally feel you!” and told me about how he had wiped out earlier in the day and “a bunch of moms ran up to check on me, it was mad embarrassing!” They were really sweet. I got back to my car without further incident other than the slightly concerned stares of little league parents.

Wednesday

Run/Walk Intervals

These are still very frustrating because I’m limited by the issues with my calf so I feel like I’m not getting done what I need to get done, so I’m just trying to go hard whenever I can.

Thursday

Bike Trainer Intervals

The dogs don’t love me doing this in general but they like it WAY less when Julianne isn’t there to snuggle them while it’s happening.

Friday

Day off workouts!

Saturday

Bike – Tempo Intervals Outside

Got some good work in (the new trail is much better for this workout!) and didn’t fall down so bonus points for me!

Sunday

Long walk/run

Not terrible, not great. We’re trying some new stuff to try to deal with the cramping and pain including a longer warmup and changing some intervals to fast walk instead of run. It made a bit of a difference but it was still absolutely a slog.

Monday

Run/Walk Intervals

Absolutely terrible, started cramping almost immediately and never stopped I think doing back to back walk/runs exacerbated the issue.

Tuesday

Long bike ride. It was (felt?) windier than my last long ride but I was able to keep a good cadence and push through.

Wednesday

Run/Walk Intervals

These went better. Less cramping and pain, more hard work. Yay.

Thursday

Bike Trainer Intervals

I got a late start (which is to say that I slept in late) and so just as my poor dogs were done being upset about this, the neighborhood fireworks started.

Friday

Day off workouts

Saturday

Long run – I felt like I finally got some decent work in. The new strategy seems to be working.

What’s next…

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Five Months To Go

I’ve got about five months until IRONMAN Arizona on November 24th. I thought this might be a good time to take stock of things.

The short answer is, I still can’t go far enough fast enough to make the time cutoffs. I’m going to have to throw everything I have at it for these next five months, and the reality is that it still might not be enough.

I’ve said since the beginning that I like to pick goals that are big enough that I know I could fail at them. And that’s absolutely true. And this isn’t the first time I’ve had to be patient to achieve a big goal. In fifth grade when I first picked up a clarinet, my teacher asked me my goals and I said “to play Carnegie Hall.” He was surprised, as most kids were like “I want to play Jingle Bell Rock in the holiday concert!” but supportive. It became a more unlikely dream as I was forced to leave that school to go to a much shittier school with a much shittier music department (my high school band director – absolutely no shout out to you dude – used to “conduct” us by hitting a drum stick on a music stand, and do nothing but try to discourage me.) But I practiced my ass off (sorry to my family who lived through all that) and got a scholarship to go to school for music. In 1998, I walked on to the stage at Carnegie Hall as part of the University of Texas Wind Ensemble and made my dream come true (and I sent my high school band director a postcard not thanking him for not helping me get there. Turns out I can be a petty bitch.)

Did that shit!

So I like goals I can fail at, but of course I want to succeed. I’m now in the fifth year of what was supposed to be a 2 year plan to finish this. It’s been a long and difficult journey.

As I was running I was meditating on the differences between the two goals and I think they are that I enjoyed the clarinet and, despite the fact that I wasn’t necessarily immediately gifted (it took me two weeks to make a sound on it that wasn’t just a squeak) after working hard I got very good at it. When I competed, I almost always did well – close to first if not first place. With triathlon and running, I’m consistently last, except that time I didn’t finish at all. And that’s all kind of by design (except the not-finishing, that was not part of the plan) I chose to do this to push out of my comfort zone and participate in sports that I’m not good at. But I would be lying if I said that I expected it to be this hard. I’ve worked as hard at this, but I haven’t improved like I hoped.

So the goal isn’t completely out of reach, I just have to reach really, really far. Here’s to pushing as hard as I can for five months to try to make good on five years worth of work.

Yikes, it’s been a while since I posted workouts. Here they are:

Monday (6/17/19)

Run/Walk Intervals

Woke up feeling 90% better after last week’s stomach bug incident. Got myself dressed and headed out for my run. Whatever deities control the weather smiled upon me and it was cloudy and cool with enough of a cross breeze to be cool, but not so much that I feel like I’m fighting it the whole time. Perfect weather, imperfect run. The issue with my peroneals (which may be a muscle issues, or tendinitis) is back and I never know whether it’s better to just move through the pain and tightness (which forces me to be slower) or to stop and stretch (which allows me to run/walk faster.) I took a blended approach, moving through the pain for several intervals, then stopping to stretch when it forced me to go so slowly that I didn’t feel any benefit.

Tuesday

Bike Intervals on the Trainer

I went hard on this workout and kicked my own ass. Yay!

Swim – Interval Speedwork

A lot of times these interval swims go by really fast – counting laps and timing rest and getting in the correct training zone and it’s over before I know it. This was not one of those. At one point during a 200M (4 lap) interval I checked the watch to see if I had completed 2 or 3 laps. I had completed one. One lap. I lost count at one because it seemed so interminable that I just couldn’t believe it had only been one lap.

Also, my lane sharing buddy was back. This is a person who has several times arrived when I’m about half-way through my swim. Even if the other lanes are being used by much smaller people (giving this person more room to swim) they always ask to share with me. I always agree because I’m not an asshole. The issue is that they have a …unique swim style which involves lying on their back frog-kicking with their legs, and sticking their arms straight out and then windmilling them in huge circles over their head and then through the water. They are tall with long arms and legs, and this method is not particularly speedy. There’s nothing wrong with any of that except that we are sharing a lane and I lap them repeatedly, creating even more opportunities for them to hit and kick me. I like to think of it as practice for the Open Water Swim.

Wednesday

Run – Speedwork

Equal hard/easy intervals. I tried a new location, it’s about a half mile from my house (which is just about perfect for my warm-up) and it’s all downhill, which means that when the run is done I have the extra work of going uphill to get home. I got down there and started my intervals and then…my stomach started to be upset. There is a restaurant near where I was training, but it wasn’t open. I was going to have to go home. Those hills that I had planned as bonus miles were now the enemy. I’ll save you the details and just say that I made it home just in time, then headed back out and finished my run.

Thursday

Day off. Not my normal day off but friend of mine had to go to the emergency room and he asked me to go with him to be his medical advocate. I didn’t get home until 6am on Thursday and I was in no shape to go on a long bike ride so we shifted my day off from Friday to Thursday.

Friday

Long Bike

or not

Went out for my long bike and got a flat tire. No problem, I carry everything I need to change a flat and I could use the practice. Except the tool I have with multiple allen wrenches isn’t long enough to give me enough torque to get the back wheel off today. Got some extra walking in getting back to the car. Am not the proud owner of an extra long 6mm allen wrench for my flat fix kit.

Swim

This went really well, but I think it was just because I was fresh from not having done the full bike, so…bittersweet.

Saturday

Long Run

Rough run, had pain and cramping in my calf almost the whole time, plus it’s getting hotter and the beach was extra full of people doing nonsense things that are extra irritating when you’re hot, in pain, and not at the beach for fun.

Sunday

Bike Intervals

This remains my favorite workout, and the new trail I found is working great and was, to my great delight, not too crowded.

Open Water Swim

Tried the new beach near me. It has buoys but, unlike the place where I normally swim the buoys don’t mark distance, and my Garmin is total crap at OWS so I swam…some distance.

Monday

Run/walk intervals

Tried a new place but it ended up being super crowded. Though I ended my run where they keep the big fancy yachts, so that was interested. Mostly took this workout selfie so I could ask if anyone knows what all that stuff on top of the boat is? Also, I’m a visor person now, so there’s that.

What’s next…

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The Streak Is Broken

I got a stomach bug this week and ended up having to miss some swims and a bike and modify several other workouts. Since I felt the absolute worst when I woke up, a part of the modification was to wait until later in the day when I felt better. And just like that my “wake up, work out” streak was broken at 22 days. I’m pretty bummed about it but I’m finally feeling better and I don’t really have time to mope so I’m just ready to get right back to it tomorrow morning. (Literally ready – my clothes are laid out and my PB&J is on the nightstand.)

Being sick did my sleep schedule no favors, so this week I’m also going to work on walking back the time when I got to sleep to hopefully both be working out when it’s cooler (my current schedule has me out at literally the hottest time of the day,) and get used to waking up earlier.

Wish me luck!

I feel like crap, but at least the view is nice!

What’s next…

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I Miss Running At Night

Saturday

Long Run/Walk

Down to the beach for another long run. It’s still weird to be there in the daylight when it’s super crowded, and I miss working out late at night. Not just because there’s no sun (though that’s not a small thing) but because I’ve run and biked hundreds of miles on that path where I was the only person around, and hundreds more where there were less than a handful of us. At night it feels like my beach, and it has my literal blood, sweat, and tears to prove it.

During the day the beach belongs to the people who are there to have fun – children on skateboard, rented bikes and scooters who are completely unpredictable. And adults on skateboards, rented bikes and scooters who are… completely unpredictable. Groups of friends who rented a 6-person surrey bicycle and are screaming “PLEASE GET OUT OF THE WAY, WE CAN’T STEER THIS THING BUT WE’RE TRYING TO MAKE MAGICAL MEMORIES!” (true story from today.)

Watching people have fun can be a bit rough since I am decidedly not having fun. I can find myself feeling a little bitter as someone in a sundress and flip flops breezes by on a beach cruiser with an enviably comfortable seat. Plus people leave those rentable scooters everywhere (PSA: don’t do that.) which means that I’m constantly reminded that I could be out of my misery and back to my car with just a flick of my phone.

So I reminded myself that this is what I WANT to be doing (or, at the very least it’s what I signed up for.) Then I dodged a kid who has veered his bike onto the pedestrian path and then stopped with no warning, and ran past the scooters that would take me back to my car in relative comfort, and completed my run for the week.

It wasn’t as good as last week’s run and I was hit with a wave of doubt that I’ll never be able to do this within the time limits, frustrated that the work I put into running doesn’t seem to result in the improvement that it seems fair to expect. But I’ve heard from plenty of IRONMAN finishers that doubt happens to everyone, and so I know that it’s normal and I don’t let it get me down. Soon enough I’ll have another opportunity to get better at this.

Open Water Swim

This was a lovely workout. The water was cold but not freezing, I wanted to practice without the wetsuit, but this swim was twice as long as the last one and I didn’t want to have to stop because of cold, so I went with tri shorts and a thermal rashguard and traded a little warmth for the extra work of swimming in the heavy shirt.

After the run in the sun earlier it was nice to get in the cold water, plus Julianne came with me and a great friend of ours met us there. They hung out in the water while I completed my swim (and having them cheer wildly at the beginning and end of my swim was just extra awesomeness!) Then we all hung out and talked while relaxing in the ocean. The swim went pretty well – the water was a bit choppy and when I would turn my head forward to sight (as opposed to sideways to breathe) the chop would hit me in the face and I’d have the opportunity to drink some seawater.

Sunday

Woke up feeling really sick to my stomach. Not sure if it’s all the ocean water I drank yesterday or something else. I decided to do my interval ride on the trainer rather than outside in case things went from bad to worse. I didn’t feel great, but I was able to complete my ride, finishing up a rocky week by taking my wake up work out streak to 21 days.

Monday

Walk/run intervals

Shorter runs, longer walks, more intervals than last week, faster than last week. That’s sort of the story of this journey – a ceaseless push to do more, faster than you did last time. In dance, you have the dances, the time for each dance, and the choreography. So you’re always trying to get better within those constraints. But for this journey, almost every workout is about trying to go farther and faster than the last one for what is actually about five and a half months (until my IM) but currently feels like forever.

This run was ok, but not great. My sleep schedule is pretty messed up which means I was running later in the day, and it’s getting hotter which is…unpleasant. But getting used to working out in heat is an important thing to do, so chalk one up for building heat tolerance.

In good news, I finally got some new sun protection shirts, and they are not coral (salmon?) colored. I have skin that burns super easily and little t-rex arms, so if Julianne isn’t available (or awake) I can’t really be relied on to accomplish good sunscreen coverage (ask me about the time I had to sleep on my stomach for a week because I missed a spot befoe a 10 mile run/walk.) So I found sun protection shirts.

If you don’t often buy athletic gear for a fat body you may not know that often you have to take whatever they have in your size. When I bought my shirts the color they had was coral (salmon?) So I have three of them in that shade. Now I can finally rock out in pink!

What’s Next…

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The Everything Went Wrong Swim

Tuesday

Long Bike Ride

I tried a different trail that has access to bathrooms. These rides are getting long and squat-peeing by the side of a trail that is fully visible to people in several directions does not sound like fun to me. This ride was hard and it didn’t go as well as I’d hoped, but it went!

Swim – Speed work

Semi-short intervals with very short rests in between. Still on the workout struggle bus for some reason today, still pushing through.

Wednesday

Run – equal run/walk intervals

This workout starts with track drills: High Knees, Speed Skip, Sky Skip,
Bounding, Broad Jumps, High Knee Carry Over, Carry Overs, Side Shuffles, Lunges, Backward Lunges, Sumo Squats, Walking Squat. Then speed work, these are sprint intervals. I use to landmarks to mark the distance, run as fast as I can from one to the other, walk back, repeat 30 times while people on the trail look at me funny.

Thursday

Bike Trainer

Speed work, tons of intervals. Making sure that I’m keeping up with the interval times (I’m currently at 34:45, this interval is one minute, 45 seconds, figure out when it will end while also…) remember to hit the “lap” button on the watch at the right times so my coach doesn’t yell at me, shifting around to the correct gears, and making sure I hit my cadence goals keeps my mind busy (unlike long bike rides wherein I just end up singing the same song repeatedly in my head) so this always goes by really fast (plus I was watching American Ninja Warrior which always helps!)

The Everything Went Wrong Swim

Today went…awry. I woke up and did my bike workout, no problem. On days with two workouts I’m currently supposed to separate them by at least 6 hours. So we were going to head to Orange County to hang out with with a dear friend. I figured we’d be back by 7 or 8pm which would let me get to the pool by 9pm, then come home and finish a writing project that had a deadline of 8am Friday morning and go to bed at a reasonable time. Not quite how it happened:

11:03pm – we get home from our visit. (Totally worth it, we haven’t seen this friend in a long time and it was wonderful to catch up!) I was super tired and I knew that if I sat down I might talk myself out of the workout so I came in, got my shit together and headed right back out. ETA at the gym 11:42pm

11:42pm – hopelessly lost in construction and, like my mom used to say when we asked to get ice cream, GoogleMaps is essentially telling me “you can’t get there from here.”

12:05 – I find my way back home, wave at it as I go by to take a different route to the gym

12:33 – Finally arrive at the gym

12:39am – in the water to start my swim. It’s a relatively short swim, but mostly in zone 3/4 (translation: take this opportunity to kick your own ass) I don’t mind telling you, I pulled myself together, focused and killed it. Then I got in the hot tub to get my day off started. Met a super nice woman and her friend who had just gotten off their jobs cooking for a Thai restaurant. They are in their 50’s and neither ever learned to swim, so they are going to start swim lessons on Saturday, which I thought was pretty damn cool.

2:28am – arrive home

6:04am – file my writing project (Hey kids – stay in school and don’t procrastinate!) and go to bed proud of myself

Friday

Day off workouts. I’m still proud of myself for getting everything done yesterday, but this has screwed up my sleep schedule a bit so I’m going to have it walk it back to a more normal schedule. Besides which, it’s not really a day off since I use it to catch up laundry, do yard work, cook for the week and, currently, unpack. When it comes to unpacking I’m at what I would call “Mile 20” because it reminds me of mile 20 of a marathon – you’ve been at it FOREVER, it’s not fun any more, it seems like you’re almost done but you actually have a way to go!

What’s next…

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A Really Bad, No Good, Seriously Terrible Run

Sunday

Bike Speedwork

This ride is a long warm-up, a series of very long intervals with rests in between, and then a cool down. Honestly, it’s my favorite of the three weekly bike workouts. It’s outside which is awesome because the trainer is uncomfortable and working that hard just to go literally nowhere blows. And the long bike is just…the long bike. It’s a constant effort for a looooooong time with nothing to break it up and halfway through I’m like “I’m going to grow old and die on this ride.” This ride is hard work, but the intervals make it go by faster.

I’m feeling extra good because my wake up work out streak is at 14 days!

Monday

Run – Intervals

This is always run/walk intervals. This week the runs intervals got longer and the walks intervals got shorter. No problem, I got this.

I did not have this. This run went absolutely horribly. Everything hurt, but I’m used to running in pain. The real problem was that I felt like I was trying to run in one direction while a particularly strong, heavy, obstinate Mastiff was trying to pull me in the other. I was winning the fight, but not by much. I was telling my body to go faster and my body was responding “fuck you lady.” I was also trying out the kind of long-sleeve sun protection shirt that I wear on the bike for the run. It was uncomfortable/chaffing and made me too hot which just piled on to the ugh.

This was just a bad run. It happens. In order to talk myself out of quitting I decided to think about what I could accomplish since speed was, apparently, not it. I decided on three things:

Form:
I might be slow, but I could work to be slow with perfect form.

Suffering:
This is certainly not the first or last time that I will be miserable, in pain, and going more slowly than I’d like. That’s basically the bumper sticker for my IRONMAN journey, so it’s good to practice that. And practice I did.

Not quitting:
To quote Aaron Sorkin who was (mis)quoting A Lion in Winter through Toby and President Bartlett:
‘You fool! As if it matters how a man falls down.’
‘When the fall’s all that’s left, it matters a great deal.”

In terms of the goals of this run, I was failing mightily. The only success was to keep failing until it was over.

Not the face of a happy camper, but the face of someone who finished her workout

You can connect with me on Social Media:

Instagram: @RagenChastain

Twitter: @DancesWithFat

Facebook: @RagenChastain

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Me and the Queen Mary, Back Together Again

Before we get into the workouts, check out my lastest for espnW,  a love story to Back of the Pack runners!

http://www.espn.com/espnw/life-style/article/26847462/slow-celebrated-four-letter-word-back-pack-runners

Thursday

Long Bike

Y’all, this ride was hard. It was only a couple of degrees warmer than my last ride, but the clouds and the rain spoiled me! Today the sun was all the way out.  I decided to start the ride against the wind so that I would do most of the ride against the wind. Then I turned around and I was…still against the wind. Crosswinds.

So let’s take a moment to talk about wind. Basically, a cyclist is just a big block of wind resistance on top of a bicycle. We do many things to try to reduce the effects of wind, from doofy looking helmets to trying to get into “aero” position (also sometimes called “full tuck” this often involves special bars on the front of the bike.) But the wind can seriously affect your speed.

There are two good things about a headwind (wind blowing at you.) The first is that it can have a bit of a cooling effect, the second is that when you turn around it becomes a tailwind and can help you out. Then there are the times that it feels like you’re in a headwind but when you turnaround, it still feels like a headwind. Then you say all the swear words. That’s a crosswind. It blows perpendicular to the path that you are traveling, and it doesn’t help you at all, it just makes everything harder like, all the time. That was my ride today. Crosswinds are assholes.

Along my ride there are small hills created when the trail dips under bridges, they aren’t long but they can be quite steep,  One of the longest and steepest came at the end of the ride when I was cooked. I also didn’t get the benefits of the downhill because I had to stop to avoid hitting a bunch of debris just before I started up the other side.

As I started to chug up the hill it felt very distinctly like I might roll backwards. So I repurposed one of my marathon mantras. When things got really bad and I wanted to quit in the marathons I would tell myself some version of “I will either pass out, or cross the finish line, but those are the only two ways that this ends.” So I changed that to, “I will either get over this hill, or tip over, but those are the only two ways that this ends.” I got over! After the disaster in my last tri when I had to walk my bike up a hill I’m trying to get my hill confidence back.

Swim

After my bike I ate and spent some time unpacking. All I wanted to do was go to sleep, but what I had to do was go to swim. This was two mid-distance swims, separated by a short rest. It went by mercifully quickly though, once again, I was reminded that I had used my arms and pecs probably more than I should have on the bike.

Friday

Glorious day off!

Saturday

Long Run

In order to do this on a flat course, I returned to the beach trail where I have done so much of my training. It was weird to be back there and extra weird to be there during the day. I’m used to pretty much having the place to myself, so having people and dogs everywhere (especially when I can’t stop to pet them) was very odd.

 

I missed the Queen Mary and she missed me!

This run consists of a warm-up and then run/walk intervals with the walks getting shorter at the end. Unfortunately, I read my workout notes wrong and so I did the last mile using what he had said would be my final goal for the walk, rather than what I was supposed to do today.  Oops. Even though it meant that the walk intervals were half as long as they were supposed to be, it went fine. So now I imagine he’ll want me just to jump to that next week. That’s what I get for (completely accidentally) overachieving!

In a fun moment, I heard some yelling behind me and turned to see a (hmmm, what’s the group noun for lifeguards? A Buchannon of Lifeguards?) a shit ton of lifeguards (or more likely lifeguard trainees I think?) running at me. I got out of the way. The first group flew by, then came a middle-of-the-pack group, a bit slower but moving strong. Then came my people, the people at the back. Struggling. One dude said “that’s it, I’m done” and his buddies immediately started to encourage him. I yelled “Go get it, you’re almost there!” and he smiled and said thanks as he pushed forward. I fell in line behind them and watched with Back of the Pack Pride as they all finished the run before I turned around the finish my own run.

In extra good news, this run was a decent speed bump over what I’ve been doing. When it comes to running it seems like the progress I make isn’t anywhere close to all the work and suffering I put in, and I usually end each run feeling at least a little frustrated. But I finished this run feeling hopeful, which is something.

What’s next…

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