Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Thanks. I needed that!

Training is a funny thing.  Some days you think you could win the race, and then lo and behold, you are suddenly humbled by a not so great workout.  That's exactly what happened to me on Saturday.

I signed up for another open water swim clinic with the Mermaids for Saturday morning.  The last time I did this I had never been in a wet suit, had never swam in open water, and was getting over a cold so I had a cough like a harbor seal.  I figured I survived that time - this time is going to be so much easier.  Boy was I wrong!

As I was on my way to the clinic, driving across the bay I got my first indication of how the day might go.  I don't remember looking at the water on my way over last time, but I definitely noticed the choppy water on Saturday.  So when I got there instead of bright sunshine, warmish weather, and smooth as glass water I was greeted with heavy fog/mist, cold, and choppy water.

Let's just say that I really struggled with the swim.  I started out way too fast and was gassed within a few yards.  I couldn't get my breathing back to normal and I felt like a cork bobbing around out there in the chop.  I was the second to last person to finish, and it really shook my confidence.  My plan was to see how this swim went, finish my first tri at the end of the month, and then probably sign up for the Mermaid tri in June.  Instead I left thinking maybe I'll do the duathlon instead.

But like any disastrous race or workout, on the drive home I started thinking, "That wasn't so bad.  At least I finished it.  I just need to swim more often and I have two months until the race."  I'm not saying I'm ready to sign up - just that I haven't completely ruled it out.

And so that brings me to exactly what I needed.  Because of the crazy busy weekend I had, I decided to push my long run from Sunday to Monday.  Little did I know that I would be treated to steady winds of over 20 mph and gusts up to 35 mph all day on Monday.  I had a choice - go to the gym and run for an hour on the treadmill, or suck it up and deal with the wind.  Neither seemed like a great option, but in the end I figured if I ran outside from home I'd be done faster than if I went to the gym.  Wind beats treadmill any day!

Sucking it up.  I haven't blown away yet!
Surprisingly I had a great run - even though it was into a headwind on the way back.  It wasn't cold.  I was dressed perfectly for the conditions. (I love arm warmers!)  And with the exception of a few post-work dog walkers and a few random bike commuters, I had the trail to myself.  My legs felt great and even though my pace was not my fastest, I just felt like I had a really good run.

The path home.  Love the colors!
And just like that, the triathlon training forces gave me a do-over.  And I'm back in the game!

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