Thursday, February 09, 2012


Yes it doesn't always rain / snow / sleet on my parade at newbie triathlete training towers.  I have various bits of news and insight to (over) share with you but why not start with the good news - I had a breakthrough swimming session this week! 

I missed Monday's swim class again, this time due to freezing fog.  But I made a vow to get to the pool on Tuesday and I did.  I had told the person advising me on triathlon (not a coach, not a coach, but basically a coach) that I was going to "swim 200s" and he agreed.  Sounds like I know what I'm doing right?  I got to the pool feeling nervous - I just tend to get very tired very quickly when swimming and swimming 200m without stopping, several times, was not something I was confident about.  However, another swim coach keeps telling me to slow down in the pool and while warming up I had this blinding insight - that I could not run until I really slowed down.  Maybe the same would work with swimming?  I tend to pump my legs frantically in the pool and so made a real effort to slow down.  And I did.  And I did it.  I did 4 x 200m and then even added on a 400m - all fine.  I could have carried on! No land speed records were broken (400m takes me about 10 minutes - I know!) but nonetheless - for the first time I thought - I am going to be able to get to the 1900m in the next 7 months.  I will manage it.  Amazing. I have been on a high about this for days.  

The other stuff - well meh.  Let me bulletpoint it for you: 
  • Virgin London marathon?  I've pulled out.  I can defer my place till next year and I found training for a marathon as well as trying to improve my biking / swimming too much.  I don't think I would have done the marathon much justice and I'm not interested in "just getting round".  A good-for-age place is an honour, like a Boston qualifier, and I want to give it my all.  In 2013. 
  • Business?  Hmm.  Eating the elephant in small bites is probably the best way to put it.  I'm not being as productive / effective as I need to be with this but will figure out just quite how and why I'm holding back and then share.  Actually, come on, let's face it.  It's still that pure fear.  I'm working on ignoring it, focusing on what needs to be done, not allowing myself to get distracted (I briefly tried to add yoga teacher to my qualifications but was made to realise by a good friend who knows me that this was just a strategy to avoid getting my head down and doing my PT).  I'm plugging away at myself though and will continue to.  I will wear my insecure self down and do it anyway.  
  • Biking.  Ah.  This is where I need some triathlete advice.  I bought a trainer, set it up, worked out how to use my bike computer (and this is the compressed version - both the trainer AND my bike computer were accompanied by diabolically badly written manuals so there was a fair amount of sighing, swearing, and checking out stuff on the internet before everything worked).  Now I am trying to figure out how to do workouts on the bike trainer.  I bought a Sufferfest download and I enjoyed it - though found the workout HARD!  I struggle with motivation and keep telling myself that if I can run on a treadmill I can do this too...  But it's not easy.  Tips / advice?  I've tried watching my tween's Ugly Betty boxset but it doesn't get me in the mood - I think I need motivational bike stuff.  And Universal Sports does not appear to work here... I've just ordered a Spinervals DVD but am open to any other suggestions you might have. 
So - things are a bit mixed.  I am still working on my half ironman training schedule - trying to put something together that is not so challenging that I can't complete the workouts but will get me to the start line in September in shape to finish competently.  Getting my head round 2 a day workouts is another thing but I am confident I can do this.  Eventually.  

In the meantime, in sporting achievements, let me share some photos of my parents (67 and 66) in Holland yesterday.  If ever there was a reason to get off your behind and get fit and strong, it's so that you can be their age and do this kind of stuff: 

My mother's in the red hat in front, my uncle in the red jacket next to her.  This is people queueing up to get their card stamped in the course of a long-distance skating tour - to prove they've passed all the checkpoints. 

My mother in the red hat, my father in the blue hat and my uncle next to them.  My uncle, incidentally, is 76... 

My father ducking under a bridge.

I am so proud and impressed with them.  Right now the Dutch are hoping that the Elfstedentocht will come to pass this coming weekend although it's looking unlikely - 200kms of unbroken thick ice are needed.  I'm homesick - would give a great deal to be skating through the small villages of Holland right now with my parents and my children.  Will plan my trips to Holland better next year!


MarathonChris said...

Cool! You are amazing :-)

How is it that the Dutch have such great longevity? My mom is Dutch and her grandmother lived to 98 and a couple of her aunts into their 90's. That skating looks like a blast!

Fran said...

Well those are familiar looking photos :) I think it's hard to plan your trip to Holland if you want to skate, as you know we don't have ice every Winter. And I think you know by now that the Elfstedentocht isn't going to take place. Ice is not thick enough. Now that it's not going to happen I say: Bring on Spring.

By the way: when you do come to Holland let me know. I would love to meet you for coffee or something.

Amanda@runninghood said...

Only in blogland for second but had to stop to say hello! I agree that you are amazing. Good for you for letting that marathon go and waiting until you can really give it more time and energy. Keep at that Business fear allowed! :) kidding but sounds like you are reigning it in. I'm jealous of your parents. I don't say jealous very often but ahh, just that picture of your dad makes me want to go hug him...they must be good parents to have raised you. MOre later. Want to get caught up on you.

jen said...

Congratulations on the swimming breakthrough!! Swim fitness comes fast when you start building so be optimistic. I am telling myself that anyway, as I about died swimming 200's myself this week.

Great decision on London. You want to give it your all, and a "just for fun" marathon tends to NOT be that fun after all. Smart move!

Love the pictures of your folks! They are amazing. Miss you!!

pensive pumpkin said...

Swimming breakthrough? You are AMAZING!!! I was on swim team as a kid, and that is sooooo hard! Congrats!

I had to Google Elfstedentocht- that seems so cool. Canals are really something to me. We were in Amsterdam for a few days last year, and whomever is in charge of tourism should start promoting the shopping aspect: I spent more money there than in Paris. Boot and Coat and Scarf Heaven!

Alyse said...

That is so cool. Your parents and uncles are a serious inspiration. I hope to be that active when I'm their age. Hell, I'd love to be able to skate that far at this age!

Congrats on your swimming breakthrough, too. I tend to go too fast when I first get in the pool, but that's pure ego. I need to work on more realistic pacing :)

Jill said...

Look at how cute your mom and dad are out there skating - that is soooo cool. I absolutely do not like winter but I would absolutely LOVE to skate in Holland like that. Not that I can skate or anything, but you know! (I skated a lot on the frozen ponds in Iowa as a kid, but that was a long time ago and skating now hurts my ankles so bad. Whaaaa).

I don't blame you for bailing on London Marathon. Deferring it to 2013 huh?? Hum.....maybe if I happen to win a the lottery, THAT can be our race together next year. How cool would that be!?!?! I so want to do the London Marathon one day...I hear it is a lottery though, right? Maybe you have some pulls for me :).

The business will happen, keep plugging forward and the fear will subside over time. It will!


Aka Alice said...

Your parents are just adorable!

I wish I had advice for you re: swimming or cycling, but I'm a newbie as well. As far as I'm concerned you're the expert. 4 X 200? Do you rest between the intervals? how long?

I'm impressed!

Susan said...

One small bite at a time is all one can do with multiple elephants! You've got this.

lizzie lee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lizzie lee said...

Oh, swimming... one of my favorite things in the world. When injured in 2010 I did aqua running and swimming and it was hard for me to get out of the water... Enjoy as much as you can, and I am glad you feel much comfortable now you have had that breakthrough!

lizzie lee said...

love the pix of your parents... great role models!

Aka Alice said...

Also...I think I see you on FB. If you get a friend request from "Cindi" that's me!

Also, I just tagged you with a meme. I always feel guilty about this, so feel free to ignore :-)

Patrick Mahoney said...

I think the best course of action with the trainer is keep doing it and there will be breakthrough. It's definitely a whole new mental game. Also, with the Sufferefest, effort is all relative so you can work your way into that as well.

I went to refusing to even talk about trainers to using one at least once a week over the course of 4-6 months. Is it my favorite thing to do? No. But the results are undeniable. You'll feel/see the same. And that itself is a motivator.

Anonymous said...

agree that it's better to defer london for a year with everything else that you are doing this year. better to give it your best shot than make up the numbers. good also to see your swimming progress.