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!