On the road to a triathlon game

Finally! I have lots to things to blog about - if only I can stay focused long enough to get these musings out here! First things first - it's about biking and the SheRox Triathlon. I haven't been writing a lot about my "training" for the tri that is coming up in August. Mostly because there wasn't too much to say and it seemed so far away. However, if you noticed, there is a count-down clock to the bottom right of my blog. There are two months remaining for my training before my official day of madness. I am training, just not hard enough, long enough, and probably not efficiently enough. Then again, I am hard on myself, but...I am being honest here, I'm not training enough.

Sunday, June 1st, there was a swim clinic sponsored by the mentors of the SheRox Tri. It was at the Cricket Club of Philadelphia in tony Chestnut Hill. Boy it sucks to be poor and living in South Philly. This country club was so beautiful in a laid back, genteel old blue-blood sort of way. Huge open lawns for Cricket and real grass tennis courts. A nine-hole golf course at the main grounds and an full course in Flourtown, 15 minutes away. The pool water was sparkling crystal clear and had enough lanes for all 30 of the women clinic attendees to swim comfortably together. The Cricket Club pool made my gym's pool look like a cesspool. I'm skived to go back to my gym now! Seriously, I don't know that I've ever seen such clear water before.

I learned a lot of things in an hour and a half, most of which is that I don't know how to breath properly when I swim; I don't roll and reach with my shoulders enough; I need to remember how to peek up in between strokes every so often to reorient myself; and I need to get into my pool and swim laps at least 2 times a week. Add that to 2 weight lifting sessions a week; consistent Bricks I should be doing every week; jogging on real paths and streets, and if possible, biking more. What have I been doing? Getting to the gym at least 3 times a week and riding a long ride once a week. There is muscle development and I am building my cardio endurance, however I sure did feel like a lumpy mess in that pool Sunday morning. And just when I was thinking in my ego-manical self-centered way: that my body doesn't look so bad in a bathing suit these days; that there were other swim clinic attendees who seemed not to be in tri-shape - Girl was I ever more wrong! One's body type or physique truly does not indicate the whole fitness picture. There were women who were excellent swimmers with great endurance that I would have never have guessed to be remotely athletic. Just goes to show me, you cannot judge an athlete by her skinny thighs and muscular shoulders. I will not be judgemental. I will not be judgemental. I will not be judgemental...

After my clinic, Liz and I spent the afternoon wandering around Chestnut Hill. We had a good brunch at Cake and then did a bit of shopping. It was such an early day's start, the clinic began at 9 am and ended at 10:30. Liz and I finished hanging out by 2 pm. Feeling somewhat ambitious when I got home, I pushed myself to go for a bike ride. The weather was so perfect it would have been foolish not to take advantage of the day. I rode the trail to the Wissahickon path and up to Forbidden Drive. I attempted the infamous hill along the trail, aka Susan's Hill, from this past winter. I made it about 1/4 of the way up, but lost my certainty and footing and had to walk a bit until I hit more a more level grade. Then I somehow managed to catch my heaving breath and footing again and made it slowly to the top. I tried to remember the tricks from before, only looking at the trail immediately before me, but I was too unfocused and nervous. I think I made it up the hill in the winter out of sheer force and ego. Without Susan Hill there to inspire me (and my ego to shame me on), I just didn't have the momentum and gearing to make it up the hill slowly non-stop. I was also too nervous to take the wooded trail down though the mountain biking path. Try as I might to remember Susan's words of wisdom - let the bike do the work, trust the machine, get your butt over the back tire - I rode tentatively down the hill gripping the breaks. I did listen to my body though, and I didn't push to go too far, or to do a double loop ride. It will have to wait until some time this week as I try to add another ride to my exercise routine. All told, I got in about a 22 mile ride, with a small added workout climb.

The extra exercise I did this weekend, or rather that I added on Sunday had a beneficial payoff - I lost 2 pounds over the past 2 weeks. Tonight's weigh-in brought me to 58 pounds total lost. The past two months have been a weight seesaw. I'd lose 2 and then gain a half pound. Or I lost 3.4 and then gained it back. Since March 3rd, I've moved down another 8 pounds. Which isn't bad, I just want to make to my 60 pound mark. Still not quite where I want to be but I'm getting there. There are two months remaining for my training but the weight lose can take as long as it takes to happen. Luckily there's no rush for that, it's a lifetime change, not a one day triathlon game.

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