... my journey from ballerina to triathlete

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

50 Miles Toward a more Badass Me

Today marked an exciting milestone- the 50 mile mark in my running quest!

I celebrated the only way that one can celebrate such an auspicious occasion: I busted out my new spandex racing shorts and wore them proudly! I never thought that 50 miles was all it would take to make me feel confident about my butt in spandex. Maybe 100 will be the magic number at which I can reveal where the spandex hits my hips without cringing at my love handles.

Whether it was a little extra push from my sassy outfit or excitement about my milestone, I ran my fastest 5k time and finished my run with a 10:31 mile, my best mile time for a run since I was back at 1.8 miles. I enjoyed my run and was really pleased when I looked back over my run logs and realized how much I have improved. It was a good day to run.

Hoping for a continuation of my exercise good luck, I headed to Ala Moana to swim. It was drizzling lightly as I arrived, just enough to dust my skin with  water so it could catch the breeze and freeze me thoroughly before I made it to the water. Damn. Unfazed, I donned my excessive amounts of head gear and dove in. It didn't take long to realize that my earplugs were not inserted well as I felt cold water rushing deep into my ear with every turn of my head. Determined to power through, I made it to the turn-around point at 250m before stopping to readjust the plugs- no small feat in 20 feet of water with three levels of head coverings. The fix was by no means perfect, but it allowed me to keep going. In an effort to avoid moving the earplugs around within the ear canal, I tried to breathe while moving my mouth as little as possible. Rather than taking huge, gaping breaths, I focused on opening my lips just enough let the air slip through without moving my jaw.

And then, something amazing happened. Within a few strokes my breathing became smoother, my arms motions faster and more steady, my kick was left uninterrupted by each turn of my head and my body stayed flat instead of buckling. My pace sped up without any effort and I felt like I was gliding through the water instead of jack knifing. I felt like a real swimmer!

These are the moments that make triathlon training incredible. How opening my mouth less results in a smoother kick, I cannot explain. How the placement of my jaw affects the pace of my arm pulls is beyond me. Feeling my stroke smooth out, speed up, and gain grace, however, was magic! Making these discoveries urges me on and pushes me forward- what else is there just waiting to be discovered?

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