... my journey from ballerina to triathlete

Monday, January 7, 2013

My Little Turn on the Catwalk, Baby!

Today's scheduled workout was a 30 minute walk/jog and a 200 meter swim with a 100 meter cool down. For the run I added a short jaunt to my usual route to bring the distance to 2.62 miles and make me feel like I wanted to die. It doesn't matter how many times I run, it is always shocking how bad I am at it. That said, my average mile time while running has improved so dramatically in the past three weeks that I am amazed. When I started running in December I could run for about 18 minutes at 11:42 per mile. Now my running mile time is hovering around 9:50 and I can run with a couple short walking breaks for 30 minutes and average the same 11:42 pace I started running at. So while I may feel like each step is just as painful as the last 20,000, I am reminded that I am in fact making progress.

Ear BandIt Chic!
Since I have been dreading trying to swim without the snorkel, I elected to swim approximately 125 meters using the headband, incorporating breathing into my stroke and 125 meters with the comfort of the snorkel. After thoroughly geeking out and inserting my earplugs, putting on my mask, and topping the ensemble off with the headband, I was feeling optimistic and oh so cool. In case you were having trouble picturing this lovely ensemble, I have included a few pictures for your viewing pleasure. I know, I'm irresistible.

Despite my fears, I was pleasantly surprised by how well the first part of the swim went. My meditative, rhythmic stroke was long gone, replaced by an unfamiliar, somewhat choppy and spastic series of movements, but my ears stayed dry, I only swallowed about two cups of horrifically salty ocean water, and by the time I made it back to the starting buoy I had almost established a comfortable stroke. The keys to this, I discovered, are breathing on the same side (every other arm stroke), breathing out slightly before raising my head out of the water, and switching breath sides every three minutes or so. It seemed that the greatest challenge was simply holding my breath while exerting myself. My speed was not nearly as pathetic as I had anticipated, although I did have to remind myself to keep kicking every time I took a breath.

It really accents your eyes...
After swimming in to shore and trading my headband for a snorkel, I was back in the water and feeling very relaxed. The free breath feels like gift after working so hard for it, although I soon realized that in order to train my breath correctly I should time it so that I hold it and breathe coordinated with every other arm stroke as if I didn't have the snorkel. This added challenge proved to be a perfect balance between my relaxing swims of days past and the new challenge of breathing on my own.

The last few meters I allowed myself free breath and sliced through the water easily and smoothly. I can fully admit it- I am totally addicted to the feeling of the water rushing over my skin. It is magical.

While I didn't make it to the bike shop, I did take advantage of a fantastic Christmas gift from my wonderful mom- $70 to spend on triathlon apparel. I spent nearly two hours in and out of all different colors of spandex and dri-fit, squeezing my "curves" into every imaginable article of tight, skimpy clothing Sports Authority could come up with. I finally settled on a coral colored sports bra capable of doubling as a swimsuit top and matched it with a pair of navy blue spandex booty shorts trimmed with bright coral and currently accentuating every ounce of superfluous fat present on my posterior. Judging by how quickly the weight is falling off of me, I am estimating that I will be able to wear them without cringing at how my love handles overflow over the waistband in approximately two months. Despite the delayed gratification, I am in love with my new outfit and can't wait to spend the remaining money on more fabulously neon spandex.

On the menu for tomorrow, biking and swimming! I am definitely going to bed tired each night, and I've got to say it feels good.

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