... my journey from ballerina to triathlete

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

King's Swim and Big Island Marathon Entries

I'm really excited, and a little scared, to share that I've signed up for my first marathon! 

I've thought about doing half marathons before, and obviously an Ironman contains a full marathon so I knew that one was in my future somewhere down the line, but I hadn't really actively considered pursuing one until I was offered a comp entry for the Big Island Marathon in Hilo. The race is in March of next year, so I have almost 9 months to coerce and cajole my body into the kind of shape it will have to be in to make it through something of that magnitude, and I am excited at the prospect of really focusing on my running, which will in turn have very positive effects on my triathlon performance as a whole. Since I plan on doing Honu, the half-Ironman next June, I think it will be a big confidence/fitness booster to have a full marathon under my belt before that time.

Never, ever in a million years would I have thought this moment was possible if you had asked me about it three years ago. I probably would have laughed at you and called you insane. But then again, I never would have imagined that after finishing a 4.5-mile run the words "wow, I love running!" would ever enter my mind, which they did at the end of my training last night. It's amazing how things change and evolve. I swear, stick with something long enough and your entire outlook might change!

I am also signing up for the King's Swim, a 1.2-mile open water swim weekend after next that starts from Kailua Pier. I have heard about this swim because it's well-known here, with hundreds of people participating, but I didn't really know when it was or any of the details. Since I started going to the coached sessions at the pool, though, I found out that it is organized by none other than Steve Borowski, the coach. The registration sheets were sitting next to the pool, tempting me, so I figured why not. It will be the longest I've swam in a race, but I have done over that distance several times in training (in the ocean) so I think it will be a good challenge. I'm also looking forward to doing a swim race in which I do not have to jump directly onto a bicycle when I come out of the water!

Speaking of swimming, I got my first corrections from Coach Steve when I went on Monday, and found out that my head position was much too high in the water. This is why getting some feedback is so valuable: I knew from what I've read that your head is supposed to sit low in the water, in line with your body, but I thought that mine was in that position. Only an outside perspective could tell me that no, my head was bobbing up like a buoy. I immediately went to work attempting to fix it, and although tucking my head downward felt really bizarre and I swallowed some water trying to re-discover the sweet spot to breathe, he said that it was much better. He also switched me back to breathing every stroke, which is ironic because I just figured out how to bilateral breathe three weeks ago. That's fine, I'm happy to save that one for emergencies only (aka waves crashing over my good breathing side). It was really, really good to get some input and it made me hungry for more. I love learning new things. I also felt like I made some progress keeping track of the workout he assigned; I actually counted the laps and knew when to stop between sets. Small steps, small steps...

So, three races on the horizon, two of those within the next three weeks! It's going to be an exciting time and I'm looking forward to keeping my training going strong after a few days rest post-Hilo tri. 

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