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Posts tagged ‘triathlon’

Some end-of-week motivation

Whew, my week is nearly over. Thank goodness too. I’m exhausted.

I just finished up my first set of swimming conditioning lessons. The lessons spanned over a four week period, every Tuesday and Thursday outside of one night I was in San Francisco.

And I’ve been relearning everything. My freestyle is not what they teach now. My backstroke is okay, but not perfect. I found out tonight I tread water pretty good. That’s likely from all the leg conditioning I do running (speaking of which, I did a nice six miles with Sam last night in Mountain House).

But I found myself needing a little more motivation this week after the DNS for the Stockton-based half marathon. Sigh.

Motivation is inspiration.

It kind of propels me through the swim conditioning and running. This week it came in shirt form.

I came across a random running blog (sorry, I don’t remember which) that included a link to the Saucony Strong campaign.

You can visit the page and add inspirational reasons why you run (or bike, or swim, etc.) and put an image on Facebook or email to yourself. You also have the option of making a shirt out of it. That’s what I did. And I was surprised at how reasonable it was to buy and have shipped. It cost under $30. That’s half the price of my Nike ID shirts.

Now this one isn’t made out of Dri-Fit style material, but it will be a great shirt for easy workouts or after swim conditioning.

I added my reasons and inspirations for running.

My Garmin: It’s my pace buddy.

My family: That’s a given.

A faster mile: Always working on this.

Being a better me: This is really the bottom line why I run. It helps me be a better me and put a better me forward.

Warm-up mile: As in getting through that first mile, pushing to get to the enjoyable part of the run.

Long runs: To help clear my mind. To bond with others.

5:30 a.m. alarms: That’s how early I get up for my Sunday long runs. By 9:30 a.m. we’re usually done, depending on the distance.

A personal record: I don’t run to achieve a PR, but it’s nice when I actually do.

Running with friends: They say running with friends is cheaper than therapy. That is so true. It’s my time to loosen up and be free.

Beating diabetes: I started running because I was lazy, fat and unhappy. And to beat diabetes. Every step I ran was to move closer to that goal. And I didn’t stop when I achieved it.

My husband: For all the reasons I mentioned in my previous post. He’s my rock.

I love this shirt and what it stands for. Saucony isn’t my typical running brand (I’ve recently developed a love for Brooks gear, though) but I think every time I look at this shirt, I’ll get motivated. And I’ll remember why I run.

And, as I mentioned before, that’s inspiration to keep going.

Not so fishy

I had my third swimming lesson on Tuesday. Turns out I have to get worse before I get better. At least that what it seemed like last night. I kept messing up the stroke. I kept feeling as if I was going to drown.

I’ll get it eventually,the instructor said. I hope so. Between that and feeling ridiculously uncomfortable on the bicycle so far, I keep want to running back to running solely.

Deep breath. It will get better.

I’m just not so fishy. Not even floatly.

I sink pretty well, though.

On a brighter note, I made English-muffin pizzas for dinner. My husband actually ate them and didn’t complain. He even called the idea “creative.” It’s not my idea, but I’ll take it. It works. Either way, the mini pizzas turned out pretty good, even if my swimming didn’t.


Obviously this is before I baked them. They were so delicious we ate them up quick!

Meet me Monday: Fitness plans

I’m training for a marathon.

That’s my biggest priority right now. I’m upping my mileage. I’m adding in resistance training. I’m pushing to make sure I have rest days.

I’m trying to be aggressive in my training for this 26.2 and hoping I can make it the whole way.

Part of that is my new foray into swimming, which began this week.

Part of it it also the purchase of some new wheels, and not the car kind.

On Saturday, I ventured to Performance Bike in Dublin (about 25 minutes from my home in Tracy), just to “take a look.” The problem with me is that once I see something I like, I tend to buy. This is especially true since I took my part-time teaching job. I paid off my car last year, put more money in our savings account and, every now and then, have some extra money to spend.

Two months ago I bought an iPad. I use it for all my long treadmill runs, like my 15-miler on Sunday.

I bought my bicycle, a rather hefty expense, this weekend. Outside of the fact that I literally haven’t rode a bike in 10-plus years, it seems to be a good fit for me. I have to say, I’m a little scared of it, though. It’s a nice bike. Nice as in there’s no kick stand.

Maybe too nice for me. I couldn’t remember how to shift. I still need to buy some shoes for it. It will be a learning process, definitely.

But I have a goal in mind here. My running buddy Sam ran her first half marathon last weekend. Now she is eager to tackle a triathlon.

I’m apparently doing it with her. (That’s fine, I think she partially volunteered me and I partially volunteered myself.)

We’re aiming for one in Napa at some point in April. So my goal after the marathon is to train for this triathlon. I only have the Oakland Running Festival booked for March so far, though I may look into some Rock ‘n’ Roll running events as well (again, prompted by Sam). But after the marathon, I’m going to take on triathlon training aggressively.

I picked the bike based on it’s fit for me, which is good. I also picked it because it’s lightweight. It’s very agile. And it’s a road bike, which is what everyone suggested I get. It’s a far cry from the Magna bicycle I had throughout high school (the last time I road was sometime when we were vacationing at the beach in 2002, my husband confirms that he road it at some point and it was uncomfortable). And it’s beautifully light.

I can pick it up, as proved by this photo my husband took after we got home and he took it for it’s maiden voyage. He has a tendency to want to test all my new fancy toys. I remember him taking the keys to my then brand new 2002 Camaro so many years ago to “break it in.” He didn’t realize I’d already done that.

So my fitness plans for the coming seasons are just that: run the marathon and then do a sprint triathlon.

I have the running down for the triathlon (it’s only three miles). I doing the swimming lessons. Now I have the bike.

Let’s go.

Swimmer, kind of

I started swim lessons today. Not the kind where you learn to swim. I did that a long time ago.

I remember learning more by osmosis than actual lesson. I grew up in Stockton, Calif., which is where I commute to everyday for both my jobs. I lived in a neighborhood with a not-so-great park (serious, a teenage boy was shot and killed there only a couple years ago). My parents would always opt to send us down the other way on our street to a park that was further away, but in a safer neighborhood.

Victory Park in Stockton is home to the Haggin Museum, one of the greatest establishments in the city, and Victory Pool. It was also right down the street from my elementary school.

I learned to swim at Victory Pool. I didn’t want to hang out with the “babies” in the shallow end anymore. To get to the 4-6 foot end, we had to swim across the pool back and forth to prove to the lifeguard that we could do it. My sister took swimming lessons at the local YMCA. I never did. I think my mom picked up that I was slightly afraid of water (I still am, actually).

So I learned good enough to swim across the pool back and forth and make it to the other side. And then I picked up more, because my sister and I would spend the summer down at the pool with nothing else to do. It only cost $1 to get in at the time. My mom would drop us off and come back four to five hours later. That was the time when you could do that sort of thing.

I haven’t swimmed much since. My friend Sam apparently decided after me torturing her with long runs she would return the favor.

We’re now doing swim lessons twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays in Tracy.

So I packed up and headed about five-minutes from my house with a new swimsuit and goggles stuffed into a Nike running bag.

I grabbed a towel and my Amphipod running water bottle. The lesson was 30-minutes.

We did “bubbles” and glided across the pool. No kicking. We’re not supposed to kick. I have a feeling we’ll be getting yelled at a lot. And I ended up having to use a little blowfish toy to keep my chin down. My chin was supposed to be touching my chest. I wasn’t do it right. The instructor was patient with the both of us. The lesson went by quick.

I walked away realizing how much work we have to do for the triathlon it now looks like we are doing in April. We have another lesson on Thursday. I’ll be coming back from a run in Sausalito with my Nike Women’s Half Marathon team at 3:30 p.m. I’ll be blogging about the run after my lesson hopefully. About a month ago I won a spot on Team Somersaults to run the Nike half. Words can’t express how excited I am to run with the group of women I’ve been reading about.

So I’m stoked for my Thursday afternoon run (I took a day off work to be involved in it) but a little worried about getting back by 7:30 p.m. for swimming lessons. I’m crossing my fingers.