WEEK 10, DAY 4: The funny thing about triathlon is . . .

. . . the longer you do it, the more serious you get about it.

For some people, the seriousness is all about going faster. For me, it's about making it through the race without feeling like I am going to die the entire way through.

Tea once said running is relatively simple - and it is, to some extent. You can get caught up in types of shoes and sweat-wicking fabrics, you can become an expert on strides and alignment and form on certain terrains, and you can obsess about speedwork, but it's pretty straightforward: put on your shoes. Stretch a little if that's what you do. Run. For best results, run on different terrains and at different speeds. Stretch a little more if that's what you do. Rinse and repeat.

With triathlon, you have to know all of these details (and more) about three completely separate sports, and the other two are intrinsically linked to your equipment and form - so much so that you can actually fail at them if attention isn't paid to those key aspects. That's not the case in running. I know many a fast runner whose form is hideous - chances are you've seen them come loping across the finish line, hands flailing, knees knocking, arms dangling - a full 10 minutes ahead of anyone else.

So I thought about these things today during both my workouts. Last night, despite how I was feeling, I banged out a 7.5-mile slow ride and all of my physical therapy strength exercises. I felt really weak. Not good at all. Probably should have slept. But I worked through it. A little is better than nothing. Here was my routine:

Single-leg bridge with hip lift: 15x2 each side
Side-lying leg lift: 30x2 each side
Single-leg leg lift: 30x2 each side
Lunges: 15x2 each side
Lying hamstring strecth: 3x30sec
Seated hamstring stretch: 3x30sec
Calf stretch: 3x30sec

Then this morning I rolled out of bed on my day off by 7am to run 4 miles of hill repeats. Left the Nike+ tracker because I'd already traced the route with Gmap Pedometer and BeginnerTriathlete.com's tracker (thanks, IM Able!) All I worried about was how many repeats I did and how I felt. My route has an elevation change of about 100 feet, which is a lot for Florida. Two long slow climbers - one small but slightly steeper and one higher and longer but somewhat easier. I ran out the half mile to Little Climber, did Little Climber twice, ran the 1/3 mile out to Big Climber, did Big Climber 8 times, ran back down to Little Climber, one more repeat there, and then about a half mile of rolling and flats to finish up. Just over four miles; 50 minutes. It felt suprisingly easy; I only stopped once for my post-warmup-mile stretch. But I was mentally very focused today. I even invented a new hill mantra, which was suprisingly effective:

Run hills till the flats feel boring.
Run hills till the flats feel boring.
Run hills till the flats feel boring.

Workout #2: 90 minutes of make-you-vomit power yoga.

Tomorrow will be my first 2k OW swim. I'm going to cycle 5 miles there, swim across the lake and back twice, and cycle 5 miles home. I want to know that I can bang out that 1.5k swim at Hammerhead with no sweat. The 750m last weekend was a snap, so for my first lap I shouldn't even need a stop on the other side of the lake - I should be able to hit 500m, turn around and keep trucking. The 2nd 1000 will be, I'm sure, a bit slower. But, if I can knock this out, 1500 will be no big deal. From this week until the week of the race, all my OW swims will be 2km and my drill swims at least 1500.

1 tidbits of wizdom:

IM Able said...

oooooohh...you'll see...

gmap is addictive. a-dic-tive.

Good luck tomorrow -- kick the snot outta that water...or something like that :)

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