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Coming Out of the Cave

I’ve spent the past several days hiding out in an emotional cave, licking my wounds and trying to turn my head around after the practice tri on Saturday. I pretty spent all day Sunday crying uncontrollably. I cried every time I thought about it.

Then I got an email from sports psychologist Michelle Cleere (who magically came into my life this month!) saying she really thought I could do the Olympic and that she would help me. I met with her on Wednesday which was immensely helpful. Problem is I have not been able to get back into the freaking water since then. Last night I was supposed to go with Lily and about a minute before heading out we had our 2nd earthquake of the day. Not a little one. Which led to freakout of her dog, ourselves and various family members. By the time everyone calmed down (sort of) it was too late. So today it’s do or die! I am eager to try out what Michelle suggested to me. In the meantime I am setting about making several dozen “YOU GOT THIS” post-it notes to put in all corners of the house.

What did she suggest? Well, both mental and physical things. One thing that came out when I was recapping the open water swim was that I was breathing with every stroke. When I’m in the pool, I breathe every 2 or 3. I was really aware of this in the open water, and TRYING to get myself to breathe less often, but it wasn’t happening. Michelle said that this changeup, physiologically could have added to my hyperventilation issue (just not having enough oxygen and having periodic “can’t breathe” episodes in between fine regular swimming). She recommended that I start practicing swimming with the “every stroke breath” technique in the POOL so that it is less of a stressful transition. Many people I speak to say that they breathe every stroke and sometimes this is just necessary in OW. I’ve watched some tri videos recently and the top people do seem to breathe constantly. OK .

In addition I am working very hard at thinking positively, about the great progress I made since the start of the season (when I could barely swim 2 lengths of the pool). I am going to do a long pool workout today, and then tomorrow a course preview swim  practice with another triathlon training group (my team is doing bike run which will probably also be a big benefit, but I need to NAIL this swimming thing and soon). I am working at a ton of self-talk and how to deal with that huge “I CAN’T” voice in my head.

I can’t thank you all enough, you who posted and commented and emailed and sent me good vibes this past week. It has meant the world to me. It was a rough thing, but I’m ready to get back in it now and do what I can do.

In other news: Today is the day to sign up for the next season of Team in Training for just $10! Yahoo! I just picked up the phone (call 800-78-TRAIN) and signed up for a Yosemite Snowshoe Hike for February 2012. One, it will get me into the Triple Crown club at TNT (three separate sports) and I am all about these sorts of bling/reward things. I want to be a Triple Crown! Plus, what could be more beautiful than snowshoeing in Yosemite?

Triathlon: the STUFF (or, Having a Gear Meltdown)

Wow, doing a triathlon sure involves a lot of STUFF. Stuff to keep track of, and in the right order, and… aghhhh! Want to know what’s in my pile?

  • wetsuit
  • tri suit
  • sports bra
  • Bodyglide
  • silicon ear plugs
  • swim cap
  • goggles
  • bike shoes
  • socks
  • bike helmet
  • GU chomps
  • water bottle
  • bike gloves
  • running shoes
  • hat

Tomorrow is our coached super-sprint practice triathlon. What is a supersprint? It’s more than a sprint and less than an Olympic: 1/2 mile swim, 17 mile bike ride, 4 mile run. EEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!

I had ordered a special Team in Training two-piece tri suit for the big event, and we found out this week that it will NOT be ready by tomorrow. So today was all about scrambling for stuff to wear. Until now, we’d been doing leisurely transitions involving locker rooms and bathrooms and such. But tomorrow we are going to be learning all about Transition (what some people call the 4th sport of the triathlon, and also what I remember as the most painful part of labor and giving birth).  We are not going to go into any locker room, we’re doing it all out in the Transition Area, just like we will for the Real Event. Coach Haakon sent us this video to study. Which made me kind of nauseated with anxiety.

First thing I need to attend to was getting a tri suit. I asked my friend Mary if I could borrow hers. She had just gotten one and WON in her age division in See Jane Tri, her first triathlon, (!!!!!!!!!!!) and I knew it had a bunch of good mojo in it. I went and picked it up around 4pm today. I held it up. Squinted at it. Hmmmm. I suddenly felt a rush of doubt. I went to my local sports store. They had NOTHING I needed. No tri equipment. No springy shoelaces. No Bodyglide. OK, that store SUCKS.

Then I drove to the big discount store (*cough* Sports Authority *cough*) about 20 minutes away. This place is huge and yet it is full of useless crap. Again, NO tri wear whatsoever. Come ON.  I brought Mary’s tri suit into the dressing room and confirmed that NO WAY was it my size. I mean I could zip it up if I did not breathe at all, but I was in danger of splitting it wide open if I so much as moved one muscle. I was getting really upset at this point.

I realized that I was used to the phenomenal thorough wonderfulness that is Sports Basement, which also gives TNT athletes a nice discount, and I could not believe the lameness of these other stores. I checked my phone. There is a SB in San Francisco (8 miles away but during rush hour! Over the bridge! NOOOOOO!) and one in Walnut Creek (14 miles away, also gnarly traffic). I felt very discouraged and overwhelmed and my sense of preparedness was out the window. I texted Lily. She recommended REI, which is in Berkeley. Brilliant girl!!! But first I called them. They were great. Not only did they have tri clothing, it was on SALE.

I went up to north Berkeley. There was a nice rack of discounted tri clothes at REI. I decided to get a 2 piece because the unitard style just looks insanely horrible on me. I also got some new silicon ear plugs and some elastic shoelaces.

I made my little/big pile. I ate my pasta dinner and drank a bunch of water as directed. I’m going to bed at 9:30pm and reading a bunch of the Mental Training book as bedtime reading. Then I get up and Do the Damn Thing, as coach says.

I was going to write about how freaking nervous I feel but decided to do some positive self-talk instead.

I am prepared.

I have been dedicated at completing my workouts as instructed.

I trust my coaches.

I am ready.

When I am in the water, my father will be with me.

I am going to DO THIS tomorrow.

This Is Your Brain on Triathlon

I knew when I signed up for this that this event was going to be as much of a psychological challenge as a physical one. I was not mistaken in this. The psychological and emotional obstacles have been HUGE and sometimes even debilitating. After my first open water swim I was not at all sure I could even continue.

But continue I have, and I have been putting as much time into my training my psyche as I have training my body. If there is ANY tool or resource I can find to help me in this area, I am trying to use it.

At the “Stories of the Body” retreat last weekend, I utilized several of the guest artist activities to help me in my tri efforts. At Bethany’s “Bodymindfull” workshop, I created a triathlon dance in which I danced my way through the swim, bike and run. I envisioned them happening with ease and joy. Then in the collage workshop I made a triathlon collage with random pictures I found in magazines and calendars. I LOVED the image of the nuns rowing on the water. It just gave me immediate comfort. I won’t be alone out there. Some holy presence will be there protecting me.

My wonderful retreat participants blessed and gifted me with a little Quan Yin figurine which I immediately took with me on my tri course bike ride. Another source of protection and support. Knowing she was in my bike pouch really was calming and reassuring.

One of my Team in Training teammates recommended a booked called The Triathlete’s Guide to Mental Training– I ordered it on Amazon within about 30 seconds! and have read about half of it already. The chapters on Confidence, Emotions and Intensity are really helping me. (thank you Katherine!)

Yesterday, Lily and Vince and I went out to bike the tri loop again. It felt really good. I felt strong and I loved the course – hilly but not too steep. It felt so reassuring to get out there and feel what it’s actually going to feel like. I can do this!!

Today was the first big coached workout I’ve had in two weeks. We did about 90 minutes in the pool which included some fascinating tri open water “simulation.” First they had us warming up, all bunched together in two lane lines. All the thrashing bodies smushed together in the water. It did indeed bring up, even in 4 feet depth, the anticipated anxiety. But then we got through the next phase, of pushing hard to get out of that crowd, then finding a race pace that was sustainable, and finally a push toward the end. It was so helpful.

Then we had a six mile run. My last attempt at running six miles (after the open swim) was NOT a happy experience, and I was determined to find redemption on this run. I challenged myself to run for the FIRST TIME EVER without my earbuds and music. I love running with my music. It calms me, it keeps me at a good pace, and it keeps me from hearing the sound of my own panting (which just makes me upset and nervous). But I know that earbuds are most likely going to be prohibited during the race itself and I wanted to get used to doing without. I wasn’t sure how this was going to go.

Incredibly, as soon as I began running, the music started going in my head. I’ve listened to those songs over hundreds of miles and you know, they are so hardwired into me at this point. I don’t know every single song lyric, but I was able to hum/sing most of my repertoire through the majority of my run. Which included a bunch of hills and challenging trail stuff. I walked up the hills and ran the rest of it. When I was coming down the hill toward the group at the end, I was so excited about finishing 6 miles (race distance) that I was all set to hold up six fingers for the camera. The camera guy was not aiming at me when I finished and then I heard coach Haakon say, “That was about 5.5 miles.” WHAT?? I didn’t finish my six? Teammate Alison said, “let’s do the last half mile.” She was sorta kidding sorta not, but I said “YEAH let’s do it!” and we ran out and completed the last half, just so we’d know we could do the whole six. YEAH! HIGH FIVE! (high six?)

When the workout was done I was pretty overjoyed. I was jumping up and down. I didn’t feel depleted or sick or horrible. Which meant a couple things: one, my bug from last week must be GONE from my body, and two, I think I’m getting better! I’m going to be prepared!

Seeking the Comfort Zone

It’s no exaggeration to say that last weekend’s open swim REALLY FREAKED ME OUT. It had me to the point where I was seriously questioning this whole triathlon idea. I was in Doubtville, big time.

So this week I have been treading a fine line between trying to take care of myself psychologically and emotionally while still trying to prepare myself physically.  After tiptoeing into little Lake Temescal on Monday, I gratefully took a rest day on Monday. I needed to rest my psyche.

Tuesday we were supposed to go back in the pool. I was a little perplexed by this but I am an obedient athlete so I did what the coach said, which was:

 I just wanted to make a plug to continue to do your pool workouts, even as we transition to practicing open water. You *really* must continue to get in the pool and do the full workouts, as it will help your stroke and will help you get in more distance. (When you are not used to open water, you often just do less than you need to). Practicing out there is awesome and great, but don’t neglect the the pool!

Hmm okay. So we went back to the pool. Oh my goodness. It was so warm! and clean! and clear and well lit! The lines were so straight and visible! It was like plunging back into the arms of my mother. On one hand, it felt wonderful. On the other hand, I was on the verge of a little tantrum the whole time, saying, “But open water doesn’t feel like this! It’s not faiiiiiiiiiiiiiiir!” I was upset about all the weeks of training, when I’d been feeling so much more comfortable and then BAM! I can’t swim five strokes without having an attack. I felt like I’d been duped, tricked by the pool and that all I had done was build up false confidence. So I swam in the pool, and it felt good, but inside I was feeling dubious still.

The next day was hill repeats. I did the steeeeeeeeeep hill right near my house. I got it over with as quick as I could. Enough said.

Thursday I was tired. I looked at the next 4 days’ workout and got kind of overwhelmed. We were supposed to do a one hour 11-15 mile bike ride followed by a 20 minute run. I came home from work to get my bike and I was soooooooo tired. SO TIRED. I took a little nap. I really could not fathom doing this workout, let alone doing it alone. But we were having house guests so it was a “now or never” situation. I went down to the Estuary Bay Trail where Juniorette was practicing crew. Going along the water where she was rowing brightened me up immediately. I knew that she was in one of those boats and it just made me feel happy.

I took the same path that Mr. McBody and I did the first day I got on a bike in a gazillion years. I went all the way to the end and was like, WOW that was a long ride! But my BikeMeter app said it was only 3 miles. Oh man. So I got back on and just did major loops all around the Bay Trail. Finally I got back to the boathouse and it was at 11 miles! Part of me felt like a super wimp because I had just rode on a pancake flat trail with no traffic, but part of me was like, it’s OK, you kept your butt on the seat for an hour.

I realized it had taken me an hour to ride 11 miles. Which means I was averaging 11 miles per hour. Which is insanely slow. Then I did some more math and realized if I doubled that to the distance of the bike portion of the Olympic tri, then, um, yes, 22 miles would take TWO HOURS. Then I mentally added in the swim and the run and I had the extremely sinking feeling of realizing that this race could very well take me FIVE HOURS. Oh. My. God.

Okay, I can’t think about that now. If it takes me five hours, so be it. I just want to finish. But that was a sad little reality check.

Now it’s today. OPEN WATER SWIM. (cue “Jaws” soundtrack) Part of me was anxious and part of me just wanted to get back IN again, this time in the Bay, and see what was going to happen. I was feeling bolstered by my Lake Temescal swim and my pool swim.

First there was awful traffic. Then I got lost. Finally I got to the beach and there were 3 team buddies there. I wriggled into my wetsuit and jumped in. Man! Cold. For just a minute though. It wasn’t so bad.

We started swimming parallel to the beach, in not-so-deep water, just to get the feel of it. Suddenly it felt verrrrrry different. For one, I felt SUPER buoyant. Yay salt water! Yay rubber wetsuit! It was almost like wearing a life preserver, I felt so floaty. THEN it was that salt water taste. It’s not yummy, but for me it was… childhood.

Miami Beach. Every summer since I was a baby. My father and mother and grandmother swimming with me back and forth. I didn’t mind the salt.

I just relaxed. I could feel my father with me. I just swam and swam. The breathing was easy. I went in a straight line. No hyperventilating. No fear. I just swam.

Ahh.

first dip in the ocean with my dad

 

Back in the Saddle/Water

I knew that if I didn’t do something FAST to counteract the terror of yesterday that I was going to be in deep trouble. So today I made a plan to swim at Lake Temescal with Lily and my bike friend Mary. It turned out to be a really hot day out so even though we brought our wetsuits we knew we would be broiling, no matter how cold the water.

You can click on the lake picture above to see how it’s set up. There’s the shallow part, which goes to the orange  floaters. Then it drops off and gets really deep (“really” = anything over my head). There’s a lane line where people can do laps way out yonder. That looked kind of nifty from the parking lot.

But my objective today was to get comfortable swimming again. It was to avoid having a panic attack at all costs. So basically what we ended up doing was lots of laps back and forth on the “deeper” side of the orange floaters. It was mostly over my head, but I knew that all I had to do was splash over that rope and I’d be standing up again. Which I really psychologically needed.

The first length was kind of a shocker, it was pretty cold and I could feel my heart racing. But it wasn’t HAMMERING. And I wasn’t having an all out panic. I was tired, and sort of out of breath when I got to the end, but I wasn’t like dying. I did a bunch of laps back and forth and each time it got a little better. The last few times, we did two lengths (back and forth) without stopping. That felt just fine.

I’m feel like I’m taking little baby steps (strokes?). I am back at square one. I’m going to have to build from here. But I  accomplished my goal for today, which was to find my way back to some sort of comfort zone. Next time, we push it just a few feet more. Then a little more. Baby steps.

it's good to have buddies.

Open Water

I was actually really excited about the open water swim yesterday. The drive out to Del Valle Lake in Livermore was incredibly beautiful and I wasn’t feeling too nervous. We had had a good pool swim on Tuesday where I’d done about 2000 yards and felt relaxed – slow, but relaxed.

First we had a little clinic about open water swimming- how to “sight” (ie see where you’re going) without the comfort of lane lines in a pool. Then they passed out our wetsuits – very exciting! Wooo!

We got a demonstration on how to put on BodyGlide and how to turn it inside out and put it on “like pantyhose.” Then we were shown how to do the “wetsuit wedgie” – when someone else picks you up to jam the wetsuit completely into your crotch. Pretty funny.

AJ demos the pantyhose technique

Then it was our turn! Here’s Matt giving me my wedgie. Wheeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!

We felt pretty stoked with our new wetsuits.

Finally, we went down to the lake. The mud at the edge was SUPER DISGUSTING feeling but soon we waded in up to our waists and dived in and opened up our neck holes to get water into the suits (this is to form an insulating layer to keep us warm). I didn’t think that the water was too cold, actually.

Here they are instructing us to pee in our wetsuits to warm up. Nice!

Our first drill was to swim out about 25 yards (a pool length) to coach Stephanie in her kayak, then swim back to shore. I took off and the first several strokes felt just fine. I noticed right away that there was NOTHING TO SEE underwater – ie, it was just a bunch of murk. Just bubbles from exhaling. Okay. I think maybe I was about halfway to the kayak when I realized I was panting. Oh man, I have to rest already? I rolled onto my back and tried to breathe some. I made it around the kayak and got back, but I was SUPER out of breath and it didn’t feel good. I thought, “Man, what was that? Am I getting asthma or something?” The feeling in my chest was just tight.

I'm in the aqua cap

Second trip around the kayak went much better. I felt relaxed, but the memory of the first trip had kind of spooked me. They had asked us at first, “Who wants a buddy swimmer” and silly me didn’t raise my hand. But when we got set to do our first long swim (1/4 mile back and forth to a buoy) I was like… um, yes please! So my mentor Annika said she’d swim with me.

Things were going pretty well for about the first half. Then I heard Annika say, “Susan, turn to your left a little.” I popped my head up and saw that I was bearing really hard to the right, and I had drifted way away from everyone else (who was also way ahead of me, not to mention way to the left). I think that was it. My chest just seized up instantly. I couldn’t breathe. I turned on my back and tried to breathe but I was hyperventilating. Coach Haakon came over and he and Annika literally held me up, horizontally, like a little baby, while I struggled to regain my composure. It felt like forever. Finally they asked if I could manage to do sidestroke. I tried. I did sidestroke for a little while and then I felt like my lungs attacked me again. I sort of flipped out. “I…. can’t…. BREATHE!” I flailed around for a bit and then coach Stephanie showed up with the kayak and I pretty much lunged for it. I held on for dear life and panted and panted. I felt like there was a giant steel vice around my chest and it wasn’t letting me breathe. Stephanie asked if I wanted her to pull me in. I felt very, very defeated but I said, “Yes please.” I felt like there wasn’t any choice. I think we were very near the buoy at that point, but I’m not sure.

We got about halfway back and all of a sudden I realized I was breathing normally. I wanted to swim again. I said, “I think I can try again.” I got back to doing freestyle and it felt pretty good. I thought, at least I can redeem myself by swimming back half the way. It felt decent. Then I was almost, almost, almost there – I mean SO CLOSE and Bam! it hit me again. I was so close. I think what happened is I thought I could touch bottom and then when I tried and couldn’t, the Thing happened again. Shit! Another coach AJ asked, “Are you okay?” and I said, “No! NO!” and he grabbed my arm and dragged me like five feet to where I could stand. Annika asked if I needed to sit down but really I just needed to stand there and breathe. I was devastated. My breath sounded like a death rattle. My lungs were, I don’t know how to describe it. They felt like they were made of wood. It felt like an asthma attack. Was I having an asthma attack? I just couldn’t breathe. The coaches asked if I had an inhaler or I’d taken my medication. I haven’t actually HAD asthma in probably ten years so I don’t have an inhaler, no.

We got out of the water and out of our wetsuits and changed into running gear. That’s when I heard we were running 4-6 miles. I was like, oh BOY. Most of our post-bike or post-swim runs have been really short, like 20 minutes or 2 miles. This was a definite change.

We headed up to the trail for the run. Coach Joan told us it “wasn’t flat.” Um, true story. I decided I would do a 5/1 run/walk ratio. It was going okay at first. My feet were pretty achey but I know from experience that that goes away after the first mile or so; I was just going to have to run through it. I knew that I had about 3-4 people behind me and something about that made me feel like I had some company at my pace. The deal was we were supposed to run to the 2 mile marker, run back, then run to the 1 mile marker and back for a total of 6.

There was a killer hill in there right before the 2 mile mark that I just had to trudge up. Again I was feeling that panting feeling, like I couldn’t catch my breath. I didn’t like that very much. But I got to the 2 mile turnaround and realized the people behind me weren’t there anymore. They must have turned around earlier so that meant I was truly the last one out there. Coach Mark showed up to see if I was still alive (ha!) and jogged around with me a little bit. He nudged me up a couple of hills. Then my breathing started acting up again. I wanted to cry. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get my lungs to fully open up. I kept wanting him to go ahead of me and leave me in my misery so I could walk and cry.

Finally at the one mile marker he seemed satisfied I could make my way back so he took off. That’s when I pretty much hit my psychological wall. I was walking. I was walking really slow and the most incredible onslaught of thoughts just ran through my head. I knew there was no way I was going to go back out for the 6 miles. Four was going to have to be it. I thought about the swim and how terrifying and upsetting it had been. I thought about the really sucky bike ride I’d had on Friday and how I still couldn’t manage to deal with this little bridge on the trail near my house, and how I almost fell down twice. Almost.

By the time I made it back to the rest of the group, I was emotionally wrung out. It was HOT and I went over to sit under a tree a little ways away. I sat on a curb and cried for about twenty minutes. I knew that if anybody came and talked to me I was going to get truly hysterical so I kept my distance. Then I went and got my car. I have never felt so discouraged. I really felt like it was over.

Lily was a total rockstar yesterday. She did two entire loops around the buoy (1/2 mile!) and the whole 6 miles. I am so proud of her. We talked on the way home and she was her wonderful supportive self.

Look who got the Golden Hat of glory this week!

I’m not ready to give up. I’m going to give it another go, hopefully soon. But man, that was scary. I have to have some success and soon or else this little dream of mine is going to deflate fast. My friend Mary challenged me to a pretty daunting bike ride this afternoon but I know that’s not in the cards. I need to feel some success, some ease, some sense of possibility.

The Manatee Gets Swim Lessons

So I just got my swimming analysis video from the Team in Training folks. WOW. Eight minutes of slow-mo, extreeeeeeeemely detailed analysis of my every move, from both above and below the water! My initial reactions are: wow, this is some excellent feedback. So much more than I was expecting. And two: holy moly, I look like a manatee underwater. 😦

But the real reason I posted this was just the amazing level of attention and support we are getting from our coaches. Isn’t this pretty phenomenal?? I also got to look at the videos of my teammates and really learned some great stuff from that – like what is it SUPPOSED to look like. Impressive!

Decision

Today, I was running, I was listening to this. It brought a lump to my throat it was so true.  I’m not going to let the fear steer me.

“Drive” (by Incubus)

Sometimes, I feel the fear of uncertainty stinging clear
And I can’t help but ask myself how much I let the fear
Take the wheel and steer
It’s driven me before
And it seems to have a vague, haunting mass appeal
But lately I’m beginning to find that I
Should be the one behind the wheel

Whatever tomorrow brings, I’ll be there
With open arms and open eyes yeah

Whatever tomorrow brings, I’ll be there
I’ll be there

And so I came home and:

Resistance

Resist by Stefano Pizzetti
Resist, a photo by Stefano Pizzetti on Flickr.

This triathlon training is teaching me so much about myself. Recently I’ve been learning about resistance. Yesterday was supposed to be a swim day. I was sort of planning to sandwich the swim in between work and this dinner party I really wanted to go to. But I got out of work late. I was tired (what else is new?). It was Juniorette’s first day back at crew practice and I knew she would really appreciate a good hearty dinner when she came home. So after work I went grocery shopping, went home and made chili and cornbread (one of her favorites). By that time it was after 7pm. Lily had just texted me saying she was sick and couldn’t make the workout.

Part of me was so, so, so tempted to just say “Oh, nevermind!” and just skip the workout and go straight to the party. Wouldn’t that have been nice? No. I would have felt maybe like I’d gotten away with something. But I would have also felt bad about myself.

I decided to go to the pool and do my workout. Again, I thought that 1) since Lily wasn’t there to push me, and 2) nobody was looking and 3) I wanted to get that party, I would do the shorter Sprint/Developing workout instead of the longer more challenging Fitness level workout. I studied them both pretty hard. The S/D was 1200 yards total, and the Fitness was 2300.

I was in a cranky mood already because I’d of the aforementioned long day, the lack of swim partner, missing the party and LOSING the 4th set of goggles I’ve had since the season began. Jeebus. What is wrong with me? I lose goggles like I lose hairs out of my head. I went to the gym’s front desk and bought the best pair of goggles they have, which are sufficient for keeping out water but also keep me blind as a bat. I need the goggles with the lens correction in them, or I’m hopeless.

I did find a pair of silicon earplugs in my purse, and decided to try them for the first time. This turned out to be a good thing. I liked that kind of insulated feeling, AND of course they did the trick of keeping water out of my ears. Recently I’ve been getting a lot of water in my ears and it HURTS. And is irritating.

Anyway, I got going and after the 12 lengths of warmup I pretty much decided I was going to go for the Fitness workout. I talked to myself underwater. I mean, who was I cheating if I skipped a workout or did the easy short one? ME. And what is my goal here exactly? My goal is to enjoy this triathlon if possible (of whatever length), to not drown or suffer too much during the swim portion of it. (or any portion) So in order to meet that goal it behooves me to do the best I can. As I say to my PT clients every day, “Give it your Safe Maximal Effort.” (ie do the best you possibly can without hurting yourself)

I did the Fitness workout. It took a little over an hour. I took the 10 second rests where dictated. But toward the end there was a 500 yard set, ie 20 lengths without stopping. I didn’t churn it out, but I kept it steady. I wasn’t going at a snail pace. I remember doing a 400 a few weeks ago that almost made me pass out. I do think I am getting stronger. Later I discovered that a mile is 1750 yards. So I did MORE than a mile, albeit with some rests. It felt just fine.

I went home, made some nice Pillsbury chocolate chip cookies (throw in pan, dry hair while they bake, then GO) and went to the party. It was more of a meeting than a party, of very fine Solo Performance minds, and people were taking notes and talking a mile a minute about the recent NY Fringe Festival. It was very stimulating and I was glad I’d gone.

Fast forward to today. Another long day at work. Went out to do hill repeats after 8:45. I was in a terrible, horrible mood! Feeling resistant again! Realizing how very hard it is to do these workouts when I already feel spent from working all day. Especially the days that end at 8:00pm. But I went out there, and I pushed myself up the hill 7x (Developing level tonight!) and done.

All I can say is, if I did not have this training to be accountable to, there is NO WAY IN THE UNIVERSE I would be doing these workouts. No way. So I am so thankful to this training for getting me out there, even when I realllllllllllllly don’t feel like it.

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