Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lessons learned

So much has happened since my last post in May. Worst Summer of my life last year, best Summer of my life this year. I can hardly believe how much fun I had this Summer, it was fantastic. Below is a bit of an account of my training from May onward.

Shortly after the last post I had a successful sprint triathlon (even with a frightfully cold swim where I couldn't breathe). I continued training for an Olympic distance triathlon with my coach, although he moved far away (Europe) and communication dropped off, which caused some problems that were pretty much all my fault. Eventually I freaked out, had a complete crisis of confidence in terms of triathlon, and totally stepped back and changed my plans abandoning the solo Olympic triathlon pursuit. I ended up doing the local Olympic triathlon as a relay team rather than solo and it was fun and I did well in the swim. My time was 24:46 for the 1,500 metre swim.

I did the Whistler 1/2 marathon in early June. A PB for me, though I didn't feel prepared for the half. Next goal for a 1/2 will be to break 2 hours.

In mid July I quit a sprint triathlon right after the swim. It wasn't a big deal, there are always other triathlons/races, but you know you're not in a good place when you quit mid-race, especially since I wasn't ill or injured, I just straight up hated it and didn't want to be there. Thankfully most everyone I spoke to about it was supportive and agreed that it happens from time to time and that it was no big deal. The funny thing is the day before the sprint tri I did a fantastic open water swim race, and I loved that! The Across the Lake Swim in Kelowna is an amazing event, a must do! Seriously, put it on your race schedule for 2012. Some people asked me if I thought the open water swim race the day before had a negative impact on the sprint triathlon. The answer is no, I don't think so. I felt good and confident and excited about the open water swim, I felt shitty and under prepared and anxious about the sprint triathlon. It was a mental issue rather than a physical one.

I also quit a local running race partway through in late July. It was only a 10k race and after struggling through the first 4km I just took my number off, stepped off the course and went home. I'm not sure what exactly went wrong, I just wasn't feeling it at all.

In early August my cousin and I did an open water swim race in the ocean just off Kit's beach. It was a small field, so I was able to win 1st place woman in the 1,500 metre event. Yay! My time was 22:46. Obviously one doesn't shave off 2 minutes in a month, so I'm confident the currents/tides were in my favour that day.

Lessons learned: pay close attention to how I feel and don't race if I don't feel like racing. I'm a recreational athlete and in it for fun. I race simply to keep my training focused and to work towards a goal. If I don't feel like racing, I'm not going to race. Simple. The other lesson I learned is that a coach can only do his or her job properly if I communicate properly. Yeah, I know...duh!! For whatever reason it just didn't occur to me to tell my coach that I was struggling to finish everything on the schedule every single day etc., so he in turn never modified my training schedule. My fault, I now know better.

I also quit riding my road bike all together in late Spring. My bike didn't fit me properly and that eventually made riding unbearable, so I quit. Luckily I borrowed a friend's bike in August, it's smaller and fits me very well, and what a difference! I've been happily riding ever since and I find myself with a huge ass grin on my face during many rides. Also a lot of grimacing, because sometimes it hurts like hell. I began riding home after work from Whistler to Squamish on a regular basis, it's about 46-50km, and that's been fun and a great way to squeeze in a workout. Then I added a few more longer rides in and finally last weekend I did my longest road ride ever, a total of 110km. Aside from the chafing I felt really good. Note to self: do not do long rides in tri shorts you total dumbass and what the fuck were you thinking?

I haven't been in a lake since August 10th. I did so much lake swimming this Summer I suppose I grew tired of it and the thought of yanking my wetsuit on just didn't appeal to me, that and I was busy focusing on moving house/being social/having fun over the past month. Last night was the first time I've been in the pool in months. Man, do I ever appreciate lake swimming, and we sure are spoiled with what I think is THE nicest lake to swim in, Brohm Lake. The pool chemicals seem to affect me more and more as I age. I know that I should be swimming 3x per week minimum but that is not going to happen this Winter. I think the most my skin/nose/throat/hair can take is 2x a week, so that's that. My sinuses were so effed up last Spring by the end of pool swimming season, I'd like to avoid that this year.

Of course I got up to some other fun stuff but that'll have to wait for another post.

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