Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wait, HOW far???

I did some calculations today trying to figure out exactly how far it is we're swimming. Today during practice I swam 1150 yards (22 laps). At least I think I did - I missed a few of the drills because I was pretty slow but based on what I remember, this is what I did. Don't forget this included numerous breaks, time for instruction, etc. so it wasn't 22 laps one right after another. I also used a pull buoy between my legs for most of it.

The swim distance for the triathlon is .9 miles. 1584 yards. 31 laps. No breaks. No gasping for air at the side of the pool. Plus a 28 mile bike ride and 6.2 mile run tacked on the end.

Boy do I have a lot of work to do!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

On a roll...


This past week was pretty great training wise.

If you remember, my last post had my upcoming week as follows...

Tues: Team Swim in the am, Track work out Tues night (Did both!)
Wed: Solo run 35-40 minutes (Coach said Wed should be recovery if we do the Tuesday track so I skipped this)
Thur: Solo swim (Did it - at 5:00am)
Fri: Rest (definitely did this!)
Sat: Team Training: 17 mile bike followed by a 10 minute run (Did it. But make that a 19 mile ride. In rain and wind)
Sun: Solo run 35-40 minutes (Tempo -5 sec) (Just finished out 35 minutes in a tempo -10sec).

I MAY go for a short swim later today but it just depends on how I'm feeling. I have a feeling I may end up on the couch after I hit up JD Pence (swim store) for a buoy.

This week was also super on the fundraising side of things. Once the check I sent it yesterday posts to my account I will have broken the $2,000 mark!! You guys are phenomenal!! I seriously can't believe it how generous and supportive all my friends and family have been.

I want share a story with you on why I do what I do. Why I train and most importantly why I fundraise. A few weeks ago at one of our clinics we had the chance to meet and hear from a family who has been impacted by blood cancers. Little Alex was diagnosed with T Cell Lymphoma at 3 1/2 years old. Two long years later Alex had his last dose of chemotherapy for the lymphoma. The family celebrated. They could begin life after cancer now.

Only 5 months later Alex was diagnosed with B Cell Leukemia. This wasn't the same cancer coming back. It was completely different. That's a good thing since it means he had successfully beat the Lymphoma. This new cancer was unrelated OR it could have been caused by the chemotherapy he took to fight the first cancer. Really? Cancer fighting drugs CAUSING cancer? I had no idea that could happen but it does.

I want there to be a day when our cancer fighting drugs do not cause cancer. I want there to be a day when a 6 year old boy is not fighting for his life for a SECOND time.

Click here to read more about Alex's Battle.

That is why I do what I do.

Monday, February 20, 2012

3 weeks later...

Officially in the start of the fourth week of training and I'm feeling pretty good with the exception of swimming. I missed a week of training due to a nasty cold but I'm back in the swing of things.

I have to say, I have some AMAZINGLY generous and awesome friends out there. I've already raised 50% of my minimum! That is super fantastic this early on.

I do have a fundraiser event in the works for early April that should be the most fun you'll have all year. All you locals keep an eye out for more details in the near future...

Went to the Thursday night team swim since I missed Tuesday. I did NOT like that. Bad parking, too many people and too late at night. I'll definitely be going back to the Tuesday morning team swim and then my solo swim on Thursday morning at my gym. I struggled a bit having missed a week of swimming but also because I was still stuffy. I hope Tuesday will go better.

Had a great run on Saturday with the team. It was 3.1 miles and I felt really good for all of it. Our pace was slow (L1/2) but that's what helped me run almost the entire way with out any stops except for traffic. I also kept a very even pace for the entire run which is usually really hard for me but obviously it helps... Pacing for the win!

Sunday afternoon I went for 70 minute bike ride and that was after volunteering at the Heart Breaker Half Marathon in the morning (6am-10:30am).

The rest of the week looks like this:

Mon: Rest!! Yes, I'm still in my pajamas.
Tues: Team Swim in the am, Track work out Tues night
Wed: Solo run 35-40 minutes
Thur: Solo swim
Fri: Rest
Sat: Team Training: 17 mile bike followed by a 10 minute run
Sun: Solo run 35-40 minutes (Tempo - 5 sec)

Are you jealous yet?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Chlorine is good for you right?

We had our second group swim on Tuesday. For some reason I was even more nervous than the first one! Heck, I should be an expert by now, right?

The first few lengths were so hard. I don't know if it's the whole 6am thing or just those initial warm up laps but I was ready to stop after 2 laps! I guess it's similar to how those first 10 miles on the bike always seem the hardest then after awhile you get your groove and life is good.

We focused more on body positioning and started trying to roll properly to get our air. I could definitely tell when I was doing it RIGHT. It felt so much easier. The problem was I'd get it right for about two strokes, panic would ensue and then the flailing. Practice, right?

We also worked with pull buoys on the last set of drills. They are foam pieces you put between your legs for support so you can focus on just your upper body technique. It was an odd sensation. The first time my legs kept flopping left and right kind of like a fish fin. I'm sure it was quite hysterical looking.

In case you've been wonder what exactly is a swimming work out here was our plan for Tuesday:

Warm-up, 5 minutes
Do some bobs…

• “Swim” with board, relax shoulders & breathe to the side
• Long glide freestyle, like speedskating.

Newer to swimming:
2 x 25s “swim” with board focus on exhaling underwater, followed by 1 x 50 easy freestyle, 4 times through. Heads & tails.

8 x 25s long glide freestyle, easy, 2 bobs in between lengths. Rest approx 10 sec. (or 60 seconds or 90)

4 x 50s, practice breathing every 4 strokes, roll head with body to get the breath. Rest 15 seconds after each 50. Cough up water for 30 seconds.

Warm down, bobs optional
Total distance: 800+

Pull Buoy:

Sunday, February 5, 2012

First week, DONE!

Whew! This first week of training has been a whirlwind.

We started last Saturday with an orientation then a quick run (~2.3 miles) with my new TNT family. Yep, I'm going to be spending a lot of time with this group for the next 5 months and by the end, it will feel like family. One of the bonuses to working with Team in Training.

Sunday we had a bike clinic then a 14 mile ride along the waterfront. It was pouring rain but we better get used to that - it's Oregon afterall.

On Tuesday was our first team swim. I've been freaking out about this for weeks now. On Monday night I packed my gym bag in anticipation of the 6am meetup time. New swim cap. Check. New goggles. Check. Swimsuit. Check. My goal on this first workout was to swim a length of the pool (25 yards in this pool) and NOT drown. Coach Jane had us start by swimming a lap (50 yards) just so she could see where we were at in ability. I only inhaled a little water but holy cow - just that was tiring! Is 6:30 am too early for a margarita?? She taught us some breathing techniques and body positioning and then we did some laps with a kickboard so we could practice exhaling under water. After 8 lengths of those (interspersed with more instruction and some bobbing to practice breathing) we attempted a lap without the kickboard. FAIL. Back to the kickboard but each time we needed to inhale, we used one arm to stroke. Couple lengths that way then finished it out with some real swimming. I was pretty exhausted by then so I managed to inhale about a gallon since I couldn't seem to lift/rotate my body anymore. All in all, it went better than I expected. It was still extremely hard though. I was completely wiped out!

Wednesday was a run day so I headed out at 6:40 am for a 25 minute run. I could definitely feel the week of training was starting to drag me but I finished it out strong. Thursday I hit up my gym at 5:15 am to practice the swimming drills we learned on Tuesday. Wow - it was even harder since there was less waiting on other people and instruction. I was in the pool for 30 minutes but I'm guessing only half that was actual swimming. The other half was panting at the end of the pool. It's gonna be hard work to condition myself for this but it can and will be done.

Yesterday was our next group training and the beginning of our second official week. We met at the Portland Running Company for a clinic on running shoes then we headed out for a 3.1 mile run with a short break for some dynamic stretching. I felt really good on this run - better than I have when running in a long time. I don't know if it's the training, the people or the cause. Probably a little bit of all three.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Swim, bike, run? Is she serious?

Here we go again on the Team in Training boomerang! You try to run away but you just keep getting pulled back in...

Many of you remember when I started training for the Portland Marathon with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training program back in 2007. The next year I decided I hated running so I trained for the Peach of Century (100 mile bike ride). I took a couple years off and last year I mentored the Peach team but ran into a few physical issues (knee pain that was exasperated by a cycling accident last May) that prevented me from biking in the final event. For years now I've been asked by friends "You ran a marathon. You biked 100 miles. When are you going to do a triathlon?" My response? "NEVER! I don't swim. I don't like to swim. I'm afraid to put my head under water!"

So what am I doing this year? The Pacific Crest Triathlon!! That's right. You heard it here, folks. I'm facing that fear and I'm going to do it. I don't even get to swim with a margarita in hand and pool noodles under my feet. Hmph.

WHY you ask? Why would she do something so crazy as to SWIM 1.5 km (.9 miles) in OPEN WATER. Bike 28 miles. Run 10 km (6.2 miles). One after another after another? I'm doing this to support and fundraise for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

This cause has long been close to my heart. When my brother was 9 years old he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. He is now a healthy 36 year old man due in part to research funded by organizations like LLS. Team in Training is one of the major funders of LLS and in order to support this organization it relies on it's participants (me) to fundraise while training for these endurance events.

Do you know somebody who has been affected by a blood cancer like leukemia or lymphoma? You know me, right? Every year I train with TNT I learn of a friend who knows somebody or is related to somebody who was recently diagnosed. I hope someday that won't be true. I hope someday I can train and fundraise and find out that not a single person I know has a friend or family member recently diagnosed. That is my goal.

You can help. You can help me beat cancer. You can help me cross that finish line at the Pacific Crest Triathlon. Click a few buttons and donate to the cause. I'll do all the hard work like training 5-6 days a week. At 6am. In the cold. In the dark. In the rain. All you have to do is snuggle up, click and donate $20, $30, $50...

Donate to LLS here: Michele's Triathlon Fundraising Page

Don't forget to keep coming back here for training updates as I splash, pedal and hoof my way through the next 5 months...

Thank you!