Just Keep Swimming….and Reading

I am officially starting my 4th full week of IMWI training today. Whew! This is just the beginning and it’s already hard. Not hard in a sense of the workout being difficult (except swimming, more on that later), but just trying to fit it all in. Being a mom of 2 amazing kiddos which I have 50% of the time and an full time IT professional, already fills up my calendar but then you add in 1-2 hour daily workouts and it’s a juggle. Most days I am getting up super early or doing my best to fit my workout in during the day on my lunch break. I feel like it’s a game of Jenga, move a piece here and move a piece there and hope it doesn’t topple over.  So far, so good but I am certain it will only get harder.

Let’s talk about swimming.  In 3 1/2 weeks I have logged  14,000 yards in the pool. Woah!  I realize that to some that may have swam in high school or for a club, that isn’t a lot. But for this girl, who didn’t swim much growing up and prior triathlon training consisted of about 800 yards of swimming per week at best, 14,000 is A LOT.  I am still adjusting to say the least. I am not a fast swimmer so it takes me forever to complete a swim workout. And I am exhausted at the end. Coach just keeps telling that it will get better with frequency and consistency.  I am sure he is right but not going to lie, it is hard and a bit demoralizing still.  And boring, let me tell you.  There is nothing more boring than swimming (sorry swimmers).  Nothing to look at or listen to except sloshing water and the black line on the bottom of the pool.  I usually count to pass the time.  Count my strokes, every other stroke or how many laps I have done or to go.  I think I need to invest in some underwater swimming headphones!

Gotta keep telling myself, “this is the easy work, enjoy it now, it’s only going to get harder, just keep swimming.”

On another note, I thought I would be fun to highlight some of the books I have been reading lately.  If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that I love to go to the library.  I usually walk out with a stack of books that I know I will never get through before they are due back.  It’s like going to the buffet on an empty stomach, I always want to check out more books than I can handle. Reading certainly fills my soul with happiness and I often neglect to give that need enough attention. My kids and I have stopped at the library every couple weeks and I walked out with a ton of running, endurance and training books, and promptly got to reading them.

I just finished Running Home: Big-League Wife, Small-Town Story by Alisha Perkins.

What initially attracted me to this book was that it was about a local gal and talked about a ton of local races that I had run myself. What I didn’t realize until I had started the book was that it was also about the author overcoming anxiety through running.  It was so awesome to read about how running helped her clear her mind and made her a better mom, wife, daughter and friend. It was fun to read about her journey, how she got started running and how she tackled her running, fitness and self improvement goals.  Loved it!

I also recently finished Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory by Deena Kastor.

The mind-body connection is so incredible and often overlooked.  Deena Kastor writes about how positive thinking can be a tool to help you achieve your physical goals like running.  Deena talks about racing different race distances and strategies she and her coach would enlist to turn her into distance running record holder (holla sub 15 min 5k).  I loved how she described running and how she would hone in on the smallest of things like the sound of feet striking the ground or the breathing of a competitor.  I am certainly not saying that I will be racing IMWI competitively (only to compete with myself) but that how I mentally prepare for and think while in a race can greatly impact my performance. I finished the book feeling very inspired!

Next post I will do a race recap of the TC 10 Miler. Stay tuned!

Cheers!

Coaching + First Training Day

48 weeks until Ironman Wisconsin.  It sure seems like a looooong way away.

In the last week I checked a few things off my list.  I hired a coach.  I definitely knew this was a must for me.  In the last 6 years of doing multi-sport events I have, mostly, coached myself.  Just taking a guess on what I should train (swim, bike, run, strength, sometime yoga) on a given day.  I had no rhyme or reason, just whatever I felt like doing and for however long I wanted or had available.  So in thinking about my approach to IMWI, I knew I needed guidance.  And a lot of it.  I had, and still have, so many questions about how to become a better runner, how to plan for nutrition while training and racing, how to plan shorter races into my training, how to deal with fatigue and injury, and the list goes on and on.

So I went where all good research happens, the googles! I did some quick searching and website scouring of local triathlon coaches and came upon Final K Sporting Services.

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They offer one on one coaching services, run and swim analysis and other awesome services.  They have a group of coaches that can be paired up with an athlete based on what their goals are. Awesome! I spoke with the owner, Kris and got some more info and moved forward with signing up as an athlete with Final K.  Kris is my coach and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have a resource to ask questions and help me with planning my training and racing.  I sure hope he is ready for my onslaught of questions. 🙂

So, Kris hooked me up with Training Peaks and some training plans for the next few weeks and I got started. By the way, Training Peaks is super cool. I am a data geek and I love that I can automatically connect my Garmin to the platform and it send my data and links it to the training plan.  I also love how you can see how the upcoming training, you can log how the training you just finished felt and send notes to your coach about how much you hated or loved it.  Awesome tool right at your fingertips!

Day 1 – SWIMMING….dun dun duuuuhhh! Ugh, I have to admit, I haven’t been in the pool for quite a while.  Probably about 6-8 months.  If a race I had included a swim, I just went and did the swim during the race and didn’t do any prep or training for it.  Bad Julie!

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This swim session called for a warm up and then some 200 yard drills.  In all about 2000 yards total.  For a non-swimmer who hadn’t been in the pool in quite a while, it was hard.  But necessary!

Anyone else geek out and watch the Ironman NOW coverage of IM Chattanooga on Sunday.  I did.  So inspiring to watch these races and athletes.  Unfortunately they had to cancel the swim portion of the race due to heavy rains and fast currents.  Those lucky dogs! Ha!

Cheers!