Inspiring Teammates

21 08 2013

It’s rainy season in Florida.

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And that means that pretty much every afternoon dark clouds roll in and then the sky opens up. Loud booms of thunder and the flash of lightning paired with the buckets and buckets of rain frequently squash all hopes of getting in an afternoon workout. Thankfully (I think?) me and the XP gang have been getting in our workouts in the AM, and we’ll occasionally get lucky enough to have an afternoon workout.

Last week was one of those lucky weeks, where we were able to get in our Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoon swims! Crazy, right? I wanted to tell you about Thursday’s practice, because it was one of those practices where you get out of the water knowing that you left it all in the pool. But it was also one of those practices where you realize how awesome and inspiring your teammates are.

After a short warm up, we did a challenging set of 100s:

3 x 100 on 1:40, 3 x 100 on 1:35, 3 x 100 on 1:30

2 x 100 on 1:35, 2 x 100 on 1:30, 2 x 100 on 1:25

1 x 100 on 1:30, 1 x 100 on 1:25, 1 x 100 on 1:20

Based on my current swim fitness, I’d say these intervals were “just right” for me- not too tough, but not too easy either. It was a good set for me.

After the 100s, Felipe had one last thing planned for us. He gave each of us a challenging goal time for a 100. When someone beat the goal time, everyone could go home. We would go from fastest to slowest, one at a time.

Felipe went first, and he had to beat a 1:01. We were all cheering as he came into the wall…:59, 1:00…touch! It was awfully close, but he came in just under 1:01. We were about to be dismissed, but I wasn’t ready. I had felt strong during the set of 100s, so I told him I wanted to swim. My goal time was to beat a 1:04. I’m pretty sure the fastest I’ve swum during a practice on a single 100 all out was 1:06. This was definitely going to be a challenge. I left on the top and felt really strong on the first 50. By the time I flipped for my last 25, my lungs were burning, my legs were screaming that they wanted it to be over. I hit the flags and kept my head down, driving to the wall. I looked up and saw 1:03! Holy cow, I had done it! My teammates were cheering, and I was so happy to have their support.

Since we were on a roll, we decided to keep going. Heather was next, and she had to beat 1:05. She pushed off the wall and we joked about how easy it looked like she was swimming. She’s a former D1 swimmer and you can tell. She flipped at the 50 and we knew she was on target. We hollered as she headed for the wall on her last 25…the clock ticked 1:04. She beat it too!

Next up, Jess. Let me tell you, Jess is a phenomenal athlete. This girl started swimming less than two years ago, and she’s made tremendous gains in the pool. She had already done an amazing job on those 100s- they were tough intervals for her and she refused to give up. Watching her, I was reminded of so many times in my own swimming career where the interval was so short I barely had enough time to touch the wall and push off to start it all again. Those were tremendously frustrating for me, so I could totally relate as I watched her tough it out. She made every single 100 in that set- I was so proud of her!

Anyhow, Jess’s goal for this last 100 was to beat 1:17. She pushed off and I could only imagine how tired her arms were. 25…50…75….annnnd….. she did it! She came in just shy of 1:17. That girl is an animal!

Last up was Chris. Chris is also impressive-he started swimming with us just about a year ago. He had done enough swimming to get by in sprint triathlons before, but hadn’t really done much more than that, until this time last year. He also did really well on the set of 100s- sitting out when he needed to, but pushing himself hard when he was swimming. I don’t recall what goal time Felipe assigned him, but I do know that Chris was very skeptical that he would beat it. He pushed off hard, and swam his heart out. When he touched, we all cheered- he did it!

This is why I love my team- we all support each other and push each other to be better athletes. We don’t give up or take the easy way out (well, most of the time 😉 ). I love being surrounded by these guys- they inspire me to be a better athlete! I can’t wait for more practices with these guys.

teamxp1

 





If A Picture is worth 1000 words…

14 08 2013

Then a video must be worth at least 10,000! Here’s the video from our hike on the Chilkoot! Bill did an awesome job at putting it together!

So, sit back, grab a snack (it’s 24 minutes long), and enjoy!

 





Triathlon Training Lately

13 08 2013

I hope you all enjoyed my Chilkoot Trail recap! I actually have a few more Alaska posts planned, but I just need to find the time to write them! I figured I’d give you a quick training update – this is a triathlon blog, after all!

As I’ve announced before, I’m planning to do my first 70.3  in November, at Rev3 Florida. I guess I “officially” started training when I got back from Alaska, since that put me at about 15 weeks out. I don’t really have a plan though…I’m just training with a few friends who are also doing the race 🙂

And now, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of my recent Triathlon Training:

The GOOD:

Right after I got back from my trip, I was able to do a long ride with my XP training buddies. It was a PDR (Personal Distance Record) for me, 68 miles!

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Yes, Coke tastes AH-MAZING after 50 miles.

I’ve been traveling a bit for work, so it’s been a little tough to get group trainings in during the week. However, I have been self-motivated enough to get up and run in the wee hours before being at work meetings and such at 7am. Reminding myself that I’ll catch a killer sunrise like this:

IMG_8062or this:

IMG_8179makes it a tiny bit easier to wake up.

Overall, I’m happy with the training I’ve been able to do. I’m pretty consistently getting in a long ride on the weekend, running several times a week, with at least one day of speed work, and swimming between 2-4 times per week. Now, I just need to keep it up!

The BAD:

Headaches. Stupid dehydration headaches. If you just finished reading my Chilkoot Day 3 post, you really might be thinking that I have a hydration problem. I have to defend myself though, because I drink water pretty much non-stop on my bike rides. I think these are more from an electrolyte imbalance than from being dehydrated.

I’ve been trying to keep a log of my workouts and nutrition so I can see if there are any triggers or patterns. When I rode the 68 miler, I didn’t get a headache; but when I rode 50 this past weekend followed by an afternoon open water swim, I had a pounding headache by the time I got home. The biggest difference? I forgot to take salt tabs on the 50 miler. I’m not sure if that’s the key or not, but I’ll definitely be better about taking my electrolytes!

The UGLY:

Florida humidity SUCKS.

 

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I can barely run a mile without feeling like I’ve just stepped out of the shower.  Florida heat and humidity do not make for fun training. It’s quite discouraging to look at your Garmin and see numbers that are a lot slower than you were expecting for the amount of effort it seems to be taking to put one foot in front of the other. Ick.

I’ve learned that you just gotta roll with the punches when training in Florida summers- the heat will suck it out of you, so you can’t become reliant on the numbers on the watch. You do what you can, and know that you gave it your best! I can’t complain too much, because we’re the lucky ones who can train outside in December, January, and February, when most people are stuck on the dread-mill. That’s what makes this suffering worth it;-)