Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Training Update: Feeling good

So guys, in addition to bouncing around celebrating my friend's weddings, I have also been working hard and sticking to a pretty solid training plan. I feel pretty good about the routine I have worked out and I'm doing my best to balance it all with having a fun summer, being social, and travel.

Part of what has kept me on schedule is that I did in fact hire a coach to help me get ready for the race I am doing at the end of the summer. Before I get into that, you'll notice that I called it just a "race" and not the "Half Ironman World Championships" at the end of the summer.

After conversations with friends, totally panicking and trying to do it all, I made a big realization about how I need to think about this race. I need to think about it the way that I did when I signed up for it. As a life experience.

When talking with a friend a few weeks ago, I told her all about how I signed up and how I decided to do this race as a "life experience" and build a vacation out of the trip, since I had planned to do a vacation at the end of the summer. As I was stressing about how to fit in the training, lose weight before the race, upgrade my bike, manage a coach, see friends this summer, etc. she pointed out to me, "Katelyn, you just said you are doing it for the experience and as a part of a bigger vacation. You never said that you were doing this race as a chance to PR or that you wanted it to be your A race for the year. You already did that. And you have the New York City Marathon afterwards. You didn't plan for this race. You can always choose a race next year to get an intense coach, focus for, and set out to do to crush how you did in the first one. Listen to what you just said - you're doing this because you took advantage of an opportunity. Because it's a once in a lifetime experience. To go on a vacation. You don't have to kill yourself. Be prepared, stay in shape, have fun with training, work hard. But listen to what you are saying."

It made so much sense to me and put a lot in perspective. I love writing and love the opportunity to sit and think through things on my own, but sometimes you need a good friend to put things in perspective for you.

So that's where I am.

I hired a coach who I found on the Internet when I Googled, "triathlon coaches under $100 a month" because I did want to try this out. He has an unlimited question policy, which I fully take advantage of, and having someone to report back to on what I do each week is certainly helping me stay accountable. I've also found myself pushing a bit more since he gives me interval and tempo runs to do during the week - which are both longer and higher intensity than I would ever do on my own (I hate tempo runs!!) My longer weekend bike rides and runs are also longer than I would probably be doing on my own.

A typical schedule looks like this:

Monday AM:  Master's swim practice at Windy Hill

Tuesday AM: 3-4 mile easy run

Wednesday AM: 6 mile temp/intervals

Thursday PM: 22 mile group bike ride (moderate to hard effort)

Friday AM: Master's swim practice at Windy Hill

Saturday AM: Long bike ride

Sunday AM: Long run

At first I was a little hesitant about the coach because the workouts don't look too different from what I was doing on my own before. I would look at the schedules and think to myself, "Well I could have put this together." However, working with a "professional" takes some of that anxiety away for me. I have the assurance that someone else, who has way more experience than me, is telling me, "Do this, and you're going to be okay."

That's what I always loved about the Hal Higdon training plans - it gave me confidence. I knew that if I checked those boxes on my running workout plans, I had an expert telling me, "You will be able to run this marathon come race day." and now, I have the man from the Internet who came up when I Googled telling me that I will be able to do this come Half Ironman day. The workouts aren't THAT different, but I have no anxiety (granted, I have also done a race before, so I know that I CAN do it, but whatever.)

In between the regular workouts that I am doing as part of the training plan, I am also trying to add in some extra cross training where I can. And am also making adjustments based off my travel schedule. For example, since I was away last weekend and wasn't able to do a long bike ride, he had me add an extra bike ride last week and another on Monday when I got back. Without the anxiety, I feel okay making these changes and being able to check in with him and say, "what do you think I should do?" is really helpful.

I've been feeling good lately guys. I have been feeling really positive about training. This past weekend at the wedding, I felt like I looked strong and fit. In the pictures my chest and shoulders I felt seemed toned. My legs looked muscular.

Granted, the dress was really flattering and covered my problem areas of my thighs and stomach. I'm sure when I put on bike shorts again I will not be too happy with how it pinches my waist. But I'm doing my best.

This morning I did a 4-mile run and this evening, was able to get in a 45-minute swim. I just completely allowed myself to zone out while on the swim. I didn't think about how far or long or how fast I wanted to go and just sort of meditated while I swam. It felt good and I felt happy.  

More to come from training adventures for my second Half Ironman. Which just happens to be a race I am going to swim, bike and run while I am in Australia on vacation at the end of the summer. I can't wait to have this amazing trip, that includes a Half Ironman :)

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