Our own Adena Andrews -- former swimmer and more recent couch potato -- is training for her first triathlon, to be held March 19 in South Carolina, and is blogging every proud, painful or demoralizing step along the way.
I started this journey alone, but now I have the triathlon nation behind me. You're all awesome, and a bit wacky. I've learned, however, that one needs to be a little crazy to take on a triathlon. Training for one race is hard enough, but combining three disciplines into one is rather insane.
This week my new tri family at GOTRIbal hooked me up with a sweet beginners triathlon package: a Trek bicycle, a bike fitting, a super coach, a nutritionist, triathlon gear for race day and a training swimsuit. I may not be the fastest in this race, but I will be the best looking. I also got a triathlon training schedule courtesy of Active.com. All this, except for the bike and the gear, is actually available to anyone who has internet access. So get off your butt and work out with me.
The Swim: My bathing suit is deteriorating from chlorine exposure, making it dangerously sheer. In other words, I've been putting in some serious pool time (and then leaving my soggy suit at the bottom of my bag every night). I'll make sure to treat my fancy new suit better.
My swim team is upping our yardage, and yesterday we completed 1,600 yards, including some intervals and some stroke technique work. After practice, when the rest of the team went out to the hot tub, I sprinted to the cardio room for a brick workout of biking. A brick workout is when you do one workout followed by another. I assume they call it this because your legs feel like bricks afterwards.
The Bike: My trainer, four-time Ironman finisher Rachel Casanta of Hypercat Racing, advised me to do a 10-10-10 workout to get my body used to consecutive workouts. That's 10 minutes swimming, 10 minutes biking and 10 minutes running. Like the overachiever I am, I didn't listen and did an hour in the pool proceeded by 10 minutes on the bike and 10 minutes on the treadmill.
I tried to do my workout in a swimsuit and tights, but was immediately scolded by the gym attendant for not wearing a shirt with sleeves in the cardio room. What a prude! After donning the proper attire, I hopped on the stationary bike for 10 minutes and 2.8 miles. Piece of cake.
I was fitted for my bike earlier in the week and should be receiving it tomorrow from Free-Flite Bicycles in Marietta, Ga. My new bike is very similar to the one in my photo, and is super sexy. Yes, I'm an athlete and I think bikes are sexy.
The Run: After three weeks of training, I've determined the run is my kryptonite. Watching me run is like watching a baby giraffe learn to walk. It's not pretty. I have a very small stride, my ankle irritates me due to numerous basketball injuries, and I am perpetually sporting an "is it over yet" expression on my face. I stop to "retie my shoes" about three times per mile. I logged two training runs this week at about 11 minutes per mile which means -- I'm getting slower. I think training may be wearing on me, causing me to slow down. I know I will bounce back, and in the meantime, I refuse to believe the treadmill computer. What does it know anyway?
My biggest motivation right now is my new triathlon family and the readers on espnW who are holding me accountable for workouts. Failure isn't an option. It's not even a thought. My trainer sends me weekly motivational quotes and this week's, from Tanzanian runner Juma Ikanga, the winner of the 1989 New York City Marathon, is rather fitting for my new adventure: "The will to win is nothing without the will to prepare."