This weekend has been big. My coach was visiting town for the weekend and organised some technique training sessions for all the athletes she coaches here.
Saturday afternoon swim, Sunday bike and run. Most of her other athletes are training for ironman and half ironman. I’m still doing enticers. I feel a little out of my league and like I don’t deserve to be there but this is because of my own insecurities not a result of the way anyone treats me.
Major milestone #1
Aside: It’s funny how we still talk about milestones when they haven’t existed here for decades. Kilometre markers just doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?
Saturday morning I registered for my first Sprint distance triathlon. I’ve been umming and ahhhing about it for months. I’ve finally committed to it. I’ve paid my registration. 9 weeks to go. It’s more than twice the longest distance event I’ve done before.
Saturday evening I did the enticer again at Tamworth Tri Club. I was a little tired after the swim in the afternoon and I still REALLY struggle with the heat in the evenings when I’m used to training in the early morning cool. Times aren’t up yet but I don’t think it’ll be a PB. It was pretty windy on the bike leg. I’m also getting a few niggles in my calf that I tore late last year but only when I try to run straight after a ride. If I only run, there’s no problem at all.
Sunday morning I did a 3km running time trial (on my own, to give my coach an indication of where I’m at so she can set my goals and write my training plan in the lead-up to my Sprint triathlon). I actually ran my first kilometre in 6 mins 30 seconds. I’m fairly certain that’s a new record for me. It’s definitely my best time since I began using Strava to record my training data. Kilometres two and three were 7:06 and 7:09 so my 3km time was 20:44. Average pace 6:54.
I’ve been running 5:30 pace in my sprint intervals but I can’t sustain them for long. After having so much time off from running after my calf injury, I haven’t managed to build my stamina back up yet. I even had to walk a few times in the 3km this morning. I was running up to 10km
Major milestone #2
My coach and the other people were cycling a 40km loop – and doing it a couple of times. Coach had mercy on me and agreed to meet me at 8am for an easy 30 minute ride so she could show me how to tackle hills etc. The super-duper guys rode 5 hours then did a one hour run after that. I was excused from the run because I did my 20 minute run earlier in the day.
For the first time, I rode on the road with my feet clipped into the pedals. We did about 10 minutes of practice clipping in and out before heading down out for the ride. We tackled a pretty big hill at the end (whose idea was it to start the ride at the top of a big hill?) and I ran out of gears. I started to freak out because I was riding so slowly and was wondering how I was going to manage to unclip quickly if I lost all forward momentum… As it turned out, I didn’t have to find out. Fortunately. I made it to the top of the hill then stood for a couple of minutes straddling my bike before I could swing my leg over and walk it back to my car.
Imagine my surprise when I got home and logged my training with strava and I got a “trophy” to say I was 8th fastest female on a stretch of that hill! 8th fastest of strava users anyway. Not much between 8th and 9th (1 second). Quite a bit more between 7th and 8th.
It will be interesting to see how riding with my cleats will affect my times and exhaustion levels over the coming weeks (as opposed to riding with my sneakers on).
I can’t remember exactly when I bought my bike with the pedals/cleats/clip-in shoes but it was over 18 months ago and this is the first time I’ve ventured out of my back yard or off my windtrainer. Having an experienced person with me made a huge difference both physically and mentally. She was also able to tell me when to change gears, move back in my seat and all of that “other stuff” that some people seem to know instinctively but which I have to be taught.
All in all, it’s been a great weekend with 19.9km training done in less than 24 hours (spread across three disciplines and including the race Saturday evening). I’m now well on my way to Port August already.
I hope you’ve also had a wonderful weekend!