Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Frostbite, Cycling, and Training for Triathlons

I haven't written a blog in a long time, since the 10k swim I PR'd at that will stay in my memory forever :)  This blog is about my racing and training experiences.  The spirit moved me today to write a blog, so here are my thoughts.

I think I got the email in October or November, saying I qualified for Age Group Nationals for USAT (I have every year, but $ is always an issue, and I felt like I was too slow to compete, and didn't want to until I was a bit faster).  Well, I decided to go for it this year.  I am training for USAT Nationals.  Hardcore.  And I believe I will meet my goals.

In December, I'm pretty sure everyone knows, I got frostbite from being dumb (an aspect of my personality I do not like, it's like I don't use common sense sometimes, but it's always because I'm in a hurry).  Took weeks to heal.  I think it was like 6 weeks before I swam again, and 7 weeks before I was able to run.  The left heal is still sensitive to heat.  However, over the last 2 weeks, it does not hurt at all (before, when I would flex my ankle I still felt a little pain).  No pain!!  I thank God a lot for saving me and only running 40 minutes in the snowshoes that day it happened.  So, was does an exercise science major/crazy exercise addict do when she can't run, swim, or lift weights until these stupid frostbite injuries that will now slow her down in her training do?  Ride the bike trainer.  Thankfully, my cycling shoes were cut just below my deep frostbite wounds, and I didn't have to flex my ankle much, so I was able to still ride the trainer, hehe.  I always find a way...

I think before or after that happened, Mike bought the computrainers.  I owe it all to him, really, and my frostbite injuries.  If it wasn't for those two things, I wouldn't have discovered a greater love for cycling and, um, ability to improve?  The past couple years, riding the bike trainer sucked.  I couldn't get my HR up, and I didn't know why.  Well, now I think the reason was because I wasn't trying hard enough, and I wasn't riding it enough.  But, to be a good triathlete, I believe you must also be a good cyclist.  It is the longest leg in triathlon.  In the beginning of January, it was like I broke through that threshold, and was able to get a decent workout on the bike trainer.  Of course, having power there from the computrainer helped and seeing how little power I was putting out definitely motivated me to work harder :)  I am currently addicted to the computrainer and the Ergvideos.  With some help from Mike on how to bike train, along with my input, I just keep on improving!  I can't get enough of it, and I can't wait to ride outside when it gets warmer to see how I actually ride with wind, and all that haha. 

In the mean time, I am also swim and run training 3x a week.  I haven't been running as much (it took awhile to get back to it from the frostbite on my heals!), but once the weather gets nicer it will be easier to run longer.  I'm not worried about it.  I know the run is my weakest, but I already feel stronger with it from bike training.  I'll just throw in some interval training (which I will have a plan, I just have to come up with it yet) this summer, and some longer runs (for the 8mi run part of an adventure race and a 13.1 at the end of a half ironman in June).  I am NOT running anything over 10mi this summer for that race.  And then, after that half is over, no more running long so I'm not injured for Nationals.  I participated in a running study at UT.  They took 4 different strength tests and analyzed my form.  Found out I'm very weak in my hips, especially the left hip, which is the leg I have had hip, knee, and foot injuries from in the past.  I asked why, and was told it's just the way my body is.  The only thing I can do is to always strengthen the hips (which is annoying). 

My swim training is going quite well.  I am not swimming anything over 3x a week, and not much over 3000m, but I cannot believe the times I'm doing my 100meters on, and the time I produced for a 1000 meter TT.  I know it's not my limit, so I am working hard towards dropping those times.  It takes awhile, though, I won't be ready to drop 5 sec from my sendoff times for another 3 weeks to a month.  Which is fine, I have until August!  :)  My focus is on speed this year, not a crazy long distance...I'm excited to see how my swim performance will be. 

On another note, I am still working my 3 part time jobs.  Nothing full time yet, unfortunately.  I will keep waiting, searching, and hoping for something that fits me right.  It's just taking so long :(.  But wedding planning is going well!  Next step, we have to get registered....which I keep putting off.  Most girls would probably find that fun.  However, I'm more tomboyish...even though I am excited about my dress, finding shoes, and I did find some of my make up for the big day :)

Have a great snow day!!  Happy Adventures.