Tri Training, Week Four

Four weeks down and three to go before I attempt to not drown/crash/lay down before the finish line at the Boston Tri. The good news is, I know how to ride a bike and run, the bad news is that it is really hard to run when you get off a bike and the worst news is that I still pretty much suck at swimming the "right way". I am excited for the tri because I always like to have a goal to work on, but I am really more excited to have it done with so I can go back to distance training (which is so crazy, thinking back to all those frozen tears training through the polar vortex).

This is definitely a grass is greener situation. I thought that it would be fun to mix up my routine of just running and (not enough) yoga, and it has been, but only to a point and the real point is that I miss my running. I went from putting in thirty plus miles a week leading up to the Maine Coast Marathon, jumped into the Johnny Kelley half a week later and then gave myself a lazy recovery period that brought me right into this swimming and biking routine, which has made me realize the following things:

  • Exercise other than running takes too much planning. In order to swim I have to pay attention to a pool schedule, which opens up later than my usual 5:30 get-out-the-door running time. Biking isn't too bad, but I have to get my bike out of the basement and get my helmet and pay attention to cars, which is harder when you are not just running on the sidewalk away from said cars. I am that person that hates the gym because all of those machines require too much thinking and decision making; same with yoga: I can do teacher-led classes all day but ask me to do my own routine at home and I go blank. I just like to put on my running gear and go on autopilot with my Nike Plus to tell me when to turn around and go back the way I came.
  • Apparently, when not training for a marathon, one needs to put less calories into their body or their jeans will get tight. Whoops! I mean, I also blame the stress-eating around the new house and how good a cold beer tastes on a hot summer day, but I never have to think about that when I am running for three hours straight at least one day a week. Again, I don't like having to put this much thought into things other than nail polish color and restaurant choices; like running, my eating habits are on autopilot and now I am being forced to think about things so I don't have to think about a new pair of jeans and now I have to actually intentionally not eat certain things for a bit to get back to where I was so happy being. I am a healthy eater, don't get me wrong, but I just really like to eat and I enjoy things like fresh goat cheese from Vermont at the farmer's market and don't want to have to think about whether or not I should just eat the whole damn thing.
  • I missed my bike. When Matty and I first met he bought me an awesome bike and we spent all of our free time riding. We rode to shows, to bars and pushed them home after late nights in Allston. We spent  many hours riding next to each other and getting to know each other and I learned to trust him as I bobbed and weaved behind him in Boston traffic. It was our thing, so much so that we had bike themed invitations for our wedding! I continued to ride when I got pregnant but I started getting nervous about cars and balance since it was not just one life I was trying to protect, and eventually I locked my bike up....for two and a half years. Getting back on it for the first time (with my cute new helmet) felt super invigorating and, as they say, just like riding a bike. I was back at it! If anything, this has solidified my thoughts about using it to commute a little more, especially since the new house to my office is a pretty great route.
  • I love a challenge and just like all those degrees I got in grad school, I am excited to add "tri-athlete" next to my "Tough Mudder", "marathoner (x2)" and "yogi" athletic achievements. Will I do another one? Ask me after my next long distance race when I can eat half a pot of spaghetti without loosening my jeans ;)

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