Friday, June 10, 2011

greetings from DC and the dreaded swim

Now that I am settled into one place (and found housing about four days before moving here) its time for an update. On my week and a half road trip from Dallas to Boston to DC with my mom we stayed in a different city every night, (except for the stopover in Boston where I was at my place) and drove most of the days, but I still worked hard to maintain my triathlon training. I took advantage of hotels with pools, I used running as a way to explore the different cities/places we were staying, met a man in the tiny hampton inn suites who does triathlons and had a nice chat with him while getting in some core strength, tried to bike when possible, and tried out Matt Kamb's hotel room workout. I usually got all of this in before my mother even woke up and it helped when I spent the rest of the day sitting in a car either behind the wheel or in the passenger seat. If this was a travel blog I would talk a little bit more about every place I went but for now I'll just say that Asheville, NC and the Blue Ridge/Smokey mountains are gorgeous and I will be going back there! But since this is about leading an active lifestyle I'll stick with the working out parts of my trip- basically it's possible to travel and still train effectively as long as you make the time and take advantage of the resources around you.

My number one tip: when you get to a new city, walk or run around it for a while - you never know what you may discover, who you'll meet, or what experience you'll have but, you'll probably discover a new store, restaurant, or gorgeous views, meet someone truly interesting, and have a great overall experience!

I have already noted many times that the swim will be the most difficult part of training for these triathlons because it is something I haven't trained for before. Calling it the 'dreaded swim' might be an exaggeration, but I am the most apprehensive about it. But, something clicked in the pool a couple of days ago. I had been doing mainly sets of 200 meters because I have been swimming in 25 meter pools and anything more than that I would just get sick of the repetition or feel like I'd been swimming for way longer than just the few minutes I'd actually been swimming. But the other day I read an article on about the habits of the most effective swimmers. One of them was counting strokes. This was such a simple idea and I don't know if I'd read about it and ignored it before for being too simple, but this habit was highly effective for me as soon as I got back in the pool. It gave me a steady rhythm, kept me paced each lap, set a steady bilateral breathing pattern, and before I knew it I'd swam a 400, easy. It was paced, not quite to race speed but not slow either, and I probably should have pushed myself to do more than that in that set but I had many more sets to go. My goal is to be able to do this ladder workout once a week 1x800, 2x400, 4x200 and 8x100, which is almost 2 miles! That's seems crazy for me to even think about, me, someone who really just started swimming for distance in April/May, but now 2 miles seems achievable, a new goal.

Because of all the interruptions and moving around I've done the past month between Boston, Dallas and DC, I will just be ready for my triathlon next weekend and finishing it without injuring myself is my goal. Then I can ramp up again for the August triathlon where I will set a time that I want to finish in, right in time for my 22nd birthday!

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