In the midst of all this chaos, I have been trying to take time to enjoy my family, my friends, and to enjoy the training process itself. Up to this point I have been actually preparing myself to be at a level where I can even do the first week of a full Ironman training schedule. I was not a strong swimmer, and I have been spending 3 days a week for the last seven months swimming at my local rec center pool. I have gotten to the point where I can swim about 2,000 yards in a little less than and hour, and I no longer feel like I am going to drown. I am nowhere near where I was hoping to be at this point with my swimming, but at least I still have almost six more months to improve my stroke and increase my speed.
So last Sunday, two days before the beginning of my Ironman training it finally happened--I fell off my bike. And I am not even sure that fall is exactly the word for what happened. I think it might really be classified as tipping over. I was going up a driveway and unclipped my right shoe so I could stop. When I pushed down on the pedal to get myself up the incline, my shoe reengaged itself and I was headed straight for the garage door. My only option was just to tip myself over and hope for the best. I landed on my right shoulder and bumped my right knee and foot as well. I was sore, but thankfully no permanent damage. Not a great start to a time when I really need to be at my very best.
Tuesday was D-Day--do it day, but I must admit that despite all the anticipation and preparation, I actually missed my very first day of training. I was fighting a little cold, my shoulder was hurting, and I actually had to be on the road by 6:30 am to attend a meeting in Riverside. This was a hard decision for me because I also knew that there was no way for me to make it up--I had eight hours of work followed by three hours of tutoring, a dinner date with some friends, and even I need a little sleep.
The next morning I was up at 3:30 am, so I could be in the gym pool by 4 am. I had a 7:30 meeting with some teachers, so I knew I had to complete my workout by no later than 6:15. If you can believe it, there were actually three people in the pool before I even got there. Honestly, I could not believe how many crazy people would be up swimming at that god awful hour. A nice couple decided they could double up in a lane, so I could complete my swim workout. I jumped right in and completed the 1,900 yards my workout required, and I added an extra 200 for good measure. I figured that my training had brought me to be able to do 2,000, and I was not going to do any less than that.
At about 5 am I finished my swim workout and headed to the locker room to change. I cannot believe how many things I had to remember so that I would be prepared for both sports and a shower and change for my work day. Spin class started at 5:30, and I knew I had to be on my bike by no later than 5:15, so I attempted to change quickly. One thing I learned this week is that wet, chlorinated skin and a tight sports bra do not mix. I honestly spent more than 10 minutes trying to untwist my bunched up sports bra and pull it over my my shoulders and back--and I don't have much to pull it over. It seemed the more I fussed with it, the more bunched up it became. I began to contemplate attending class without my bra, but I knew that the up and down nature of spin class would require some restraint, even for my tiny bosom. After 20 minutes I was finally in my bike clothes, on my bike, and ready for the workout.
After 50 minutes of spinning I rushed to the shower so I could make it in time for my early morning meeting. However, when I looked in my carefully packed gym bag, I had forgotten shampoo, a razor, my foundation make-up, and my pair of shoes ended up being two very similar, but different shoes. I decided that I better rush home to clean up, and thankfully made it to my meeting with a couple minutes to spare--and this was just Day 1 (well technically Day 2, but from here on we will forget about that first missed day)!
Day 2 was a lot smoother. I woke up at 4:15 am, so that I could get in an hour bike ride on my trainer before meeting my running buddies at 5:45. The thing I love about the trainer is that I am able to catch up on my favorite TV shows as I get my exercise in. Today's selection--Ellen. I know I said that Ellen was going to take the backseat to Jillian and The Biggest Loser, but the truth is I haven't even watched one Biggest Loser this season. I missed the first two episodes, and I refuse to watch any of them until I can get the back stories on all the contestants. So Ellen it was. At 5:30 I was off the bike and into my running clothes for a quick 3.5 mile pre-dawn run with Joe, Scott, and Danielle (Kay was with us in spirit).
On Day 3 Emily was able to meet me for our swim and bike workout. Em is a swimmer, so she was able to give me a few pointers today. My kick is definitely my weakness, so she pushed me to make more splash and point my toes in a little. Good thing, my kick was stronger. Bad thing, my legs felt like jello before we even hit the bikes. Today I remembered to bring a slightly larger sports bra, so I could avoid the wrestling with my undergarments. We decided to do a random hill climb function on the stationary bike, and my jello legs were definitely pushed to their absolute limits. By the time we got back in the car 2 1/2 hour later, I was a little shaky in my legs, but so happy to have my workout done by 8 am.
And once I finished my bike ride I only needed to do a 25 minute run to practice the transition from biking to running. It wasn't my best run. I was very tired and the week of intense workouts is definitely taking its toll on me. Those three miles felt like ten, but I pushed myself because I knew I needed to just get it done.
Sunday will be the last workout for the week, and the last workout before a much needed day of rest. I will be swimming about 2100 yards and then doing an hour and a half run with Emily at the gym. I am looking forward to the end of week 1--it was tough, but I WILL survive!