Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I never thought I would write a blog because who cares what I have to say about anything. I suppose this will just be an online journal of sorts and an experiment to see if I actually keep up with it. If you are reading this I need to warn you up front I am a terrible writer. There will be grammatical mistakes and run on sentences. Although I was always a straight A student, creative writing was my biggest weakness. Give me a technical paper any day and I will do just fine but writing is not my forte. I am a Scully not a Mulder.
So, now that my lame introduction is out of the way, I guess you are wondering about the name of my blog - I suck at all 3 sports. I will detail my athletic career in another post so you can read it or skip it if you choose.

Ok, so why do I suck at all three sports? In 2008 I completed my first triathlon - Irongirl. I was scared to death but made it through and became a triathlete. I have continued “tri-ing” since then and have completed 3 sprint distances (400-600m swim, 10-18 mile bike and a 5K(3.1 mile) run), 2 Olympic distance relays (I swam and 2 other people biked and ran), 3 full Olympics (1500m swim, 40K (~25 miles) bike, 10K run (6.2 miles)), 2 Half Ironmans (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run) and last year I completed an Ironman on my second attempt (2.4 miles swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run). I still struggle with each part and wonder if I am encouraging mediocrity by simultaneously training for all 3 disciplines instead of concentrating on one. So let’s break it down by sport.

Swimming - I have become a pretty good swimmer and love open water swims. The drudgery of the pool and chlorine can become quite tedious so give me a lake to swim across any day. I learned a painful lesson at Ironman Coeur D’Alene this year that being able to glide through the water relatively effortlessly is of no help when you are faced with choppy water. Combine that with a relatively small frame in a buoyant wetsuit and you get a big cork. I could not power my way through the chop and ended up a DNF on the swim - something no one predicted, not even my pessimistic self. So, even one of my better sports needs work. I need to work on getting more power in my stroke and picking up the speed.

Biking - this is by far my worst discipline. I am slow, slow, slow and I hate it. I don’t know if I hate it because I am bad at it or I am bad at it because I hate it. I am also scared of it. I had a pretty bad accident last year which did not help matters. No major injuries just a black eye, some cuts, scrapes and major bruising. I was very lucky I did not break anything. I was already nervous on the bike before the accident but it took a while to get any bit of confidence back. So many awful things can go wrong on the bike not to mention cars, dogs, road debris and other cyclists that can cause you to have a very bad day. I also don’t feel like I have great control of things and every movement to get a drink, wipe sweat off my face or try and eat something is cause for concern. I wish I was more comfortable on the bike. I also wish I didn’t have to work so hard to go so slow. The only advice I get on how to fix these things is to ride more. So, I ride more but I still struggle. It just seems to come so easy for everyone else that it makes me wonder why I can’t ride as fast and as comfortable. Last year I was able to gain some more speed and get much better at climbing but I still feel like I am a big slowpoke.

Running - when I am in shape I am a decent runner but have never broken a 60 minute 10K despite coming very close. I never really have pushed myself in this discipline and wonder if I had the time to do intervals, hill training and tempo runs if I might actually become a “good” runner. I love trail running and have completed 2 ultras so there is no doubt I can run forever but I would like to run longer and faster. I prefer trail running over roads. I would rather do a 50K (31 miles) trail run over a road marathon any day. The best part about running is that if you get tired or feel bad you just walk and there is no danger of drowning or crashing at high speeds.

So, here I am starting another 6 month ramp up to Ironman Wisconsin. Most days I wonder why I ever signed up for another one. The biggest problem is you have to sign up for these things a year in advance and you tend to get swept up in the madness. I enjoy the group training and communal misery but when the alarm is going off at 4:45am to drive to spin class in the rain you feel like you need your head examined. It would also be another thing if I was perfectly buff and toned after all this exercise but in fact I think I weigh more currently than I have in almost 10 years (and it’s not muscle!) I seriously need to eat better and I have been trying to incorporate some strength training in my regimen. I am currently starting about week 8 on that score with not much noticeable improvement. I will also be adding a second spin class to my regimen - a weekly strength class to balance my intervals training in hopes to gain speed. My first real bike ride of this year was a painful reminder of how out of shape I have gotten in just a few months. 25 miles was painful, slow and pitiful. Swimming has been almost non-existent in the past few months so I need to get cranking - I foolishly signed up for a 5K (3.1 mile) swim and then encouraged 19 other people to join me so there is no backing out now. Running is going OK - I have the endurance down - I managed to haul my ass through the mud for 33 miles 2 weekends ago so yes, I can still run forever and while I was not last (my first 50K I was the last finisher) I was no where near the middle of the pack. So, I need to work on speed. 
Sigh! I suck at all 3 sports!

1 comment:

  1. :) Yay!

    I suck at all 3, too. For many of the same reasons. Most of the time I don't feel like I'm getting any better, but then I have a good day on the s.b.r. and go "Oh, I AM getting better!"