Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Does My Coach Lie To Me?

Well I had a heck of a swim workout last night. My coach, Karen, emailed my workout to me yesterday. This is what the email said:

I would suggest the following workout for you with your swim session.
Warm-up: 200 yards free style (do not stop in between)
1st set: 5 x 50's with 20 sec. rest
(This means do a 50 yard freestyle and take a 20 second rest after it before you begin the next one. Do five of these in a row).
2nd set: 200 yd. pull
3rd set: 200 yd. kick
4th/5th sets: Repeat 2nd and 3rd set
6th set: 5 x 50's with 20 sec. rest
Cool down: 300 yards free style ( slow down each 100 yards)
Stretch set: 50 yards backstroke
Total yards: 1600 yards

Now I am not sure about you guys, but I just printed out the workout without really reading it and headed to the pool. I got into the pool and started the workout thinking I was going to be just short of a mile and should I do a bit extra to get a mile done just to see if I can do it. (Yes I know I am crazy! Yes I am nervous about the 2.4 mile swim I will have to complete at the IMFL.)

At any rate, about halfway through the first 200yd pull set, the lifeguard came over and asked me if I could move to the indoor pool. I was swimming in the outdoor pool where the masters' swim class is due to the fact that the indoor pool didn't have any lanes. So I said sure. I moved indoors and hopped into one of the lap lanes. It took me a couple of minutes to get back into the groove so while I was getting my thoughts together I decided to do a bit of mental math to see how many yards I had completed and how many were left and amazingly I realized that my Coach had incorrectly added the number of yards I would be completing! Holy Smoke the total was really 1850 yards!

So of course when Coach Karen came in to check on me I told her that she lied to me about my swim. She just laughed and said shut up and swim, I am the coach. I almost choked on the pool laughing as I had said pretty much the same thing on Sunday during a training run. On Sunday I was running with a few friends that I am coaching. On the way back, one of my peeps, Richard said "Wait I thought I was doing a 30 minute recovery run!" I said nope we are running 3 miles quit whining and run. His comment to me was that I had lied. I responded that I could lie because I was the coach! LOL!

This just makes me laugh but I think it is true. Sometimes our coaches, myself included, don't exactly tell our peeps what they are going to end up doing so our trainees don't stress or worry about it and end up not being able to complete the workout. Sometimes, as in the case with Coach Karen and my swim, we just add wrong. It is awesome to see the look of joy and accomplishment on a person's face when they realize that they have just completed something they never thought they could.

Yes I completed the 1850 yards. I am not sure how long it actually took me time wise, since I had to switch pools and all, so next time I will definitely have to time my workout. Only 1.3 miles additional swimming to complete Ironman swim distance.

I am pretty proud of myself for completing the distance. Honestly I never thought I could swim two hundred yards much less 1850. It is not pretty but I get it done. As John Bingham says, " I am slow, I know it. Get over it"

I will leave you with the quote of the day that was on the pool wall last night at the YMCA. It kind of sums up what I have been feeling lately.

"Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished but by what you should have accomplished with your ability." John Wooden


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Having A Rough Week

Some days and not often, I have days where I just want to move to some Caribbean Island and drink rum for the rest of my life. This would be one of those days and I am on my second day of this mood in a row.

My kids are leaving for Spring Break on Thursday. They are going to their Dad's house. Normally I am sad when they leave but for some reason this time I am actually excited. Don't get me wrong, I will miss them but I really need a break. I am not sure why I am so frustrated right now but I sure want some alone time. One of my friends, Flemming, says I may have post event depression. I have never thought about that but he could be right. All of the excitement leading to the event is over. I have done my first Triathlon. Incidentally his blog is linked to mine if you are interested.

All of my friends are asking me what is the first thing I am going to do after the kids leave? I am honestly not sure. I cannot decide if I want to go take a nap, have a drink, do an extra long workout. Who knows....I definitely need some alone time. There is also the ING Georgia Marathon on Sunday. I am currently planning on running the Half there. Of course to add to the dilemma, it is also one of my close friend's birthdays. There is a HUGE weekend planned at the beach to celebrate. Of course there is no way to do it all so I have to make a decision. I know, I know - party at the beach. What is the dilemma? I love to run and it relaxes me. I love my friends and the beach will relax me. Of course I could just hide in my house alone - haven't been alone in months.....

Am I being selfish? Part of me really thinks so. During the part of the year when I am not actively coaching, I always feel like I need to be doing more for people who are less fortunate than me. I had joined Team in Training this season for the Rock and Roll Marathon in San Diego but I have been so busy I have not started fund raising. This means I either don't re commit or I need to give a personal donation of about $500.00 to continue forward. Not sure what I am going to do there either.

Oh well back to reality!


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Dark Side

Well I have crossed over to the dark side! At least that is what all my triathlete friends say. I have crossed the bridge from being a Marathoner to a Triathlete. While I am not 100% sure that I am completely convinced that triathlons are for me I am trying to bring some other friends over to the "dark side."

Ironmen say that the marathon is just a cool down workout for them so I know I am not quite the Ironman yet.

I think I am going to go run the ING Georgia Half Marathon on March 30th in Atlanta. I need to get back to my running roots. I am missing the long runs that I have not done due to the swim and bike training I have added in. It will be a nice break.

After that, I think I am going to complete the sprint distance event at the Great Clermont Tri. This course will be hilly so that will be very interesting.

Gotta Run!

Have a great day!



I DID IT!!!!!

I have finished my first sprint distance triathlon. WOW! What an experience! The whole event was AWESOME. I was so scared I could not think straight but I finished the entire race in a respectable 1:52.

The night before the race I met some of the other first time triathletes for dinner. I had pizza which I figured out the next day was not such a good idea before a swim. Well at least not my first swim. It was pouring the rain outside and I was a nervous wreck. Of course it did not help that the race director changed the bike course at 6pm the night before the race either.

After dinner I went home to pack my gear and get to bed early. Ha! What was I thinking. After packing everything in my house except the bathroom sink, I fell into the bed. Sleep was not going to come however I was just too scared. As I watched each hour pass on the clock, I wondered what I was thinking.

The alarm went off at 5am. I got out of bed, put on my tri suit and loaded my car. It was still damp outside and a bit chilly but I like running in the cold so I was not worried. What was I thinking? As I drove into Moss Park, I saw all of the experienced triathletes milling around looking oh so prepared. I thought about turning around but I decided well what is the worst that could happen? I parked my car and headed over to the transition area to set my stuff out.

As the time inched closer to the race start of 8am the butterflies in my stomach became Japanese Zero pilots dive bombing Pearl Harbor. I walked to the swim start and put my feet in the water. HOLY CRAP! The water was 69 degrees. No I did not have a wet suit on. There were very few competitors wearing wet suits so I decided I did not want to look like a chicken. Next time I am opting for looking like a chicken and being warm.

3 - 2 - 1 the race started and we are off. My swim coach Karen came out to swim with me not as a race participant but just to make sure I as able to finish. THANKS SO MUCH KAREN! For the first part of the swim, I was so cold I could not catch my breath so I rolled over on my back and did the back stroke just to keep moving. Suddenly I was at the first bouy. WOW I can do this!! I kept swimming and after about 25 minutes I was getting out of the water and onto the beach.

What you might ask was the first thing I heard after exiting the water - GO COACH BETH! A few of my runners that I had coached during this past WDW Marathon season had come to cheer me on! I think this was just the incentive I needed to get past my fear and get the run to transition done and get my bike gear on.

I put on my shoes and bike helmet, gloves etc and walked my bike through the grass and sand to the road and hopped on. Once again Karen was waiting for me. She would ride the bike course with me to help me with anything I needed. The first few miles were tough. I was still freezing from the swim, dripping wet and getting comfortable on the bike. So my speed was a bit slow at 15 mph but I was getting the mileage done. After about 6 miles I started to warm up and get more comfortable. I was able to maintain a 17-18 min per mile pace through the end. I still haven't figured out the eating and drinking on the bike. It will take some more practice so I was a bit thirsty and hungry when I headed into T2.

I changed from my bike gear to my run gear as quickly as I could. My watch said 1:19 and I was off on the run. Just under a 5k left and I would be done with my first triathlon!!!!

I crossed the finish line at 1:52 and some change with a big smile on my face. I DID IT!

Now off to find the next race!

XOXOX Elizabeth

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I think I can I think I can I think I can

Well the big day for my first sprint triathlon is coming up on Saturday. I cannot tell at this point if I am nervous, terrified or just in shock. The good news is, I have done two swims that were longer than the swim leg of the upcoming race. My swim last night was done without stopping. Of course I had the usual malfunctions, water in my goggles, swallowing the entire pool, unable to get the fins off. My coach, Karen, had put out several toys or tools for me to grab and use to be able to keep swimming. I had prior to last night been taking 30 sec breaks every two laps or 100 yards. Last night if I had a 5 second break after 4 or 5 laps that would have been a long break. So I finished the distance. I know I can make it the complete distance on Saturday. Now I just have to be able to get out of the water, take off my wet suit and get on the bike before everyone else has finished the race. :-)

Which leads me to wet suits. What in the world was God thinking when wet suits were invented. He must have gotten a good belly laugh. Apparently there are several kinds of wet suits but for a tri, one needs a slick wet suit to decrease resistance in the water. My Coach Missey let me have one of hers which I picked up on Saturday. When she gave it to me she said, make sure you lube up before you put it on. I was like "lube up"? She said yes, spray some pam on your body or use some oil but get lubed. Well in my mind the thought of rubbing myself with cooking oil like a giant turkey did not seem very appealing. Therefore, I made the executive decision to just put the wet suit on without any lubrication.

Surprisingly the wet suit went on with relative ease. I was thinking to myself what is all the talk about turning my body into a greased pig? This was easy or so I thought. I walked around the house for a few minutes just to get the feel of the wet suit and then decided I needed to take the suit off and cook dinner for the girls. I really wasn't too worried about this part as I had such an easy time getting it on, I figured what the heck it should slide right off. Well that did NOT happen. After ten minutes of struggling, I was finally able to get my arms out, another ten minutes and I had the suit down to my waist, ten to fifteen minutes more and I had slid it over my thighs and onto my calves. Twenty minutes later, I had my left leg out BUT my right leg was stuck. There was no amount of pulling, tugging or pushing I could do to get this thing off my leg. It was as if the suit was magnetic or had suctioned itself to my leg.

Well the girls were frustrated because it was after 8pm at this point and they had not had dinner. I decided the only thing I could do would be to walk into the kitchen with the wet suit still on my leg, dragging the rest behind me. For the next thirty minutes, I cooked dinner, walked around the house doing some cleanup feeling like I was dragging a dead body around with me. The kids were laughing hysterically, the dog and cat were both chasing me and attacking the wet suit. I definitely should have created some sort of video and sent in to America's Funniest Home Videos. I think I would have won. Finally I had all I could take and I was determined to get this wet suit off. I sat down on the floor. I had both kids grab the ends of the suit and start pulling. From the top of my calf I was pushing with all of my strength, the wet suit finally popped off my leg. WHEW! I was glad. But then I realized......I don't have an hour to transition from the swim leg to the bike leg of the race. If it takes me that long, I am afraid the race will be finished before I ever get on the bike.

So at this point the question is: Too wear a wet suit and be warm or to skip the wet suit and deal with the cold water? This will not be an issue at the IMFL as there are actually wet suit removers, volunteers who stand after the swim exit specifically to get you out of your wet suit before you get to bike transition. They don't have these volunteers at any other distance.

Hmmm! Something else to think about before the weekend!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Ok I did it!

Quote for today "I guess it comes down to a simple choice really. Get busy living or get busy dying!" -The Shawshank Redemption

So I finally got into the pool. Let me tell you I was terrified. It is not an easy thing to go from being the coach to the pupil. I have been avoiding the swim like you would not believe. However one of my dearest friends and an Ironman 70.3 Finisher Melissa told me it was time to get over it. I met her on Monday night at the Downtown YMCA for some "lessons." Another friend of ours who is also a swim instructor, Karen, met us there. Melissa of course had her own workout to do so she was already in the water by the time I had changed into my swimsuit. To say I had butterflies is the understatement. I don't think I have been this scared of anything since I had my first child.

When you are a coach, you are the authority. I do not by any means think that I know everything about running or that I don't have much more to learn but I do feel confident in my ability to complete the distance. When you are the pupil, at least in my case, I am just waiting to fail. I am scared to say the least and sometimes I let that fear get the best of me.

At any rate, I got into the water and Karen said - "Ok do a 4 lap warm-up." I started laughing. You see I could not even figure out how to get my swim cap on. After a few pretty funny attempts and some rubber slapping on my forehead, I finally got the cap on and I started doing my version of the freestyle. After a couple of laps she had me put on swim fins. Apparently I need to lift and squeeze my butt. In a few short yards, my quads were burning but I kept going. 13 laps later (650 yards) my arms and legs were shaking and I was totally out of breath.

I HAD DONE IT! Completed my first swim. I have to say I am proud of myself but still terrified of the swim portion of the triathlon. I definitely need to get back into the pool especially considering I have a sprint triathlon next weekend. I certainly am not the fastest or the most proficient swimmer in the pool but I was able to move in a forward direction. I hope it will be easier to get back in the water.

It has definitely been a few days of complete reality check. I had also done a bike workout on Saturday with Missey and the Orlando Tri team in Clermont. When I asked if I could join her on the bike, I didn't realize that they were going to do a hill workout. I had to get off the bike on two of the hills and walk the bike to the top. I could not get the bike in a low enough gear to be able to keep moving in a forward direction. Gravity was winning the contest. As a runner I LOVE hills and enjoy running hill repeats. However as a biker, the hills WON!

I know that there are many more months of training and hopefully gaining the knowledge and incite to overcome my fears before the IMFL. I want to hear my name as I cross the finish line in Panama City - "Elizabeth Crepeau, You ARE an IRONMAN!"