Saturday, September 13, 2008

My First Triathlon (at last!)

It is rather strange to think that a week ago today I was in my first triathlon! So, how did it go?
At the start I wasn't too optimistic, I have one day a month when I need 6 ibuprofen to get through the cramps... and race day was looking like it was going to be that day. I kept popping pills while the swimmers in the earlier waves did their thing, and in the end I either took enough or it was all in my head because I didn't end up doubled up along the race course pale and sweating bullets.

The swim was not what I expected. At the Palouse Sprint Triathlon the swim is done in the aquatic center pool. Swimmers circle swim, four to a lane, grouped with other swimmers with the same estimated swim time. The waves are organized starting with the slowest swimmers and ending with the fastest swimmers so that the race is finished in a timely manner. I was in the 3rd wave (of six), but I had the slowest estimated time in the slowest lane in the pool. I want to make it clear that I REALLY appreciate the volunteers and organizers of this event... it is a huge amount of work, and I love the venue and will return. That being said, things went a little rough in my lane. I started coming off the wall last. In two laps, I had passed the person in front of me. Then I came into the wall and everyone was just sitting there. Pool racing etiquette states that when you want to pass, you tap the foot of the person in front of you and the allow you to pass when you reach the wall. The ladies in front of me had probably all tapped each other and where sorting it out, at least that was my guess. I just did an open turn and kept on swimming - in retrospect, very stupid (sorry ladies!) but I wasn't sure what they were doing and I didn't want to stop swimming. So now I've jumped from 3rd to first. In a lap the lady behind me wants to pass. I let her. Meanwhile the other two people are doing crazy things like passing in the middle of the pool. Apparently there was a head on collision and I'm happy I wasn't the one to get smacked into. Now, as you can imagine, people are now swimming both directions... the volunteers need to know who is first and who is getting lapped to make sure they count the laps correctly. A little kid is holding the number board for our lane and isn't putting even putting it into the water. With all that is going on I have no idea what lap I'm on, but I see that the board now reads '"19" - which it is never supposed to read. On lap 19 it is supposed to go to double orange squares, alerting the lead swimmer to go one more length and exit the pool. Now I have no idea who the lead swimmer is, or if she is lapping me, or by how many laps that may be by. My friends who were cheering for me told me afterwards that after "19" one of the swimmers asked if she was done, didn't get an answer, swam another lap and exited the pool. I ended up getting out my lane 3rd.

Despite the frustration of not knowing what was happening during the swim, my position turned out to be nice for the rest of the race. Since I was one of the last people out of the pool in my wave, I had only two people pass me during the bike. But, since the race was out and back for both the bike and run, there was a constant stream of people coming the other way who would offer encouragement. It was an ideal situation, I didn't have worry about drafting or passing, and I didn't have to worry about being stranded in the middle of nowhere by myself while having a race induced heart attack ;) The ride out into the just harvested fields was actually beautiful. Moscow mountain was rising against the blue sky, it was warm without being hot, and what little traffic there was on the country road was well managed by cheerful Lion's Club volunteers. The course is nearly flat, with just enough of a grade to feel the down hill coming back. There did happen to be one field that was in the process of being harvested, but the combines where far enough away that I only inhaled a little chaff.

Ah, yes. And then the run. The run had what felt like an inordinate number of hills, but I used my patented "slowest jog in the universe" and just ate up those little hills with little relentless steps. Off the bike my knees felt great, but my calves tightened up, probably because I didn't have any hill training. I felt warmed up by the time I got to the turn around and was able to push a little harder and come into the finish line at a true run. Yeah!

I had estimated a time of 1:30 and I came in at 1:21:26 still feeling strong. Swim 12:26, bike 38:06, run 30:54. Now if I can shave 12 minutes off my time maybe I can keep up with my mom next year...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Week 12: 9/1-9/6 Taper

45 min bike
Biked the race route and came in 15 min faster than expected. Woot! Had overestimated distance (should have translated from km... but didn't) and underestimated speed.... although I was laying it on. Also previewed the foot section of the race by car. Lots of hills. Yuck. But at least no surprises race day.

Rest day

29 minute swim (Laps:1,10,6)
I was so tired I felt like I had forgotten how to swim... I was running into the walls and trying to remember how to work my arms. Yuck.

49 minute bike
Still dead tired. Bike time went over because of headwind coming home.

Thursday (travel to race location)
Micro-brick: wanted to give the gear a last test and make sure the race tires were properly inflated so biked down to the bike shop and back then jogged one (1) block and back home.


Race! (yeah, I know Triathlons are usually on Sunday, but not this one.) Details about the big day are in a separate post ;)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Week 11: 8/25-8/30 (almost there)

36 min swim (26 laps)
Feeling okay. though.

1 hour bike

30 min run

brick (61/19)
My first brick trying out the gear I will be wearing for the race. Started out by hopping in the shower to get wet and them mimicked T1 & T2. Things seem ready to go.

Unscheduled rest day - have pity on me we traveled from 9:00 am - 9:00 pm... and between waking and nine I did all the packing.

44 min run
Did some hills. Oh, yeah.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Week 10: 8/18-8/23 (max time)

30 min swim, 21 laps
My kicking still feels quite awkward. If I keep my head "down" though and try to keep my kick in my body's shadow, I can feel very long and slick in the water... the feeling is just hard to hold with breathing, turning and navigating to think about.

1 hour bike
A heavy wind made this a shorter bike (distance wise) than normal. Feeling pretty slow.

22 run / 12 walk
This was supposed to be a 30 minute run but at 22 minutes I started lower GI cramps. Felt dreadful walking home, but was okay by the time I got there. Go figure.

40 swim (26 laps, I think)
Did the first 10 in 15 minutes. Then another 15 in the rest of the time - lost count several times though, so who knows exactly. Overall this week feeling very tired and somewhat queasy. May have picked up a bug somewhere.

1 hour / 20 minute brick
Headwind kept the bike slow. First 10 minutes after transition the knees complain, but no major problems.

40 minute beach run
Boring and not too pleasant, but do-able.

Feel The Burn


As I start week 10 (which is actually week 11 of training since I redid week 4), the mental fatigue is getting harder to overcome. Run times are about to hit double what they were in week 1, and let's face it, running is just not that exciting. Any suggestions for my running playlist? Right now it's a strange mix of Pandora and TV found pop tunes and Christian alternative rock. In retrospect the dance & techno/big beat has always worked best for running, at least for me, but I'd be happy to take any suggestions based on the following playlist ;)

Mardy Bum, Arctic Monkeys (Catchy. I try NOT to be like the girl in this song though...)
Steady As She Goes, The Raconteurs (what is this song about? As I puzzle, time flies...)
Prophecy, Remy Zero
Main Title, Stargate SG-1 (woot! SG-1)
Maneater, Nelly Furtado (when she talks, she talks like she can handle it... can I?)
The Distance, Cake (yes, I'm going to distance...)
Defenses Down, Calla (what is this song about? Sounds like it didn't work out)
Mighty Good Leader, Audio Adrenaline (yep, I got one Mighty Good Leader to follow)
Satellite, Bosco
Better Do Better, Hard-FI
Underdog, Audio Adrenaline (that would be me)
Track 01 (this is some Crystal Method maybe? Anyway, a great trance track.. keep running.)
New Body, Audio Adrenaline (I am so getting one of those)
White Rabbit, Jefferson Airplane
Start The Commotion, The Wiseguys (Get up, get up, put your body in motion....)
Some Kind Of Zombie, Audio Adrenaline (too true)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Week 9: 8/11-8/16

45 minute bike
Got home in the dark after a long day (driving/flying/doctor's office/driving). Too late for anything but the inside exercise bike. Set the resistance all the way up (for the first time) and did short intervals. Felt like a workout, although I know it's not quite the real thing.

30 minute run
Missed the tide and ran on the trail. For the first time had several side pains while running. Not sure if this is the trail, the timing, or just a body thing. About half-way they toned down, but never completely faded. Also noticed I am feeling the shins and right hip when running on the hard surface. Overall though felt strong, especially near the end of the run.

40 minute swim
Rather slow going today, got the outside lane which has the pool stairs preventing an easy turn at one end. Also was sharing with several people so had to keep an eye out while swimming and turning. The lack of lane markers keeps me on my toes. Overall did 24 laps (1 warm up, 9 laps, 13 laps, 1 cool down). I am noticing I feel my lower back when I swim longer distances... I think my kick needs refining... or maybe just need to develop more core body strength.

55/20 brick
This is the first brick that kicked my butt. I did manage to finish, but my legs were jelly at the start of the bike and the start of the run. One good thing - I am finding that if I eat fruit (just fruit, no dairy, no bread) before exercising I avoid the acid reflux thing. When I got home I ate a bowl of cereal while cooking up some whole-wheat buttermilk blueberry pancakes. Hard to remember the last time food tasted so good!

30 min swim, 23 laps (warm up,9,13... I think)

35 minute run
I can run that long if I run v e r y s l o w l y. After the long weak it was more full body fatigue than being out of breath.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Week 8:4/8-9/8

30 minute swim
Hard to get up this morning, but felt good in the water. Did a warm up lap, 10 laps (15 minutes), then another 9 or so laps in 1's-2's-3's. As I focus on tucking my chin and kicking with my whole leg I felt very relaxed and smooth, I just have trouble focusing enough to do both at the same time.

40 minute bike
First time using my new cycling shorts. I must say that the padding does improve the ride.

20 minute run
A nice easy run in the morning sunshine on the Washington State University campus extension in Vancouver. After the sand, a paved trail feels fast.

45/15 brick
Brick went fine, but did need to change into cooler clothes between the bike and run. I do need to do a run through with the clothing changes so I have it planned out for the race. Also need to remember to bike early to avoid the dog walkers and families with small children - I don't want to run anyone over on the trail.

30 minute swim
Once again, had the hardest time getting up, but a good time in the water. Did 22 laps - one warm up, 2 sets of 10 and a cool down. I think my first 10 were done in about 13 minutes.

Unplanned rest day. RD.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Week 7: 7/28-8/2

21 laps, 40 minutes
Today I needed a mental boost. After swimming 9 laps only 2 laps at a time, I was wondering how I was going to make it through the race, so I thought I would give it a go and just do 10 laps as continuously as possible... and I did it! My open turn is sloppy since I'm still taking time to sputter and snort before pushing of... but I did it! Today I also got to share half the pool with 4 other swimmers, so I got some practise navigating better and compensating for other people's waves. I also managed to figure out something on the swallowing/coughing/gulping front. Probably not much happened in terms of technical proficiency today, but it was thrilling to be in the groove and just go, go, go. In all the excitement, the workout did stretch to 40 minutes -10 minutes longer than planned - but I'll just swap it with my Thursday swim which was supposed to be 40 minutes.

45 minute bike
Rain and wind, a slog.

30 minute run
That was supposed to be a 25 minute run, but I apparently lose my ability to read an analog watch when oxygen deprived. My pace feels much quicker and more natural now, although 30 minutes was pushing my stamina limits.

17 laps, 30 minutes
Started with one warm-up lap, then a set of 10 laps in 14 minutes, then another set of 5 laps, then one lap counting strokes. Tired today after being up until 1:30 last night (insomnia). Hope I can wind down eventually. Tomorrow: the big brick!

25 minutes stationary bike
Due to travel didn't have an opportunity to run or brick... substituted bike instead.

Brick 45/15
My first brick and I had a chance to do it with my mom :) I was a little concerned about the hills, but using my mom's bike (lots of gears) it was okay. We went about 8 miles across town to the trail then ran down military hill and back up.

Base 2

Well, week 6 marked the first real week of my base 2 training phase. I wasn't sure I was ready, but I hope my survival means that will be able to handle week 7... which is only five minutes more of training than week 6 BUT includes my first brick and my first 40 minute swim.
Ah, and the swim fins - I thought I'd mention that I got these when I was panicking about being a "sinker." The first time I used them I was surprised by how heavy they felt, although it took many fewer kicks to cross the pool. After that, I wasn't so interested. They may yet come in handy when I am more proficient at my floating exercises and want to focus in on my arm movement drills. Right now though I'm going to let them sit and focus on actual swimming. My body position problem is slowly fixing itself with practise and I don't want to invest the time to relearn it with giant fins on my feet.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Week 6: 7/21-7/25

15 laps. About 30 minutes.
I was concerned about swimming today because on my rest day (yesterday) my shoulder and my right ankle were very sore. I think the shoulder was because I was stroking really hard with my right hand to get my face out of the water to breath when I was swimming. The ankle had me a bit baffled. However, swimming went fine. I had a few minutes of bliss even... once again, if I keep my kick inside my "shadow" and keep my head down I can sometimes find a spot where swimming feels effortless. It almost makes me sleepy actually. I think I managed to do 4 laps in a row.

On another note, I'm finding that I can do my training, but I can't do much more. Saturday I went to open swim with Mr. M and just did a little bit of crawl, but after the swim and bike earlier in the week, just that little bit more wiped me out.

41 minute bike ride. I thought it was supposed to be 40 minutes and we went a little over... this morning I saw I was looking at the wrong training week. I don't think there is any way to make my obsession with getting my training minutes correct cute, so let's just move on... arg the missing four minutes make me crazy...

25 minute beach run. Wow, 25 minutes seems shorter when running with a partner.

17 laps, about 30 min
As I started swimming I was feeling quite claustrophobic. Finally realized that a previously unnoticed post-nasal drip was making breathing difficult. *Fair warning this is gross* As I swam my mouth was filling up with phlegm... which I couldn't figure out how to get rid of so I could breathe. Ultimately ended up swimming no more than two laps at a time, mostly single laps, and several times had to stop and stand up in the middle of the pool to catch my breath.

That problem aside, I also found that I felt fastest and most smooth when I - kept my head down, kicked "small" but hard and fast, and used core body rotation. This resulted in a body position where I felt buoyed by my lungs, my hips felt light and I was no longer pulling so much with my arms. I also felt taller. I need to be careful because my right shoulder continues to be not quite right. It is not painful, but repeated stress is going to damage something. So, note to self, it's not the stroke that moves one, it's the rotation...

61 minute bike
Feels long and tires me, but not painful.

25 min run
Ended up running as the tide was coming in which meant I got quite a workout. Between the water and the whole day of horse riders tearing up the beach there was basically no hard pack to run on. But I finished my week. Yeah!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Week 5: 7/14-7/19

Felt weak and yucky. No exercise.

A just for fun swim in the lake and a little walk.

40 min on exercise bike. Moderate intervals. Heart rate in the low 130's.

20 min run. Feeling human again.

24 lengths in the pool. Watched the time and that was about 25 minutes. Still a little behind building my swim time, but making progress. Today I was able to do 4 lengths without a prolonged breathing break. Even managed 6 lengths once I think. The pool was very quiet today and by the end I had the entire pool to myself to try my floating exercises. I was able to do 4 lengths floating on my back and side. I'm not getting my hand out of the water (more like from shoulder to forearm). Now when I float don't feel that I am in danger of sinking, but I do find that water washes over my face and up my nose as I try to adjust myself to get my hand out of the water. It is much easier without the waves from other swimmers though. I also need to work on my turns...

66 minute bike. Strong wind made for a challenging ride. It felt long...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Week 4 (again): 7/7-7/12

I have time to redo week 4 of my training schedule and it seems like a good idea since vacation scrambled things before. Here we go... again...

AM: swim - 20 lengths
I didn't swim the lengths consecutively, I followed my resolution to take my time to think about my process, rather than struggle. Some laps I did an open turn, but most I stopped and caught my breath. As I swam I thought about: swimming effortlessly, rotating to air instead of raising my head, swimming "downhill," gliding, and core body rotation. In retrospect I need to pick one or two things per session and really nail them down, but it is interesting to see how much a new mental frame for an activity can change how you physically perform it.

Also had time to continue working on lesson one of total immersion. Still can't get more than 7-8 yards, but was able to start trying to rotate my left shoulder out of the water. The different position should help develop a more refined kick as gravity no longer encourages so much bending at the knee. Over all, feeling much more supported and relaxed in the water. I actually didn't want to quit my swim workout today!

PM: bike, 40 minutes
My plan was actually not to do anything more today. However Mr. M really wanted to bike with me and I hate to pass up a chance like that. So off we went into the evening sunshine. I was doing OK until my bike seat came loose and wouldn't maintain its horizontal position anymore... so the ride home was basically all standing up on the pedals. Hello blistered hands and tired legs... endurance must be improving though, I was more frustrated to have my recreational bike with Mr. M interrupted than I was in actual physical pain.

I earned myself an extra rest day and I'm taking it. Very, very tired... but not as sore as might have been predicted.

Walked to the post office today (20 minute walk). RD.

28 lengths
Did lengths in pairs today. At this point, more than 50 yards without a breather is difficult. Breakthrough - realized that kicking too much was what was tiring me most as I was swimming. As I focused more on keeping my head "down" and passing through the smallest hole in the water my hips really came up. I had to be careful not to really splash while kicking. The solution is probably to kick less at the knee and more at the hip. Fewer, more powerful kicks.

I counted strokes and was doing a lap in 18 strokes.

Also was able to do two lengths of the pool rotating a "dry shoulder" out of the pool, so the side position has really helped me with my kick. Balanced body position in the water is making floating basically effortless, but I worry about hitting the side of the pool (no warning flags or anything) so I also tried extending an arm above my head as I went. Yeah! I'm getting it!

Sick and traveling. Not sure if the cold was brought on by the intensity of my training this week or just the stress + travel. Yuck.

Sick and traveling again.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Week 4: 6/30-7/5

30 minutes in the pool
I was visiting a friend on Monday and the weather was very hot (90-100). Due to circumstances it wasn't easy to get a lot of time for training, however we were able to use a backyard pool for a little while. It wasn't really big enough to do laps, although I did practice some freestyle... focusing on effortlessness, alternate breathing, swimming "down hill." I am finding that the down hill swimming position completely changes what I can see while in the water. Suddenly all I can see is inside the pool and that makes me claustrophobic for some reason. I am going to work on that gradually till I can get used to it.

Also had some time to continue to practise floating on my back. At this point it is starting to feel much more relaxing. My hips and legs aren't sinking all the time. However, my kick is still not strong enough or refined enough to take me more than about 5-10 yards at a time.

No training - wait, does chasing a toddler count?

No training - okay, okay, I feel bad about slacking, but after all the travel I was just exhausted. I fell asleep during our 7 hour drive today, and took a 2 hour nap as soon as we got home.

25 minute run
Could someone tell me how it is possible for a 25 minute run to be twice as long as a 20 minute run?

30 minutes on bike
Mr. M helped me correctly inflate my tires and I also adjusted the bicycle seat so that it is further back (just loosened it and slid it back on the rails on the bottom of the saddle). I'm not sure if it is all in my head, but the ride seemed much faster and more comfortable :)

30 minutes walk/hike
We hiked out to the Cape D lighthouse and then later walked down to the grocery store from our house. Not intense training, but I hope to get back in the groove next week.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Week 3: 6/25-6/28

40 minutes on the bike
I'm feeling stronger and more confident on the bike. I need to start training for some hills, since the race course is not going to be nearly as flat as the bike trail here... but in the meantime I'm hoping that the rocky path and the headwind are giving me enough resistance to work up to that.

25 min beach run
I increased my run by 5 minutes this time and had some hip flexor pain the last 5 minutes or so. I think there really is something in the saying that it's your joints, more than your muscles, that need to slowly adjust to increased use.

35 minutes on exercise bike
I was still so sore from the rough ride over rough rode on Wednesday that I couldn't get back in the saddle again ;0 So I had to settle for the indoor bike.

1 hour at pool, a few laps, some floating drills
Went to the local outdoor pool while I was visiting my mom. She is the one who inspired me to do my first triathlon :) She had some good pointers - she told me that she thinks of her full leg kick as "kicking with her butt." Sounds kinda silly, but it moved me from a non-propulsive kick (had been moving toward the wall I came from while floating) to a propulsive kick. Yea! Somehow "imagine your leg as a supple pendulum" hadn't helped me imagine enough movement in my hips. It's hard to imagine anything more fun for swim training than a hot, sunny day, a cool pool and an encouraging swim partner.


Those dots at the bottom are people further down the trial...

I'm back! Just returned yesterday from the annual trek to the unbelievably beautiful Utah/Arizona desert. I was concerned about continuing my training during our vacation - my body has difficulty adjusting to the intense heat, so it wasn't realistic to expect that I would be jogging (not to mention swimming or cycling) while we were out camping in the wilderness. I think that high altitude (9000+ at Bryce) hiking, not to mention the sand & slick rock slog at 100+ degree temps while carrying 4 quarts of water (Coyote Buttes) probably counted as exercise though :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Week 2: 6/9-6/14

I really, really wanted to keep up with my training schedule, but it wasn't meant to be today. There was a point where I took 4 ibuprofen within 20 minutes. Ouch.

Did one hour on my stationary bike at moderate intervals. I'm feeling stronger.
Part of the reason I stayed inside today was the weather: it is just miserable around here for June - temps in the 50's and constantly blowing rain. I might have been tempted to go out and play tough, but after the cramps yesterday I wanted to be close to home.

I ran for 20 minutes on the beach. It was a little bit painful (slightly achy hip and a little bit of a side stitch), but not bad considering how I felt on Monday.

35 minutes biking on the trail.

20 minutes in the pool, attempting "lesson one" from the total immersion program. I used most of that time figuring out how to correctly position my head while floating on my back. Ultimately I found that for correct posture I didn't think of "being pulled from the top of my head" so much as feeling the entire length of my spine and slightly tucking my chin... I think in a lot of ways the total immersion book is vague about body posture for the drills, BUT the total immersion web sight has very helpful forum where experts are willing to trouble-shoot problems and answer questions. I found several entries there where spine posture was explored much more in-depth.
So maybe I won't turn out to be a "sinker" after all. Only time will tell!

No training - car trip to Utah

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

How Bout Some Carbs?

Did I mention that running makes me hungry? And sleepy? But really, do I need an excuse to make buy ultra caloric pre-made garlic bread, whip up some marinara sauce and forgo the spaghetti entirely?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Week 1: 6/2-6/7

Scheduled: 20 min run
Done: 19 min run on the beach (yeah!). Running was much easier on the hard pack sand than on the trail. I used gmap pedometer to figure out that I ran a little more than 1.5 miles. Yikes! I thought that I couldn't get any slower than my 11 minute miles from the good old days... I think I could have gone longer, but I'm following my book and working my way up slowly so my joints have time to acclimate.

Scheduled: 30 min bike
Done: 40 min on the exercises bike at moderate intensity intervals. I think I'm feeling tired from the run yesterday, but not sore like last time! I haven't gotten out on my "real" bike yet because I haven't had a chance to buy a new saddle for it yet.

Scheduled: 20 min swim
Done: (the summary) 20 min beach run, approx 10 min miles
(The whole story) Well I've been waiting for my swim cap and goggles to come. It has been forever since I've been swimming and I certainly wasn't going to get anywhere without the goggles. They came today, but too late for morning lap swim.... so instead I did another 20 minute run on the beach. I know that isn't optimal in terms of recovery, but hey, you gotta start somewhere. Today I also decided to open it up a little. I've been holding back because in my mind exercise=a strong feeling of imminent suffocation. Now I'm learning that I want to train under my max oxygen use most of the time (imagine that!). So I've been aiming for a very sustainable pace. I think today I struck a good balance between aerobic intensity and my natural stride rhythm. I was moving faster and looser but still able to keep it up.

Unscheduled rest day. Well, my training book said to listen to one's body... and my body was clearly stating that unless I had a nap I was probably unsafe to drive. So yes... therapeutic napping... all part of my triathlon strategy...

15 minutes in the pool. That includes the panting while clinging to the side, the pathetic side stroke... the attempt at backstroke and three lengths of freestyle (which, if the claim to an "Olympic sized" swimming pool is correct would be 150 meters). Oh, boy do I have a long way to go when it comes to swimming. The good news is that all my new gear - silicone ear plugs, goggles, swimming cap - worked great and allowed me to focus much better. My new book Total Immersion also arrived today. My plan is to use the evening free swims at the local pool to start with the floating drills and then work my way up to actual swimming. Clearly I have nothing to lose by trying to improve my technique.

30 minute bike ride

Monday, June 2, 2008

Total Immersion?

Wouldn't mind having a smooth stroke like that!

Sunday, June 1, 2008


This blog was created to give me a place to record my training notes and discoveries as I get in shape for my first sprint distance triathlon. I hope that it may also encourage others to reach beyond what they thought was possible. For a long time I wasn't interested in triathlons, but this Memorial day weekend after watching my mother complete her first Olympic length triathlon I really wanted to see if I had it in me to swim, cycle and run to the finish line.

Base fitness:
After I left high school sports behind I pretty much quit exercising. About three years ago I discovered Pilates, but never pursued it beyond a 20 min moderate program. Pilates helped me with my co-ordination and flexibility. However, I was still looking for a way to increase my cardio-vascular health. Late Feb of 2008 I got a recumbent exercise bike. I slowly worked up from 20 minutes at low resistance to 40 min. a day of moderate interval training. MWF 40 min of intervals at a moderate setting + 20 min of moderate Pilates. T-Th 40 mod interval on the bike.

Training Plan:
Right now I have 14 weeks to train for my first race, The Palouse Sprint Triathlon on Sept. 6th, 2008. I am using advice from The Complete Triathlon Book and
I am going to follow the “couch to Sprint” plans given by these sources (each gives a slightly different plan) modifying them to fit in with my summer travel and my developing (ha, ha, nearly non-existent) fitness.

I have no background in swimming, cycling or running beyond the basics that most kids learn, so this will be an adventure!