Open Water Swim Clinic

Yesterday, I had my first open water swim clinic in the Chesapeake Bay. I was nervous but much more excited. I wanted to see how I would do, and if my training was progressing.

First of all, the water was cold. I've never before been in that water temperature before, but thanks to my wetsuit it provided some insulation.
Swimming wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. The current didn't pull as much as I thought, but it still was hard, and it really wore you out. I got dizzy on one drill, and had to turn over on my back for awhile, but apparently I need earplugs as the cold water was going into my inner ear and messing up my balance.

I learnt that I needed to build my endurance some more, learn to breathe on my left side, and just fine-tune my technique also. I'll work on these things before my next open water swim on June 5th.

I was able to gain the experience I wanted, and that made the clinic a success for me.
After the clinic we did a 20 mile bike ride. All in all, things went good.

My best week of training EVER

I had a lull in my training after going to NY getting a little ill. I tried to work out, even when I returned by I constantly fell weak and dizzy. So I eased my way back in my workout and this is how things unfolded.
My training week started last week Sunday with an 18 mile bike with Rebecca and her friend Shani. The ride was through Virginia with some really nice hills, turns and scenery. I tried to keep a 12mph pace and for the most part, that was successful.

Monday, I went to the gym to do some running. Was having a headache so decided to skip the track. Though it was the treadmill, I did a great run for 30mins. I added some strength and core training and had a fabulous time.

Tuesday, I had my swim coaching. My coach had me working more on my technique and I realized I was not pushing behind to get maximum use of my reach.

Wednesday, OFF day.

Thursday, it was back to the pool to practice my drills. I ventured into deeper waters to get accustomed to that. I practiced my technique : breathing, kicking and my pull. I wasn't counting laps, as I just wanted to improve my technique with each length I swam.

Friday- It was back to the bike. This time I racked up 28 miles. I went on the Crescent Trail with my friend Shurouq. It was a nice warm day, and it took me two bottles of gaterade to stay hydrated. (Note to self - I need sunshades, as pollen and blossoms were raging war). On the way to Bethesda, I kept a 10-12mph pace on a slight incline. On the way back my pace was around 15-18mph. Wow, I loved it!

Today, Saturday I have a basic technique swim clinic with an excellent swim coach. I'm hoping to gain a few more skills and improve on my swimming. Class is from 12-2 (just realized after going to Tri Unify's site to verify time for blog.

Tomorrow, Sunday, I bike with Gregg through Rock Creek Park from 10am.

Monday - Run

Tuesday - swim

Wednesday - OFF

In with the new

I've always been skirting the idea of changing my look to something I was more comfortable with. Somehow I never got to exactly where I wanted to go. The feelings returned and this time I decided to go for it, and change my wardrobe up some. With my girlfriends help (shopping is her forte), I sought out the styles that suited me and on my trip to New York last weekend I did some shopping and got some pieces for my wardrobe.

Today was my first day back to work since last week and I found myself a little nervous about getting dressed for work. I wondered what my supervisor or co-workers might think when I stepped in. It somehow felt like I was back home in Jamaica where homophobia is very present, though it never affected me before. Still, I wasn't as 'outwardly' gay as 'butch' women appeared. I wasn't trying to appear more gay, I just wanted to be more me.

It was an odd feeling I had this morning, as I'm not used to feelings of uncertainty. However, I couldn't allow myself to not make that step so I donned my garb and went out into the sunshine. At the end of the day, I felt great and not because my supervisor thought I looked sharp, but because I felt like I made another big step in living my life for me.

Thanks also baby for always supporting me with everything.

Summary of past few days and the week to come

Saturday: Biked total of 26 miles.

Sunday: REST

Monday (today) : swim 8 sets of 2 laps (4lengths each) with about one minute rest in between.
Today's swim showed even more progression, thanks to Adrian, one of the lifeguards who gave me this drill to do. When he told me to do 2 laps, almost non-stop, I was wondering if I would be able to make it. However, I figured I would just go for it and see how it went. I used a pull buoy, placed between my leg, and simply used arm movements and rotated my body.
I'm getting it, and I'm so excited.

The rest of the week

Tuesday: Swim coaching - 45mins
Wednesday: Run - 3 miles (maintain 12min mile or less)
Thursday: Swim - 1 hour
Friday: Run - 3 miles (maintain 12min mile or less
Saturday: Bike - 1 hour
Sunday: Bike - 1 hour

Monday: REST

12 min mile

Today's run workout was aimed at completing three miles with a target time of 30mins. I realized that based on my conditioning, I wasn't able to do a 10min mile, so I aimed to maintain 3min laps around the 400 meter track. I did my one lap warm up and then stretched and then I was ready to go.

Laps 1-3 - Feeling good and keeping within the pace.
Laps 4-6 - Slowing down, but speeding back up to maintain the pace. Hydration included.
Laps 5-8 - Above a 3min lap pace and trying to push myself to keep up.
Laps 9-10 - Falling off the pace and now a 1:30 behind. Focusing on slowing my breathing down
Lap 11 - Telling myself only one lap more to go...increase speed a bit
Lap 12 - Final lap, legs tired but speeding up a little, sprint final 100m to finish

Finish time - 37:30 - 3 miles

Walk one lap to cool down, and then stretch.

I can swim laps, finally!

Yesterday, I went to the pool with the intention of putting it all together, and just do it! I knew what I needed to do. I've been practicing since January to do it and since its almost 3mnths from my big race, I figured I'm bound to have a breakthrough soon! But, no pressure...I just went relaxed and excited.

I did my regular warm-ups and then I just went for it. The next thing I know, I'm touching the wall on the opposite end of the pool. I did it, but I didn't want to get too excited yet, so I wanted to see if I could duplicate it. And I did, again and again and again!!

I felt such exhilaration at my accomplishment. This meant, I could do it. This meant my time and effort was beginning to pay off. Now, I can hardly wait to go back to the pool. I'll sneak a quick workout either this evening, or on Sunday

The week in review

Well technically, we'll be starting with yesterday. I didn't do any training from Tuesday evening to Monday, so one entire week. It was my birthday weekend, and well I was enjoying it to the max. Yai to 25.

Yesterday however, I had my first swim lesson with my coach at 1pm and then by 4 I was rolling out with Rebecca for a bike ride. We rode 8 miles together, and it was alright. We couldn't flow as we wanted to, as the bike trail also crossed roadways at certain sections. But, all in all, it was a good experience.

Today, I ran 30mins, for 2.5 miles. I wanted to complete 3 miles in 30 mins to stick to my 10min mile, but that didn't work out. But its fine, as I'm sticking to my training plan.

Tomorrow, I swim again and hope to make some significant progress there.

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Too much to tell. Summary- 24, lesbian, passionate, perfectionist, semi-serious...