Butterflies. Nerves. Adrenaline. I can’t believe it is nearly that time again and I’ll be taking on my second 70.3 distance triathlon next weekend. Has it already been two months since I crossed the finish line at Ironman 70.3 Boise? Wow. The time sure does fly, especially during the summer. Such a sad realization that fall is right around the corner.
I feel as though these last two weeks have slipped away from me and that I’ve neglected to update my training progress on the blog. Let’s just say I have had a strong couple of weeks, building, building, building, and am now in taper mode until Lake Stevens.
How am I currently feeling in each sport?
Swim: My least favorite of the three sports (if you haven’t guessed by now), but the one that I have been focusing on the most. I have done several open water swims at Elk Lake and in the Deschutes River, only two miles away from my house. With scenery like this, I don’t know how it is possible not to want to swim. Though I can’t say I really get to enjoy the views (or much of anything, for that matter) “during” the swim.
My coach met up with me on Tuesday morning for an open water swim in the Deschutes River. It was a refreshing 57 degrees as we proceeded to swim upriver against the current. As Mike put it, we looked like a couple of guppies going nowhere really fast. Swimming is much more fun when you can laugh at yourself and joke along the way. The scene of coach swimming into a goose that was drifting by (there were geese everywhere) was my favorite of the day. But on a more serious note, Mike offered some great tips on how I could improve my stroke and better use the energy I’m exerting. With a few minor changes I was swimming more efficiently and had more energy to spare. Someday I would love to be able to swim a 40-minute 1.2 mile distance. Mark my words, it WILL happen.
Guess what I purchased for use at the pool??? I finally caved in and bought a waterproof AudioFlood iPod shuffle so I can listen to music while I swim. Um, where has this beautiful device been all my life? I have used it twice thus far and am already swimming faster and happier. If I could smile while swimming, I would. Having music to help take my mind off of “swimming” makes going to the pool much easier.
Bike: I feel as though I am gaining the most progress on the bike. I’ve been spending a lot of time riding at altitude in the Cascade Mountains and several other routes that allow me to gain 3000-4000ft of elevation in less than 40 miles per ride. I could spend the rest of my days riding my bike along the Cascade Lakes Highway. I can’t wait to see what I can do in Lake Stevens with those short, but steep climbs throughout the course.
Run: I have devoted a lot more time than normal to running lately, particularly because of the Cascade Lakes Relay (which you can read about here). I have also been doing more track workouts, which are helping me get significantly faster, and bricks to get my body used to the shock of transitioning from the bike to the run. In fact, my coach has me scheduled to do four bricks leading up to Lake Stevens, one of which I did yesterday. I feel as though every time I step off the bike and settle into the run, I get stronger and more confident. Muscle memory is a wonderful thing.
Nutrition: has been going well and I am always stocked up on my favorite fluids, gels, and bars. I finally purchased a tub of Osmo active hydration as recommended by so many fellow athletes, and used it during my ride yesterday. I must say, I am a fan. I really appreciated the saltiness in the mid-day heat.
Another recommendation from Kristin that I recently tried was an Epsom salt bath. It was delightful to relax and soak my legs after a hard workout. I can guarantee there will be many Epsom salt baths in my future.
Brain: I feel like I am mentally ready for the race. I am glad I know what to expect and will no longer be arriving to the race as a triathlon newbie like I did in Boise. This will be yet another learning experience that will ultimately prepare me to seek out the goal I aspire to reach in 2015 – becoming an Ironman.
Looking forward to a little staycation out at Sunriver this weekend with my husband, before taking off to Lake Stevens later next week. Justin and I are planning to do some mountain biking, running, exploring, and relaxing by the pool, just the combination I need to breathe and ready myself for the adventure ahead.
Oh, and I almost forgot! This week as part of the 10 Day You Challenge I get to list four books. I decided to list a few that are really meaningful to me and one that I just purchased and can’t wait to read this weekend!
The Last Lecture. I could read this book over and over again, and learn something new each time. I have a strong emotional connection to both the book and the story surrounding the book. If you haven’t read it, go buy it now.
Stumbling on Happiness. This is the psychologist in me geeking out over the science of happiness. Dan Gilbert is absolutely fascinating.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. This philosophical book is full of thoughtful lessons and allows the reader to understand the importance of living an authentic life.
If I Stay. I love reading books before the movie comes out and this is one that I have heard great things about. I can’t believe how many books are being made into movie recently. This will be my poolside friend this weekend. I also want to read Gone Girl and The Fault in Our Stars.
Have you ever done a staycation? Where do you go to get away from it all?
Do you have any book recommendations for me?