May 15, 2008

Let the Training Begin

Tonight was the first day of the JackRabbit triathlon training program I signed up for. I normally don't like to train in groups, but the NYC Triathlon was sold out and JackRabbit had a limited number of entries available through their training program. And since this is my first tri, I'm actually looking forward to having the guidance since I have no idea how to effectively train.

We meet twice a week, on Thursday nights and Sunday mornings, and will be doing running and biking training. We're on our own when it comes to swimming except for one open water workshop at Brighton Beach this summer. For me, that's just fine. I make a big enough fool of myself when it's just me and my instructor in the pool, let alone have to show 40 total strangers my inept swimming ability.

It was a surprisingly big group, with the majority aiming for their first tri. While there is definitely a range of abilities, most seem to be pretty fit and really experienced in at least one of the three sports. Only about five people called out swimming as their strength so I was feeling a lot better about my lack of experience. I was also thrilled to learn from one of the coaches that the buoyancy of the wetsuit combined with the Hudson River current makes for a fairly easy swim. He shared that last year, a guy actually rolled onto his back and floated the entire mile in 37 minutes. If that's possible, I think I can swim it!

Since we had a briefing and orientation tonight, the workout was a nice, short run (thank God!). Since breaking out of my winter running hiatus I've only run one time. I meant to run more before training began, but we've already established that I have a hard time keeping motivated and sticking with the training. Being only my second run in four months, I wasn't sure how well I would fare. Plus, I walked two miles round trip to the pool in Tribeca today in "cute" shoes that left me with a huge blister about 10 minutes before I left to meet the training group. I guess it's time to say farewell to the cute shoes for any distance beyond three blocks.

We ran the Central Park lower loop twice for a total of 3.4 miles. I ran with a guy wearing a forerunner for the first mile and we did it in 8:41. I kept up with him for about another quarter of a mile, then had to drop back a bit. I ended up averaging 8:46 over the course of the run. I was definitely struggling a bit, but I'm so happy that my time off didn't completely wipe out the progress I made last year.

I have my second swimming lesson tomorrow. I'm anxious to see if I'll be able to improve at all by the end of the session, or if the week-long lapse in between will make it as though I'm starting from scratch. We'll see. My summer pool membership starts on Monday so I'm going to get to practice a great deal next week. With any luck, I'll be able to swim by next Friday. Here's hoping!

Sport - Running
Distance - 3.4 miles
Time - 29:50

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