July was a very big month for me. I started out having completed my first triathlon, kicked my training for the NYC tri into high gear, FINALLY learned how to swim and ran my first half-marathon of the year. Now that it's over, I wanted to take a quick look back before continuing to move forward.
Even though I had completed a triathlon, I still wasn't able to swim comfortably and build my endurance. I went to the pool on July 2 and had my first big breakthrough, a .75 mile continuous swim. I went back the next day and did a mile and felt like I was on top of the world. I met my swim buddy Roberto and started practicing in open water every weekend and continued my pool training during the week. By the NYC tri, I was able to swim the 1500 meters panic-free and comfortably.
July was without a doubt the month I not only learned to swim, but learned to love it as well.
Distance - 28,350.42 yards (16.1 miles)
Time - 13:00:18
I joined the Tour de France Challenge on Beginner Triathlete as a push to spend more time in the saddle. I committed to 300 miles during the Tour and kicked it off with a 66-miler. I hadn't factored in my taper and recovery for the NYC tri so I actually ended up having to scramble a bit at the end to finish, but I did even though it required an 18-mile trainer ride after I ran the NYC Half Marathon. Now that's dedication!
As a result of all the extra time I spent on the bike, my average increased slightly over the month and I was able to ride very strongly in the NYC Tri. Plus I re-discovered that I love cycling after having a very low year last year. Now if only I could get that tri bike...
Distance - 354.43 miles
Time - 22:57:17
Ok, so I could have run A LOT more in July, but at least I made the running I did count. I continued to push my pace and settled very comfortably into an 8:15-8:25/mile average for most runs. I ran a strong 10K the week before the NYC Tri and extended it to a 10-miler for my marathon training. Then I set a 10K PR during the NYC Tri, finishing almost 2 minutes faster than the week before. The following Sunday, I ran my first half-marathon of the year and set a PR by 12 minutes. So while my overall volume was a bit low, my effort and intensity was by far the best I've ever done. And for the first time in my 9 years of running, I no longer felt like a slow, casual runner.
Distance - 76.15 miles
Time - 10:54:54
Shifting back to the present, I had a good 4-mile run today. I didn't get as early of a start as I would have liked so I had the heat to contend with, but I felt relatively good overall and maintained a great pace. My feet have been bothering me so I had to take a 10-minute stretch break at one point. I want to prevent another battle with plantar fasciitis so I'm hyper-aware of any and all foot pain.
I did a longer (for me) swim tonight. I'd like to work on increasing my comfort level with both speed and distance so I went just a bit further. I'm going to spend some time this week looking at Olympic distance training plans so I can keep focused on the swim needs. My next Olympic race is on September 14 and I'd really like to improve on the swim.
On that note, I had to make a decision regarding my final race calendar. I am registered for the Triathlon at Pacific Grove in California on 9/13 and the Mighty Hamptons Triathlon on 9/14. I had hoped to find a travel partner for the race in California since my husband is unable to join me, but I didn't have any luck so I decided to withdraw. My decision to do Ironman Wisconsin also had an impact since I'll be spending 9 days in Wisconsin in September just a week before the race. I'm sad to let it go, but feel it was the right decision for my schedule and my sanity. I'll have a 50% event credit to apply toward one of the organizer's other races next year so I'm hoping I'll be able to fit one into my racing and travel schedule. 2009 is looking to be a very busy year!
Distance - 4 miles
Time - 32:46
Distance - 2,000 yards (1.13 miles)
Time - 42:00