This morning marked my first 5 a.m. wake-up for training this season. I've skillfully dodged it thus far by setting the alarm for 6, only allowing one snooze and then stepping out of bed and immediately into my training gear and starting the scheduled workout half asleep. I've also looked highly disheveled at the office and have been late just about every day. However, after I was forced to swim in the evening on Monday, which means I sat waiting by the pool for 20 minutes fighting the urge to just get dressed, go home and park myself on the couch with a book, I vowed there would be no more after work swims unless it's an emergency. Besides, today was a single so swimming in the a.m. meant I got to come home and be a normal person in the p.m. so I had two incentives.
Once I've pried myself out of bed I find it's really not that bad. It's just the initial shock of the alarm jarring you awake at a cold, dark hour that's hard to handle. But the reward was a virtually empty pool for much of my workout, which allowed me to be more thoughtful about the workout. This was a really good swim for me... finally. I've been really inconsistent with my swimming, sometimes going two weeks between sessions, so my form has deteriorated to something that resembles attacking the water and my fitness is nil. But today I felt like I was swimming fairly strongly and while I'm still much slower than last year (note: I was slow then, too) I am definitely improving even if marginally. And best of all I'm not as repulsed by the thought of swimming so hopefully I'll be motivated to pay the pool another visit soon.
I had a breakthrough run last night as well. I joined my tri club's group run for the first time and ended up running with one of the guys also training for Lake Placid. Normally he would leave me in the dust, but he's also dealing with some injuries so we kept the pace moderate and talked the entire time. I felt I was exerting a bit more than usual, but didn't realize how much until we hit the first mile - 8:40. I was simultaneously elated and terrified. I haven't done more than a couple minutes at this pace since my injury so holding it for a mile was a big step. I was also pain free. The next mile was 8:26 so we slowed it a bit to just around 9, which I held for the next few. I ended up running 4.6 miles at just under a 9:00 pace. Last year I did my long runs at about 8:30-8:45, and my shorter runs at 8 or less. I have no intentions of trying to get back to that this year, but it is heartwarming to know I should be able to eventually.
Last, but definitely not least, my bike is here!!! It arrived yesterday and we put it together last night. It still needs some adjustments and I'm scheduling a proper fitting so I'll take a more formal picture after. When I think of all the fun miles I'll spend on this bike I instantly smile. I love my P2C but I don't always want to be on a time trial bike. Sometimes I just want to sit up, feel the wind on my face and enjoy the view. It makes me look forward to the offseason even more!