3100 hard yards in the pool last night, after the brutal weekend. Coming to practice, I felt exhausted, like my body had not had a full chance to recover from the torture of the heat, OWS panic, and the emotional stress I’d endured over my first triathlon. Somehow I knew they weren’t going to go easy on us, and I hoped that I would wake up somehow midway through the swim.
200 warm up, then two 400s, the second one faster than the first. Amazingly, the first one I finished in a speedy 7:20, but the second took eight minutes. My arms and legs felt like lead. Next up, one 100, 80% effort. I seemed to slow myself down through that sprint effort. Coach Jason said that my arms weren’t getting out of the water enough, creating drag. Ugh. It’s always something with swimming, isn’t it? The rest of the workout went as follows:
3×300, descending set
100 sprint (90% effort)
4×200 steady pace
100 all out sprint
After our all out sprint, I thought, “Okay, we’re done, time for cool down, right?” No, not so much. Coach Jason crowded all of us within the same pace into the same lane for a simulated race start. The first time, he made me and a female teammate take the lead. I sprinted hard toward the finish, feeling the hands of the guys in back brush my legs as I fought to keep the lead. It was actually pretty exhilarating.
We swam 25 yards back easy, and, onto sprint #2. This time, Jason put the gals in the back row, guys in front, saying, “Okay girls, kick their asses!” Challenge accepted. I fought my way between the swimmers, beating out two of the guys by the time we got to the wall. I was shocked that I still had it in me to sprint after all of that swimming. I think I might like this whole competitive swim start thing after all!
Ironman training is no joke, but it proves how your body can develop high levels of endurance and strength. For someone who has only been swimming for six months, it’s amazing to me how far I’ve come. In the three months that I’ve been training with the team, I’ve learned immeasurable lessons about myself, and I’m watching myself change inside and out, with every passing week.
It’s hard to believe that, just a little over a year ago, I weighed well over 200 lbs, I couldn’t ride a bike, and I had no confidence in my physical abilities. Not only have I lost tons of weight (I weigh 145-150 lbs now, depending on which way the wind blows the scale numbers), but I have started to really change my body and my feelings about whether I can be an athlete.
I looked in the mirror this morning and saw the beginnings of really sculpted abs, less jiggle in the tummy area, trimmer hips, and muscular legs. I’m beginning to LOOK like an athlete, and feel more like one too.
I remembered sighing dispiritedly at the results of my first tape measuring back when I started my journey (I refused to weigh myself because I didn’t want to be even more depressed). My waist measurement read 35″; my hips, 47″. As of today ‘s measurement, my waist is 28″ and my hips are 38″, and I feel strong, energized, the best I’ve ever felt in my entire life! And, mind you, we’re only three months into training!
Plus, I’m about to start a bootcamp on Wednesdays at Elevation Fitness in West Hollywood, led by the awesome Beth Bishop, to help boost my speed and strength. It’s going to hurt, but I’m going to love it! Bring it on!!!
Just a reminder of how far I’ve come: