Tri-ing in the Holy Land

The ramblings of a struggling triathlete in Israel

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Location: Israel

I'm the mother of 3, a teacher and a couch potato turned triathlete.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Lots of good days since that bad day

Training has been much better since that one really bad day. I've just been too lazy to post about it.

I had two really great rides, two Saturdays in a row. I remembered to drink! And no worries here in the desert about drinking too much -- it's almost impossible. Plus, for my long workouts, I take an isotonic drink, not water (and food, too). Unfortunately, on both long rides, I had flats! GRRR!!!

And I finally learned how to jump on my bike, though I really need to practice this skill. And I learned how to get off by swinging one leg over the bike. The problem is, I learned to do both of these things in running shoes. I suspect that trying to do them in cycling shoes will be a bit more difficult!

I've apparently learned how to do the butterfly correctly, as well. Or at least I do it well enough for my coach to ask me to demonstrate for the rest of the team. So why is it still so damn hard?!

And I have almost perfected my flip turns. They're much better.

And I've taken quite a bit off of my 50 meter freestyle time. It's still not fast, but yesterday, I did a timed 50 in :48. That is by far the fastest I've ever swum.

Next week it's back to school. I didn't achieve my summer goal of getting more time in on the bike, but this is mainly because the new coach asked us not to do extra workouts. I did get quite a few kilometers in, though, so I guess although I didn't add bike workouts, I did spend more time on my bike. One of my other summer goals was to learn to swim the butterfly. I did that :-) And I learned to do a flip turn, which I hadn't even considered as a goal (didn't think I'd ever be able to do it). So it's been a productive summer. There are about three months left to the triathlon season here. I'm looking forward to enjoying them!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Those bad days

I never know when one of those bad training days is going to sneak up on me. Sometimes it'll start out ok and then just go bad in the middle. That's what happened today.

It started out as a relatively short long ride, which was to be followed by a 5 km run. For the first 15 km or so, I rode with a teammate, but at the entrance to Beer Sheva, I lost her (or, more accurately, she lost me). I spent the rest of the ride mainly alone and feeling lousy. I don't know why I felt lousy -- I'm not sick, I wasn't particularly tired and it wasn't a difficult route. It was just hard. The whole way. And it seemed like every time I looked down at my bike computer, I was going slower. I honestly thought I'd never get home. But I did. And things didn't get better.

The 5k run was 10 loops of the "track" around our sports club. When we started at about 8:30, the sun was already shining brightly and it was quite warm. I may live in the hot desert, but I don't particularly like sun or heat and I really hate to run in either. I did three loops and then took a break to get my bottle off my bike. Things just went downhill from there. I couldn't do more than two loops at a time without my heart rate soaring. My breaks were getting longer and longer. The coach told me to wait until my heart rate went down and so I sat down and waited, but my heart rate, which was 106 while sitting, went up to 135 as soon as I got out of my chair. I eventually finished the 5 km, but I don't think it's ever taken me so long to run such a short distance!

Then I biked home. Uphill. When I walked in the door, I wanted to die. I didn't die, but I did drink a lot and then take a long nap. I had a headache for much of the rest of the day.

A headache? Wait! I know what causes a headache. Dehydration. 2 hours on the bike and I finished less than half a .5 liter bottle of fluid. Duh. Even at 6:30 or 7:00 in the morning, I need to drink. I did finish up the bottle at the pool during my run, but at that point, I think I was way beyond quick recovery.

I have gotten dehydrated so many times during training and races that you'd think I'd have learned by now. Apparently not. I'm terrible at staying hydrated, even when I'm not training. Drinking enough would probably be the best thing I could do to improve my performance. It sounds so easy. So why am I so bad at it???

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Swim test

New coach, Yigal, timed us tonight at the pool. I want to keep track of these test times so I can see how much I'm improving. I won't be qualifying for the Olympics with these times, but here they are:

25 meters: 23:22
100 meters: 1:54
400 meters: 8:58

Yigal's making us learn flip turns, too. If I ever manage to actually do them, those times might go down without a lot of effort (well, not the 25 meter time...).

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