This morning I was back in the pool and was able to get 3,200 meters in. I swam with my friend who swims the same pace as I swim. We did a lot of 100 meter repeats – the goal was to maintain a set pace with only 5 seconds recovery for the first 10 then pick up the pace by 5 seconds but take 10 seconds to recover and then another 5 seconds faster with a 15 second recovery. At first I really had to hold back, and then the pace caught up with me, I had to push to make the times toward the end. I really enjoy swimming with my friend because we both have different moments when one excels versus the other and we motivate each other to pick it up. I tend to push off a bit stronger on the third length and she has an incredible ability to kick it in the last 12 to 15 meters. Just when I am feeling the desire to cruise into the wall I see her edging up on me. Another example of how the buddy system works. No slacking allowed! As for the workout, I liked they way it helps train my body and mind to maintain a consistent pace over a long distance.
My cycle workout this afternoon also was geared toward endurance and tempo. After warming up for 10 minutes my goal was to ride a moderately flat course and maintain 85 to 95 rotations per minute keeping my heart rate in my zone 3. First, I am still trying to figure out where my zones are on the bike, I know they are much lower than when I run. I went by my perceived exertion and I think I maintained the right level – for 50 minutes. That is a long time to ride a bike going nowhere. Fortunately I had music on and I read. Keeping the pace and the speed I wanted was a bit challenging at times, but I remembered my new mantra – Push Through. I finished feeling good and knowing I put in a good effort. I must say, cycling alone today without a buddy or in a class was a bit more challenging than swimming this morning with a buddy. I know when the weather improves and I hit the streets I will most likely experience the same thing – hopefully I will be able to join a few group rides each week to have other riders that keep the motivation going.
Today I emailed with my coaches about scheduling races for both running and triathlon. My running coach shared with me a few ideas for motivation and conquering the psychological challenges that come with harder training. I will not always have others training with me, especially in running, and I have to find a way to push through. One suggestion she had was that she wears motivational rubber bracelets during workouts to glance at to remind her to keep on. I really like the idea – especially if I wear it on my left arm next to my Garmin 910XT. The detail junky in me looks at my watch frequently in all sports to monitor my time, my heart rate, my pace – you name it. I found a company on the web that will manufacture personalized bracelets, no minimum order, free shipping, and with a promo code I got them for $6.79 each. I ordered three – “Break Through”, “Believe”, and “Trust”. I was able to pick the words, Break Through and Believe are two common mantras of mine now. I thought of “Just Keep Swimming” and “I Am Able”, but I decided to go with “Trust”. Trust my training, my ability, my will to continue, and so much more. I won’t always have a buddy to keep me motivated, but I can have a reminder to glance at that comes close to pushing me on.