For whatever reason, this past week just propelled me into a place where I feel so ready for this race. Maybe it was the increased intensity of our TEAM workouts, maybe the extra push I gave myself during my individual workouts, or maybe a full week of eating really clean. It's probably a combination of the three - but I felt super energized, and totally amped up every day!
I focused this past week (Mon & Wed) on increasing my continuous swims. Wednesday night at TEAM swim, I did a timed 800m continuous swim in the pool. I finished in 22:40. Not a world-class time by any means, but four months ago I couldn't even swim 25m without gasping for air - I never could have imagined swimming 800! Not to mention, my race distance is only 1/3 mile, or approx. 536 meters (in open water, though).
Yesterday, we had a TEAM transition clinic. We met at West Oak business park, where we had our very first bike clinic back in February. West Oak has an approx. 1.5 mile loop road that we used for a series of transition practices and bricks. After some great instruction and tips on efficiently setting up our transition area (which may look something like the picture below),
we were split into two groups for the start. We started barefoot (as if coming in from the swim) across the parking lot, and ran to transition. Put on socks, bike shoes, gloves, helmet, and sunglasses; unracked bike, and walked/jogged it to the mount line. Rode bike for 3 loops around West Oak, came back into transition, switched bike helmet for visor, bike shoes for running shoes, grabbed a sip of water, and ran 1 loop around West Oak. We repeated this whole exercise 3 times! What a fantastic workout!
Our coaches have repeatedly told us that our minds will turn to mush during transition, and that even the simplest of tasks become confusing and difficult in the midst of an endurance event. I got to experience one such moment of stupidity yesterday. After the 2nd time in on the run, I took off my running shoes, took off my visor, put on my bike helmet, grabbed a sip of water, PUT MY RUNNING SHOES BACK ON (instead of my bike shoes), unracked my bike, and took about 2 steps toward the mount line when I looked down...hmmm. Put my bike back, changed shoes, and went out again. Luckily there won't be a run to bike transition during the race!
Speaking of running shoes, I made a trip to Big Peach yesterday to get properly fitted for running shoes. To be honest, I've run in all sorts of different brands/types of running shoes, and have never really had any problems (with the minor exception of some shin splints when first breaking in a new pair). But, I was curious to find out what I "should" be wearing in order to prevent injuries in the future. Big Peach records your feet when running on a treadmill, so that they can assess your level of pronation. They also have you stand on a heat sensor panel to see whether you have high, low, or normal arches and to show where you distribute your weight on your feet. The combination of these things determines the type of shoe you need. I've seen videos of people who pronate or supinate excessively when running, I've heard people talk about their trouble with various kind of shoes (running, high heels, etc.) due to high arches or flat feet. It's always been kind of a mystery to me... I've always been the one who can wear cheap Payless shoes, or can just buy shoes that I think are cute, rather than worrying about how they feel. Now I know why.
I run in a completely neutral position and have completely normal arches, with even distribution of weight on the front and back of my foot. Huh. As hubby said, "well, aren't you just all kinds of normal?" Now, that's not to say that it's wise to just run in whatever - I mean, you still need a supportive, cushioning, shock-absorbing shoe to protect your feet, knees, hips, back, etc. I present to you my new running shoes, the Asics Gel Nimbus 11:
I'm "TRI" ing to save lives...want to help?