Sunday, November 18, 2007

T3 trial period

this week i began my free workout period with T3, a local triathlon training group ( looking closer at the calendar, i probably should have started this trial period with T3 next week given that this week coming week is thanksgiving & they are only hosting a few practices.

i have some prior knowledge of T3 given that kristin & i took their swim clinic about 6 weeks ago. T3 coaches, maurice & chrissie, are top notch as far as swim coaches go. also, a few other CDA'ers (ed, jill, eryn, & noah) recently signed up with T3 in prep for CDA next year & have had nothing but good things to say about the program.

while i think i'm disciplined enough to follow a run/bike program on my own, i'm mostly interested in the swim practices with T3. while technique & form are important components for running & swimming, they are absolutely crucial for swimming. for that reason i want to the coaching expertise from maurice & chrissie. i need them to keep an eye on me & remind me of my form & correct what ever it is that i'm not doing right. not to mention that i just need to be swimming & i've learned that i'm not disciplined enough to get myself in the pool & do the laps that i need to do on my own.

this saturday's ride was set to start at 9:00 am (meet up at 8:45 am) from kiker elementary school which is located in the circle C neighborhood down south. 9:00 am is a very late start time for a group ride, however, it's beginning to get cold & chrissie told me they are just hoping to make it easier on the team & have a better showing since the later it gets the warmer it should be. in total there were probably 15 riders including maurice & chrissie. the ride we were doing was called the "fitzhugh ride." nothing to crazy, 20 miles out & 20 miles back with the option to do as many 8 mile loops on south mopac as you wanted to increase your mileage. we started out pretty slow just getting out of circle C which was somewhat frustrating because i'd prefer to just ride & not deal with cars & lights. by the time we hit southwest parkway the group had broken up into 3 - 4 smaller packs. i remained with the lead pack which included some hard riders. we made it to fitzhugh pretty quickly & until we actually got on fitzhugh i was thinking that this ride was too easy. fitzhugh turned out to be a good 7 mile stretch with strong rolling hills. i got a good workout in on fitzhugh, especially because i stopped to put on my sun glasses & spent the entire 14 miles on fitzhugh trying to catch back up with the lead pack (consisting of 5 dudes). on the way back, ed & i were pushing it pretty hard & we got ourselves far enough ahead of everyone else that we couldn't hear them yelling to us when we missed one of the turns back. we didn't go that far before we realized that we had done something wrong. we never did catchup with maurice, sean, & the other dude in what was now the lead pack. we did however meet up with chrissie & two other guys. they were actually pushing it really hard & managed to catch up with all of us after stopping to fix a flat early in the ride. anyhow, we all made it back at different times for the most part & some folks did a quick brick & others left right away. i ran maybe 20 minutes, just to remind my legs what's in store down the road. all & all it was a good ride & best of all i got to sleep in on a saturday for once :)

this morning, sunday, we met at the rock at 7:30 & we were to begin our run at 7:45. i like how they structure the 15 minute gap between the time you are supposed to show & the time you actually start. it allows those that want to be early & get in their personal/stretching time in & those that need a little more time to get to practice are able to catch everyone before they leave. i'm getting much better at being on time actually & both mornings i was part of the "early" crowd. the plan was to do a 13 mile run. i had just run 13 miles last week & was actually thinking i should bump it up a mile or two. remember, i've never run a full marathon & for me the mileage is still a very mental thing. i took off with ed & jill & they suggested we do the 10 mile loop & then one 3 mile loop. i've never done the full 10 mile loop; i just loop the 3, 4, & 5 mile loops to get the mileage i want. the 10 mile loop actually turned out to be pretty cool minus a few rough patches around the power plant & then running down river side prior to passing over interstate 35. at about 4.5 miles i started pulling away from ed & jill. they weren't running slow & i wasn't running fast, i just wanted to stretch my stride out. i ended up passing the lead guy at about mile 6 & up until mile 8 i maintained that lead. then i stopped for a few quick gulps of water at the first water stop at 1st street. that's when i realized i should have been carrying some water & a gu packet of some kind. the lead guy was carrying both & i realized when he showed up to refill his water bottle how dehydrated i actually was. shortly after that water stop i passed him again & maintained the lead until mile 10. the site of the water stop & all those people stretching looked to good to be true & i couldn't resist stopping. i cashed in 3 miles early & accepted my 10 miles & the 1 hour & 20 minute time (8-minute mile pace) that went with it. shortly after i started filling up on water the dude i passed ran by to knock out his final 3. ed came running by about 3 minutes later & he continued on too. shortly after ed, jill came running in & like me the site of the water & all the people stretching were too much to say no to.

we hung out for a bit until ed came in. he ended up just running another 15 - 20 minutes of which he thinks he got in 2 miles - totalling 12. shortly after ed showing up, the lead dude came in after finishing his full 13 miles. i knew i should have continued on at that point & was disappointed that i didn't. i've got to get better about my nutrition! all i had in my stomach that morning was a small EAS protein shake. i need to stick to some cards: oatmeal, banana, etc. & then carry some water & a gu packet or two with me. i've learned my lesson today.

i'm not 100% sure about T3's plan this week. according to the training schedule there aren't any practices monday or tuesday, there is a swim practice wednesday morning, nothing thursday or friday, & things resume as normal saturday & sunday. my plan as of right now is to do some palates at the house in the morning & then some light weights & swim (yes, on my own) at the gym after work.

thus far, i'm a fan of T3 training & the group. prior to january, which is when "real ironman" training is supposed to begin, i plan to sign up for T3's swim training only & get in some weekend runs/rides when they say it's cool. then in january i most likely sign up for everything. if it weren't for the money, $150 bucks a month, i'd sign up now. the swim portion is only $85.


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