Ironman Training: Measurable Via Baby Gestation

Feb 01

Last night when I was at track, my coach Teresa, with a big grin on her face, blurted out two big announcements. The first was that one of my teammates had gotten engaged, which I knew about thanks to Facebook (nonetheless, congratulations once again, Karissa!). Maybe now that Karissa will be busy with wedding planning, I can finally catch up to her swim speed. (I say this with 100% sarcasm because she is insanely fast in the water and I am dumbfounded by how she does it–I’m convinced she stows some fins and a small motor underneath a dock or something before races.) The second piece of news was that one of TN’s coaches, Bridget, is three months pregnant. That was more surprising to me, although not mind-blowingly so since her mom had been putting some not-so-subtle pressure on her to start popping out grandkids already and Bridget had mentioned that she wanted to start a family soon. I started having my Usual Suspects moment where I thought back to all of the workouts Bridget hadn’t participated in lately and how I hadn’t seen much of her in general before my brain went “Ohhhhhhhh, right, because of the whole ‘fetus’ thing.” I was happy for her and her husband, but then it dawned on me. Despite being terrible at math (I’m a disgrace to my Asian heritage, I know), I was able to calculate that if she’s three months pregnant now, she’s likely due at the end of July or the beginning of August. I started my Ironman training program in September, having gotten more of a head start than when I trained for my first Ironman (which was about an eight-month regimen back in 2010). By the time Bridget squeezes out Bridget Jr., I’ll still be a few weeks away from racing Ironman Canada; thus, in the amount of time it will take me to train for and complete an Ironman this year, I could have conceived, gestated, and given birth to a baby and have been taking care of it for a couple months. Mind. Blown. So basically, my baby is Ironman Canada. There isn’t that much of a difference between being pregnant and training for an...

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I Always Feel Like Some-body’s Watching Meeeee

Feb 08

I Always Feel Like Some-body’s Watching Meeeee

For the third year in a row, I’m taking Teresa’s swim conditioning class. The first couple years I took the class, Teresa ran it solo. Class size varies from a few athletes total to about three per lane. When the class gets crowded, you could sometimes get away with less than perfect swim form if Teresa was on the other side of the pool analyzing your classmates. However, this year things have changed, making swim class much, much more difficult. Apparently, TN Multisports has gained in popularity enough to add another coach and two specialists to the team. Normally I’d applaud the growth and success of my favorite triathlete’s coaching business; however, these rock star coaches have taken it upon themselves to come to swim class and poke their noses in my mediocre swimming business. Before, I could maybe sneak in a crooked leg kick or the occasional windmill arm and Teresa was none the wiser if she was busy inspecting the far lane. Now there are 2-3 coaches on-hand at any given moment, peering down at you like eagles scanning the plains for a field mouse to eat. A crappily swimming field mouse. Last weekend, I swam a length and brought my head up when I got to the end of the pool. The first thing I saw was a pair of feet. I looked up and Rusty was peering down at me, instructing me to widen my left arm entry. I nodded and took off to swim to the other end of the pool. 20 yards later, I pop my head up and see…another pair of feet. I sigh and look up, and Bridget is staring down at me. What does she say? “Widen your left arm.” Gahhhhhh, I already heard that at the other end of the pool. Boo, hiss. So now I can’t slack when I think the coach isn’t looking because the coach is always looking…all three or four of them. Group workouts just got a whole lot harder…damn those knowledgeable coaches. They really should mind their own business and let me make little to no progress in the water....

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Our First Triathlon Training Consultation

Dec 03

Our First Triathlon Training Consultation

Flash back to January 2008. Jason and I had just joined a track running group that my coworker, Christine, trained with every Tuesday evening. We were the awkward NKOTBs who were huffing it around the track while fit, wiry runners flew by us. Jason sported baggy Old Navy sweatpants that were at least one size too big and I bounded around on my toes like Pepe LePew. Oh, how far we’ve come since then…(not really.) Anyway, one day Christine mentioned to me that she had signed up for the New Balance Half Ironman in Victoria, BC. After much prodding and convincing, I decided to sign up for the Half Ironman too (and I dragged Jason into the entire mess). It’s a good thing Christine isn’t a drug dealer — she’s so damn good at convincing me to do stuff that if she were peddling crack instead of triathlons, you’d be reading my first post from MediocreMethHead.com. Jason and I each forked over about $230 and signed up. We then set up a meeting with Teresa, our new triathlon training coach. This is what Teresa looks like: Now here’s me: Basically, whereas Teresa has abs on top of more abs and shoulder blades that can crack walnuts, I am quite adept at stuffing my face with fried po’boy sandwiches. That’s how I roll: shamelessly inhaling food while armpit fat pooches out of my tank top. I’m classy like that. Jason and I met Teresa at a coffee shop near the Seattle Athletic Club to get a noob’s guide to triathlons. She then proceeded to humor us for about 2 hours, answering every single question we had about triathlon logistics, from what kind of gear we’ll need to how often we should be swimming, biking and running each week. I swear, we were so clueless about the sport that I’m surprised she didn’t bust out the hand puppets and pop-up books to help us understand. As I recall, the conversation went something like this: Teresa: “Do you have wet suits?” Me/Jason: “No.” Teresa: “You’ll have to buy wet suits. Speedy Reedy is having a 50% off sale for last year’s gear, so you should be able to get a good deal....

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