Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sweet and Twisted Tri!

Steph and I did the Sweet and Twisted Tri last weekend...we were the only 2 Tri-oomphers there 'cos we were waaay too enthusiastic 2 months ago and signed up for it! :) The race however sold out before the other girls could sign up!

The day started off pretty well...I had gotten Amit Bhai's help the previous evening to get my bike checked and my bike rack put up on my car (I have been slacking off on this forever!!)...I got a call at 5 in the morning from Mr G (a friend who's been curious about Triathlons but has never managed to wake up early enough to make it for one of our races! :p) asking for my gate code! He had actually woken up early enough to ride with me to the Tri...and I was glad he came! Cos the drive to Pace Bend Park was loooooong...much longer than the one to New Braunfels for the Rogue Tri...and I really appreciated the company!

We reached the park about an hour later...and I went to set up transition, while Mr G took in the scene around him and did some *ahem* bird-watching! ;) Amit Bhai, who was volunteering at the event, came by the transition area and reviewed my set-up and gave his nod of approval...20 mins later Steph arrived - about 10 mins before Transition closed - and quickly set up her stuff! We both then made last min potty trips, and then made our way to swim start!

I did my 1st Tri at Pace Bend park almost 3 years ago, as part of a relay team. I was the swimmer then and was familiar with the lake...things had changed quite a bit though...the swim start felt like it was so much further away - and it was! Due to the low rainfalls over the last couple of years, the shoreline had moved further out! This of course meant that we would have to run a longer distance from the swim exit to the transition area - not fun!

We were one of the last waves to start, at ~8:30...The swim was pretty good....I like swimming in Lake Travis....I remember having one of my best swim paces ever during the Dillo relay 3 years ago....and the swim last Sunday was pretty decent too and much better than my Rogue Tri swim pace!

The run from swim exit to transition was looooong and seemed never-ending...I did have Steph for company though, since we finished our swims approximately at the same time - so we just chatted, bitched, joked alternatively and made our way to transition! I was practically dry by the time I reached, and didnt even have to towel dry myself...put on my shoes and helmet quickly and ran with my bike to the bike exit...we had to climb a mini-hill to get to the run course which I walked cos I was still a little weary from the swim and the run to transition....once I reached the road, I got on my bike and started the bike course....The bike course was a 2 loop course, with each loop ~7.5 miles. The loop was just full of rolling hills....with very few flat legs in between...each time you thought you conquered a hill, you would see the next one in was quite crazy....but in a way, I have to say I enjoyed the steep rolling hills more than the not-so-steep but neverending hills I've ridden on my other races! I got off my bike after the 1st loop to get a drink - I still suck at hydrating on the bike!! :( Defn something I need to improve on!! - as I was getting back on the bike though, I felt a sharp pain on my left quad, so rested for a couple of mins more before I got back on the bike again! No pain this time, and I started on my 2nd loop. The 2nd loop was a lot more fun and as I was more familiar with the course now, I could plan the gear shiftings that needed to be done much more in advance!

The run was on a trail through the mini-forest at the park...not a very nice course...was rocky, bumpy and at some points, slanted! The water-stop positionings were also not so great - there was one at 0.5mile and one at 2 miles...I didn't really need water at the 0.5 mile mark, but was craving it at the 2mile mark! I took it pretty easy the 1st 2 miles - my left quad was hurting again....but then picked it up during the 3rd mile....About 400m from the finish line, I heard my name being yelled out by Steph, Amit and Mr G - and that really pumped me up and I manged to sprint pretty hard the last 200m and finished strongly!
Swim (500m): 13:36, 2:45/M
T1: 05:58
Bike (15 miles): 1:12"03, 12.2 mph
T2: 02:09
Run (5K): 42.19, 13:39/M

Post-race, Steph and I ate tacos, got massages and chilled....overall it was a hard race, but I enjoyed it....among the 3 Tri courses I have done, Decker, Pace Bend and the TX Ski Ranch, I think Pace Bend is now my favorite - just 'cos of the swim and the bike courses! I have yet to do a race in Downtown Austin - which I will probably love even more....but that's something to think about next year! Tri season for me is over as of 2008....and I had great fun during both Tris and training with all the gals in Team Tri-Oomph!

Special thanks to Steph, Amit, Mr G and Bradford for helping me out with various stuff before and during race day and for being such awesome cheerleaders!

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Temple Tri

Wait between the race start and our swim start (1 'painful' hour):

Vinit and I were regretting giving very very conservative swim times for the two of us. which pushed us to the back of the queue.

350m pool swim (00:13:46):
Comfortable. Mostly smooth. It was a litle tricky to go past people who were standing, walking and doing backstroke.

T1 (00:4:05):
I think I was napping. Also took a loo break :P

9.1 mile Bike (00:43:50):
There were some hills but I still had fun pushing myself.

T2 (00:1:33):
Mostly good and quick. Had a little bit of trouble parking my bike AND I forgot to take off my helmet but thankfully remembered before exiting transition : D

2.1 mile Run (00:26:46):
My legs were super tired after battling that last hill at the fag end of the bike course. Got side stitches again. Temp must have been 90+ but it's about time I got used to running in the heat. The hilly second half of the run course made matters worse. Overall run - not very great, could have been better.

Crossing the finish line and being welcomed by Steph, Steph and Vinit (1:30:03):
Absolutely PRICELESS!

Thursday, July 31, 2008


I think I am under some strong influence of Tri-Fever. I have enjoyed the training so much, that I really just want to continue it forever. Swimming is my new found love (my dismal performance at the Rogue Tri doesn't provide much proof but I really do luuuuhhhv my swim sessions in the pool and I hope to get better in open water). I am yet to take up biking but the variety in the tri-training (with weekly Yoga) just keeps me looking forward to my workouts :) Man! I never thought I could love workouts this much. I hated (still do!) going to the gym to get whole body workouts but the tri training does it all in such a fun way.

Feeling totally buoyant (!) after the Rogue women's Tri, I have decided to go all the way and do all three things (swim, bike and run) at the upcoming Temple Tri on Aug 10th (Thanks Steph, for telling us about it). It sounds like an easy beginners' tri with 350 meter pool swim, 9.1 mile bike, 2.1 mile. Vinit would also be in town that weekend and he really surprised me by saying that he would consider doing it too if we could arrange a bike for him. He has been running on his own quite a bit and he feels he is in good shape to give it a try. I know he is a decent swimmer but he is not likely to get a swim workout in Berkeley before he gets to Austin. Regardless of that, I feel confident that he can handle the swim part well.

So..... he and I signed up to do the Temple Tri yesterday. Yipppppeee!!!

A lot of support from friends made this happen:
By talking about her tri experiences, Sharanya has been encouraging me do the whole thing by myself.
Savi has been kind enough to lend me her bike gear for this race.
Arun has agreed to give me a Bike 101 class tonight.
The 'awesome' Steph said that Vinit could use her road bike for the race which should be a good fit for him. She also offerred to lend us her bike rack for the trip to Temple, TX. AND she solved a lot of my pool swim related doubts.
It's super to get all this help.
Thanks Guys!

There isn't much time between now and the tri. I have to do some serious biking this weekend and get some swim workouts before tapering down at the end of next week.

Looking forward to more tri-ing...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tri 1: DONE!

Alright.. so on Saturday, after packet pick up and lots of hogging in Austin Java and Amy's icecream with fellow trioomphers, I finally got home around 5pm. I was already exhausted from all the excitement :) Anyway I read all the instructions and packed my race bag. I would be driving alone to Texas Ski Ranch since the others were getting bikes in their cars. After finishing up laundry etc, I finally went to bed around 11p. Of course most of the night was spent tossing and turning in bed, feeling terribly anxious about my swim, going to the loo, feeling thirsty, drinking water, feeling more anxious, going to the loo again, feeling hot, then feeling cold, falling asleep for half hour, dreaming of drowning, getting up again... blah blah.. It was 4.30a finally.. my alarm rang and I woke up. I got changed, ate some, checked my bag to make sure I had everything I needed and was out of the door by 5.20a.

Till now, I had managed to keep fear at bay by distracting myself with the training, and other preparations, but it kept gnawing at me as I drove. That was one reason why I had to be at the race venue in advance. I was at Texas Ski Ranch just a little after 6a. No other Trioomphers had gotten there. And with my relay partner still absent from the scene, I couldn't do much about setting up transition. I got body marked, got my timing chip and sat in front of the lake looking at the swim course and "trying" to get comfortable with it.
The yellow buoys marked the 300m swim course - it seemed like a LONG distance. The lake seemed too BIG. I wasn't trained well. I would get tired. Fed up with all the negative thoughts, I just started looking at other athletes, their gears, the bikes.

45 minutes or so later I made my way to transition and found other trioomphers - the two Stephanies, Cha, G3, Sha, and Savi. It calmed my nerves a little to see all of them. Around 7.20 or so, Savi and I went to the swim start area for me to get warmed up and get familiar with the water. The water was warm and you couldn't see a thing under it. There were these small tadpole kind of fish that nibbled on my calves and startled me more than once. The first time I went out, I came back panting, and desperately short of breath. I couldn't do it. The last buoy was too far. How would I last the entire distance. I didn't know any stroke other than freestyle. I didn't even know how to tread water properly. I strongly contemplated telling Savi that I would quit. And hoped that she would understand. But then.... if hundreds of other women over there could attempt to do it - a lot of them for the first time - SO COULD I. Besides, Ganesh and Arun had come from Austin to cheer us in the race. And Vinit - who I knew would be really proud if I finished the swim. I couldn't let any of them down. I couldn't let myself down.
So I went out for a test swim again. This time it was slightly better but I panicked once I was 25 yards away from the shore. I swam right back and found Sha entering the water. One look at me and she knew how I was feeling inside. She was full of just perfect words - "Iti, you can do it", "you'll be fine", "it just looks very far". I swam a couple more times and then just decided to work on my mind.. filling it with positive stuff - thinking about my training, calming my nerves by saying positive stuff to other trioomphers. Meanwhile I also spotted 2 life guards with floats and 2 people on canoes in diff spots on the swim course. The strategy was formed. I would just swim to the first person, then the next, then the next and so on. And then I found out that if I hung on to the floats to take a breath, I wouldn't be disqualified.

Great.. super... Sha and I were to go out in the last wave with the other relay swimmers. We saw all the other trioomphers start their swim in their respective waves. Soon it was our turn. Once we went in, I hung to the back of the pack and swam slowly to the first life guard. Stopped for a breath. So far so good. I wasn't warmed up enough and could not get my rhythm but I was still in the game at least. Next I got to the first canoe and after a short breather, swam right to the last buoy. That was the turn around point. Since I was the last swimmer, the first life guard with the float was right behind me. She was one big help. I had constant encouragement along the way. By now I was warmed up enough and swam the last 100m non stop. It was the most inefficient stroke EVER. All the "good" swimming practices that I incorporated in my training never really showed in my swim BUT at least I finished the swim without drowning!! I was ecstatic !

From swim finish area I ran to the relay area, where Savi was waiting for me. I gave her the timing chip and off she went with the bike. I had close to an hour to get changed and ready for my run. I found Sha (she was Preethi's partner) and she told me how she was having a tough time with her stomach - Madam had dined at Thai Passion the previous day!! :D We just hung around, ate a little and talked about our tri experiences.
Savi came in at around 10.15a and after the chip exchange, I took off for the run. It was 2 mile out and back course and the sun was beating down like anything by now. The temperature must have been in upper 90s and I felt it within a few yards of running. But I wanted to maintain my pace anyhow and the effort nicely led to side stitches. I kept my pace and waited for them to subside. It was hot hot hot. On my way back I crossed Sha (Preethi had come in a little while after Savi) and we did a little high five and then there was Cha at the entrance of the Ranch. I was dead from the heat by the time I entered the Ranch again. But the voice of the MC over the speakers, the cheering from the onlookers made me sprint the last few hundred meters and there it was - my pink and white finisher's medal :)

After cooling off a little bit , I met all the other people. EVERYBODY finished and did really well. Lots of photos, hugs, congratulations later, we also got the biggest team award. It was awesome!! I couldn't eat anything because of the heat, although there was yummy food from Tacodeli, mimosas, and ice cream. However, I did get a free massage before driving back to Austin with Savi :)

I really need to work on my swim. I do fine in the pool but open water scared the sh** out of me. Panic totally got me in this one. Many many more open water sessions in Barton Springs.

Our Relay Timing:
Clock Time1:56:05
Chip Time1:56:05
Overall Place 10 / 11
Gender Place10 / 11
Division Place8 / 11
Swim 300M Rank11
Swim 300M Time 14:48
T1 Time01:17
Bike 11 1M Rank10
Bike 11 1M Time1:15:04
T2 Time 01:01
Run 2 Mi Rank8
Run 2 Mi Time23:52

Friday, July 25, 2008

Nerves of Steel?


Last night I dreamed of NOTHING but Sunday's race. I can't say they were entirely comfortable dreams, but anxiety 3 dayd before? Yeesh...

Regardless, it's gonna be awesome!! Yay Team Tri-Oomph!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Race Week Tips from my 1st ever Tri Coach!

You've probably received these tips in one form or the other, but this is still something I read each time before a Tri - tips from my first ever Tri Coach Milissa Day! She was my coach when I did the Rookie Tri Training via the Dell Gym!

So here it is you have planned your weeks and basically already done the distance for your triathlon and you are still getting the butterflies!! RELAX and realize you’re now just putting it together you already know you can do the distance. For many, you have actually trained beyond the race distance. If you start to fatigue during your race you just need to stay determined to keep moving forward at whatever pace works for you especially as new triathlete. Triathlons are really an individual effort so just do your best and know that some days, some races, some training days are better than others. Realize you really only have a few perfect races in your LIFETIME! The key is knowing how to deal with those not so perfect moments and pushing through internally to drive through those unexpected moments. (hopefully you have visualized how to deal with them at some point in your training) The best part should really be the training you put into your weeks leading up to your race and now just seeing yourself pull it all together whether walking, floating, coasting or sprinting it all, its all about YOU and YOU doing your BEST whatever that is in the moment!!


Race Week should be some type of taper and depending on your training it is likely different than others. However, you want to bring it down and still keep some fast twitch muscles moving a little (just short bursts) during your last few training sessions. This helps with muscle memory and helps you retain those speed sessions.

REST: you will want to rest and relax. Most people have trouble sleeping the night of the race so be sure the few days before you go to bed early and get some good solid sleep to prepare you for your race day. The day before your race try not to stand a lot, try to rest quite a bit. Sometimes a light massage is also helpful, but not too close to the race and depends on your muscles/tightness and type of massage. Be sure to let your massage therapist know you are racing soon.

NUTRITION: This is very different for everyone so it is best to check with a registered dietician and determine what works for you. In a general sense, most people DO NOT need a week of BIG “carbo loading week/night” for a SPRINT triathlon. Typically, the fact that you reduce some of your training this week cuts down your output and then your normal nutrition intake if it has been consistent should suffice. (relative that you are on a good nutrition program during your training) There may be some adjustments on a few things as it draws close see below day before tips. NO NEW FOODS/RESTRAUNTS ETC!!

During your training up to your race, you should have practiced what you will wear, and narrowed this down. You will want to start laying things out early and get any last minute things (like a race belt) or anything you will need. It is best to do this the weekend before, so you will be relaxed the day/weekend of your race. TRY TO BE ORGANIZED-IT HELPS!! Especially if you are traveling!!

Most programs recommend take a day off completely for rest 2 days prior to your race.

PACKET-PICK-UP: make sure you read through packet, look at maps, if you have questions this is your chance to ask so you can ease your mind about the course, or any questions you may have come race day. Some people like to pick-up early look at the maps and drive the course a little to get an idea of the bike and where to park come race day. Some would just rather wait---it’s up to you and your comfort.

You typically will do a light/small work-out just to get the muscles loose (depends on race/training plan) the day before. It is common to swim 5 minutes, bike 10-15, jog 5 minutes or less depending on the distance and your personal training the day before and practice transitions.

NUTRITION: again depends on recommendations by your dietician, but for most, you will typically eat a large breakfast and lunch and still stay with your healthy snacks as normal. Your dinner will typically be lighter as far as SIZE and maybe earlier so you can allow your body to digest approximately 14 hours prior to race time. BE CAREFUL WITH ANYTHING SPICEY. Also watch your dairy products as well. You also have to be careful with gels/gu’s etc during your race if you are not use to these items. You basically need to train with what you will race with on race day. Or be EXTRA careful with over doing it come race day. As a standard with most nutrition plans, the basic food pyramid, You will want to cut back on high fiber types of foods within the day/or few days before. You do not want to have any digestion problems during your race. Also, cut back on fats, greasy foods, and HIGH SUGARS, which would be standard if you have been following basic guidelines.

NIGHT BEFORE: make sure you have everything laid out and ready to go for early
morning so you’re not running around looking for your helmet or some other item.

RACE MORNING:Get up early and start your routine, breakfast and fluids right away. Before you leave your house/hotel: look in the mirror and tell yourself some POWERFUL things like I AM G REAT ! I AM CONFIDENT! I AM PREPARED FOR THIS RACE! IF I get distracted or have an unexpected moment I WILL PULLL THROUGH IT!

ENVISION a GREAT race. TODAY is not so much about training today. It is 90% mental on race day, if you have already done your training up to this point. Sometimes, and hopefully you have already trained your mind with the mental aspects of racing, even the what if’s of things going wrong…(think about those things and play it in your mind how you are going to handle the situation and get back to your race. What if you get a flat, see yourself fixing a flat quickly and patiently and then getting back into the race) Sometimes its good to just see parts of the race, maybe you want a great swim or your best bike time, or drop some seconds in transition. Don’t worry so much about the awards/rankings….just break the race up into your personal records and sometimes it is just a finish and that alone is an achievement!! At this point you have done all the training, miles/distance/time so you will be fine come race day. It’s like baking a cake you have all the ingredients in the bowl now you just put it in the oven and hope for the best come race day!!

ARRIVAL: early is best EXPECT LINES w/parking, picking up a chip, porta potties, and walking from parking to transition may be far. Get your things set-up in transition area early, walk around know the in/out of transitions for each swim in/bike out and bike in and run out, look at the swim – look at the direction you will going and what is around/landmarks. Do a walk through of swimming to Transition 1 to bike to Transition 2 to run.

TRANSITION: make sure you set up equipment in “what makes sense” how are you going to be putting it on and what order? and have everything placed out the fastest and easiest to getting you out of transition. After you have set up transition: make sure you leave w/goggles, swim cap, chip-on, (maybe carry an extra throw-away water bottle for warm-up, prior to race)

EASY WARM-UP if you are able to, warm up slightly on the bike, do a light jog on the run course the finishing stretch is helpful or around the transition areas in/outs, also close to race time practice the swim and get in the water go slow/easy practice some form and sighting. As you walk out of your warm-up, take a moment alone to see your race in your mind and visualize your success.

SWIM: goggles-spit or special anti-defoggers prior to race, sometimes tints helpful for glare in sun, swim caps normally provided for race, count the buoys or know the landmarks of your swim, (wet suit—might need plastic bags to help put on suit—also allow time to put on in the morning, body glide helps as well)

BIKE: when you set up Transition make sure you check your bike—sometimes your travel will cause movement, brakes, easy gears etc. socks? Do you need them? Have you practiced without them?

RUN: hat/sunglasses helpful, race belt/#, shoe laces open, or fast tie system (yankz)

MOST IMPORTANT: HAVE FUN with IT!! THIS IS A HUGE ACCOMPLISHMENT!! LESS than 10% of the population does a triathlon and you are one of them; so just do your best and be happy with it. There is always room for improvement no matter how many times you do these races or how much experience you have under your belt. Today is just about you and the best you got today!! GO GET EM and have a great race!! GOOD LUCK TRIATHLETE!!

Coach Milissa Day

Tri Fashion!

Though some of you may find it quite silly, I'm VERY excited about the cycling jerseys for the Rogue Women's Tris. I won't go so far as to be "that girl" and wear them on race day, but you can bet that I'll be sporting these sweet tops on some long rides this Fall and Spring.

The funniest part is that I would NEVER buy these things. It's just that THANKFULLY, I won't have another cotton race tee to add to my ever-expanding collection. I mean, there have been a few keepers, but who want to wear this nonsense?

And, if you were wondering what you should wear this weekend, take a minute to read this. :-)

FOUR MORE DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Time to chill

Race week is here and so are butterflies in the tummy! :)

When I think back to my first tri (which was incidentally the Rogue Women's Tri in 2007), I remember how nervous I felt. I was the sort of student who used to burn the midnite oil right before exams, and I think part of that attitude carried over because I remember thinking whether there was more I could do during race week to "catch up". I had doubts as to whether I was in shape to do the tri, having only started with the training group 3 weeks prior.

My tri coach had reassured me that I had done all the training I needed to do, and race week was the time to relax. So, those of you who might have similar concerns as I previously did, do take heart! :) My coach had advised that the goal is to stay active during race week, and get in some easy workouts, not longer than 20min - whether swim, bike or run - so that one is well-rested before the race. So that come Sunday, your body is in good shape to do its magic!

This Tri is somewhat different for me since I'm doing to be doing it as a relay. My goal is to just have fun, and do the best I can. I've had a lot on my plate these past few months in different areas of my life, and I could have definitely trained harder - but cest la vie. I'm going to have fun in this race. And I'll have the joy of seeing some of my gal pals - Iti, Savi, Preethi, G3 & Steph Jr. - complete their first tri! :)

Good luck, ladies!

Training in the last week

Ok. Here's my plan for the week.

1. Swim at Canyon Vista Pool today (Tues) to reassure myself that I can still do 300m (and some more) in the swimming pool.
2. Yoga on Wed.
3. Swim at Barton Springs Pool on Thu.
4. Do nothing or run a little on Fri.
4. Day before race day (Saturday) - leisure grocery shopping at Farmers' Market, packet pick up, may be brunch with the girls, pack for the race day and lie on the couch watching movies :)
5. Sunday: Rogue Women's Tri !!

I am super excited but still a little nervous since this is my first Tri. I wish I had gone to just "see" another Triathlon so I knew what it's like at the venue. Sha and I were planning to go to Danskin but we never made it. Anyway, I am guessing I'll have enough time to figure out getting changed from my swimwear to running clothes on the race day.

I am thinking about signing up for Sweet and Twisted Tri (Aug 24th) but I'll decide based on how my swim goes this weekend and if I can get a relay partner again. There is also the Nike Human Race 10k coming up on Aug 31st. Here's a little something about it.

"On 08.31.08, Nike is making a statement like no other before. Nike is putting on the World’s Largest Running Event. The 10k event will be the ultimate runner experience. By combining our digital running world with the physical, the Nike+ Human Race is open to anyone, anywhere. Nike is hosting race events in 25 cities around the world, but by logging into, every city and every road can become a race-day course."

Austin is one of these 25 cities and the race is in the evening at 6.30p followed by a concert at 8.30p. I also read somewhere that Lance Armstrong will be running it but don't know which city he'll be running in. It sounds like a great race and I really want to do it but it's the labor day weekend and husband and I are still not sure about our plans for that weekend.


I am so freaking excited, guys. Despite a number of nagging injuries (wrist, back, butt) I am 110% excited about this weekend. I am so excited, in fact, that my tri bike has been "sleeping" in the bedroom the last few nights. My boyfriend is slightly appalled, but hey, he isn't the one carrying me 12 miles this weekend. :-)

As is often the case, I began looking at other races that I might be able to squeeze in between now and Sweet & Twisted. I found the Temple Tri : Anyone game??? It's only 40$! I did a similar race last year and finished top in my age group, earning a gold medal which I gave to my parents. I am pretty sure they thought I'd won an Olympic medal!

To add to my jitters, my boyfriend's company party is on Saturday at, of all places, Schlitterbahn! Let's see how well I can stay hydrated, rested and un-burnt on the day before my race...

Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate!!!

G3 and I went biking yesterday evening with a bunch of the newly joint Tri-Oomph girls and Amit Bhai..and a scary incident happened…halfway through my ride…I felt a little faint and dizzy…and next thing I knew, I had lost control of my bike and blacked out for a couple of minutes or so. THANK GOD all the other girls + Amit was there, and there was no traffic on the road etc, so I was completely fine. Two reasons this happened were that a. I wasn’t hydrating enough throughout the ride, b. I hadn’t eaten anything since lunch – no snacks whatsoever before the bike, since I had rushed directly from work! I felt my stomach growling even before the bike ride, but just chose to ignore it - never a good thing!

PLEASE PLEASE drink lots of water when you are training and ensure that you are eating well both throughout the day and also have enough nutrition in before/during any training session. With the terrible weather these days, hydrating is even more important!! Also, I’m one of those people who has trouble drinking while riding the bike. If that’s the case, with you as well don’t be afraid or hesitate to ride your bike to the side.. stop..and have a drink. It’s better to lose a couple of minutes doing that than becoming dehydrated later - or worse yet blacking out like I did!!

Other than that ride went well! This was my first ride on my new road bike - Scarlett II - and it took me a while to get adjusted to the new gear positionings, pedals, my new posture on the bike etc, but I got the hang of it after a while and even managed to conquer some hills - thanks to some pushing from Amit Bhai!

Big big thanks to Amit Bhai, G3, Rad, Kalp, Amina, and Anne, for being there for me yesterday when this incident happened and offering me all their H2O and nutrients. You peeps totally rock!! Amit Bhai - you are truly coach material!!! :)

Also's introducing Scarlett II! :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Just got my bike! Finally. Today was the last day I was going to consider purchasing one (was going to look at renting one for practicing, or borrowing). I just picked up my new, (very) heavy Schwinn that is perfect sized for me and runs great. I'm going to have to build up some arm strength to lug that thing around though. Veloway, here I come!!

Mild Freak Outs...


I'm moving this week and I am terrified that some important, race-related item (think: body glide!) will get lost in the shuffle. My "race stuff" box, I've decided, is being packed tonight and placed directly in my car so there's no chance of it being misplaced. So I have that going for me!

Next item: my back. It hurts and it's hurt for days. (PLEASE, OH PLEASE Barton Springs. Work your medicinal healing magic tonight and release this grisly knot of pain in my shoulder!) Yeah, so now I'm addressing the pool. It's very possible that I'm losing my mind...

Ladies of Tri-Oomph, I know we had some issues with the Springs on Saturday, and that's OK. Rest assured that tonight, you'll swim like the little aquatic creatures you're made to be. Check it out:

"Human babies are born fat, whereas all other primate babies are born lean. Human babies can swim from the moment of birth. Other primate babies cannot. Human babies not only float but also, after being born submerged, can swim under their own power, holding their breath until reaching the surface. In the water, the human baby is not helpless. From the moment of birth on, the human baby can swim alongside its mother." -from "The Aquatic Ape" by Captain Paul Watson

Oh yeah, I need to get on my race bike THIS WEEKEND. I repeat, MUST RIDE THIS WEEKEND. Veloway. Saturday. 7AM. Short run after. Be there or be square/unprepared. Ha!

T-Minus Ten

Well, the Tri is in 10 days, and I'm not ready.

I don't know if any triathlete would ever consider themselves fully ready, but I am still missing important items...such as a bike. I've gone to look at some, and kept my eye on Craig's List for some time now, but haven't found the right one yet. I decided it's too late in the game to be picky, so hopefully the bike I am going to go look at today is rideable and in good enough shape. I also need to exchange my gloves, get some shorts to run in, get tire fixing materials, learn how to fix a tire, and get some sort of runners' ...fanny pack?

We have a swim planned tonight at Barton Springs that I am quite nervous about. My first open water swim was last Saturday, and I must say, I freaked out. The water was so cold that my breaths were shallow, and my strokes were weak. I have always felt quite comfortable in the water, as I used to swim on a swim team as a kid. Practicing in lap pools has really brought that back to me, as well, but Saturday's swim scared me. Only thing to do when you're scared is to face that fear, so I am nervous, yet excited, to see how I do tonight.

On Saturday, I also ran the longest I've ever run....ever! I joined the ASHA team for a 3.5 mi Barton Creek loop from Mo-Pac to the pedestrian bridge. It was painful, but I was elated to even know my body was capable of running such distances. My running buddy Steph really got me through it and is so encouraging, as was the whole team. During the Tri, I'm going to have to imagine her running with me and giving me pointers so I can get through it. ;-)

I wanted to be competitive in this Triathalon, but I'll probably just be happy if I complete it. There are other future races that I can compete in. Just going from not being able to run a quarter mile without stopping, to completing any sort of Tri distance, and in two months, is a huge accomplishment for me that I am proud of.

See you at the finish line!

My first encounter with Barton Springs

It has been a long time since I posted... Sha has been trying to get us to put our individual profiles here but nothing has happenned yet :-P Anyway she nudged all of us to leave a little something on the blog and that prompted me into action. Of course I am writing this sitting at work, using my company's workstation, internet, electricity while they also pay me for my time. But so what? The world can wait another day for my nobel prize worthy circuits' invention!

Onto more meaningful stuff - my training has been going as planned more or less. I have been trying different city pools - Deep Eddy, West Enfield, Stacy, Canyon Vista, Barton Springs. A few workout highlights from past few weeks:

2 weeks back I swam the race distance of 300m for the first time in Deep Eddy. I was thrilled that day. First time I felt confident that I could do it!

Our company is offering Yoga classes for a minimal cost. I have signed up for the Intermediate level. These once a week classes make my body feel totally stretched out and rejuvinated :)

The running part is also going good. Occassionaly I run around the block near my apartment complex and I have been surprising myself repeatedly by doing it much faster than last year. May be all the cross training is helping me do it.

The most interesting workout session happenned this past Saturday (July 12th). Tri-oomphers (Steph, Steph, Sha, Cha, G3 and myself) did a brick - swim at Barton Springs pool followed by a run at Town Lake. This was my first time in open water environment. Gosh it was totally unexpectedly nerve racking!!
The water at Barton Springs remains at 68F year round and we were there at 7 in the morning. Gingerly I stepped into the pool, slowly getting accustomed to the water. I was standing in waist high water debating whether there was still time to chuck all this and go home to a warm bed. Right then, G3 jumped into the water and started splashing water on everyone. That didn't leave me with much choice really and I took the plunge. After some brief pointers about "sighting" from Stephanie, we started swimming. One lap would be around 400m.

I started alright but as soon as I saw the floor drop abruptly I freaked out. Swam right back to where we started and just stood there. I thought I needed more time to get used to the environs. So I got my kickboard out and started kicking. I must have gone out about 150m or so when I heard someone shout my name. I thought it was Sha or someone asking me to forget the kickboard and go right into it. I felt like screaming back "Cut me some slack lady! It's my first time!" Then I heard it again "Itisha! Help!" What?? Someone asking ME for help! I needed major help myself. :D

I quickly went to the side, held the rail and looked around. Damn those foggy goggles wouldn't let me see anything. Removed them and spotted G3 swimming towards me saying "I need help. The plants. They are freaking me out." Shit! I didn't know what to do. I couldn't go out myself. I was scared. I shouted "Hey it's ok. Just grab this." and threw my kickboard to her. It didn't go very far but I don't think she needed that anyway. She was doing breast stroke. I think at one point I even said "Just breathe. It's ok." (Whatever prompted me to say that - it must have been the Yoga's instructor's voice in my head.) Anyway G3 reached the side. By then Cha and Sha had also gotten there. G3 told us how the plants would freak her out everytime she started doing freestyle. We decided to pair up and go back to the starting point - Cha with G3 and Sha with me. I left my kickboard there and started swimming back with Sha. I must have taken 4 breaks to swim those 150m or so. ha ha. Pathetic show!

Anyway it was time for us to get changed and head to Town Lake. A few other Asha runners were also there. We had planned to run in our bright red Asha Tees to get some publicity for our Strides of Hope program. It was awesome to not be running alone. I mostly ran with AshG and Sha. Sha and I even sprinted the last section over the bridge. The group run felt terrific.

So the most urgent need of the hour is to get used to open water in Barton Springs. I need many more open water practice sessions. Hopefully the fear in my mind will be overcome soon!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Back in the Groove

I started swimming last week, and it felt sooo good to back in the game. I've been so bad so far about training for this triathlon, but I think I'm finally getting it together. After a really long time, I swam for a mile on Friday. My mind resisted a lot initially, and to ease some of the complaining, I did 10 lengths with a pull buoy (yaay! thanks Steph!). I felt all sorts of aches and pains as I swam the first 10 laps. But I kept at it, and told myself, alright, I'll go as far as I can. After 20 laps, I was all warmed up and did the rest of distance easily.

After the swim, I was surprised to find myself so energized & buzzed! :) The swimming bug's caught me now. I'm definitely back in the groove.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

One lousy swim and two great runs!

Since I am only doing the swim and the run on the race day, I am only concentrating on those two. Caught between my enthusiasm for Tri-ing and a lot of anxiety about my swimming capabilities, I sometimes forget that I am subjecting my body to ANY kind of workout after a long-long time (read: after more than one year). As a result, I am really fatigued the day after a long swim or when I work out everyday for 3 consecutive days. Sometimes I listen to my body and postpone the workout to the next day (as on Thu of last week) and at other times a mixture of enthusiasm and anxiety get the better of me (which is what happenned at the beginning of this week.) Anyhow, here's my training log for past 10 days or so.

Mon, June2nd: Swam in my apartment pool. Some kicking some swimming. Spent around 40 minutes there. But forgot to bring my kickboard back and never found it again :(

Tues, June 3rd: Did some elliptical and weights in the gym. Felt Great.

Wed, June 4th: Swam with the tri-oomph gang at Stacy pool. 5 laps in 33m Stacy Pool. Was initially scared of the deep but it slowly subsided. Sha also gave me a basic lesson on treading water.

Thu, June 5th: Was feeling very tired . Anyway got changed to go out for a run. But listened to my body and didn't go eventually. GOOD DECISION. Decided to run the next day.

Fri, June 6th: I ran for 35 minutes on a treadmill (sucks to run in a cage... but it is so hot outside) followed by some strength training. Was happy with how I felt at the end.

Sat, June 7th: Was out all day with friends, so the planned swim didn't happen.

Sun, June 8th: I headed out for a swim and did 16 laps in my apartment (~20m) pool with some breaks but I was really happy because I seemed to be building stamina in water. Felt wonderfully sore that night and next morning.

Mon, June 9th: Went to Lane Four and Academy. Got myself a pull buoy and shiny new PINK "Dora, the Explorer" kick board :). Even though my body felt tired from monday's swim, I thought I should stick to schedule and must go to Stacy Pool. BIG MISTAKE. I was tired, shoulders hurt and couldn't even do 6 proper laps. Should have run instead :( Seemed like I wasted a workout. I did some kicking though. Tried using the pull buoy to practice rotation of the upper body but somehow couldn't get the hang of it, my lower body kept swaying from side to side (any suggestions gals?)

Tues, June 10th: Did a great and fast(er) run on the treadmill followed by some weight training. Somehow my legs just wanted to go on and on. Wish my heart could keep up with the pumping :) But it was a great 2.5 mile run, albeit on the treadmill.

Lessons learned:
Listen to your body!
Alternate day Swim and Run workouts seem to work for me.
Swimming and Weight training are keeping my foot problem from flaring up. This is the part I am most thankful for right now. The fact that I am able to run without any foot issues is a big step. I am enjoying my short runs so very much :)

When in Rome...

Now that all of you are getting into the triathlete mindset, it's time you learned the lingo!

Check out this link.

Eight Days of Foggy Workout Memories

June 3: Steph II and I went for what was her first run in years. We did the 1st Street-Pedestrian Bridge Loop (1.5 mi). She did a great job, even sprinting half of the bridge just because I told her she had to. :-) We stretched and cooled down afterwards. My knee was a bit sore - I left my good shoes at work and had to run in old, blown out shoes.

Rule #1: Keep your gear in order.

June 4: Sharanya, Itisha, Steph II and I met up to swim at Stacy Pool. As you can tell from Sha's previous post, it was utter chaos. We all managed to get a decent swim in, though not without being grossed out a bit. I don't know exact distances, but hey, we made it in the pool!

Rule #2: Tinted goggles make it easier to ignore what's lurking on the bottom of the pool.

June 7: My boyfriend was kind enough to ride the Veloway with me, being so kind as to wait until halfway through the last lap before he took off an left me in the dust. He is a much faster cyclist, with a combination of natural ability and much nicer bike than my peugeot. We did 4 laps (12.4 miles) at a 15.3 mph pace. Not so bad for my first time on the bike in 2 months! We saw so much lovely wildlife while riding and it even sprinkled on us. It was a nice ride.

Rule #3: Ride the Veloway early to see bunnies and raccoons.

June 9: I made plans to swim with Steph II at Stacy, but a bit of personal drama left me apologizing for not being able to join her in the water. After spending a little while at home collecting myself, I received a text from Steph saying that she "Swam 5 laps without stopping!" So, I raced out of the house and down to the pool to get in what swimming I could in the last 15 minutes of pool hours. Itisha was finishing up her laps when I arrived and we chatted briefly before I began my maniacal 15 minutes of swimming. I swam 5 freestyle laps in under 7 minutes. It was awesome! I did a few more laps of drills until the whistle blew. I'm so glad that I went!

Rule #4: Sometimes the perspective you're looking for is just below the surface of the water.

Today calls for a swim AND a run. Oy.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Biking and Blogging : Round One

See myself in a greater need for motivation to blog compared to the motivation levels Icurrently have for biking ;)

Was in Cary,NC last Saturday...
Inspite of the 96F+ and super-humid morning, Bhaskar and I got out on 8 mile
biking session , starting at the bottom of the hill at W Dynasty Dr near West Dynasty
Drive (
and all the way into William Umstead Satead State Park.

Was great for the most part except at one point down a downhill....poor Bhaskar waited for atleast 25 mins at the bottom of the downhill, just beause I was scared to let my brakes lose to come/ride down the downhill...well, I am all set to teach Biking down a downhill 101.

Hoping to get better soon at everything.......blogging, biking downhill and changing gears.....

(Feeling a sense of accomplishment on completion of my first ever blogging experience)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Throw in a Brick this weekend

Bike-Run-ICK! That's how your legs feel for the first part of the run. Wobbly. Like Jello-O. It was apparently named by Mark Sisson and Scott Zagarino one day in 1988 after they completed a Bike-Run workout -- "Just another brick in the wall".

I came across an interesting article on Bricks . Doing bricks helped me understand transition, because the practice was useful in gauging myself - how long I took to change gear and how I felt going from one activity to the next. Bricks also actively prepare the muscles for the physical demands of racing. Swim-bike bricks are not as crucial as run-bike bricks, but can give helpful insights. Check out for some variations on brick workouts.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Confessions of a different kind of slacker!

Yes! I have been a slacker too. But as the subject says - of a different kind. I actually have been pretty good with my training. I have been consistently making it to 2 spinning classes per week at the South Austin 24 h fitness(which are killllerss, btw) AND I have been swimming once a week at the 24 h pool for the last 3 weeks! So why am I slacker?? Cause I have been too lazy to post on this wonderful blog about and share my experiences with you guys! I guess I was waiting for my darling Cha to return from Singapore and give me that nudge! Yeah ... I am a nudge kind of person and she knows it. :D

Anyway, my first week swimming - I did 32 laps of the 25m pool at 24h fitness with a lot of breathers, which I still thought was amazing! Cause I hadn't swam for years and am definitely not excellent in my technique. In week 2 and 3, I impressed myself even more - I did 50 laps!!! And this time the breathers were barely there. I just swam and swam and didn't feel it till I got out of the pool and had to take my first step on land! Ouch!

Of course my main goal, like all of you, is to complete this triathlon strong. But I have a side goal which I hope to accomplish along with this one - to lose some body fat, get leaner, get healthier!! :D My Bday is on the 1st of August - 4 days after our triathlon! I know I will be 10 shades darker, but to make up for it, I hope I'll be at least a size smaller! I am pretty sure those unforgiving tri suits will keep me motivated! :D

Keep training ... keep smiling! :-)

Love G3

Back on Track!!

So like Sha, I've been completely slacking off these last few weeks with respect to Tri Training - not to mention was on a fabulous vacation in my home away from home Singapore - where I was piling on the lbs eating the most yummy food ever to found!!

I came back to Austin on Monday night and one of the first emails I found on Tues morning was the training chedule that Sha had sent for the month of me weird...but I am a sucker for schedules and timetables!! :p So right on schedule, I went to a swim session last night at the 24 hour pool!! Sha and Steph were gonna meet later in the evening for a swim session, and I would have ideally loved to join them!! But since I had a previous engagement, I went to 24 hours much earlier!

Swimming is one of those activites that u r always lazy to do...but once you're in the water, you just cannot stop!! Not having swam (swum? swimmed? :p) for close to 6 months, I was able to do about 50 laps in the 25 yard pool - a mixture of freestyle and breastroke - pretty enthusiastically...but it was not until I went home showered went for dinner and returned though, that the soreness in my arm started kicking in! And my arms and shoulder blades have been hurting all night!! Guess I really did overdo it....should have taken it nice and easy, especially since I was entering the pool after a long long time!

Regardless of that, I am glad than I am back doing Tri training - it feels good to stop slacking and becoming more active!! I will be running at Town Lake around 6:30-7pm today - will probably do the 3 mile loop! If any of you girls are interested in joining, do ping me!!


Positive Peer Pressure

Can go a long way, evidentally.

Yesterday, we met up at Big Stacy Pool. I arrived promptly but ended up wasting 15min looking for a parking spot. And as I finally walked into the pool premises, I stared in horror at the scene before me - a pool teeming with hormonal teenagers and screaming kids. It reminded me of the pizza party at St. Stephen's pool last year (remember that, steph?) during one of our swim training sessions. I cringed.

Iti and I looked at each other, and she said, you know, I could go back to my apt pool.. Just then, I spotted the Stephanies. They had already begun and waved enthusiastically.

"The water looks disgusting, and the pool is too crowded. I'm not feelin' it" I complained to StepheR, as I examined the murky water and floating debris (human or nature?). She looked at me as if I had lost my mind. "Get into the pool, let's go" I sighed and got in, reluctantly. Iti stayed on the peripheral, still unsure. My first lap was on kickboard. I could barely see the bottom of the pool at the deep end. Water tasted kind of salty (?!!) I spent the next few laps thinking about the mould on the lane dividers, how I had to share the lane with four other people, observing suspicious-looking debris and averting my gaze from the dirt that had collected at the bottom of the pool.

As I whined to StepheR for the third time, she shot me a sharp look, as if to say - quit being a wuss and do your thing. And that kept me going. Magically, by my 6th lap, I had stopped focusing on the filth & noise, and started feelin' it - the swish of the water as I took long strokes, the gentle motion of rolling side-to-side, as I glided across the pool. It felt good to be back in the swim of the things.

We discussed strokes & techniques, we laughed, we took pics as we celebrated our first group swim. And as we walked back to our cars, I told StepheR if it weren't for her, I would have fled the crowded pool on sight. Her parting shot was truly Zen, "I guess we have to find our inner clear, silent pool and practice there.." :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Confessions of a slacker

So, I haven't trained. At all. Not even kept up with doing brisk walks regularly. A brief glance at the countdown counter (on the right. your right) made me sit up and take notice of how I had really slacked off on training. Last week, some of us Tri-oomphers got together at Mozart's and charted out what we wanted to do. We were charged and enthused. Then, Memorial Day Weekend came along, and swept my attention away.

One of the challenges has been nursing my back to recovery. It had become such a preoccupation that I was afraid to do anything (on reflection, maybe I used it as an excuse to do nothing). Arv encouraged me to keep up with my walking, but I've been weasling my way out of any exercise of late. And in truth, my back condition won't let me bike yet, so that's an easy door to shut on bike-training. All in all, I've had a surprising lack of motivation.

But enough whining. Got a schedule going, and I'm starting my swim training. Albeit, tommorrow. :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Fundas for newbies

So, you want to tri? Trinewbies has a good article..

Sunday, May 11, 2008

It's all mental, baby

What one quickly realizes in doing a tri is that it's really more about your mental rather than physical state of being. Few people will dare to believe that they can a multisport like this, even though in reality they are physically able to do it. It's really about believing what you can do.

When the mind is focused, the body has no choice but to perform. However when the mind is not willing, the body gladly gives in/up.

I noticed this in my training last season. In water, the minute fear arose in my mind, my breathing became rapid and irregular and I struggled in the water (inspite of being able to swim decently). On land, the minute the thought arose in my mind that I was tired, my legs felt less strong. One of the biggest challenges of a training program is the sheer discipline of keeping to it.

So when you have kept to a self-made promise, you should pat yourself on back and encourage yourself further. I told myself I would do a 2-mile walk on Saturday, and I kept to it. And it felt good! :)

Here are a few things I'd like to share about mental preparation:

1. A key thing I learnt is how to keep the mind occupied during a triathlon so that I can allow my body to perform to the best of its capacity.

(a) To overcome my fear of open water, I kept my focus on the pattern of strokes and fixed my gaze ahead, near the surface of the water rather than look below into the seemingly unending depth of the lake. This kept my thoughts from wandering into what lies beneath..

(b) During my training with Rogue last year, I was encouraged to create a bike mantra. It could be super simple ("Go, girl, go girl go, go, go!"), but it should be something repetitive that one can focus on, so that we don't spend time expending mental energy on negative thoughts ("This whole tri thing was a super bad idea", "The ride is too hilly, I don't have energy to do this" etc.) It's also great to start with the mantra early in training so that we build on it as an anchor to get us through the tough times.

2. It is also about doing the training step-by-step, and taking one workout at a time. I don't try to think of how I'm going to be able to complete 11miles on bike, I just do the training workout for the week of 3 miles or whatever is the mileage for that week, and trust that I'll eventually get to the target distance.

3. Having race goals really help. My goal last year was to finish the tri.. and then it changed as I got more enthusiastic & ambitious! :) Regardless, it's helpful to have a goal so that it keeps you in check about where you're currently at with training.

4. Visualization - imagine yourself completing the challenging distance/activity effortlessly. As you think, the body will respond accordingly.

5. Tied to (3) & (4) is having a visual symbol of your goal. My coaches last year encouraged us to do a collage of what we hoped would be the outcome of our triathlon experience. I had a lot of fun making the collage, and would look at it often to remind myself of my goal.

We are what we believe! :)

Friday, May 9, 2008

1st workout 1st week

Ok this is not exactly something to be gaga about but I did a 30 minute run on town lake yesterday and it felt absolutely fantastic. Two weeks back when I was on town lake I had had a very tough time completing the 3 mile loop - I mostly walked.
The thing is not only am I down on endurance, my foot still hurts and it's tricky to keep it down - gym workouts, some foot drills help sometimes. So yesterday it was hurting again and I was afraid of making it worse. I decided to keep an easy pace and chose the flatter part of the trail to run on. That helped me run (not walk) all the time and the foot also felt much better afterwards. It felt great to do my longest run in months :-P

Next goal: A 30 minute swim workout this week!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Two Kinds of Riders . . .

Hello girls!!!!

I am so so excited to be doing this with all of you!! I'm not a complete newbie to the Tri-world...but I still have lots and lots to learn and who better to do this all than with a bunch of similarly-motivated girls!! :) I trained last season with Rogue's Iron Chicks! It's a great program by the way and you should definitely consider doing it sometime if you haven't already before! It's a little too late right now to join but I think their Iron Chicks 2 might be coming up later in the summer - this is the training program that Sha went through last season as well!! I was bummed out earlier this year because I couldn't join Iron Chicks again this year due of my totally unpredictable work schedule - I would have had to keep skipping sessions which would have sucked - BUT this is equally good - and maybe even better!!

A couple of you girls have been expressing concerns over biking and falling off the bike - and this reminded me of something my Iron Chicks Coach Michael told us during the program last year! His first ever mentor had passed on this wisdom to him and now....I pass it on to you girls!!

"There are 2 kinds of bike riders - those who have fallen and those who will."

This might not be the most comforting thing for you girls to hear - but it is kind of the truth!! (Ask Sha - she has tales to tell!! :) ) I have personally fallen a few times as well - it's not fun (sometims funny though - for your riding companions! :) ) but it's not that big of a deal either...remember how as kids you would just run around like mad, fall, get hurt, cry for a bit, and then get up and start running all over again just cos it's too darn fun?? That's exactly how falling off the bike would be during your Tri training!! You might fall..but you will laugh it off and move on...Cos overall - the whole training experience is just too darn fun - for something like falling off a bike to ruin it!!

So......fear not...and always remember, there are 9 other girls in this group that you can turn to for anything at all!! :)

Happy Swimming!! Happy Biking!! Happy Running!!


Pooja's Tips for Initial Training

1. Those planning to run at Townlake this Saturday pls. be aware that
there will be a March for Babies (March of Dimes) happening at the same
time. It's a fun run/walk and I will be there. So come on out!!

2. Swimming is my strongest sport and can help anyone with
techniques/drills during group practice.

3. I purchased my bike off of craig'slist. Re-iterating Cha, a very imp
piece of advice, make sure you buy a bike from someone who is preferably
the same height as you. Bikes are not one size fit all so pls. pay
careful attention to what size bike would fit your frame. You can go to
a bike store and get fitted for a bike to know your size.

4. I have a beginner's 8 week tri training program that I used almost 2
years ago for my first Tri. I can share that with everyone if you like.

5. For week 1, I suggest getting atleast 2 25-min workout's. If you
haven't been working out, run/walk would be the best way to start
training your heart and build endurance. If you are comfortable with
your fitness level, get one workout of your weakest sport and one
workout of your strongest.

Cha's tips for training in May

From Charanya's email:

What I would encourage doing for the month of May:

1. Get short runs in whenever you can: 1-2 miles. Our end goal is 2

2. For those who know how to swim - find a pool and start swimming ~
anything will be good. Our end goal is 300m, but we want to start just
getting back into the pool first!

3. For those who have bikes - try to get some bike time in on your own.
Our end goal is 12 miles.

4. For those who DON'T have bikes, if you have access to a gym, get on
that spin bike and start getting used to how it feels, and start
building some endurance. Meanwhile, you will need to start bike-hunting.
The group can probably help each other out for this. I would suggest
either borrowing from someone OR start looking on craigslist/bike stores
for good deals depending on if you want a used or a new bike. For those
who are clueless, it might be good to just walk into a bike store and
try to find out what size you should be looking out for! We could
probably go together as a group to do this for those who need help!

Which of you girls fall into this category? I am personally going to be
buying a new bike, and loaning mine to G3, so if anyone wants to go
bike-hunting with me, let me know! I won't be going till June though
after I get back from vacation!

5. For those who DON'T know how to swim too well, this is the tricky
one! I'm not knowledgeable about swimming enough to "train" or "correct"
someone, but I can accompany for swim sessions if needed. Any of the
other gals who have TRI-ed before have any suggestions??

In June, we can probably start meeting as a group to go for runs
together, bike rides together, do brick sessions (bike+run after) etc.
In May, we can probably buddy up with each other as needed.

How I came to do a Tri...

I was training for the AT&T marathon in 2006 when one of the long runs in december left me injured and in pain. From being right on track to do my first 26.2 miles I went to almost hobbling to finish the half marathon. After some good-for-nothing physical therapy sessions, I thought of "thinking" about triathlons as a means of taking the focus away from running.

Swimming was and is the scariest part of the triathlon for me. So I promptly signed up for Rogue's Swimming 101 (on the first day of which, we were supposed to do 4 lengths of free style as warm up. Why is it called 101 anyway? huh.) Anyway, after the first few hiccups I totally enjoyed the class and (somewhat) practiced swimming for the rest of the summer. Sha's blog kept me a little excited about tri-s but it still seemed like a scary thought to do the swim AND the bike AND the run myself. Thereafter, I conveniently forgot about triathlons or any other sport for that matter.

Fast forward to last weekend - Sha, I, AshG are in a hotel room in Dallas and Sha starts telling me about tri-training for this season. Totally taking advantage of my sleepy state she urges me to sign up for Rogue's women Tri 2008. I show my enthusiasm and try to avoid any committment at the same time, but she presses on and keeps pressing for TWO DAYS! I resist. After all, my plan was to strengthen my swimming, get comfortable with a bike and then think about triathlons. But aint no mountain high enough for someone like Sha. She finds me a perfect partner in Savi and I am on my way to my first relay triathlon.

Yuuhuu! I am totally excited to do the swim and the run. I just hope the excitement shows in my training too. 300m swim in open waters is very challenging for someone like me, who is still scared of depths and even gets panicky in the pool water for no reason. But I am looking forward :)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

10 tri-bies, 1 mission: The Rogue Women's Tri

A Big Welcome to all tri-gals! I'm really excited we've started this group!

It started out with Cha & I discussing how cool it would be to do a tri together. Last season, we tri-ed separately - after the Rookie Tri in 2006, she did Danskin (her first sprint distance Tri) & Couples' Triathlon and I did Rogue Women's Tri (my first tri EVER), Dilloman & Longhorn Triathlon. It was an amazing experience for me, and I was almost evangelical in recommending tri-ing. I couldn't wait for Season 2!

This season, we promised each other to pick a tri together. We each thought we'd bring in a new person to tri, and before long, we became a group of 10 women! The enthusiasm was infectious! :)

I'm really looking forward to training in a group, being amidst friends. I went thru some tough experiences & equally rewarding ones last season with the help of my tri-buddy, Steph, and with encouragement from Cha.

Training in this new group is going to be uber cool because of the variety of people who are part of it. My goal is to simply have fun at the Tri and hopefully, better my time from last season.

My back injury concerns me though. It has put me out since February, and I still haven't been able to train on the bike. My short-term goal is to focus on recovery. I'll focus on swimming & running this month.