I'm a Virginian virgin - its my VERY FIRST TIME living anywhere east of Illinois. It still doesn't feel real...
But can I just be brutally honest? I love it. Without a shadow of a doubt, I love it here. I adore my apartment (plus the fact that I have heat... and storage space... and a cute little loft/pain cave...). I'm still living like Zoe in House of Cards - in fact, I'm sitting on the floor with my laptop surrounded by magazines and books... but who cares?
My neighborhood is cute - anything I want or need is at my fingertips, I can even walk to the store if I'm feeling motivated. The pet store is exactly 1 mile away, Jazz and I walked there a couple days ago - she picked out a handful of treats while helping herself to the milkbones on the bottom shelf. What can I say? We're a couple of food motivated gals.
One of the things I am most excited about is I found a tri coach. One of the girls I met here introduced us and I met with her last week. I knew as soon as we started talking that we could be a good fit. Her mindset and philosophy is similar to mine and its quite refreshing. Regarding technology - we all know I don't understand how to use my 910 except to hit start/stop. HR what? Something about power meters? Upload data how? I was nervous that she would tell me I need to learn heart rate training from scratch and that I need a power meter asap. She understands that I know nothing and don't possess a strong inclination to incorporate more gadgets in my life - at least at this point. I'm still learning how to be a triathlete, I have exactly 1 year of real experience - theres so many other things I can start to improve on - then MAYBE I'll start to use the fun toys that everyone's talking about. I mean, come on, I just upgraded my iphone 4 to the 6 - and hell, its still beyond my capabilities.
Training is going well so far. Haven't gotten into anything really heavy or difficult, but I'm definitely ahead of where I was at this time last year. Example - last week, I was doing the weekly debate in my head about what I wanted to swim. I know I need to start doing some speed or tempo work consistently, but I don't love doing it. I decided on a long warm-up, some pulling, nothing exciting. Main set was 10x100s on 1:30 (granted, I'm swimming yards, don't be too impressed). I held all of them between 1:23-1:26/100 - didn't feel like I was killing myself, just trying to be consistent. But I finished and was pretty damn proud of myself, I haven't tried to do that since college. A few days ago, I did some alternating sets of 4x100s, including some pull. one of the sets of 4x100s I was supposed to go on 1:50 and push the pace some. 1:50 is cake, so I came in on 1:15 for all of them. again, pleased with myself. I realize I won't be dropping large amounts of time in the swim, which is why I'm not swimming more than 1-2x a week, but I'm feeling more comfortable in the water and that's important.
Running has felt good too. I've run with a friend a couple of times and its felt really awesome to run outside - bonus, I've been able to run faster than how I feel. Does that make sense? I'm surprised sometimes by the pace I'm running - I don't feel like I should be running that speed and still feel relatively comfortable.
There's these walls I put up in my head in regards to times - I set these stupid limits because I don't feel I'm capable of better/faster. But I look at how far I've come in the past few years, in terms of running, and its eye-opening to think about. My first half in 2009 was at a 9 minute pace, 1:57. IT. WAS. HARD. In fact, it sucked to run that distance and I was sore for a few days. I've gradually gone 1:52, 1:46, 1:44, 1:42 over time (some other times thrown in there too) - and the 1:42 was pretty steady, I wasn't really trying for a PR because thats the race I ran with MEB so I hung on his heels for 10 miles until I decided to finish that race at my own speed - plus, I passed MEB, who else can say that? So what if he was basically walking that 1:45 pace group?
My point is that you aren't helping anyone by imposing limits or restrictions on yourself. I have these big dreams and if I'm constantly thinking theres no way I can run that half faster or get that bike speed to 20+ miles an hour - then whats the point in wanting these goals if I'm already telling myself I can't do it? I feign confidence, but secretly I'm scared of failing - who isn't? Honestly though - what happens if I fail? Nothing except a bruised ego.
Heres to knocking down barriers and coming out on top - I'm going to kill these races this year. First one is in 5 weeks!