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On a roll June 11, 2009

Posted by bettyjoan in Cycling, Swimming.
Tags: , ,

This past weekend, once again, we did double duty–a bike workout on Saturday and an open-water swim on Sunday.  Strangely,  it was the former that was freakin’ me out.  Well, I guess it’s not so strange, considering that I hadn’t done more than five miles on my new bike, and that the last time I rode, my fiance ended up with a gimp-ass shoulder.

We all met at Cochran Mill Park (a.k.a. Silk Sheets) at 7:30 AM, and the nerves started acting up almost immediately.  After all, the last time we rode that route, I ended up alone for the vast majority of the morning (on my old bike, I was slower than the fast cyclists and faster than the slow ones).  What if I was by myself and lost control?  What if I went too fast and panicked and wiped out?  What if I had to change a tire?  What if I got lost?  What if a dog started chasing me?  The anxiety was visible as we started our two-wheeled journey.  And just so’s you know, nervousness does NOT make you more steady on your bike.

About a mile or two into the ride, one of my coaches came up behind me and mentioned that I looked SUPER tense.  I confessed to her that I was really uncomfortable on the new bike, not because it didn’t fit or wasn’t suited for me, but just because it was SO different.  I was truly afraid of its capacity for speed, and I was already white-knuckling the brakes during all of the downhills.  So, she–being the AMAZING coach that she is–rode with me, at the very back of the pack, for the entire 31-mile course.  She talked me through all of the steep slopes, helping me to gain confidence and speed throughout the morning.  She joked with me about my insecurities (but in a NICE way), marveling that she had never coached an athlete who was faster on the uphills than on the downhills.  She critiqued my body positioning and cadence, but in a way that was productive rather than gruff and discouraging.  We met up with one of the other coaches about ten miles in, and he joined us for the remainder of the ride.  He, too, helped to increase my comfort level, teaching me how to recover when I lost my chain and complimenting me on my form when I fell on my ass while trying to mount on an incline.

THAT is the reason that I would recommend Team In Training to absolutely anyone who is interested in preparing for an endurance event.  Triathlon training is especially tough, since (duh) there are three sports, each with a laundry list of things to remember in order to optimize performance and minimize injuries.  But the support that I have gotten has been incredible and invaluable, especially since I am a rookie.  The coaches really take the training personally, in that they will work with folks when they need extra help, AND they will rejoice when things start clicking and people start feeling comfortable and confident.  Sure, I’ve had nervous moments, but I have NEVER felt like I couldn’t make it through my race days, largely because of the extremely capable coaching I’ve received.

Not to mention, we have a lot of fun together!  After Sunday’s open-water swim at Lake Lanier, we all sat around and ate a picnic lunch as a group.  But first, we had to survive what practically equated to an ocean swim–since we met at 1 PM on a beautiful summer day, there were boats and jet-skis EVERYWHERE, and they were creating some pretty massive wakes in our no-wake (haha) swimming zone.  I felt like I worked twice as hard to go half as far, and I swallowed a LOT of lake because every other breath was met with a wave to my face.  But, I made it through, and I feel like I’m going to be extra prepared for race day because of all of this open-water practice.

Speaking of race day…IRON GIRL IS 17 DAYS AWAY!!!



1. Kristin - June 12, 2009

That’s awesome that you have such great support! Sounds like TNT does a really great job. You are going to be so prepared for your race!

2. bettyjoan - June 12, 2009

I hope so, Kristin! The races are coming up really soon, and I can’t wait to see how all of the hard work and coaching pays off.

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