First off, I apologize for taking a month to post again. Between work, training, and trying to find time to eat and sleep, blogging has fallen to the wayside a bit.
So the countdown has begun...just 2.5 months left until I'm in Austin. Its a bit scary, but I'm confident that our coaches will have us adequately prepared. A couple weeks ago during a Tuesday morning swim, the coaches took the lane lines out of the pool, to simulate open water swimming. It was definitely choppier and we had to put a little more effort into swimming in a straight line. Each week, they give us something new to focus on. Its ranged from our stroke technique, to weak side and bilateral breathing, sighting (looking forward while swimming, so you know you're swimming in the right direction), kicking (but not too much, as to preserve energy in our legs), and this week is distance swimming. They're taking the lane lines out again tomorrow, so it will be interesting.
I finally made it out on a Saturday to a group bike ride (since it was 70 degrees!). You'd think riding a bike would be easy, but there was so much going on. For most of the ride, we were sharing the road with cars, so I had to be sure I stayed as far to the right as possible. I had a cue sheet taped between my handlebars so if I fell back from the pack, I'd know where to go. The cue sheet is basically turn-by-turn directions. It was a good thing I had it because at one point I saw everyone turn right, and I followed, but then they were nowhere to be seen. I turned around to find one of the coaches behind me, making the same mistake I did. And that's when I figured out that "QL" on the cue sheet means "quick left". So we turned around, made the appropriate turn, and caught up with the rest of the group. It was a pretty hilly ride...my legs were burning for a good portion of the 26 miles, and the hills were so frequent that once we reached the top of one, there wasn't much rest before the next hill appeared before us. But I am proud to say that I didn't get off my bike until we got back to the parking lot...where we had to run for 15 minutes. You would expect your legs to be tired after the bike ride, but they felt like jello. Try it sometime...riding even a stationary bike for a while and then hopping on the treadmill...its an odd feeling.
Following the ride and run we learned how to change our bike tire. Should we get a flat during the triathlon, we're left to our own devices to fix it. I could use a bit more practice with it...after successfully replacing the tube, it took 3 of us to to get the tire back in the rim. Next month they'll start to have competitions to see who can change a tire the fastest, so hopefully that will help hone my bike tire changing skills. My fingers are crossed that I won't have to actually change a tire during the race.
The last month has been a bit of a challenge. Most days of the week have 2 workouts on the schedule, and its been hard trying to fit them both in between work and my body being tired. I've prioritized the workouts...like on days where we're supposed to swim and run, I chose run, since that is my least favorite of the three. I was starting to get nervous about how prepared I'm going to be, considering I haven't done every single workout. But my team captain, Leighton, came to the rescue, putting me at ease and reassuring me that its ok to not do every single workout. She said its important to listen to your body, and I definitely did that during our rest & recovery week a few weeks ago...catching up on some much needed rest.
But I feel refreshed and rejuvenated and ready to tackle these last couple months. Thank you to everyone that has donated money, read my blog, and sent supportive vibes my way. I thought fundraising would be more of a challenge, but thanks to everyone's generosity, I'm very very close to reaching my fundraising goal of $5000. If you know of anyone wishing to donate, please feel free to pass along the web address to my fundraising website: http://pages.teamintraining.org/nca/txtri09/ksax
I promise not to wait another month before posting. So check back again soon for an update!