Monday, April 20, 2009

Everyone should try Thai massage

So this past weekend wrapped up Spa Week, where select spas and salons offer select services for $50. While perusing the list of participating spas, Chaan Thai Yoga Therapy caught my eye. Rather than your typical massage where you just lay there under towels and get a massage, the Thai massage involved the extreme. This was my first time ever getting any kind of professional massage, but for $50 (about half the normal price) I figured, why not?

Amy, the little lady that would stretch and pull and push my arms and legs in all sorts of directions had quite a bit of strength in her little frame. While she massaged my back, she was kneeling on my legs. And she would wrap my legs around her arms and tuck my feet under her arms while stretching my legs. I was contorted in all sorts of positions. But in the end, I felt a lot less sore. I'd recommend it to anyone that's feeling sore, or just needs a good stretch.

I had a nice 2 hour bike ride on Saturday...riding from my apartment, down into DC and around Haines Point 4 or 5 times, and then headed back. The weather was gorgeous on Saturday, so I made sure to spend as much time outside as I could. There were all sorts of softball and flag football games going on, and it reminded me of last summer/fall when I played kickball. We were the league champs, by the way! And I had another mile swim yesterday, and completed it in about 35 minutes again. I just got word that our wetsuits are in, so I'm anxious to try it on and see what swimming is like in the wetsuit. At least I won't have to worry about staying afloat anymore!

This week is a rest & recovery week, which is good timing since I leave for Vietnam tomorrow for vacation. Fortunately, the hotels we're staying in have fitness centers, so I'm going to do my best to get my workouts in as best I can. I'll still have a few weeks for final preparation once I get back though. I can't believe I only have about a month left. Its been a looooong road thus far, but I know that crossing the finish line will make it all worthwhile.

More updates to come after I return from vacation!

Monday, April 13, 2009

6 Weeks Left!

That still seems like a long time, but I can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel now. The last couple months have been more of a mental battle than anything. But I had some good workouts last week. On Tuesday, they took the lane lines out of the pool again, and we had a 20 minute swim, about 1 minute of rest, and then a 10 minute swim. Within that 30 minutes of swimming, I was able to maintain a steady pace and swim exactly 60 laps, which is the equivalent of what I'll swim during the triathlon in May. I think I lapped some of the people in my lane too! But that gives me a good guide as to how long the swimming portion will take +/- 5 or 10 minutes. Once the 10 minute swim was over, I still felt like I could've kept swimming...which I guess is a good thing considering I'll have to bike and run afterwards. I think we'll be getting our wetsuits in the next couple weeks too, so it will be interesting to see how that effects my swimming.

I went for a long run on Friday since the weather was finally nice again. The schedule called for an 85 minute I made it from my apartment, along the Potomac river, across Memorial Bridge, past the Lincoln Memorial, along the reflecting pool, up to the Washington Monument, and part way around the Tidal Basin (where the cherry blossoms are) before I turned around and ran back. The running portion is definitely where I struggle because I get bored with it pretty fast, since I'm not chasing a soccer ball or basketball. But since I had some nice scenery and had to pay attention to traffic and tourists, the time flew by pretty fast. I mapped my run afterwards (on this handy dandy website), and it turns out I ran about 8 miles, which is more than I'll have to run in the triathlon. So this was a pretty good gauge of how long the run portion will take me too.

So I think setting a goal of 3.5 hours for the triathlon is totally reasonable...especially since its my first one. The transitions shouldn't take too long, as long as I don't get stuck in my wetsuit! Transitioning from the bike to the run should be a breeze since I don't have to switch shoes. I guess that's one advantage of being a novice triathlete...I don't have the shoes that clip into the pedals on my bike, so I'll just be wearing my running shoes on the bike. I'll just have to remember to take my helmet off! I know we'll be practicing the transitions before the race, as well as swimming in open water, aside from the pool without lane lines. The coaches have done a really good job so far of preparing us and giving us tips for race day.

In a week I'll be leaving for vacation to Vietnam, but I plan on continuing my training while I'm there. All the hotels we're staying at have some sort of fitness center and/or pool, so I should be able to work out most days. Luckily when I first get there, I'm in the middle of a rest and recovery week, so the workouts won't be too intense. It'll be hard enough getting used to the time change. Then when I get back, I'll have 3 more weeks to train, rest and prepare for the race.

I'll try to post once more before I leave for vacation. Thanks for checking in!