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 run...so 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!