I am quite tired tonight. I'm writing this a bit later than normal because we had a great house dinner with lots of talking afterwards. Just now settling in for bed and blogging.
This morning was a big skills and drills day across the board (yep, you guessed it...running, swimming and biking!).
We started the day at the National Training Centre - a lovely facility that was awesome to train at (How Coach James found all of these awesome places is kind of amazing...each one has been terrific).
We went for an easy warm up run along a cross country trail. Other than Spartan Race, I've never really done any trail running - so this was fun. It's so different than running on a road. We followed that up with some ABC drills, which I hadn't thought I knew - but in reality, it turned out that Trainer Chris had taught me the basics under different names.
- A: Basically a drill with your knees up like a soldier (I think of this as high knees).
- B: The same thing as the A drill, but you are extending your leg a bit. This was tricky since you need rhythm, which I don't really have.
- C: Basically butt kickers or fast feet - where you are going fast, but not very far.
We then went outside of the track to do a bit of a hill workout. Basically running up the hill (which wasn't a HILL, more like a slight incline, thank goodness), and then jogging back. We did three sets of three, with each one in a set getting progressively faster. It was a fun workout for sure!
And then we got to go jump in the pool. It was kind of awesome. It was outdoors with a lot of individual lanes. We had plenty of space with 5 people to a lane. We spent a good portion of the time doing drills:
- Shark - Swimming while holding a flutter board between your legs (like a shark).
- Rotisserie - Swimming while holding a flutter board between your legs lengthwise, like a chicken on a stick.
- Kicking with no arms - one arm out.
- One arm drills with the other back and breathing to the opposite side.
We also got video recorded individually...so much as I feel like I am a decent swimmer, I am sure I will find out on Wednesday all the things I am doing wrong. That's quite okay - I want to know what I can work on to get better and faster! Although I wish the filming had been first thing - not during the second of back to back workouts! ::laugh::
We ended the morning with lunch (and a bit of shopping at the tri store at the NTC), followed by a session led by Coach Mark on nutrition and endurance - focusing a lot on race prep. I've read a bunch of books on the topic, most of which were really scientific and made little sense. Coach Mark put it all very easily...and more important, put it in terms that made sense at camp (like looking at what kinds of carbs, fats, protein and sodium were in the different bars, gels and powders provided by the sponsors (and on that note...I quite like Cliff Blocks...kind of like eating jube jubes).
Home for a bit of quiet time in the afternoon, mostly sipping tea and chatting next to our pool (which is too cold to swim in...not that I need more exercise this week).
In the late afternoon, we gathered for another bike session - this time focusing on skills and drills. We did a number of loops of a roundabout like structure in the neighbourhood (sans traffic!). I feel like I picked up the basic turning skills pretty well, and by the end was fairly comfortable riding fairly close to the person in front of me. I managed to take my hands off the handlebars a few times, but there was no hope at all that I was going to be able to change gears that quickly, or drink from a water bottle. I think I'll need to invest in one of those profile drinking systems that sits right between your aerobars...drinking without effort...I can't tell you how nice that would be right now!
Funniest thing was having to do the roundabouts going in the opposite direction. Funny how you get used to doing things one way...so changing it up is harder. What a great idea to practice from both directions.
Finished the bike with about a 30 minute ride outside of the resort. I managed a bit better this time (that's a relative term, of course). I actually shifted gears a few times - which really can make a big difference in how fast you are going. Still very tense and iffy in traffic (I desperately need to learn to move my hands better), but Coach Nissim kept me out of trouble the whole time. Eventually I'll get there, but I have a long way to go. But hey, I was better today than yesterday - and I am hopeful I will be better tomorrow than today.
This evening, we had a wonderful dinner as a house. I made an omelet since everyone else was having salmon, but it was the camaraderie that was great. We're lucky to have a good bunch in our house. We all get a long, despite being different ages and from different places. I've learned a lot from each one of them (Paula, Janice, Ian and Kelly - plus Nissim). I think three of us are going to end up doing the Toronto Triathlon - which would be kind of cool. It'd be nice to see them again...as they are whizzing by me on the bike course. Although who knows, maybe I'll be better by then! ::grin::
Now, it is off for a hopefully wonderful night sleep. Hope you are enjoying my adventures as much as I am.
Oh, and I only had two 0 mph falls today (no new injuries thank goodness)...although I think I may have figured out why - so we'll see how I do tomorrow!