Tuesday, March 12, 2013

LPC Triathlon Camp - Day 3: It's Raining, It's Pouring

Rain, rain go away - no need to come back another day.

It was raining this morning. Not just the light sprinkle or 15 minute storm that seems more common for Florida. No, it poured for the entire morning.

But, that didn't stop us. Nope - we jumped into the planned workout despite the rain.

The day started with a bike. Originally, the bike was going to be around 65k (more for the advanced folks). Our ride was cut short, mostly due to bad weather and a bit of concern for safety, I think.

Riding in the rain was another first for me at camp. Might as well get them all over with at once, don't you think?

I’ve never biked in the rain before. The roads are slick and when the water is flying up in your face from the rider in front of you, not to mention coming down in sheets, your glasses get covered and it makes it really difficult to see. Seriously, I was squinting through raindrops. I wish I had windshield wipers for my glasses ::laugh:: …and yet the glasses were critical for letting me see at all since they blocked my eyes from other crud.

This was a very challenging ride for me. I thought I did pretty well given the circumstances for the first half of the ride, until I took a U-turn like turn (going very slow) and slid out (similar to my 0mph falls, but more angled than straight down).  I wasn’t hurt, but I did take a good blow to my upper thigh. I am going to have a very nasty bruise in a few days – but hey, there was no blood! I think that is progress.  

After that, riding was a bit harder. I think I slowed down a fair bit. Coach Nissim stuck with me through it all (have I said he’s a saint yet?). We pushed on – and I kept my spirits up. At one point he said something along the lines of “You’re always smiling, you know that?”

My answer was “Well, sure I am. Truth is, I know I chose to be here. Sure it’s raining. Sure I think I am utterly dreadful and I feel bad that you’re having to spend so much time helping me out…but the truth is, a year ago, I’d never have imagined being here – and, yet here I am. I wouldn’t change this for the world."

Because what is rain and a few falls while being out there trying to do something awesome – compared to where I was before I decided to see what I was capable of?

A friend of mine gave me a ring for Christmas with the words that got me through my first (and second) half marathon engraved on it. The words said:

Be Awesome Today

I looked at that ring several times during the challenging ride…and every time I smiled and got more energy. Whatever else I was doing, I was doing my best to be awesome today. I might have been slow, unsteady, and sopping wet…but I was still awesome.

As Coach Nissim and I headed back toward the starting point, we (finally!) got onto a low traffic road. I admit, that was the best part of the ride. He had me practicing taking my hands off the brakes – and gave me a bunch of good tips on how to take that to the next level when I was ready. This is all valuable stuff I can continue to practice once I am home.

Once we got back to the camp house (about 40k later), we quickly changed into our running shoes, picked up one of the juniors (I am not really sure where he came from…I think he was in the lead of one of the other faster bike groups that went farther than I did – so he finished around the same time). The three of us did a run loop of Emerald Island Resort (still utterly sopping wet from the bike ride).

Other people say running off the bike is awful, challenging and painful…me, I finally had a chance to relax! I loved it. Despite the rain, we kept up an easy clip the entire way. Coach Nissim even complimented me on my run efficiency/economy (which I think means I am not wasting any movements).

It is so nice to be good at something!

Truth be told, I am very thankful both my running and swimming are pretty decent (lots I can do to improve, but generally better than average). I hope this means I am not monopolizing too much coaching time (i.e., hopefully the people more challenged in the swim or run are getting more coaching help there, similar to my experience on the bike).

The rest of the day was free – so I needed something to do to fill my time. Luckily, it turned out a guy I went to high school with was actually in Orlando – and asked if I wanted to get together. So I gave him a shout and we arranged to get together in the afternoon.

We started with an early dinner at iHop, and then headed back to the resort. By this point, the weather was amazing. The sun was out and the temperature was nice. He really wanted to go for a bike ride…and my answer was “Well, I feel like I got my biking in for the day…but I didn’t get my sun in – so let’s go.”

I also figured since my thigh hurt like dickens, an easy ride would actually do it good – keep it from knotting up too much.

So, after all the riding that morning, I went out for another 50 minute easy ride (Crazy, I know). We just went very easy around the resort (I warned him I was in for a big workout tomorrow – so needed to keep it to a recovery ride). He’s actually an experienced triathlete – so totally understood.

It was a wonderful ride. Perfect weather, no traffic, and no need for speed. Quite relaxing after the somewhat stressful morning. And because we were riding very slow in a non-traffic area, I got to practice some of the drills Coach Nissim and Coach James taught me some more – lifting my hands and turning and so forth. It was a great way to start to ingrain some of the stuff I’ve been taught over the last few days.

Best of all? It was the first ride where I managed to stay upright! Wooohoo! Progress!

Came home and had a second dinner with my housemates, including two helpings of dessert (we all had two helpings - unanimously agreeing we’d worked them off). Ice cream, topped with berries and banana. It was delicious.

And that was the end of Day 3. There was rain, there was sun…there were a few bike rides and a run (and it felt like we were swimming in the rain some of the time). All in all, another great day – with great people. Can’t wait for tomorrow!


  1. Once I get certain bits of my body back in order ( I go see the specialist about that soon) I am planning to get back into biking because you have inspired me. I don't think I would ever consider aiming as high as a triathlon -mainly because I literally do not know how to swim, but I have to start somewhere right?

    Go Jana go!

  2. Woooohhooo, Jana!

    That sounds like an absolutely fabulous day.

    I decided to try and push how far I could go today, I worked out harder during water aerobics; bigger jumps & faster movements in the water, and then I swam 25m butterfly after the class.

    I've now come on here and read this and I love the inscription on the ring. I'm also loving the positive attitude you're taking, especially while being out of your comfort zone.

  3. Nicole - It's always hard when your body rebels. Just do what you can! Awesome that you're going to get back into biking! If you need any support or encouragement - I am here! Go Nicole Go!

    And you'd be surprised how many people decide to do triathlon without knowing how to swim first. It's hard, but definitely possible. Never say never! :)

  4. Kada - that is awesome! I can't believe how amazing you are doing. Butterfly - wow!

    And really what's not to be positive about? I kind of like being a beginner right now...it means I can see my progress even in just these past few days. That's a real motivator for me. I might not be great, but I am having fun, learning, and always improving. And that's what this is all about!