Yesterday Emily and I began our week's workout with a five kilometre run on the treadmills at the gym. Up until now, we've tried to run outside as much as possible in order to train in race-like conditions and also to practice running in sync with each other, but yesterday the winds of Scotland were blowing. So, we opted to run indoors. Five kilometres really isn't that far considering eventually we'll have to run ten kilometres after having already ridden forty kilometres on the bike and swam 1.5 kilometres, but the run was good for me. Technically this is week four of our training and I'm impressed that I've made it to five kilometres so quickly. Sure, I was an elite athlete three years ago, but that was three years ago and that was also in the water. My feet feel funny pounding the pavement when they are so used to acting as flippers. That said, I'm so impressed with the progress we have both made.
Training for a sport, any sport really, can be difficult; especially when trying to get up the motivation to do something you don't like. I have been there with my swimming, but this triathlon training is so different. There is no other way really to describe it. My attitude about it is completely different as well. I'm not sure if it's because I've matured a bit since swimming for Canada, but whatever the reasons, this is so different.
How do you know when training seriously for a sport is for you?
This past week our training together was a bit disrupted because Emily had a conference to present at; the obligations of a PhD student. We both know life happens and that we won't always be able to train with each other every day, but I was surprised to find myself missing the training and the training with Emily. Towards the end of my swimming career, I looked forward to long breaks and would be relieved when something switched up the drudgery of it all. I know that we haven't been doing this for any length of time yet, but the fact that I missed it and was itching to get back out there in full force tells me that I'm doing the right thing for the right reasons.
After working out, I also feel good about the work I have done and even good about the work Emily has done. Yesterday during our run, Emily had to slow to a walk because she felt light headed; probably a combination of dehydration, not enough food and perhaps too much coffee. Either way, I was so impressed by her determination. Once she started feeling a bit better, she sped the treadmill up again and finished the five kilometres, having run faster than me and up more inclines. I was quite satisfied with our progress. Yes, "our progress." Emily and I have to be a cohesive unit in order to achieve success. We both have our roles and responsibilities as guide athlete and VI (visually impaired) athlete, but at the end of the day, her triumphs are mine, my falls are hers and vise versa. Again, towards the end of my swimming career, there wasn't much that made me excited about my practices. I usually left more frustrated than anything. Knowing that we can work out and even have a small hiccup, but carry on and reach the goal of the workout is encouraging. It's another reason why I know I am doing the right thing for the right reasons.
We have some exciting events coming up this week. Tonight we are going to our first swim practice with the Edinburgh Road Club. This club has many different athletic branches and triathlon is one of them. Emily is a bit nervous as swimming is not her strongest leg of the race, but I keep telling her that is why we're going.
Saturday we're running in our first race in order to establish a time for the five kilometre mark. It also gives us an idea of what running with other athletes will be like. I think it will be a test of our communication skills we have been slowly building as well as a fitness test. This one makes me nervous because just as swimming is not Emily's favourite, running is not my strongest leg of the race.
All things considered though, the fact that I can be nervous and excited at the same time about tonight and Saturday morning, tells me that I'm doing the right thing for the right reasons. Training for a competitive sport is not easy, as I've stated above, but you will know when it is for you because it will just feel right.