‘First Day of School’

Even though I set my alarm for 4:30 a.m. yesterday morning, it didn’t wake me up.  Nope—I opened my eyes at the ungodly time of 4:23 a.m.  Surprisingly, I didn’t feel tired; after all, it was the “first day of school” (as Andrew dubbed it)—the first Full Throttle Endurance triathlon training workout of the 2013 season.  With a braid in my hair—it’s the only way to control my curls—and a “run fast, finish strong, and survive” mentality, I channeled my inner Katniss on the track for a two-mile time trial.

katniss-running

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Before the time trial, our group of 25 triathletes met at the basketball courts (the indoor track circles four hoops, a boxing ring, and a beach volleyball court), and as Andrew went over the game plan, I immediately had a series of déjà vu moments.  The act of “bringing it in” on the hardwood—with a coach who reminds me so much of my high school one—transported me back to my tiny, cracker-box gym.  The time warp continued as we progressed through a dynamic warm-up; exercises like skips and butt kicks reminded me of the dreaded plyometrics, also known as “plyos,” we used to do before every practice truly began.  So unintentionally, I found myself back on the court—for the first time since my sophomore season—yet it felt right.  Instead of wearing gear like a reversible pinny, a pair black basketball sneakers, and a signature mouth guard (yes, I was “that girl” who wore a mouth guard), I rocked my Mizunos, running shorts, and a tech tee.  So even though both the apparel and sport at hand differed from my basketball days, it felt strangely similar—getting after it with a coach and teammates.  I felt like I belonged, and I honestly didn’t realize how much I enjoyed the team sport atmosphere until yesterday morning.

Anyway, on to the two-mile time trial (TT).  I planned to take the first four laps at a comfortable pace, and then shift to my tempo run pace for the second mile. (Andrew said he didn’t want to see any PRs, but rather a solid effort because our results would determine our running groups and target paces for each workout during this eight-week training cycle.) Also, during the warm-up mile, I spotted the two fastest female runners and made it a goal to maintain contact with them during the TT, which worked well.  For the first mile, I hung out with them and clocked a steady 8:0x.  From there, I transitioned pretty well to a comfortable difficult pace, and I passed both the girls on lap five. (Oh, and another speedy dude left me in the dust!) With 800m to go, things started to comfortably hurt (if that makes any sense), and I pushed to finish in 15:xx.  I’ll take it!

Here’s what confused me, though:  I passed two girls, and one of them finished before me.  Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if I miscounted my laps and ran an extra 400m—we all know how much I love math.  Not that these TT finishes matter, but I’m happy that I was the first or second girl to finish in my training group.  Hopefully this gives me some legitimacy—and some wiggle room so I don’t look too hopeless during the swimming TT on Friday.  What’s on the schedule for tomorrow?  Indoor cycling.  Anyone know what kind of bike Katniss rides?  Oh, wait …

28 responses to “‘First Day of School’

  1. nice job girl! I am the same way, when I know I have to wake up I always wake up before it. Gosh this reminds me of my high school days when I did the two mile for track. worst race ever

    • Two miles was such a tough distance. It’s not like you can run all out like a one-mile test, and during a 5-K, you can settle into a rhythm pretty easily.

  2. Um. Amazing! Way to rock it! So proud of you, girl!

  3. Lol love the Katniss reference! I feel like comparing myself to her would definitely pump me up for my workout! Hmm maybe I will braid my hair for my next workout.. 😉

    • I’m all about the braids. During triathlons, I’ll do two French braids. It keeps the hair controlled and pulled back, and you can toss on a bike helmet without smushing a ponytail.

  4. Lol awesome job on the TT!

  5. 4:30 – you’re a beast, Carrie!! And a 15 min TT is awesome, too. I am so excited to live vicariously through your tri training and season. <3

    • Thanks, Gina! I’m still trying to figure out the alarm “sweet spot”–today’s wake-up call was 4:40a, but I think I can probably do 4:45a. It’s all about trial and error.

  6. Way to go! That’s a great time 🙂 I have been itching to get out to the track lately and incorporate speed back into the routine.

  7. Woo! Way to kick some butt! I’d say you’re more than holding your own out there!!

  8. Great job! I love how everything can be related back to a book, movie, or TV show 🙂

  9. Awesome job! Knew you would do well!!!

  10. You totally rocked it!! I love the strategy of picking someone to “race” since I feel like I have a hard time pushing myself when it’s just “me” 🙂

    Also, love the Katniss braid!

  11. Channeling your inner Katniss. Love it! I need to start thinking like that, especially since I braid my hair for runs too. Darn curls, man.

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  14. WTG on crushing your first day! You should be so proud of yourself 😀

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