Friday, August 31, 2007


So!!! I had my first swimming lesson last night.

The lesson was FABULOUS and worth every penny of what I'm paying through my nose for. I can't even imagine having a better teacher. She's done many ironman races and is trained up the wazoo, she has worked with many beginners, she explains technique so well, we get along. It's amazing!!

That, plus I get to train in an FANCY, SNOTVILLE, UPSCALE swimming club. Midtown Manhattan style.

Here is what I learned and need to work on until my next session (some of these things will sound odd to you):

  1. Bopping up and down in the water- this is the first thing I do whenever I enter the pool
  2. Keeping my right elbow up during my crawl/freestyle
  3. Not bringing my head all the way up when I turn up to breathe
  4. Swimming/floating on my back
  5. Improving my kicks- not kicking from the knees, but using my quads more
  6. Breathing out underwater, breathing in when I come up for air
  7. Looking more elegant when I swim
  8. Efficient breathing patterns- not coming up for air with every stroke

Feedback from my first session:

  • After my asked me to show her how I swim, she was so excited to see me swim and said I was definitely not a total beginner!!! Yay- at least I'm starting from somewhere
  • She said that I'm definitely going to get to where I need to go, given where I am now (encouraging, although I still have doubts, I need to squish my fears)
  • I need to get in the water more times each week

After my session, we had a debrief while relaxing in the hot tub. Hiring an individual swim coach is a very intense process. I'm so glad that I made the right choice for me. My coach's life story and training principals are amazing. She's such an inspiration in ways that I can't even describe fully on here. For all the money I have to dole for this, it's worth it to me. After my first session, I don't think it's expensive for what I get. Then again, it's my cause and my present raison d'etre. I also believe that I'm worth EVERYTHING.

Good news is I didn't feel tired after my session. The weather was perfect and I walked around times square dancing with my head held high, knowing that I had found my voice in a new way.

Je veux etre un athlete du triathlon.

Mama always says shandai muzodya. Work, so that you can eat. I'm working mama. Maybe this is not the kind of goal you would want me to set. My heart is full and this dream is what makes up my reverie. I'm in love with me.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Tips from my triathlon meeting...

  • Use body glide under your wetsuit- prevents chafing and makes it easier to take off.
  • Bring flip flops to the race
  • Bring chapstick to the race
  • Know to to change a tire
  • Use open-water goggles, not pool goggles
  • Drink water during the bike

I'm taking the rest of the week off excercise. This knee needs rest...:(

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

growing hair...highs...injury...

I shaved off almost all my hair two weeks ago. Question of the year is: How many centimetres long will my hair be by the time I do the race in July???!!! Right now my hair is 3 millimetres long...Time will tell!

This past January I was on this super duper excercise high- so awesome. I was 5lb away from achieving my weight goal...then...the small ice-skating fall ruined me. My knee had a slight sprain and I didn't excercise for almost a month. It was devastating. Though it's many months later now - I never quite got back what I lost in terms of excercise highs and body confidence. I was in a pretty good excercise high in July. Right now I'm in a running high, but I need to get back to my strength training and do some spinning and boxing. I'm missing boxing class today because I'm attending the triathlete's run!! I guess that's more important. I love the boxing class and I'm awefully furious about missing it.

Yes- I'm all sweaty from another run! Seems to get easier and easier by the day, though.
My knee is bothering me when I go up the stairs. This is one reason I can't do hack squats incline leg presses...

Run easy, aphrikan, run easy.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Euphoric ante meridiem flight!

Wow!! Running buddy and I went on our second run. We made a 100% improvement from last week's run. 3 miles total- no stopping around our lap. Tons of sweat- lots of encouragement. Wow - this feels good.

I desperately need to save up to buy running shoes.

I want to run every morning of my life.

I can't quite imagine just how difficult it is to run after a swim and a bike though. Tell me- how do those crazy triathletes do it??

Need to stop typing because the sweat is getting into my eyes!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Bike antix, My first hill and first official bike riding class

Today I took my first bike riding class for adults. Picture a class of six adults over 25yrs of age, learning to ride a bike! It was so empowering. It's so hard to learn some of these things at an older age...I remember taking piano lessons at 15 and just how hard it was. Learning to drive last year...Learning to ride now...

The class was wonderful. As you know, last week I went on a bike for the first time and amazingly I was able to ride just like that. Except for freaking out in pedestrian traffic and not being able to go downhill without crashing, I felt like I was making baby steps.

After my first class:

I CAN RIDE STANDING UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow!!! I can't wait for next Saturday's class!

I also made a decision today. I'm going to buy a good road bike so I'd better start saving up because over $1000 it'll be! More on that soon...

Friday, August 24, 2007

3...2...1...and I'm off!!!

This week has been a slow week for me as I transition into my new excercise routine.

Here are the things accomplished this week:

Morning runs with running partner. Running partner & I have a routine in place and this is so exciting for me!

I've hired my swim coach & I feel mighty confident in her abilities. Anyone can claim to be able to teach me to swim, but the wonderful thing is the experience she has under her belt in terms of working with beginner swimmers. The experience she has as a triathlete herself. Her confidence in her training abilities. I'll only see her once a week, unless of course I win the lottery!

I've hired my bike riding coach and he works with adult beginner riders. I'll only see him once a week too. This should be interesting. I've only signed up for 3 sessions so far.

In terms of these coaches, my goal is to get the basic skills down pat enough so that I can join a triathlete club and train with a group of beginners. Maybe that'll happen in the spring...

Next Tuesday I'm attending a transition zone talk and doing a run with a group of triathletes. I'm excited to attend. There is nothing more empowering than getting together with other triathletes. Well- I'm a wannabe, but who cares!

I called up an old trainer of mine to let him know that I'm training for this. He and I will hopefully work together. I'm just having a hard time figuring out my schedule. I can only work with him in the mornings, but the problem right now is that I've reserved my mornings for runs and I want to keep it that way. The runs instill this discipline in me and I feel independent. My evenings are for my boxing classes or my personal time really. My weekends are for my workouts and for me to have a life. So I really want to work with him, I just don't know how to fit it in without feeling frustrated, you know.

If you're a triathlete or beginner reading this or a supporter - feel free to leave comments:)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Decisions made and punches thrown...

I love my Tues. boxing class. I feel like flying and I want to run and run and run, but time does not permit.

Wow! I love to sweat. It's so therapeutic. My instructor says I need to work on my crosses. But it's odd because I always thought that was my strongest throw. Hmmm. He's a great instructor and I absolutely love his style and energy. There are very few instructors I like, and he is one of them. You know those people who know their shit and genuinely care about each and every student and the kind of person you know has a gentle soul. It's beautiful. Excercise doesn't have to be all harsh, you know. Boxing doesn't have to be about violence. For me it's about releasing all the negative energy and thoughts. Punching out the self doubt and insecurities that every blue moon try to tarnish my dreams.

I am committing to working with a specialty swim coach. And I'm also getting a cycling coach. I can't afford it really, but I am just going to have to struggle. I also won't be able to work two jobs. Anyhow- this is worth it to me. I will live off of water and love. Here is how my routine will be:

Sunday: Cycling outside, Bootcamp Class, Swimming.
Monday: Morning running
Tuesday: Morning running, Evening- Spinning, Boxing & strength training
Wednesday: Morning running, Evening-Spinning, Boxing
Thursday: Morning running, Evening- Cycling, Swimming with coaches
Friday: Morning running
Saturday: Cycling outside, Strength training, Swimming.

It looks like a lot but it's actually about 50% less than what my routine was in December last year. It's also a lot less than my July routine. But it's not about quantity. This routine is going to help me achieve my goals. I know for sure that I'm going to have to change my routine soon and I can handle the changes. But this is a start.

Believe me I have a huge life outside of training for the triathlon. I am very good at taking rest days now. Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings are quite sacred where I go to my scheduled arts nights. I also have plenty of other time to hang out and relax. I like the look of this.

I know what you're thinking- that I don't have a life outside of this. You are so wrong!!

Self doubt and ???

Ahhhhhh the expensive hourly charge of trainers!

OK, ok, calm down Aphrikan- just because you're poor doesn't mean that you should take it out on the businessperson. After all you understand the business yourself...

Right now I'm really doubting me. I'm trying to focus on the positives:
-I am motivated
-I went biking twice this weekend
-Some of my friends believe in me (thank you!)
-I now own a helmet and bathing suit
- I can run effortlessly

I am doubting seriously right this second:
-I keep envisioning myself drowning in the Hudson
-I'm worried that I'll forget to register for the triathlon & that there won't be any slots left...
-I hate riding downhill
-I hate riding with traffic and I imagine crashing into all these crazy triathletes next year and having them run over my lovely helmet and my precious body
-The idea of being in a trisuit really disturbs me. I hear people spray cooking oil on the inside to lubricate it so that it slips off easily. Hell no. I refuse to put that sh*t on my body.
-I hate water and I hate how I feel after swimming.
-Oh...I can't really swim...I mean, I try, but I can't swim a mile yet...I CANT SWIM...
-I wish I wasn't so goal oriented and I wish I didn't want to do this. But it means a lot to me...

I intend to be honest with myself through blogging about my road to the tri. Honest even about my self doubts.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

My first swim and ride!!

Before today I had only ever ridden a bike once when I was 18 years old. I rented a bike and took it to a park. Amazingly, I just hopped on the bike and I could miraculously ride- easy as pie!!!! I hate going downhill though. I need to work on it. I CAN RIDE A BICYCLE!!!!!!!!!! Yes, yes, I hear the standing ovations!!!

So I've been looking at bikes I want and my eye is on a Hybrid bike or a hardcore racing bike!!! I'm getting a black & or silver bike & I'm really quite excited about that. Might hold off on the bike purchase until the spring though.

The swim! So for the first time in my LIFE I swam a ful lap without stopping. I haven't been in a pool since I was in 7th Grade and then I could barely stay afloat. But I braved it. I am going to keep working on my swimming and take some swim classes and hire a swim coach. Quite exciting.

So, I can run, I can ride, I just need to work on my swimming! Hooray for a great self eval today!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Hiring a USAT trainer

Now, while seeking expert help with minimal budgets, I've been conversing with a USAT triathlon trainer. Really though, so far the conversations seem so passive. Issues I have so far- he refers to me as "girl", he did not contact me for 4 days.

Moving on in search for other expert help. I'm seriously considering joining a Triathlete club instead of hiring and individual tri trainer. Tryna weigh the benefits. I definitely don't lack motivation and I definitely don't have dough.

I know you're thinking this is imposssible...but...

Ahem...if only you knew what other seemingly impossible things I've done so far in this lifetime...My family thinks i'm CRAZY to want to do this...Hmmmm but can they stop aphrikan? Hell no!

This week is the first week I've known I can achieve this goal for sure. I can breeze through the running. Today I'm going cycling!!!!!!!! I'm so excited- I'll try to take pix of me lookin all cute in a helmet and on a bike!!! (hmmm maybe next year I'll learn to ride motorcycle)

I'm also off to buy a bathing suit. No I will not post the pix.

Progress so far:
-Increased running time. I can run for over an hour and it feels like nothing to me. Run easy, aprhikan, run easy
-I have a running partner now for daily morning runs!!! I'm so excited!

Goals for today:
-Light endurance-style strength training
-Buying bathing suit
-Reminding myself that I do have a life aside from pursuing this.

Will post later on.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Official Training Day #1

Running: 60 mins Incline 2, Average speed 5-5.5

Strength training- total body, hypertrophy style (4 sets of ten- hack squats, incline leg press bla bla bla)

State of mind: Enthusiasm, Pride!!!

My left knee was bothering me so boxing class was out. Otherwise, let's see what tommorow brings...

My name is ______ and I'm a triathlete.......wannabe

Welcome. I'm embarking on this journey to train for NYC triathlon - July 20th, 2008. Here is my journey documented .

Countdown as of today: 338 Days to go

Skills Progress:

My current advantages:
  • Amazing Cardiovascular Endurance
  • Great Stamina (no innapropriate thoughts, thank you)
  • Astounding motivation
  • Knowledge of anatomy

My current disadvantages:
  • Inability to ride bicycle
  • Inability to Swim
  • Lack of training funds
  • Busy schedule
  • Lack of family support
  • No bicycle
  • No bathing suit
  • No practice pool
  • No swim cap
  • No helmet


The task ahead is daunting. Here I will post my training strategies and successes along the road/river. Watch me as I make my first visit to the bike store....stay tuned for daily updates.

Please note: As a reader of this blog, you are morally obligated to watch me finish the race next year.