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Why Tri Now? – Rose Colored Glasses!

July 3, 2012

Three weeks in and Joyce discovers both the challenge of the indoor trainer and a small secret to give her a first breakthrough with her swimming. Sounds like she’s getting the hang of this!

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Rose Colored Glasses!

by: Joyce Nugent

Has anybody seen my rose-colored glasses?

After the first week of triathlon training, which was kind of like an orientation in retrospect, week two got down to business.  Combining three different kinds of workouts within a week has been a huge challenge and difficult for my body to adapt to.

Wednesday morning I headed to swim class at 5:15 AM. It was raining hard. I wondered on the way there if swim class would be canceled. I know you are wet anyway, but the thought of being in a pool while being pelted by rain from above just seems like adding insult to injury. I arrive, and it is clear that not much is going to get in the way of Claudia and her athletes. Least of all a little wind and rain.

Swimming feels laborious. Claudia says I am looking everywhere except where I’m supposed to be when I’m breathing, which is to the side. I don’t feel like I’m doing this and I keep adjusting my head in different directions trying to get the hang of it. It all feels awkward and I probably look like some weird remake of The Exorcist that takes place in a swimming pool. After swimming, I have to go home and get on the bike. Except it is raining hard, which means getting on the indoor trainer. OK, fine. I set up the trainer, turn the TV up loud and start pedaling. OMG. To me, the indoor trainer is akin to a torture device. Every time I look at the clock, thinking 20 minutes has gone by, it’s been five. Not even kidding. I start thinking something is wrong with the clock at one point, but there are three in view from where I am and they all agree. Guess it’s all in my head, so to speak. After an hour, drenched in sweat, I am supposed to run for just 15 minutes off the bike. By now the rain has stopped (of course) and I head out onto the steamy pavement.

My legs feel like lead.

By this point, I am wondering what in the world I was thinking. As I try to run, which turns into walking after just a few minutes, I start contemplating just how humiliating it would be to have to go back and tell everyone that something terrible has come up on September 3rd making it impossible for me to compete in the TriRock.

Comfortable on the bike, Joyce has her first breakthrough in the water.

Friday, I am back at the pool. I drive slowly getting there this time. Into the water I slide, adjusting swim cap and goggles. Then Claudia, with her infinite patience says Joyce, when you rotate your body, think of rotating from the hip, and she gives me a demonstration from the pool deck. She tells me that my whole body needs to rotate back and forth in the water with every stroke and that the rotation will allow me to turn my head sideways just enough to get that much needed breath.

I start across the pool with this in mind and suddenly I experience what can only be described as a breakthrough. With each rotation my arm has the freedom to move and I feel like I have all the time in the world to take that breath. My head stays down and my legs stay up, decreasing drag, and I skim across the pool feeling like a torpedo. I am so excited that I am beside myself.

That Sunday is my first complete day off since I started all this and I look forward to it like you can’t believe. My muscles are yelling at me from my few minutes in the gym (that core stuff) and I’m so exhausted that I’ve been in bed by 9 PM every night. On Sunday I obediently do NOTHING. It is glorious.

Week three. I hit Monday well rested and suddenly things start “clicking,” just as Claudia promised they would. And it’s not even September yet. Monday, I have heart rate interval training on the bike and I’m doing over 27 mph on the flats and not blowing up on the hill repeats.

Wednesday in the pool, after warm ups, drills, and then ladders (50 yards, then 100, then 150, then 200, then 150, then 100, then 50) Claudia asks me if I have any idea of how far I had just swum. I say no. One thousand yards, she says. One thousand!! From the person who couldn’t make it 25 yards just a couple weeks before. I throw my hands up in the air, champion-like. Yes!

I just might be able to do this after all.

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About Joyce:

Joyce started her Bicycle Sport Shop career on the sales floor at the Lamar location about a year and a half ago, having relocated to Austin from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Then new to mountain biking and road riding, having been introduced to it just a couple years prior by her now husband, she was previously a runner and an equestrian. As soon as she started riding all she could think was, “where has this been all my life?” and was hooked.  As of April, Joyce became the new Marketing Director for Bicycle Sport Shop combining nearly twenty years of marketing experience at both ad agencies and on the corporate side and her passion for bikes. As Joyce says, “it doesn’t get much better than that!”

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