Monday, April 22, 2013

Great Scott - That was fun!

A while back I heard about this one day triathlon clinic being put on in the area by Dave Scott. Yes, that Dave Scott! Not only is he a great triathlete, but he coached my all-time favorite, Chrissie Wellington, and also, unlike a lot of great triathletes (that's right, Mark Allen, I'm looking at you), I actually agree with a lot of his training methods.

Dave Scott and his new triathlon minions
Of course, I wanted to sign up right away but, with my head issues and not actually working out at the time, it seemed kind of silly to spend all that money and not be able to do most of the workouts. But I kept my eye on the announcements and a few weeks before the seminar, they announced a 'seminar-only' option. I was in! Of course, when it came down to it, I talked myself into signing up for the whole thing. After all, I was swimming again so I figured I'd just feel my way through the non-swimming, non-seminar parts.

The first session was "running" and strength training. We didn't actual doing any running -- which is good because I can't do that without major head issues -- but we did talk about form quite a bit including learning about something called the transverse abdominis (TA) muscle. I swear I had never heard of it before (even if I probably have), but knowing about it is going to change my (triathlon) life.

Then we did a bunch of exercises that worked on various muscles involved in biking and running especially the TA and the glutes.

I was doing pretty well at first but then my head started to tickle. I should have stopped then, but I was having fun so I ended up waiting until it itched. They were working on some swimming form stuff then and it was fascinating and I'm sorry I missed it, but my head kept getting worse and I was starting to get concerned that I had screwed the pooch and was going to have to go home.

However, the next two sessions were seminars and lunch. The session on putting together a training program was interesting. Nothing about putting together a plan was particularly earth-shattering but there was a lot of information about doing what I call "speed work" (that's not really what it's called) that was immensely helpful including how to know your lactate threshold, how to structure these kinds of sessions and progress them and a lot of other information that I'm going to use next season when I concentrate on improving my speed.

The nutrition session was combined with lunch and I will not go into a lot of details since I plan to make a series of blog posts about most of it over the upcoming few days. I will say it's probably one of the few sessions on nutrition aimed at endurance athletes that didn't induce major eye-rolling from me. Mostly because it wasn't all carbs, carbs, carbs. In fact, his formula for figuring out how much protein you need gave me exactly the right range based on my own research. (That has to be a first - for some reason traditional nutritionists are afraid of protein.) I learned a lot.

Me and my new best friend ;)
After lunch we had a session on the bike. Oh my, did I give the absent-minded professor a run for his money on this one. First of all, when we got there, I couldn't clip in. And my bike seemed all wobbly. I finally figured out that my bike shoes were for my Look clips which are on my trainer bike, but I had brought my Gios which has SPD pedals. D'oh!

Luckily, I have an extra set of everything in my car including an extra set of bike shoes with SPD clips.

Once I solved that problem, I was able to figure out that the legs of my trainer weren't snapped totally into place and that's why everything was wobbly. Can you tell I never use my trainer?

After 30 minutes of biking, not going to a harder gear when told to, but doing everything involving form, my head had definitely had enough so I got off my bike (in order not to be tempted to do more) and sat in the shade leaning on a fence. Where I kind of fell asleep! At this point, I had worked out more in a day than I had in the two weeks prior and it was starting to show.

But I was okay for the swim session. Between my mini-nap and generous doses of Advil and Tylenol throughout the day, I was able to do the entire swim session. Whee!

I have been swimming most weeks since late Feb. but it's all been in open water. With a wet suit. This was my first coached swim. I kept SINKING! That shattered my illusions that my swim form hadn't deteriorated during my long time off. I also found out that I cross my arms when I stroke. I was crushed, because at some point I had figured out I was doing that and I thought I had fixed it. Not only had I not, but the problem is much worse than I thought. Ugh.

I also found out that instead of trying to lift my butt when I feel my legs sinking, that if I engage my TA, my butt lifts itself! Only in a much better way that doesn't put stress on my back. In fact all day, whenever I had form issues, I would "engage my TA" and it would help. I do feel like that one tidbit was worth the entire price of admission.

After the swim, we had a big gap before dinner so I ended up taking a shower in the lovely Decathlon Club locker room and then went home to drop off my bike and other equipment. (I had forgotten the key to my bike lock and didn't want to leave it unlocked for hours in the parking lot.) I had enough time to take another nap and I sure needed it.

As a result, I was late getting back to the dinner. So late that the only seat left was next to Dave. What a hardship to sit next to the guest of honor. (heh heh)

Michelle working on dinner for us
Dinner was delicious -- I had the salmon and some chicken -- and then we got our pictures taken with Dave and he showed a video and gave a talk. The talk was inspiring and fun and the video was fun. It reminded me of watching Ironman on tv back in the 80s and thinking "I will NEVER do that." I bet the year I watched was one of the ones that Dave won.

The final event was autographs but I don't really "get" autographs. I will never forget this day and my house already has way too much crap in it so it doesn't need another piece of paper with someone's signature on it. I did think about having him sign my GoTRIbal tri top that Chrissie signed, but I decided not to mix my memories. Anyway, it was getting pretty cold, so I booked.

Today I slept in and mostly sat on the couch because I'm beat. I'm also excited. For one thing, I think I can start doing some strength training. I need to both for my core, which is in horrible shape, and my bones, which are not as strong as I'd like. I think I can do really short sessions without aggravating my head, maybe 15 minutes here and there.

I think I might be able to do some trainer sessions with the bike too. Though I hate my trainer. Which is probably why I left it at the club and didn't even realize it until now -- more than 24 hours later. Sigh. (Stupid Topamax and it's short-term memory impact.)
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