Training Goals, Neti pots, and RIP Odin

Being that I am still miserably ill, I’m fantasizing about what crazy race I might want to train for next.  I have a confession.  I’m secretly fantasizing about

a triathlon....

As you may recall, my last 5K was actually part of a sprint and olympic tri.  I got schooled by the olympic triathletes who whizzed by me during their 10K.  Admittedly, they were pros, but it was fascinating to watch them and realize they’d already done 2 events.  Getting off topic, but my point is I’m now obsessed.

The problem?

I don’t know how to swim or cycle.

Ugh, no mocking. I'm sensitive about these things.

It’s two long and complicated stories, but I never learned to ride a bike and the only swimming I do is some weird half-monkey looking “breaststroke.”  However!  I refuse to be deterred by these minor setbacks, so I’m going to learn to swim and ride a bike.

Sarah’s Triathlon Training Plan:

1.  Learn to swim–take swimming lessons at the local pool (I can already hold my breath and such, so this shouldn’t be TOO hard)

2.  Learn to ride a bike–I already own a bike, I just have to learn to stay upright.  Suggestions?

3.  Find a training plan–maybe through MIT?  I plan to keep training for half marathons, although I’m planning to do a sprint tri.

4.  Pick a goal race–my friend Amy suggested the Triathlon for the Cure race next July.  It’s a 250yd swim, 7mi bike, and 2mi run.  It’s great practice, but I’d like to aim a little higher on distance as well next summer.

5.  Train–duh.

Yes?  No?  Have I lost my mind?  It would be nice to feel more comfortable in a bathing suit in public by next summer, so I’ll definitely have to keep plugging away at the weight loss.

So that means my training goals right now are to:
1.  Be prepared for the Emerald City half on 9/4/11–this may or may not happen depending on my illness
2.  Be prepared for the Columbus half on 10/16/11
3.  Stay in shape for the Hot Chocolate 15K on 12/3/11 –what’s the longest run I really need to do before this race?  I was thinking 7-8, but I’m curious what the entirenetz think.  Because the internet is never wrong.
4.  Learn to swim–if I can scrape up the money, I will do that this fall, otherwise it will have to wait until husband is employed or I have graduated and taken a higher paying job
5.  Learn to ride the stupid bike that is gathering dust in my garage.  Advice?  I can get moving, but then I either miss the pedals or lose my balance.

I’m still sick, so I don’t have a ton to talk about.  I can’t decide what to think about running a half in less than a month when I haven’t done more than 7 miles this training cycle.  I’m hoping to be up for 8.5 on Saturday, but right now 2 is my absolute max.  My lungs are filled with junk and my sinuses are still stuffy.  Also, my dogs love to feast upon used Kleenex, so I need to get better NOW.

For the record, the neti pot is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever used and it works amazing.  I think it’s the only reason I’m getting better right now.  And it isn’t as uncomfortable as it sounds.  And I fully expect Kara to be completely grossed out right now.

If cute girl in athletic wear is doing it, it must be cool.

So, I had this post mostly typed up and went to acupuncture.  I got home and went to feed Odin, my candidacy betta (I got him the week before candidacy in September 2009).  I eventually realized that the dried up tea leaf was Odin.  I know bettas can sometimes rehydrate, but his eye and fins were gone, so I flushed the poor guy.  I did take a picture, but then I realized it was totally gross and no one wanted to see that.

RIP Odin.  Who I apparently never took pictures of.  I am a crap fish owner.

So, any training advice?  What’s the shortest long run you can get away with before a half marathon?  Any at home cures for sinus infections?


About Sarah S @RunningOnWords

Married 20-something in flux and trying to cope by running and occasionally crafting.
This entry was posted in Blogging, Gear, Medical, Training, Weight Loss. Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Training Goals, Neti pots, and RIP Odin

  1. Pahla says:

    I am SO excited that you’re going to do a TRI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Too many exclamation points? I think not.) Learning how to swim and ride a bike are very good places to start, and I think you’re going to be a little bit surprised at how hard that sprint is. No offense, it’s just that doing all three sports one after the other is WAY harder than doing any one (or even two) of them alone.
    Even the cute girl in athletic clothes makes me want to hurl thinking about neti pots, but I certainly hope you’re feeling better soon.

    • Hahaha, now I am committed since I can’t let down my readers! And I should have phrased that differently, I fully expect the Triathalon for the Cure to be difficult, I just want to also have the slightly longer sprint with a 5K in mind too.

  2. Kate says:

    Oh my gosh, love me a neti pot. They ARE totally gross but they work so well. Just be sure you do all those seemingly pointless yoga moves they recommend afterwards. I have been sitting around minding my own business hours after using a neti pot only to be treated to a shower of salt water that just never escaped my sinuses. Gross, yes, but also secretly (until now) hilarious. I hope you feel better soon!!!

  3. Army Amy says:

    Farewell Odin. I’ve never been a fish person myself. I fishsat for some one one and totally killed the fish.

    For a half, I like to run 11 or 12 miles before the race. The closer you get to the race distance during training, the more confident you’ll feel on race day.*

  4. Kara says:

    That neti pot is gross, but I was distracted by the cleavage. Yeah, I admitted it.

    I think 10 miles should be the max for half marathon training. Anything more than that is just for your mental state, not your physical.

  5. never tried a neti pot and i’d worry about drowning my brain!! i know that is not possible, but still (obviously i need to protect whatever brain cells i have left). hooray for new sports!! i suck in the pool but you know i love bike time. take spinning classes!!! it’s harder (but still possible) to fall off those bikes.

  6. I think it’d be totally awesome if you did a tri! Why not? You’ve done a half marathon, so you know that given time and work, it’s more than possible!!!

    Never used a neti pot. I just got one recently, but am nervous about using it….just seems unnatural, though I know it’s about as natural as you can get 🙂 Feel better!!!!

    (Thanks for helping me find that link so I could make sure to get it right on the page. I think I figured out how to add it in and link it)

  7. Amy says:

    Yayyyyy! 🙂 Once you get the swimming and cycling down, training will be a lot easier! I have a great training plan for a sprint tri that I have used the past 2 summers that I will pass on to you. So excited about your next summer goal!

    I know other half marathon training plans only go to 10 miles, so that is what I am striving for. I am also prepared to walk/run those last few miles if I am not feeling it. My focus is more on the Columbus Half.

  8. Mandy says:

    Yay! I want to do a tri too! I’d thought about side-lining that idea with the whole mountain thing coming up…but it would be fun to do our first one together! My offer to swim at my gym still stands!

    Before my first half marathon – my longest training run was 9 miles. I had done several 7 mile runs and an 8 mile run as well. And I finished within my time goal without pain. For whatever that is worth.

    Feel better soon!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Nita says:

    Love your ambition!

    I’m currently learning to swim. I’ve taken a ton of lessons over my almost 50 years, but this is the first teacher who started with the breathing. Once I got that down (which took three lessons plus practice in between), the rest has been coming pretty easily.

    Must echo the grossness and the amazingness of the neti pot. Really.

    So sad about Odin. RIP.

  10. Abby says:

    Ah! I love your plan to try and tri!!

    The tri for the cure sounds like a great goal race, and then maybe have a slightly longer one planned for later in the summer (because, really, you’re going to kick ass and be ready for more!).

    As for the bike, I might suggest getting comfortable in the saddle by way of a stationary bike first, if you have one at your disposal, so you can get a feel for the rhythm of it before taking to the roads.

  11. Raquelita says:

    I wouldn’t attempt a half unless if I had done a 10 mile long run during my training cycle. I would just rather not risk injury or a crappy race experience because of a lack of preparation.

    I have 0 desire to do a tri. I like to bike, but I don’t really enjoy swimming. I’ll stick with running for now.

  12. elohorn says:

    wow I can’t believe it – you don’t know how to ride a bike either!!! people are always shocked to find out that i never learned how… but my childhood home was at the top of a hill, it just never happened, you know?

    i’d be curious to hear why you didn’t :] it’s okay though, spin bikes at the gym count, right?

  13. TriGirl says:

    I was in the same situation as you 2.5 years ago! But, I didn’t own a bike. And, I’d never run a race. So I realize that is probably much longer of a time frame than you would like to hear, but i’m a total spaz and it took me the better part of 2 years to get decent at any of the sports (ok, that’s a lie. It took me that long to not fall off my bike and to run a little). I *just* figured out swimming 6 months ago. But my races allow wetsuits which make you float so last year I just coasted through the swim 😛

    p.s. i’ve been using the neti lately too 🙂

  14. Amy says:

    I secretly dream of doing a tri someday too. My hangup is the swim. I just need to practice more. And get much much better. I suppose using a kick board would seem a little, well, silly.

    Good luck with it all! If you go off and get one done, I will have no excuses!

  15. emily says:

    I haven’t gotten up the nerve to try a neti pot. I hear it works great, but I’m also not a fan of snot and it just seems unpleasent.

    For the 15k, my training plan has me running 9 miles at max. I’m only currently up to 4. I have a long way to go.

    I’m totally intimidated by triathlons! I swam in highschool and I can ride a bike (not well, but I can do it), but I’m not sure that I have the get-up-n-go to do an actual triathlon. So, you go girl! (Yeah, I know I can’t pull that off).

  16. Thats my dream too! I havent biked since grade school and my swimming is so subpar that i swim in circles bc one arm is wayyy stronger thsan the other…gack!

  17. Neti pots are SO gross!! But they completely work. I really want to try ear candling after seeing all the grossness that came out of my nose. Overshare?

  18. Mollie says:

    oh hay vampire life partner! 😉

    i think you’ve got a realistic training plan going, so that’s a good starting point. so you know how to learn swimming, it’s biking that might be a challenege. i’d suggest training wheels, but that might be a little too much… so i’d say have someone walk by you and hold the handle bars to help you balance and maybe let go for a couple seconds every once in awhile, and gradually build up so that you can balance on your own. i am down to help you learn biking, and swimming!

    and i think we talked about mileage for half marathon training during our abbreviated 7-miler, but i agree with you: if you can handle 10 miles, then i think you can tack on 3 more at race day and be just fine.

    get better soon running buddy!!!

  19. I am sorry about Odin. May he RIP.

    Do the Neti Pot. Sounds gross, but help me immensely during a horrid sinus infection (that took 2 rounds of antibiotics) to get rid of this past spring when we were running through all that rain.

    Funny that you mentioned a Tri, as I just set my sights on one next summer! LOL! I always said “never”…well, you know what they say, right? Susanne, one of my pace coaches, and I talked about it this past weekend and agreed to do one. I am not talking IM or even HIM, but probably Olympic distance. I would love to take some swim lessons! I took lessons as a kid and re-taught myself last summer when I was injured, but I could definitely use help. That only leaves the bike. I spin at the gym, but that is the extent of that. I could use my son’s bike, though it is a mountain bike and not a road bike. I can’t see sinking $$ into a bike for a sport I won’t stick with.

    MIT’s Tri training sounds interesting. Perhaps look into that? I know that the Westerville Community Center has adult swim lessons – not sure where you live, but something to consider.


  20. what do you mean he dried up!? wasn’t he in a bowl with water?!

    I have also been thinking of training for a tri someday – let me know which one you might do! Maybe I will train with you!

    Feel better soon!

    A recent plan I looked at only went up to 7 miles before the half – that doesn’t seem long enough to me, but I don’t know how you figure that out yet!

  21. I LOVE that you are thinking of a TRI. Just learn to swim and practice practice practice on your bike! YOU CAN DO THIS!
    And I think we should run a race together in the OH….I am not that far away~

  22. michelle says:

    Aw, so sorry you’re still sick! That tri sounds like the perfect race for you. You can learn to swim and riding a bike is easy, once you figure it out. I’d ask the husband to stay beside you as you practice -just keep going even after you tip. I admire you for setting these goals!

  23. If you put your mind to it, you can totally obtain all those goals. Good for you for setting goals you don’t even know how to do yet! My personal trainer doesn’t know how to ride a bike either. So you are not alone!
    Before my first half, I didn’t run more than 9 miles. But I recommend going at least 10. Those last 3 miles put a hurtin on me!

  24. JenWa098 says:

    Wow…were we seperated at birth? First, I am just using a neti pot for the first time. (As of yesterday). The mucous extravaganza is gross, but the relief afterward is worth it…

    Second, I can barely ride a bike! I have had veritgo in the past, and it severly limits my comfort level. (Yet I can ride horses at high speeds…go figure).

    Third, I never learned to swim. In fact, I sink. I will be watching your progress…you may be the wind beneath my wings…or the water beneath my flippers….

    Fourth, I am kinda dehydrated looking today…much like your poor fish. That is about the longest any of my bettas made it…most not even close, so I would say you were a good fish caretaker. Up until the shriveling up thing. But still!

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