Category Archives: Swimming

Everything Great

I desperately want to quit today so it’s probably a good time to list EVERYTHING I like about all three sports:

Swim:

* It’s only 1.2 of 70.3 miles.

* I love being in the water.  There’s something incredibly soothing and appealing about being immersed in water.

* It’s incredibly low impact and takes virtually no leg power.  Such a nice break for quads, hammies, and glutes.

* I feel kind of sexy in my wetsuit.  Like Catwoman (if cats liked water)!

HEY EVERYONE!  COME SEE HOW GOOD I LOOK!

HEY EVERYONE! COME SEE HOW GOOD I LOOK!

 

Bike:

* Cycling is kind of….easy.  I mean, I have definitely SUFFERED on hills and in spin classes but you can basically go for a really, really, really long time and not feel that bad.  At the end of this weekend’s 50 miles, my hip flexors were ready to be done but it was nothing compared to running for multiple hours.

* To that end, I woke the morning after 50 miles and wasn’t sore.  AMAZING.  #NoImpactNoProblems

* When you ride outside, you don’t overheat because it’s so nice and breezy!

* When you ride downhill, you don’t have to do anything!

* You can eat food and not get all barfy!

* You get to zip by all the suckers who are out on foot and forgot their moving machines!

I forgot "looks cool." Because it doesn't "look cool."

I forgot “looks cool.” Because it doesn’t “look cool.”

Run:

* It’s cheap.  Shoes.  Gu.  Done.

* You can walk.  Or sit down.  It’s a very easy sport to calibrate.

* Nothing feels as badass as sprinting.

* Finishing a hard run and being flooded with endorphins is super satisfying.

Yeah, that's awesome.

Yeah, that’s awesome.

And I guess there’s that whole “satisfaction of pushing out of your comfort zone and seeing a goal through to completion” thing…..

What’s your favorite of the big three?  Favorite aspect of each sport?

 

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And we’re off!

It begins!

Where ARE WE?

Where ARE WE?

After absolutely CRUSHING yesterday’s rest day, today brought the true beginning of Augusta training.  I had a 50 minute trainer ride that had to include 5 x 20 seconds in a big gear at a high cadence.  My plan for the ride was to execute those intervals and also keep my cadence above 90 and stay in the big ring if possible.  Mission totally accomplished!

Screen Shot 2014-05-13 at 8.14.08 PM

I began the ride with the pilot of Lost.  The first three seasons are amazing and engrossing (don’t get me started on the infuriating downward spiral of that show or I will LOSE IT) so I thought they would be a nice motivator during my trainer rides.  The ride began in my basement but as sweat poured down my everywhere, the patio beckoned.  Set my trainer up in the shade and enjoyed watching the 580 commute.  None of us went anywhere!

Oh, your car is not on a trainer?  Sorry...

Oh, your car is not on a trainer? Sorry…

When I moved outside, I switched to music and found myself cueing Dailey Method thigh work.  That sure helped the time pass!  I imagine I’m going to spend a lot of my Augusta training thinking through my new teaching.  Great way to get out of the “are we there yet?” mindset.  Because, no, we’re not there yet.

Due to a light work day and wanting to take Dailey tomorrow, I moved my swim to today.  I figure that it doesn’t really matter if I swim on a running day or a cycling day.  I intend to follow my schedule as planned, the only exception being moving swims and TDM sessions around.  I also won’t ever put off a training session.  I can only move them earlier, not push them off.  Rules is rules.

So, it’s like a million degrees this week and I’ve been looking forward to trying some of the outdoor pools in my area.  My house is right between the pool at Mills College and Lions Pool in Dimond Park.  Just being specific in case you live in the East Bay and are looking for a pool near my house!

I really enjoyed the Dimond pool.  There are two large lanes (slow and medium) and one narrower lane for faster swimmers.  Word on the deck is that if you even swim freestyle in the slow lane, some regular aqua joggers will get in your face and tell you to move up to the medium lane.  I actually heard it happen!  Thankfully they didn’t give me shit when I moved into the slow lane to do my kicking set.  Probably because I was going very, very, very slowly.  Or they could tell that I would splash them if they sassed me.

I cannot TELL you how heavenly this swim was.  Yes, the lane was busy and there were some people who didn’t totally get the circle swimming but generally folks were friendly.  I introduced myself and asked questions about how people were planning to swim and all was well.  I felt amazing.  Strong, steady, and so happy.  None of the nausea or yuckiness I had experienced at my gym pool.  Totally hooked.  And totally tan.  I seriously have a full swimsuit tan already.  How the hell am I supposed to get sunscreen on my mid-back, btw?

My happy place.

My happy place.

I didn’t quite finish my workout because the lap swim ended when I still had a few hundred more meters to do.  Who knew kicking was so hard and slow?!  The YouTube video I watched did not mention that.  I did 4 of the 8 x 25 prescribed and did not feel bad about moving on to my main set.  Since it was literally my first time with a kickboard, I’ll make up those extra yards later this week.

All in all, it was a phenomenal first day.  I ate enough to feel happy and energetic all day but didn’t go off the rails in “celebration.”  As in, I didn’t consume any of these things.  Just this wonderful thing:

Mmmmm compressed and sliced meats salad.

Mmmmm compressed and sliced meats salad! Love those crazy Greeks…

And now, we foam roll!

What are you favorite swimming drills?  Any kicking tips?

 

THAT TIME I SWAM A LOT FURTHER THAN I THOUGHT.

Last night looked like this:

Delightful.

Rainy AND muggy!  Delightful!

If I didn’t have a date with my lovely training partner, I can’t say I would have trekked to Pleasanton in the rain for another intimidatingly long swim.  But I did, so I did.

I arrived at drizzly, muggy Shadow Cliffs and suited up.  Had a couple of whiny “oh shit, this is gonna be haaaaaard again” moments as we made our way to the water.  This time I brought my Garmin so I would have some sense of what to expect this weekend.

The first lap was miserable.  I really wish I could get the hang of swimming more slowly.  I’m definitely not fast but I feel like I’m in zone 3 right off the bat.  I would love to cruise like I do at the beginning of a run and then pick up the pace once I’m warmed up.  I’ve gotten the hang of that in the pool but not in open water just yet.

Last week, I counted down the lengths from 8.  That is much easier for my spirit to handle when I’m struggling.  Around the halfway point, I found a rhythm and even felt strong for about a lap.  I lost that momentum at the turnaround but had some success when I breathed every other stroke and sighted every fourth.  Ideally, I would breathe every fourth stroke and sight every eighth but that requires my heart rate to be much lower than it was.

The last two laps were empowering.  Up until that point, two sides of my mind had been bickering nonstop.

You can’t do this.  This is really, really not good.  Should you drop out of this tri?!

YOU ARE DOING IT.  RIGHT NOW.  STOP SAYING THAT.  IT’S HARD BUT YOU ACTUALLY ARE DOING IT RIGHT AT THIS MOMENT.”

With 200 meters left, the voices calmed down and I just kept swimming, just kept swimming to the end.

Just before I finished, I heard a beep and felt a buzzing.  You all (who have a Garmin) know what that means…

Did I just swim a fucking mile?  Wait a minute.  What is going on?

Velia looked smooth and strong the entire time and we finished within seconds of each other.  As I caught my breath, I told her that my watch indicated that we had swum a mile.  I was wearing it on my wrist so I knew it could be off but I didn’t think it would be nearly half a mile long.

“You know…” she said pointing to the buoy at the midpoint “….I think that might be 100 meters.  These lengths feel way longer than 100.”

I agreed and the idea that we could have potentially been swimming longer than we thought was definitely appealing.  I decided to measure the distance from the end of the lap lane to the mid-point buoy with my Garmin in my swim cap (much more reliable).

I swam as straight as possible and it measured 274 feet.

We rinsed off and anxiously Googled the feet to meters conversion.  She’s an artist and I’m a singer.  What do you want from us? 

84 meters.

Upon discovering that we had been swimming SIGNIFICANTLY LONGER than we thought, we freaked out.  At that point, we thought it was double which blew our minds.  Let me tell you, I felt a lot better about those lung busting 800 meter swims when I found out they weren’t.  Many hugs and lots of glee.  It was an enormous confidence infusion for both of us.  We stood in the rain trying to wrap our brains around the race distances that now feel so possible.  Like, maybe this season possible.

When I got home, I did some fruitless googling and then found the measuring tool on Google maps.  150 meters per length.

That 800?  It was 1200.  In 28 minutes.  Okay!!

That 1000 meters I did last week?  1500.  Olympic Tri Distance!!!

And so now, I’m predictably going race insane.  I’ve already registered for some fun running events, after my majorly confidence boosting 8 mile run.  Starting to have some Oly thoughts…..Need to think but later today I’ll share more in my Truthy Tuesday post.

Can I give a big internet high five to my amazing training partner, Velia?  This girl is awesome.  Strong, ambitious, and enthusiastic.  After only a few workouts, I am beyond grateful to share this with her.

Let me tell ya, we’ve got some plans….

First Open Water Swim: IT WAS RAD!

Because who likes to be kept in suspense?

If you don’t want to read this epic post, go ahead and just look at me smiling and thumbs-upping post-swim.

That's a happy swimmer, right there!

Yep!  That’s a happy swimmer, right there!  See ya later!

Now I know who my real readers are.  You get candy.

After a fitful and crampy night of sleep, I woke up at 5:50am and hallelujah: there was a bit of daylight!  It’s so much easier to get up for an early workout when there’s light out!  Then it doesn’t feel like you should be going to the airport for an early flight. I packed up all my crap the night before so I could literally pull on my trisuit, brush my teeth (you’re welcome, fellow swimmers) and roll out.

Good morning, Bay Bridge!

As I crossed the  Bay Bridge from Oakland to SF, I was a bit stunned that I’d soon be IN THE WATER…

I didn’t realize that Aquatic Park was essentially in the tourist clusterf*ck of Pier 39/Ghiradelli Square.  Thankfully, it was so dang early that parking wasn’t an issue.   Swims later in the day could be a major challenge for this reason (especially during the summer) but there is In-N-Out a couple blocks away for some post-swimming Protein Style.  #WorthIt #SponsorMe

Good morning, very beautiful place!

Good morning, very beautiful place!

This clinic was put on by the newly-formed Oakland Tri Club.  About ten of us were in attendance, with the full spectrum of experience represented.  Myself and a couple others were swimming in wetsuits for the first time while several were experienced Bay swimmers and veterans of Alcatraz swims!  One even swam sans wetsuit!

My new hero for innumerable reasons.

My new hero for innumerable reasons.

Club Founder and President Chris Van Luen led the clinic.  We discussed major points of open water swimming:

* What happens to your body in a wetsuit, in cold water, when you exit the water after swimming, etc.

What to do if you have anxiety and what that can feel like.

Types of triathlon swim starts and where to position yourself in the start, depending on your experience level.

Sighting.

Chris took his time explaining everything we could expect.  Others shared their experiences and for someone who really likes to have ALL the information when attempting something new, it was very comforting.  Before I knew it, we were suiting up and the non-noobs were heading out for their workout.  My grocery bag feet worked like a charm and I got my suit on much more quickly than ever before.  Having my trisuit underneath helped it to slide right up over my butt and hips.  Even got the crotch up in the right place.  Not being able to get my wetsuit on in front of folks I don’t know was really my only fear for the day so with that conquered, I was ready to go!

Sidebar: Everyone else’s suits slid right up their legs.  When I got home, I noted that my suit was actually an XS, not an S, like I thought.  Based on the room in my torso, I think I’m between sizes and tightness in the legs is preferable to lots of cold water pooling around my skinnier parts.  

At Aquatic Park, there is a line of buoys.  From end to end round-trip, it’s about a third of a mile.  I can’t even tell you how relieved I was when Chris said that us noobies were going to start by simply swimming from the shore to one of the buoys and back to the shore.  About 100 meters total?  As we put on our caps and goggles (and I dropped mine in the sand for the first of two times – BALLS!), we walked ankle-deep into the water.  It was cold but not as shocking as I expected.  I walked a bit further and barely registered cold temperatures on my legs.  Wetsuit for the WIN.

I'm pink.

I’m pink.

We broke into small buddy groups and dove in.  My first thought was:

THIS IS TOTALLY AWESOME.  

It certainly wasn’t warm water but with the protection of the wetsuit, it wasn’t uncomfortable at all.  I did notice that my torso was colder than my legs, as to be expected with more water collecting in the upper half of the suit.  My face was quite cold (obviously) but my overall temperature wasn’t even distracting.

We swam around the buoy and back to shore.  The first words out of my mouth were “that was rad!”  Surprisingly, we got out of the water to warm up.  Exactly the opposite of the uncomfortable cold that you feel getting out of an outdoor pool.

Okay, so here’s the deal.  There are a few common things that seem to bother/hinder/panic people when swimming in open water.  Those things include (but are not limited to):

* Not being able to see in the water and by extension, creepy things being in the water like kelp, bugs, fish, and predators.

The water being really cold.

The wetsuit feeling constricting and chokey.

* Seasickness (hadn’t heard that one but it came up!)

* Difficulty sighting and getting off-course.

Contact with other swimmers.

None of these things bothered me!  The temperature was no biggie.  My wetsuit was comfortable (once I could get it on.)  During our second trip out and back, another swimmer literally swam over my body.  I was unfazed.  SO WEIRD.  Anyone who reads this blog knows that I have a metric ton of fears but oddly, the thing that uniformly inspires anxiety in triathlon doesn’t bug me in the least.

If this sounds braggy, can we just rewind to last week when the anticipation of a Sunday morning bike ride with good friends had me in tears?  No one here is claiming to have triathlon on lock-down.

I did, however, have one major difficulty:

I can’t swim very well.

I’m just not in shape yet.  Each time I looked up to sight, everyone was further and further away from me.  My breathing pattern was fairly consistent with my pool breathing, so that’s good.  My sighting seemed decent, if a bit more frequent than I’d eventually like.  The only time I had a sighting issue was after the other swimmer swam over me – probably because I was off-course!  Basically, I swam like myself, and myself is pretty slow.  I think that on each of our three out and back trips, I was the last one out of the water.  While I wasn’t compromised by some of the usual challenges, I also wasn’t focusing at all on efficient technique.  I’m sure I reverted back to rotating less and didn’t take full advantage of my suit’s buoyancy.  There is still much work to do!

Practicing a Grand Prix start.

Practicing a Grand Prix start.

All of that said, I consider today a huge success.  I’ll take a lack of fitness over crippling anxiety any day.  This experience made me so excited to get in the pool and improve!  If I’d had a panic attack, who knows if I’d even continue in triathlon?  Maybe I will be the last one out of the water next week (!) but after today’s clinic I know it will be a really fun and empowering experience.

Huge thanks to Chris for sharing his knowledge and getting some great photos of us in the water!

Ever swam in cold-ass water?  Tell us all about it!

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It’s All Happening!

Happy Friday!

Yesterday, I was chatting about my upcoming tri with whoever will not cover my mouth with their hand a friendly woman at See Jane Run.

Speaking of See Jane Run, there’s still time to register for their 5k or Half-Marathon in Alameda on Saturday, June 8th!  You can save 10% with the coupon code SJRSFAMB13.  Let me know if you’re going to be there!  I’d love to meet up! 

She asked when it was and I said “about two weeks.”  Except, it’s not.  It’s actually in about ONE week.

Shit is getting real.

I’ve read about a trillion articles about transitions, race plans, open water swimming, etc. but I’m re-reading them all now that we’re so close!  I may not be a talented swimmer, cyclist, or runner but I am a top-notch Googler.

TheMoreYouKnow

Tomorrow morning, I meet up with my Tri Club (oh yeah, I joined a Tri club.  Did I forget to mention that?) for my first open water swim.  A couple of hours have been dedicated to researching this particular topic.  Lots of posts about panic attacks.  I suppose it’s possible I could freak out but honestly, I’m only nervous about the temperature of the San Francisco Bay at 7am and about looking like a fool in front of all the experienced Oakland Tri folk.  My childhood summers were spent lazing in the Russian River, swimming in pools on vacation, and splashing around Lake Tahoe at choir camp.  It actually never occurred to me to be afraid of “open water” until I started reading all about how terrifying it supposedly is.  

With singer buddies in Barbados, April 2011.  This is not terrifying.  This is heaven.

With singer buddies in Barbados, April 2011. This is not terrifying. This is heaven.

The only other thing I’m nervous about is my ability to put on my dang wetsuit.  The first time posed a serious challenge.  The suit has been sitting in my closet, waiting for me to get up the nerve to try again.  

Armed with a stick of bodyglide and a stopwatch, I went for it, hoping to get it on in under 10 minutes.  That seems insane but you don’t know the leg meat I’m working with.  

I hate this infinity.

I hate this infinity.

I passed the 10 minute mark and I was still at the knees.  And beginning to sweat.  My new time goal was 15 minutes.  Yes, it’s entirely possible that it will take me longer to put on my wetsuit than to complete the swim.  Good thing the swim isn’t last!  I finally got it on but the crotch was still too low.  And it took entirely too long.  Peeled it off and began again.

PR!

PR.  BOOM.

The second time was a bit better but it still feels like it takes much, much longer than it should.  I watched a couple videos where skinny Minnies slid the legs right up.  Their legs are thin.  My legs are not.  Not helpful, YouTubes.  

Wetsuit is tiring.

Wetsuit is tiring.

I decided to try again today with a plastic grocery bag over my feet and HUZZAH!  (Almost) immediate success!  It slid up much more easily.  I didn’t time it but it felt quick enough that I won’t be completely embarrassed tomorrow morning.  Huge relief!

Open water swimming!  Bring. On. The. Tips.

 

CA Sprint Tri Training – Week Seven

I feel like I’m writing one of these recap posts every day!  Where are these weeks going?!  And also, I still have to look back at one of the other ones for formatting every single time.

Last week was really intense and busy work-wise.  I was pretty overwhelmed and crappy.  It ended up feeling like a very light workout week.  I missed one run due to rescheduling it and running (PUN) out of time later in the week and I missed a swim on Sunday after my swim bag was among the things stolen from my car.  Ugh.  I also missed one scheduled TDM class but made it there once.  Pretty good, considering the crunchy schedule and the need to prioritize cycling and swimming.

Monday 5/20 – Run

Steady, comfy run around the lake.  Every run, I feel stronger and stronger.  I’m not pushing my speed but at least I’m not paranoid about my foot!

Tuesday 5/21 – Cycle, TDM

18 miles in 50 minutes on the stationary bike at the gym.  A sweat-fest, as usual.  I really look forward to being able to ride for an hour at 20mph on my actual bike.  So, when does that happen?

No TDM.  Taught all the voice students ever.

Wednesday 5/22 – TDM

Made to class after a loooooong work day and a cool Whole Foods event that I will write about later today.  Summer makes it so much easier to get evening workouts done at the end of a long day.  I love having so many extra hours of light.  Took class with Kim.  It was great, as usual.  I was really sore the next day!  After taking TDM for so long, it surprises me when (and where) I find myself sore.

Thursday 5/23 – Run, Swim

No run.  Not sure why.  Scheduling?  That’s not good.

Swam 1000m in about 25 minutes.  All freestyle AND breathing less often.  It was a tough swim but I had a couple of lightbulb moments with regards to technique.  I think for the first time, I really felt myself kicking from my hips.  For the first time, I actually felt like my legs were propelling me forward and keeping me balanced in a higher position.  I had a few laps that were so effortless that I finally believed all the liars who tell me that swimming is zen.

Friday 5/24 – Run, Swim

Ah, now I know why I didn’t run on Thursday.  I knew I was going to run on Friday and Saturday (brick).  Still not sure why I chose to run back to back days instead of Thursday.  Anyhoo…

Ran about 4.25 miles in Alameda.  I forgot my Garmin so I ran free.  Free as the wind blows.  Free as the grass grows…

Didn’t Google those lyrics.  Feel free to correct in the comments!

This was technically my “long” run rescheduled so I aimed for a very easy, zone one-y pace.  I’m not exactly sure what my pace was but according to my car clock, it looked like I ran the 4+ in right around 40 min.  I’ve been diligent about stretching and foam rolling, especially my calves, to prevent a recurrence of tendonitis.

Swam 1000m in about 25 minutes again.  The workout was similar to the day.  I wasn’t sure how it would feel to swim on consecutive days but it was fine.  My shoulders were definitely tired afterward but I’d had the entire lane to myself and that was wonderful.  Seriously, the people who use the pool at my gym are disgusting and have whatever the exact fucking opposite of etiquette is.  Gahhhhhh!

Saturday 5/25 – Brick on Mermaid Course

Woke up early Saturday morning to do my brick workout on the course of the Mermaid tri.  It’s held on Bay Farm Island in Alameda where I do most of my riding but I wanted to ride the specific loop because I’m a type-A research freak, okay.  What do you want from me?

The ride was CHILLY but good!  I made the first loop and discovered that it was about 2 miles shorter than it was supposed to be.  Weird!  On the second loop I realized that I had made my turnaround on the wrong street, a mile early.  Second loop I did the full course.  There we go.

The course is flat and fast.  My race strategy is to start fairly easy, pick it up after the turnaround, keep pushing through the first half of the second loop and cruise back to get my heart rate down before the run.

I think I might have bonked on the run?  I was struuuuuuugggling.  My HR wasn’t very high and my legs weren’t particularly leaden but it felt brutal.  I also accidentally left my glasses on (annoying) and my jacket on (hot).  It was not my favorite run of my life but I made it through.

Brick Selfie!

Brick Selfie!  This will be the transition area in two weeks!

Sunday 5/26 – Cycling

Group ride!  Hills!  Thievery!  Read all about it here.

Oh and we watched all 15 new episodes of Arrested Development.  That’s how we do.

Ninja, please.

 

CA Sprint Tri Training – Week Five

Late again.  I know.  I bet smart bloggers who write weekly workout posts actually work on them every couple days and just keep a draft going.  Maybe they don’t and I should do that and be the most organized blogger of them all!

Monday 5/7 – Rest.  Successful.

Tuesday 5/8 – Run, Swim, TDM

Very short run because I’d had a bit of discomfort in my tendon a couple days before.  My foot is pretty reliable but it’s directly connected to tightness in my calf.  If I stretch and roll my right calf adequately, my foot seems to be fine.

700 meters in the pool.  After making the decision to race the Mermaid Tri in less than a month, I’m upping the distance in the pool.  I was never truly comfortable with the incredibly short workouts on my training plan.  I’ve switched over to the Ruth Kazez 0-1650 swimming plan.  I did it at the end of last year and gained comfort and fitness in the pool pretty quickly.  Maybe should have built on that instead of losing it all and starting from scratch.  I’ll file that away as yet another triathlon lesson learned.  In any case, swimming sucks and is also going better.

TDM with Kim.  She kicked my ass.  Love that girl.

Wednesday 5/9 – BRICK

Exact same brick as last week (30 min ride, 20 min run) on the same route.  My pace was almost identical.  It felt about a thousand times easier because it wasn’t 90 degrees and I drank water before the run.  Look at me, learning!  Also wore my tri suit for the first time.  It was comfy.

Nothing sexier than an unzipped onesie and a salty face.

Nothing sexier than an unzipped pink onesie and a matching salty pink  face.

Thursday 5/10 – TDM Intervals, Cycle

TDM has a brand new class!  It’s a 45 minute cardio intervals class.  I want to attend it a couple more times before I write a full review.  It was hard but super fun.  If I wasn’t doing so many hours a week of cardio, I would take it regularly.  Also, I was really sore the next day in strange places.  It was a winner.

TOUGH 45 minute cycling workout at the gym.

Friday 5/11 – Rest

So. F*cking. Sore.

Saturday 5/12 – Run, Swim

BROKE THE THREE MILE WALL!  I woke up on Friday morning and thought “I want to run four miles today!”  My foot felt good, I took it pretty slowly and it was awesome.  With marathon training on the horizon, I really want to put this injury behind me.  It was a huge confidence boost to comfortably run four miles.  I could have done more without a problem.  WOOOOOOT!

Also, there were ducklings!

Hella cute!

Hella cute!

Another half mile in the pool.  Still working on fundamental aspects of my form: rotation, keeping hips high, and not pulling my head up when I breathe.  I’m breathing much less frequently.  Huge improvement.  Great success.

Sunday 5/12 – Cycle

Another huge breakthrough: I rode my bike in Oakland for the first time.  Between the drivers, the hills, and the potential for sketchy encounters, I’ve avoided riding in my hometown.  Near to my house, there’s a long street with a bike line.  I got up at around 6 to avoid cars and sketchmos.  I had a bit of anxiety but I decided in advance that I wouldn’t worry at all about pace and if I was struggling on a hill or felt freaked out, I would just walk my bike.  It went well!  I had to shift a lot, which is good.  I still shift the wrong way a lot (I’m not kidding) and shifting to the small ring makes me nervous that I’ll spin out.  I nearly did once but I just let the pedals spin until I could regain my balance and put my feet back on the pedals.  Great success, again!

Another fantastic week of training!

How was your week, friends?

CA Sprint Tri Training – Weeks 3 and 4

My punishment for not blogging is that I have to try to pretend I remember how these workouts went.  Lesson learned.

Here’s my training for the last two weeks with the few details I can remember.

[You can mail my BLOGGER OF THE CENTURY award directly to the Barney’s on College Ave.]

Monday 4/22 – Run, Swim

Completed!  No idea how it went.  These workouts were the first day of ‘Battle Hymns’ tech week which feels about a million years ago.

Tuesday 4/23 – Cycle

Skillz practice in a parking lot.  I’m practicing grabbing my water bottle, which I can now do.  What I realized is that I have no idea what I would do once I got the the bottle into my hand.  I’ll figure that out later.  When I got home, I decided to try some hill repeats and practice shifting gears.  I chose the hill nearest to my house and was demoralized to discover that I couldn’t even make it halfway up.  Once.  Uhhhh….

Nice try.

Nice try.

Wednesday 4/24 – Run, Swim

3 easy miles and a short swim.  Uneventful workouts except that when I went into the locker room to change from running clothes to swimsuit, I looked down to notice that I had banged into the corner of a bench.  I barely felt it.  Which is weird because it turned into this:

Hrm.  OWW.

Hrm. OWW.

Okay, bruise.  No biggie, right?  Except when I woke up on Wednesday morning, I literally couldn’t bend my leg from an extended position.  It was so stiff and so painful!  I had no problem walking but I couldn’t put any weight on my leg if it was bent.  NOOOOOOO.

I was incredibly stressed and anxious about my upcoming concerts and this injury gave me an opportunity to focus solely on my performance.  No workouts happened for the rest of the week.  Lots of icing and cursing.  I wasn’t happy about that but it was necessary as the show was physically demanding and my knee got worse before it got better.

Monday 4/29 – Swim, Cycle

Easy indoor ride to test my knee and a longer swim.  I’ve decided that the swim distances of my training plan aren’t long enough for me to feel confident doing a half mile swim on 6/29.  I’m going rogue and extending them.  On this particular day, I did 11 x 50 and felt good.  The ride was 40 minutes and while my knee felt weird, it wasn’t any weirder during or after the workout than before.  All systems (gently) go!

Tuesday 4/30 – TDM

I love Dailey Method.  Kimberly is the bomb.  She accommodated my knee weirdness but TDM is so anatomically thoughtful that none of the exercises bothered it in the slightest.  It’s awesome.

Wednesday 5/1 – BRICK

My first legit brick!  Finally got to feel like a badass and use the multisport mode of my Garmin.  What what?

So keeeewl!

So keeeewl!

 

This workout was haaaaaard.  So….I’ve ridden the stationary bike and run right after a few times.  You know, on TriFri!  I really didn’t see what the big deal was and figured I was just the beginning of a new species of athlete biologically designed for brick workouts.  Like a SuperLady!

NOT SO MUCH.  THIS WORKOUT WAS VERY HARD.

The ride was easy.  A comfortable loop of Bay Farm.  I made an effort not to ride too hard and save my legs for the run, especially since I hadn’t run in about a week.  I set up my little transition area (nerd alert!) in the car so as soon as I was done, I tossed the bike in the car, switched my helmet for a visor and took off.  Without drinking water.  At any point.  Also, it was 90 degrees which is obviously irrelevant.

I only had to run for 20 minutes but it was brutal.  I was running faster than I should have, completely dehydrated.  But I did it and didn’t walk!  Many lessons learned for today’s redemption brick!

Thursday 5/2 – Rest.

Believe it.

Also, #tbt

BabyShauna

BabyShauna

 

Friday 5/3 – Run, TDM

Three easy miles and a not at all easy Dailey Method class with Susannah.  She asked me to DEMO which totally made my LIFE.  EGOSPLOSION!  I worked harder than I’d planned since I felt like people were watching me and expecting me to be strong!

Saturday 5/4 – Cycle

55 minute ride in Alameda.  On streets.  With cars.  It was AMAZING and a huge breakthrough.  This deserves its own post, if I can get my shit together to write one before it is eclipsed by newer amazing accomplishments.  Being a beginner is awesome.

Sunday 5/5 – Swim

Another easy, shortish swim 9 x 50.  Easy on paper, not easy in real life.  I’m such a shitty swimmer.  I know my body position is incredibly inefficient.  I’m doing my best but it’s really time for someone to fix me.  Gotta get on that.

PHEW CAUGHT UP.

There are some other major things that happened to this little introvert this week.  More info forthcoming but I’ll tease ya with THIS:

Oh Shiiiiiiiiiiiii....

Oh Shiiiiiiiiiiiii….

 

 

 

Crappy but Even Swimmier!

I feel crappy today.

At least I look exquisite!

At least I look exquisite!

In more positive news, I rocked the sh*t out of my workout yesterday!  It was my second crack at that crazy 1500 swim workout and I was scared.  My energy was low when I arrived at the gym and I gave myself full permission to suck.

I did not suck!  In fact, I kicked ass in 42:40!  I know I shouldn’t be concerned about time in these early stages but whatever.  It’s still exciting.  I’m fairly certain the reason I was faster was because I managed to swim freestyle almost the entire workout!  We’re talking like 100 meters breaststroke total!  WOOOO!  The swimming is clicking and I’m loving it!

After the swim, I got on the treadmill for an easy 3 mile run.  My heart rate was so low, I thought my addled post-swim brain was misreading the pace.  Wow.  I finished with a 9:38 pace which I would be very pleased with in a triathlon.

Carbohydrates for the win.  Ugh.  Winning for workouts.  Not winning for wedding dress.  I HATE having to choose between bloaty carb belly (with excellent workouts) and svelte (but exhausted).  Though, I suppose I win either way.  😀

Happy Thursday!

Sexy and Swimmy!

First of all, I feel *sexy* today!

Yes.  Those are teal, snakeskin-print  skinny jeans.  Yes.

Yes. Those are teal, snakeskin-print skinny jeans. Yes.

Some days you just feel hottie!  Feels good to say it and not feel like there’s anything wrong with that.  😀

Moving on…

Yesterday, I swam 1500 meters!  Or yards.  (I’ve gotten conflicting information about the length of my gym pool.)  Either way, I swam for exactly 45:00 and DID NOT DIE!  I’m on week 4 of Ruth Kazez’s 0-1650 plan and, honestly, yesterday’s workout was pretty intimidating on paper:

600  (rest for 10 breaths after)

300  (rest for 8 breaths)

4 x 100 (rest for 6 breaths in between)

4 x 50 (rest for 4 breaths)

I swam about 75-80% of the workout freestyle, consistent with my swimming over the last 6 weeks.  During the 600, I allowed myself to switch to breaststroke whenever I felt the need.  I hoped to swim the 100’s and 50’s all free but didn’t quite get there.   I’m fairly certain that the key to these workouts is the minimal rest time.  She recognizes that you might still be out of breath when you begin to swim again and that will force your lungs to adapt.  I can’t believe the difference between now and the lung-busting 400 meter workout I did the first time I got in the pool.  If my wallet allows, I think I’m going to celebrate reaching 1650 by taking a couple swim lessons to improve my technique!

I hope Spongebob is my swimming teacher.

I hope Spongebob is my swimming teacher.

[Source]

With a motherf*cking TRIATHLON officially on my race calendar, I’m feeling great about the swim.  My self-imposed standard for competing in a tri is that I would be able to swim the full distance freestyle.  With 6 months, there’s no doubt I’ll be able to do that and (hopefully) won’t be last out of the water.  PHEW!

Hey swimmers!  Bring on the tips!