Fitness Update

Swimming. I’m not a joiner so I surprised myself when I signed up for the January/early February Masters swim team session. Paying extra to swim with other people? New year/decade kind of thing I guess.

I’ve been getting in about 3-3.5k three times a week. 10k, a regular day in the life of a “swimmer”, a solid week for me. Got some grief for not signing all the way on and buying a team suit before the big meet on February 6th, but I was proud of my excuse, “I’m a triathlete disguised as a swimmer.” Same reason I kick with fins!

That’s a versatile one that I’m ready to use with the cycling team.

Speaking of suits (product pimping alert), the other day I was marveling at how long I’ve been wearing my polyester Speedo Endurance jammers. If I had known about these a decade ago, I wouldn’t be driving a Honda Civic.

Flashblack to the first practice of the New Year. I’m hanging on the wall during a rest interval when all of a sudden, the magic jammers up and quit. A fissure of biblical proportions, just tush and water.

When I got home, my best friend who has a lot of friends on the team demanded I tell her exactly what I did next. So of course I had to embellish it. Truth be told, I timed my locker room dash perfectly and kept my privates out of public view. I had a backup suit and was back in the water with only the coach knowing how close a call everyone had.

It’s important to make a good first impression.

Cycling. See my Christmas present to myself below. Now when the rain or snow is blowing sideways I kick on ESPN and laugh at Mother Nature. Oh, the seven? That’s my Lance Pharmstrong impersonation for Lance. Notice the blurred feet, serious power.

Today’s numbers, off a run, 849calories, 219 watts avg., 28.8k in 1:05. 30m warm up followed by 4 on, 3 off. One benefit of the new bike, I can now be a watts geek.

L, G, and I entered a lottery for an epic ride/race that’s not in Washington State. We entered in that order. I may not know until mid-August if signing up was the result of positive or negative peer pressure.

Running. Taught all day Saturday most of the month so my posse is in more disarray than the Democrats. Missed the Saturday 10-milers. Solid week-day routine though, about 25m/week.

The Week That Was—8/31-9/6


M—8/31 T W R F SA SU Total
S 4,000

2k-30:55

200×8 p/b

2:55493:10

2,000 Ward Lake

wetsuit

6+, 9:35, 9:25, 6+

6,000 √
C 56 2k’ 20.2

peak

40 solo 1,200’ 18.3 20 indoors

1:08

:30racepace

116 √+
R 7.3 6.7 9.7 24 √

S: p/b=paddles/buoy and 2:55493:10 means I did my eight 200’s on 3:10 starting with 2:55’s and descending to 2:49’s. That’s short course yards for those scoring at home, but I record total distances in meters. Put differently, I swam 4,400 yards on Monday. Quirky I know, but my log, my rules. Lake distances are about 400m and 600m. Someday I’ll have to tuck the garmin into the swim cap to get more precise distances. Water has definitely cooled off over the last three weeks. I should have swam more in the lake this summer to work on sighting. I get lazy, don’t look up often enough, and inevitably drift to the right of my target. Probably need to have my limbs rotated and balanced. Note to self, the shortest distance between two points. . . .

C: Tuesday’s team training ride was my best of the season. Nice to be peaking right before the Cutter Battle Royale. Six days on, four off is a great formula. I felt strong all night and rode aggressively. Might have been the black jersey. Reeled in a solo break, stayed up front, and punched Lance HARD at one point. When I passed him like he was standing still, he said he turned to the other guy he was on a break with and said, “Oh that’s just an old guy showing off, don’t worry about him, he’ll come back to us.” As they say in football, more bulletin board material! Way fun. Even attacked a commuter with panniers over the final miles. In my defense, he passed me hard after I gently slid past him and said hello. I proceeded to ruin his night and his self image. I didn’t expect to see Lance cleaning his gutters as I rode past his house in the middle of Thursday nights ride. Cocky mother thinking he doesn’t have to train to beat the old man.

R: Should have ran F, but spent the morning planning for a 9a meeting. Meeting went much better than it otherwise would have so I guess I should give myself a break. Also should have ran off the bike once or twice. I did mow after Thursday’s ride. If I jog with the mower, can I can convert the time spent into running mileage?

Fitness Friday-5/29

New wrinkle to my basic week of running, swimming, and cycling. Shari and I do 4,000 yards on Tuesday mornings at 5:45a. Shari has all the attributes of a great training partner–dependable, friendly, fast. She kicks my butt during IM sets, she kicks my butt when pulling long sets, and I regain a little dignity by nudging her out on 50 yard sprint sets. There’s one downside, Shari can be stubborn when it comes to leading out the lane. Tuesday morning, after Shari, another friend named Hobb and I completed our 1k warmup, I suggested we do 400 free followed by 4x100IM, three times. After negotiating the intervals, I said, “You lead out.” To which she replied, “No way, I’m not leading out.” So I did what you would have done in my position, I yelled at her. “Come on! I don’t want you swimming up on me, don’t be a baby, lead out!” Didn’t work because she dug her heels in and so I went to Plan B, the stare down. That lasted all of three seconds because the large, red, relentless second hand on the clock was nearning the tippy top. She won and I think I caught her doing breakstroke briefly once as she swam up on Hobb who was drafting off of me.

In other fitness news, I had a great Olympia half marathon two weekends ago. Perfect conditions, it was fun to run with two friends, and I went a few minutes faster than I thought possible. Shelly took us through the first mile in 6:55 or a good 30-40 seconds faster than I had planned. At mile 2, I politely suggested she take off and she slowly opened a gap. It took DoubleS and me a good 4 miles to recover and settle into a sustainable groove. Meanwhile, we watched Shelly get smaller in the distance. At mile 8.5 DoubleS dropped back a tiny bit and I decided to turn it up, so we parted ways. The local fishwrap had a picture of him crossing the line “In the marathon, with a time of 1:34:24” so we’ve been teasing him about his world record performance. Surprisingly, going up the hilliest stretch, I started to close the gap with Shelly. My mantra, “The hills are our friends,” was paying off. At about 11.75 miles we turned onto the main downhill drag into town and the finish line. I was 20 seconds back and told Shelly’s husband, “I’ll never catch her.” (Note: Shelly’s husband is 6’6″ and was a Pac-10 high jump champion in the early 90’s. If he finds out I was locked on his wife’s turquoise blue shorts for well over an hour this may be my last post.) Surprisingly, I caught her fairly quickly and then it was ON. Shelly is way more talented than me, but less experienced, and my pacing savvy was the difference. We pushed hard over the last mile. In the end, I beat her by 2 seconds, thus proving, once and for all, boys rule and girls drool. 

I know what you’re thinking. “Ron, you really do need some help from eastern philosophy.” But the more I think about it, the more okay I am with my momentary lapses into competitive madness. I race a few times a year. Almost every other run is done at a moderate pace with friends. We (usually) wait for one another if someone is struggling. It’s fun to compete on rare occasion, because of the contrast. Besides, it takes me back to my youth when racing—whether on foot or bicycle or by popsicle stick in the creek or hotwheels on tricked-out tracks—was a way of life.

Friday’s Fitness Footnote 09.2

Turns out I jinxed myself with my “injury free” reference in my 2008 fitness wrap up. PC and I weren’t even out of the hood last week when I pulled up with an invisible knife in my right calf. I’m guessing soleus micro tear. Didn’t run for five todays until W morn when I didn’t even make it 50 yards. That was depressing. I didn’t think cycling was having any effect because I couldn’t feel anything while riding, but even though I haven’t been going hard, it must have been making matters worse. I’ve been stretching the heck out of it all to no avail. 

In the meantime I’ve been enjoying cycling and swimming. I got invited to swim with the Masters regulars M morn and enjoyed being the slowest person in my lane. Brian and Geraldine swam in college, I on the other hand, played pick up basketball. One day in 1983, the college player of the year walked into the gym. He was in town to receive the Wooden award as the best player in college. MJ up close. Despite my obvious availability, I wasn’t invited into his game. No surprise I guess that he didn’t want any piece of me.

Tangent. In my fifth year, while working on my MA, I got a job tutoring athletes. After my first session, bossman asked if Reggie Miller showed. I said no so he told me to call him up in the dorms and ask him where he was. “Reggie, this is Ron. . .” “Oh man,” he interrupted, “I thought you were a woman!” I told him there wasn’t much I could do about that and he never showed. Not sure if he passed Western Civ, but he’s done okay for himself.

Normally I’m running during Masters swimming which is too bad because I enjoy it. I swim a bit harder and the time flies. I talked to a friend in the locker room who said they did 30 100’s (short course yards) in Masters the day before in honor of a 30 year old teammate. They did them on 1:45, every third IM. I decided to try a revised version, 18 on 1:40, and really liked it. I do the free in 1:21-1:23 which provides a lot of rest, but I do the IM in 1:32-1:36 which obviously doesn’t allow for hardly any recovery.

Cycling has been a mix of spinning indoors and chilly outdoor riding. Travis and I got in a very nice 33 miler last Sunday with temps in the high 30’s. I recently read a blog written by a Hawaiian triathlete and she bagged a ride because it was 64 out. 

Ready for the product recommendation? I can’t wait for the CEO to write and offer free product!

The endurance crowd must be particularly gullible because there are about as many recovery drinks on the market as there are endurance athletes. 

Call me old school, but this recovery drink will change your life. Drive straight to Costco and buy one, two, or twelve half gallons. Don’t forget to dilute it with equal parts skim milk otherwise, no matter how hard you work out, you’ll end up looking more like Oprah than you probably want.

Sorry O, that was uncalled for.