Wednesday, February 27, 2008

3 Per Lane = SUCK

-ing air, that is. In addition to being a sucky experience.

Both Monday and Tuesday, the pool was relatively uncrowded. To the extent that I had my own lane for part of Monday and all of Tuesday. I actually wondered this morning as I was driving in if the dearth in the early part of the week would make for a crowded Wednesday, but I had no idea how bad it would be! No.Idea.

When I arrived at the pool after biking 6 miles on the stationary, there was a class going on in the "slow" lane, meaning that lap swimmers couldn't use it. The middle two "fast" lanes had two people and three people, and the "intermediate" lane had two swimmers. Now, I know when you go over two, you have to circle. And I know then you're limited by your slowest swimmer. And I knew because of that that there was no way in hell I was approaching a "fast" lane. I'm slow, people, especially compared to these people.

So I go up to the intermediate lane where my buddy and a fast lady were swimming. She asked if I wanted to swim. I said yeah. She said that she thought the class would be over soon. Not so much: 20 more minutes. She asked if I wanted to circle in their lane. I said yes. She told me my buddy was slow. I shrugged. (What did she think, that I'd go away or wait forever until someone left?? Hells no!) So I got in and started swimming. In circles. With a really fast lady, and my "slow" buddy who is really only milliseconds slower than I. Looking back on it, she is really the one who should have moved up a lane. But she was nice enough. She recommended that I get a swim cap to save my hair. I agree. She told me silicone, not latex. I'll remember that.

But swimming with 3 is no fun!! It was probably the farthest I've ever gone without a rest, maybe 500 yards, which is good. But the reason, feeling like I was being chased and judged, wasn't so good. And the effects, me sucking air, also not so good. At one point the fast lanes were actually up to 4 people each when the class finally let out. Then a few minutes later, a spot opened up and the lady moved up a lane. And then I could relax.

But diiiiiiizang, people, quit skipping the gym on Monday and Tuesday only to (literally) flood it on Wednesday. Then no one has any fun.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Is It Only Tuesday??

Ran 4 miles yesterday morning and swam 1500 yards.

Biked 5.5+ miles this morning and swam 1500 yards. Planning on core-ing tonight.

Can I have a nap, please??

Monday, February 25, 2008

Park to Park 5 Mile Race Report, or, a Return to Blogging

As you can see, my new job has left me not without words to blog, but without time to blog them! Fortunately, I believe that the period of the "mad rush" where I'm totally incapable of finding any spare time at all may be at an end. At least on some days. So, without further adieu, here is my race report (as I have been training, though not blogging!).

My wildest hope was to break 45 minutes on this run. My reasonable goal was simply to PR the distance, which I was confident I could do. (Previous PR was 51:26 in November at the Run Thru the Woods.)

The weather was what I'm coming to think of as perfect. Freaking cold while I'm standing around waiting for the start, but lovely for the run once I'm warmed up. Just over 50 degrees, overcast. I wore shorts, two l/s tech shirts, and my skullcap. I came to regret both the skullcap and the 2nd tech shirt, but hopefully will learn from my mistake in time for this coming weekend's Rodeo Run 10K.

The race started at Minute Maid Park downtown, which is fast becoming my favorite venue for race starts. I mean, who can argue with shelter from the wind and flushing toilets? Certainly not me!!

I seeded myself near the back, as usual, hoping to pick off rather than be picked off. I think I actually went a little too far towards the rear, as I found myself really weaving in that first mile. Looked down and saw a 9:30ish pace, and was feeling great, so I picked it up really early and started passing people.

For some reason my Garmin hasn't reset itself on the charger the previous night and I didn't notice until the first mile marker, when the person called out "7:30" as I ran by. WTF?? Looked down at the Garmin and saw an 8-something pace, but a lot of miles and a lot of time. Oh well, I'd just use it for pacing and hope some of the data was salvagable... figured at that point that the race's mile marker was off. Turned out that all of them were off, except perhaps the 4th, so I really relied on glancing down at the Garmin for my pacing. I set an on-the-run goal of any pace sub-9 because I was feeling so great, but in my head I was really pushing for closer to 8:30's.

Mile 1: 9:03
Mile 2: 8:47
Mile 3: 8:48
Mile 4: 8:31
Mile 5: 8:45

I felt like going out that strong came back to bite me a little in that last mile, but it was totally worth it. I ran a 44:14, 8:51 pace, and I am thrilled!! Absolutely thrilled! Already trying to figure out if I can hold that pace or close to it for the Rodeo Run 10K next weekend...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Week's Worth of Running Stats

3 runs this week.

Mile 1: 10:10
Mile 2: 9:51
Mile 3: 9:54
.53: 4:54

Mile 1: 9:59
Mile 2: 9:40
Mile 3: 9:09
.63: 5:51

Mile 1: 9:34
Mile 2: 9:32
Mile 3: 9:41
Mile 4: 9:45
Mile 5: 10:06
Mile 6: 10:13
Mile 7: 10:08
.3: 3:00

Thursday, February 7, 2008

First Week Swimming

New job has started (as evidenced by the slowdown in posts), which means membership at the Y has started, which means I have access to a pool in the mornings now. I am choosing to make use of it.

Monday: got downtown, spent half an hour getting a locker rented (they really could develop a better process for this!), then went for my first swim. I picked the only lane with just one guy in it. His name is Jack, and he was waaaaaaay nice to me. Thank goodness.

500+ yards (I lost count) in 30 minutes.

Tuesday: decided to swim for half an hour, then bike for whatever time I had left. Remembered my locker combo (yay me!). There was an open lane in the pool when I got down there, so I went to it and got in. Then a weird thing happened. This lady walked up and said hi to the guy one lane over. He said something about not being able to save her lane. There were 2 in his lane so I asked her if she wanted to split. She said yes, I started swimming, but she never got in. I swam my half hour and got out. As I was toweling off before going into the locker room everyone in the pool stopped swimming and offered that lady my lane, which she got in. WTF?? She could have had it by herself in the beginning if someone else wanted me in their lane. I don't give a crap which lane I'm in - I just want to avoid the cowing feeling of akwardness that plagues me whenever I have to ask someone to get into their lane. Anyways, this really pissed me off and made me feel like an outsider who is an ass for breaking unwritten social rules. Even though there was no other way I'd have acted in retrospect - they just didn't give me enough information.

Anyways - 1000 yards in 30 minutes.

Wednesday: hopped into a lane with a really good swimmer, unfortunately. Even though we were splitting, so I didn't have to worry about slowing him down, I worried anyways. I finally figured it out that if I started swimming off the wall right after he did, then he'd be only about 40 feet behind me when I got back to that wall - basically he was swimming 4 lengths of the pool to my 2. I would wait for him to hit the wall, then follow him out again. This wasn't ideal, but it was the most comfortable I got.

1100 yards in 30 minutes.

Thursday: my last day swimming for the week since I won't work Fridays in this job either. I wanted to go "long". Again, glory of glories, there was an open lane. My buddy Jack from Monday warned me that the lane on the end was tough because the water feeds in there, creating a current. He offered me to split his lane, but I told him I actually wanted to try staying in the hard lane for a good workout. Around the middle I got to talking to him and asked him about the paddles he was using, so he let me try them - said they're a better upper body workout. I felt it, but not too badly - does this mean I'm doing something wrong with my regular stroke? Only swam 100 yards in them, because I felt akward with them more than anything. The current was tough, especially for the last 500 yards or so. (Of course, I'm rocketing through the water like a real swimmer on the laps with it!!)

1600 yards in 45 minutes.

I'm exhausted. I ran before the swimming on Monday and Wednesday, 4 miles each day. Stationary biked on Tuesday before the swim. Core every evening. Going to bike again tonight, then maybe Tae Bo for fun tomorrow, long run on Saturday and then well-deserved off day on Sunday - I can't wait!!!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Numbers and Pictures

Here are the numbers from that tempo run on Thursday:

Mile 1: 10:07
Mile 2: 8:46
Mile 3: 9:40

And here are the numbers from my 7 mile run yesterday. That's right, 7 miles!

Mile 1: 9:26
Mile 2: 9:38
Mile 3: 9:46
Mile 4: 9:42
Mile 5: 9:54
Mile 6: 10:01
Mile 7: 10:09

I really started dying a bit towards the end there, but am pleased that I went the distance. The weather was warm: 64 degrees when I left, and over 70 degrees when I got back. I think that led to the fast first mile, which felt so incredibly easy at that pace that I actually thought I was going 10+, but also contributed to the slow-down throughout the run.

Also, I wore my HRM, which I don't always do, and I stayed steady in the 170's for the first half of the run, but then my HR crept up into the high 170's and low 180's for the last half, reflecting my slowdown. I'd like to work on lowering my HR... this was bout 80-90 percent of max for me.

And finally, here are a few pics Preston took last weekend at the Mardi Gras 10K in Galveston.

Freezing while waiting for the start on the Seawall. Note my awesome skullcap with ponytail-hole.
Finishing. With both feet off the ground!

With my well-deserved bagel in front of the ocean.