Thursday, January 21, 2010

Swimming Sagas

I've been staying out of the pool a bit lately due to the resolutioners and now to the recovering marathoners. Hoping that next week'll be the last one I have to spend away.

It seems that, though, the last several times I've swum, I've ended up with interesting lane partners.

There's the Bulldozer. He actually scares me. He takes up a good part of the lane and he's fast. I ended up getting a crick in my neck the days I swam with him from watching out for him, and bruises on my hands from hugging the lane line so close. He's a regular, but I avoid his lane now.

Then there's the Freight Train. Dude swims with a Longhorn 70.3 bottle. Props. I'm not scared of him like the Bulldozer, but dude kicks up some serious chop. Swimming with him is like swimming in open-water on a windy day. Heavy chop. I actually rather enjoyed it, considering it good practice.

Then there's Dude-who-complimented-my-stroke. Haven't actually shared a lane with him, but he looks to be a pretty easy swimmer too, and I'd probably enjoy it. I sure as hell enjoyed the compliment.

And there's Old Skinny Speedo Man. Slow, safe, kind. Also a regular. I time my 100 sets on his swimming.

And finally, this morning's glory: Scissorkick Lady. Looks like she packs a serious punch every time she breathes. Not my favorite lane partner.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mobile blogging?

Here's my first grand try at mobile blogging. DLed BlogPress Lite for my iSquishy today.

I'm getting sleepy, so will male this short. I had a vivid dream the other night. I don't actually remember much, but what I do remember is that I was having a massage and the masseur was able to make me involuntarily hum specific notes controlled by which vertebrae of my spine was pressed. Very cool dream.

In other news, I DDRed yesterday for the first time in forever. Love DDR!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, January 15, 2010

On Katie Holmes

I have this "friend" who is running her first marathon this year. (I don't think she is really my friend. She is my facebook friend. I had hoped we could be real friends, but it doesn't seem like it is going to go that way. And that has to be ok.)

I've always been a little jealous of her. She is absolutely beautiful. Smart. Her first Half was the same as mine. She beat me by 17 minutes. Her first 10 mile race was my 10 mile PR race. She beat me by 4 minutes. She ran in the 10K where I got my newest PR. She beat me by almost 3 minutes. When I'm around her I always seem to need to be reminding myself that I have a
wonderful husband, a better job, and a faster 5K PR!! But I genuinely like her as a human being.

So, she is running her first marathon at the Rock n Roll Mardi Gras on February 28th where I'm running the Half. She called me the other day for a work thing, and while I tried to deal with it I asked her how her training was going. Not well, she says, she is injured: shin splints and a tight calf. Her longest run so far has been 18 and that was a few weeks ago.

I gave her my honest opinion, and one rooted in experience. She can totally still run the marathon. She needs to lay off for a week to 10 days and let her shins/calf heal. YOU DON'T LOSE MUCH FITNESS AT ALL IN THAT TIME FRAME. Then do a 15 mile long run, and the next week a 20ish mile long run, then taper. I told her her mid-week runs need to be super short or non-existent after her time off.

She isn't going to listen to me. I know this. She runs with a running group of fasties. They don't run marathons to finish. They run them to race.

I told her that she needed to re-evaluate her priorities. She has 3 options: 1. run the marathon to race, following her club's plan, and HTFU regarding her injuries for the next 6 weeks. 2. run the marathon to finish, in which case, my advice is sound. 3. Drop to the half and make a go at a full some other time.

She said, "But I've got to beat Katie Holmes!"

I said, "I didn't."

Nor did I beat Oprah.

Or P. Diddy.
Or Shrub 43.
But I AM a marathoner.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Texas Marathon Half - Race Report

Let's be honest: I had started to regret signing up for this race a little bit. You know, the abstaining from alcohol on New Year's eve = not my favorite. The getting up *before* the ass-crack of dawn after staying up til midnight the night before = not my favorite. This running while injured and not getting better thing = not my favorite.

Holy shit, I think I just found my first gray (well, really more white) hair. I pulled it out and am holding it in my hand and I keep staring at it. I don't know what to do with it. Holy shit.

Ok, moving on... (I put it in my mirror case and am taking it home to see if Preston thinks it is white. Is that normal? Holy shit!)

It was freaking cold race morning. I dressed just as I did in Dallas, with the addition of my new arm warmers, but I didn't account for the wind. I quickly realized that I was going to be cold.

Found parking on a side street and walked over to packet pick-up. Nice bag, long-sleeved shirt, mug, etc. Porta-potty lines were short, and everything was still clean! Hauled ass back to the car because I was freezing. Sat around for a while, then with about 15 minutes to marathon start (30 to half start), headed back to the start line with my big jacket on, which I'd give to Preston before I started.

Hung out a bit, and we were off. This race is small, maybe 200 people in the full and 200 in the half, if that. It is run on concrete paths through the woods and around lakes. It is really quite lovely. At the beginning the organizers had printed out motivational signs with everyone's name on them, so it was fun to look for your name as you ran by. It was also fun because you got to see everyone out on the course as they came opposite you. Got to see the leaders run by. It felt intimate, and like there was more camaraderie than I normally experience at big races.

I loved that the course was only two loops, too. The first loop I felt like I was exploring, and before I knew it, I was done. The second loop was about finishing, but I was also really and truly enjoying myself.

I was doing my patented "Injury Intervals", which means running til it hurt, then walking til it didn't. I kept going back and forth with the same few people, and we started greeting each other, joking, and laughing.

I tried to smile encouragement at the marathoners.

And in the midst of this environment, I found that I was really really enjoying myself. I was *happy*. I was running. On the first morning of a new year. I was injured, but I was still running. I was seeing so much of this beautiful world before the hangovers had even made it out of bed. I was cold, but it was a clear day, and crisp. I discovered that my arm warmers made good hand warmers. And I laughed because I'm sure it looked goofy.

Before I knew it, I had reached the turnaround. It was so much earlier than I expected, I actually thought the kid in front of me had cut the course when I saw him coming back at me!

I was hurting by the end, yes. I wore the Glycerin 7's, and I'm sure they are what gave me trouble with my arches when all this injury shit started. I won't be wearing them again. But I wasn't hurting terribly, and I was in a *great* mood.

Finished in 2:45 flat (2nd in my age group!! (Of 6 ;-))). Got my medal. Freaking BADASS medal, btw. HUGE. Texas-sized. Awesome medal. Will post pics soon. And headed home, still happy, with Preston, who also noticed my stellar mood.

Now, if only I could heal, then combine the high of the Ten for Texas with the high of the Texas Marathon Half...

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010: The Plan

My final 2009 tally looked like this:
Swim: 80,000 yards (45.45 miles)
Bike: 436 miles
Run: 532 miles
Weight: down 2.4 pounds

So, what's on tap for 2009? What are my resolutions? My goals?

I resolve to try to do what it takes to be happy, whether that be swim, bike, run, rest, work hard, or have fun.

My goals are as follows:
Swim: go far, get faster, and feel good in the water
Bike: do some of that
Run: HEAL, then train for BB50k
Lift: do some of that
Core: do LOTS of that

My weight goal? Get below 130 (damnit), and maintain 125-130lbs.

The Plan? I've got 3 Halfs to go before I finish all the ones I signed up for before I got injured. I'm not training for them. I'm walk/jogging them, walking them entirely if necessary. The goal is to get through them without kicking off my knee (more). Then I will cease running and biking and doing anything at all that pisses off the knee for AT LEAST 8 weeks or until I'm healed. I will swim and lift (no knee stuff) and core during this time. I may gain some weight. This is ok if this is what is necessary. I'll keep telling myself that in hopes that I'll start believing it...

When I'm healed, I'll start training for whichever of the Big Bend races I still have time to train for. In my wildest dreams, I'll do the 50K. But if there isn't time to get there uninjured, I'll do the 25K or even the 10K if necessary. That's it. That's the only race on my calendar after March and until I'm uninjured.

Tough way to start a new season, but c'est la vie.

In non-running planning, I want us to do some work on our house this year, and it is the perfect time since I'll be sidelined. New floors and new doors are at the top of the list.

I want to keep improving at my job, and keep enjoying myself.

I want to vacation in France.

I want to have fun!!