Happy. Healthy. Heathen.

Traveling, training, thinking, talking, typing


February 2009

another brick down

Brick day:  swim/bike.

Another triathlon training week comes to an end with the completion of the weekly brick…for those of you trying to keep up, that’s the dual-event training day.  Each week includes a swimming day, a running day, a cycling day, and a dual event day (always either swim/bike or bike/run, since that’s how the races go).  Today was swim/bike. 

I really like the swimming workouts; the only inconvenience is scheduling around the community pool lap lane availability.  I’m pleased that our community has water aerobics for seniors, but would it kill them to reserve ONE lane for lap swimmers??  Lanes are open 6-8am, 11am-1pm, then 3-6pm.  Not bad, but not great either.  Factor in as well that on swim/bike bricks we’re looking at the weather as well, and there you have it:  an entire life scheduled around lap lane availability.  When I win the lottery I’m buying one of those $20,000 endless pools – a giant deep bathtub with some kind of motor that puts a current in the water you swim against…go online, I’m not making this up.  (Plus, I guess you have to play the lottery in order to win it…bummer.)

So I hustled to get to the pool for Saturday lap times of 8am-noon (my grandson did a sleepover, so I’m working around fixing him waffles…).  The workout itself was strong…love my goggles, love my suit, love my ironman watch, love my lap counter, love my iPod, even love my very attractive swim cap.  I love how strong I feel when I swim, I love the feeling of the bubbles when I blow out, I love gliding through the water.  I’m still incredibly intimidated by the idea of an ocean swim, but IT IS WHAT IT IS, so I’ll just get over that. 

Then out of the water, into the car, back home, change into the bike stuff and am pedaling within 30 minutes of leaving the pool…not quite the 2minutes 30 seconds I shoot for in a race, but considering the circumstances, not as bad as it could be.  My extra boys (Fez and Danny) joined us (me, Jesse, and Aden in the burley) for the 25 miler.

Mother of a headwind, so we start out right into it so we can have it at our backs when we’re fatigued on the way home.  Jesse fell of the back of the G-train because of dragging the cart, but we just put our heads down and got through it til we got to the Greenway.  My bad.  My poor judgement.  This is the first pretty day we’ve had in weeks of hideously cold weather, AND it was a Saturday; the Greenway was packed.  We were dodging dogs, kids, strollers, other bikes, rollerbladers…bad bad choice.  So we bailed on that at Gen Bragg trailhead (got on at Cannonsburgh), leaving Jesse and Aden to play on the playground while we took off for the battlefield.

Our Stones River Battlefield has a 2 mile, one-way loop that goes past significant sights from that battle in 1863/64 (over New Year’s Day).  It makes a great criterium style circle…you know you won’t be facing any cars coming at you, the speed limit for cars is 25 (which we broke!), and it doesn’t have the same set of walkers/strollers, and very few bikes.  We did that loop 3 or 4 times to get in the miles before heading back to get Jesse and head home.  By then it was well past lunchtime and the fajitas and margaritas at La Siesta were calling…okay, I indulged in the fajitas, but stuck with beer…all those carbs in a margarita – I’m training you know.

All in all a great brick…too much lag time in between, but that’s just how it went down this time.  The end of week 5 is one-third of the way to the taper (the three week, low-mileage prep time leading to the race).  Feeling good.

Thanks for reading.

Running on the farm

Today was the run day; 4 easy miles.  I’ve done all my running training either down the street leaving from the house or on the Greenway.  I have a little 5k loop on our farm, but I don’t usually use that when I’m preparing for a race because it’s a trail run, which is a lot different that a street run.  I use different shoes, the terrain is completely different, I have no gauge of the distance other than timing, and I do some calisthenics leaping over branches and avoiding cowpies.  But today was clear and cold and pretty and not too muddy, so off I went with iPod and dogs in tow. 

For those of you who know my dogs, you know Boo the golden retriever runs each and every mile with me, and then some.  She runs up and back and up and back again.  Uga, however, my magnificent English bulldog, has absolutely stepped up and gotten into the fitness groove.  I know, I know, I have to watch her breathing and the heat and all that, but in spite of their genetic issues with that, she has really taken to the jogging.  She stays in sight of me, and doesn’t do all the extra jogging that Boo does, but she seems to just love it…she wants to come every time.  Now she most certainly naps a lot of the day after that, but I think it’s good for her.

It was good for me too…don’t know the distance, but since I usually run about an 11 minute mile, I ran for 46 minutes and then headed back into the house.  It was so cold my iPod quit working until I put it under my shirt and warmed it back up, but it wasn’t breezy, so it was just about perfect.  It’s harder to run the trail, what with the extra balance and obstacle course, but it was a nice change of pace from the usual out and back.

Favorite shuffle tune:  Parliament – P Funk

Thanks for reading.

Catching up the blog

I’m behind a bit on the blog, but instead of trying to catch up, I’ll just describe today.

I had a half-mile swim, along with a standard strength training workout.  The swim was great.  I felt strong, I love my toys, the iPod really helps pass the laps.  I still struggle with increasing my pace because it alters my breathing pattern.  My coach tells me, instead of trying to swim faster, to add more laps of sprints to my sessions.  That seems to be working; it increases the number of what I call recovery laps, but overall it allows me to complete the laps in a shorter time.

This is the 5th of the 18 weeks to the race…I feel good, nothing seems to hurt (too badly), the distances are increasing.  My biggest fear is still the ocean swim.  I still plan to do a trip to PCB before the race at least once to swim the actual course. 

Everyone who knows I’m doing this has been so supportive and encouraging.  I am so grateful for those words..they echo around in my head when I’m running, riding, and swimming.  I draw on them when I’m puny or stuggling, and they give me a little blast. 

Thanks for reading…

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