Friday, December 31, 2010

Ohhh hey.

So apparently I went into Christmas mode and decided to neglect this thing. Well the good news is, despite neglecting the blog, I haven't been neglecting my workouts. I spent Christmas in New Jersey with my family and, happily, my parents have their own little gym. That means that I got to run on a treadmill everyday I was down there, and I also got to use weight machines. They also have a stationary bike and an elliptical, but I'm anti-elliptical and I couldn't get my stride on a different-feeling bike, so I got fed up with it. It was a great time overall, and the fact that I didn't have to sacrifice workouts was the cherry on top. Especially since I did NOT eat healthily while I was there - if you ate my mom's cooking, you'd understand. She's legit the best cook in the world.

Now I'm back in New Hampshire, and a couple things have happened. One, Jake joined the gym! I'll slowly turn everyone in my life into gym rats.. just give me time. Two, I kicked a wall in the pool really hard. I went on Wednesday and got there early just to make sure I would get my own lane, and ten minutes later there was a massive influx of people. I guess some people have this week off or something, but it was really freaking annoying. I wound up having to share my lane, and anytime this happens I usually wind up kicking a wall. Usually it's a small scrape but this time it split open the skin below my pinky toe and has a very pretty bruise on it. And it hurts. This was taken about ten minutes after getting out of the pool - it's a little blacker now with a more noticeable red mark where it opened up.

Good times. The good news is, despite being in pain and frustrated out of my mind, I still finished 1000 yards and then high tailed it out of there. I'd kind of wanted to do a mile, but since I'd already gotten in a full workout pre-pool, I was fine with 1000. Hopefully the pool will be emptier next week when everyone goes back to work.

I took yesterday off, and not intentionally. I decided to stay up really late on wednesday night for no apparent reason, so I let myself sleep in. I kind of intended to get to the gym, but it would've been my seventh day in a row of working out and my body could use a small break. We saw Jake's parents last night and had a delicious (and not nutritious) dinner, so I definitely had to work out today.

I allowed myself to sleep in today, mainly because if I didn't, I wouldn't be able to stay up till midnight tonight. So Jake and I went to the gym and I got a new PR on the bike - 20 miles in 48 minutes. It felt good other than the knee pain it caused, and therefore, I'm currently in an ice bath. I also kicked my butt with arm weights, but I'm not going to fully submerge into the ice bath. My arms will be fine without the ice! Oh, and Kalila is helping me take a bath (slash wondering why the heck I'm in her favorite hang out spot.

Tonight we're going out with friends and tomorrow around noon I'm running the 30th Annual Hangover Classic in Salisbury, MA. It's just a 5k, but it'll be a nice way to start the new year. It ends with an (optional but I'm totally doing it) ocean plunge - I'm thinking my ice baths will have prepared me for it. It'll be fun.

Lastly, tonight/tomorrow is our three year anniversary. I bought Jake a pretty awesome present, but I don't think it'll get here in time - so he'll have to be patient. But really that means that I'll have to be patient, because I love giving people presents and I want him to have it NOW. And for all of you who followed the drama of refinishing the dresser for his Christmas present, here is the before and after. I'm pretty pleased! The pain was worthwhile in the end. :)

Happy New Year, everyone!

Monday, December 20, 2010

V is for Victory

Today I broke a mile in the pool. I did 41 laps, which is about 1.16 miles. I feel a little dead, but mostly happy. I didn't even go in with that as a goal - I just wanted to get some swimming done. After a lame session yesterday, I wasn't expecting much success today. And after about 15 frustrating laps, I had an epiphany. A seemingly simple one.

Relax. Just relax. Just let your body be fluid in the water and just go with it. I was stressing out about form and breathing and heart rate and everything else, and as soon as I just relaxed my laps went faster and much smoother. Doing the sidestroke I started to feel like one of these:

It was a cool feeling. And from about lap 30 on, I had one thought.

I knew they were waiting for me in my fridge, and I needed protein. Bad. I came home and made some as fast as I could, then proceeded to inhale them. So freaking good.

The length of my swim meant that I didn't do any other workout today, but I might do the bike in a bit to loosen up my muscles before bed. But even if I don't, I'm happy with today's workout. I'll probably be sore tomorrow, but till then I'm all smiles.

Oh, and SNOW! We FINALLY have SNOW! About time, New Hampshire!!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010


So today after an obnoxious workout day, instead of spending time dwelling on what was annoying me, I decided to think about other things. Such as:

1. What is the line with the acceptance of nakedness in the locker room? I understand that, by nature, nudity is more prevalent in the locker room at the pool. We're all naked under our bathing suits, which lends itself to a lot of nudity in the locker room when it comes time to change. I get that.

However, I feel like some people take it a little too far. For example, there are shower curtains in front of the showers, and yet some women don't use them. And I'm not talking about rinsing off before getting in the pool (i.e. wearing your swimsuit), I'm talking about being totally naked and legit showering, and leaving the curtain open. I'm really happy that you're THAT comfortable with your body, but now you're just being an exhibitionist. Be an exhibitionist somewhere else. I don't need to see every inch of your body in my attempt to get from the shower to the pool. Close the freaking curtain.

2. Lane etiquette. I understand that we have to share a swimming lane. That's what happens when there are like six lanes and there are like ten people trying to swim. That's fine. But please ask me if it's ok to jump in my lane with me. I'll say yes (while mentally yelling NO), but just ask! It's polite! Also, once you've joined someone else's lane, don't edge them out. This woman was fine at first (albeit slow - choose someone your pace next time) but then she put on flippers and was doing the breast stroke - thus taking up EVEN MORE space. Long story short, I wound up kicking the wall about three times before I was just done. The top of my right foot is scratched up and sore, and I'm waiting to see if it's bruised tomorrow.

Woman, next time I'm kicking you instead of the wall.

3. Does anyone have a recommendation for a good (yet affordable) bike trainer? I never thought I would be asking this question. When I was like eight years old I slipped on a pillow in my basement and crashed into my dad's bike trainer. A screw on it cut open my forehead, and I had to get both interior and exterior stitches in order to close it. Therefore, when anyone mentions a bike trainer, I get 'nam style flashbacks and I freak out a little bit. But considering that I'm really sick of my recumbent bike (it uses different muscles than the upright ones and it's impossible to achieve the same speed) it seems like a viable option. There are upright bikes at the gym, but I'm trying to factor in things like upcoming New Hampshire snow and potentially not being able to drive to the gym.

Lastly, not a question, but ice baths really are amazing. I took another one today, and I'm really in love with them. They suck at first but oh maaan do they help.

Let me know if you have any advice or thoughts. And stay warm!

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Last night (actually at like midnight because time got away from me yesterday) I did 16 miles on the bike and pushed myself fairly hard. But despite wanting to keep going, my bad knee said "nope, you're done." So I struggled through my sixteenth mile, collapsed on the couch for a while, and contemplated bringing ice to bed with me. Until I stood up. Once I stood up I realized how stiff and sore both of my legs were, and realized that there was really only one choice: ice bath.

I've been putting off ice baths for a while. In all of my running training and tri training, I've read a lot about ice baths. Marathoners do them regularly, and other athletes find them beneficial. But sitting in a tub of cold water for 20 minutes? There's really nothing that sounds less appealing to me. It always makes me think about the scene in The Secret Garden when the kid has been using his atrophied muscles too much and they force him into an ice bath. Get that? I equate it with torture. I'm the type of person who takes long hot leisurely showers because I CAN and would rather skip showers than take a remotely chilly one. So for me to take a bath that LITERALLY has ice in it? You've got to be freaking kidding me.

But I did it. I sat in that tub for twenty minutes. The first three minutes were the worst. I was shaking so bad that my back was starting to hurt and I realized that I need to just chill out (hahah, punny. ...Sorry.) and let the ice do its magic. So I relaxed. And yes, the ice bath sucked. I'm never going to tell you that it's FUN to sit in a tub of ice. However, I vibrated my way into a hot shower after that (since I was still in need of washing my workout off) and even though the difference in water temperature made it feel like my skin was melting off, I realized that I already felt a big improvement. I assumed it was just because I was numb, finished my shower, and got in bed.

And then I woke up this morning. I could MOVE. My legs didn't hurt at all and my bad knee, while feeling a little stiff, felt FINE.

So that's that. I'm officially a believer. I'm officially going to be one of those crazy idiots who willingly takes baths in ice. I get it now, and I'm in. And I officially feel like an athlete... and a whackjob.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

When I'm dead, I'll look great naked.

Holy crap. Ok. So this evening, I REALLY wanted to go running. However, I also REALLY didn't want to go to the gym. I wanted to run outside! In the real world! In the cold! I wanted that burning in my lungs! ...Then I realized that I own nothing, and I mean *nothing* that would stop me from getting hit by a car when I'm running at night. I don't have anything reflective, I don't have any lights - I don't even have a small freaking flashlight to carry with me (even though that was a good idea, Elizabeth).

So here's what I DID do. I opened the dvd that I got for free, "Look Better Naked," when I got my subscription to Women's Health.

I figured that it would be fun and something other than the recumbent bike. 25 minutes later, and only about half way through the entire dvd, I went from my plank/lunge/jump thing to collapsing in a pile of my own sweat. I was just DONE. Every single position and movement and everything else included lunges. Yes, this makes sense. It's about looking better naked and lunges kick your butt (both literally and metaphorically) so it's perfectly logical. However, for the kid with the bad knee, I can't do an excessive amount of lunges without wanting to die.

After pulling myself up from the floor (and after Knightley had licked sweat off of my face), I stumbled to the bike. I needed to do something to cool down my muscles, and I felt weird only working out for 25 minutes. I did a little over 13 miles on the bike, and followed it up with some weights. Now I'm excessively disgusting and sore and relaxing a little bit.

Two other things I wanted to mention, slash ask my handful of readers.

One: What are your favorite shows to watch while working out? My all time favorite has to be Too Fat for 15 (seriously, a great show. Interesting and inspiring.) and my new favorite is the Biggest Loser. I started watching it because The Hungry Runner Girl mentions it a lot and I was curious. After finding season one on Hulu, I'm officially addicted. Good stuff.

Two: What is your favorite quick re-boost snack? I've heard of people doing a spoonful of peanut butter or a slice of cheese - and while I love both of these things - my new favorite is a small handful of walnuts. No they're not salted, or roasted, or altered in any way. They're just raw and big and a few go a long way and they give me that little boost I need to get my head in the game.

(Don't those look delicious?)

What do you think? What are your favs? Let me know!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Doing what I can.

Yet another day where I don't get to the pool. Seriously, you should see my To Do list. As a matter of fact, take a look:

Notice how much stuff ISN'T crossed off that list? Yeah. Sucks.

The good news is, I've made serious progress on the refinishing of the dresser and other things are slowly getting done. Also, I managed to get on the bike today even though I woke up massively sore from the work I did yesterday. I'm thinking that as long as I keep getting my biking workouts in this week, I'll call it a win. It's better than nothing - especially if I keep pushing my time and distance.

I biked about 15 miles before I realized that I was starving. I jumped off the bike, turned on the over to preheat, and jumped back on the bike. I cranked out another 5 and then quickly made an english muffin goat cheese and walnut pizza and threw it in the oven (nothing wrong with eating the same dinner two nights in a row - even though I only made one english muffin this time instead of two). I got on the bike, finished another two miles, and then I had hot (and delicious) food ready and waiting for me. My pauses to prep things lasted less than a minute each, so it really didn't disrupt my workout - and having food prepared when I was done? Pretty awesome.

Also, have I mentioned that I love water? Because I seriously love water. I've become one of those people who has to actively monitor how much water I drink, for fear of drowning myself.

That's all for now. Hope you're all safe and warm - skip the road run and opt for the treadmill tonight!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I swear, it counts.

Today I did not technically work out. I wanted to go to the pool, but I didn't fall asleep until 5:30 this morning so no, I did not get up in time for adult swim. I realize now that I should have just gotten out of bed and gone to the super early lap swim, but I didn't think about it at the time. I wish they had an evening adult swim in addition to the early morning one - that would be much easier to work in instead of the early morning or midday option. I have better things to be doing at noon, like running a billion errands. Yes, today I had to run a billion errands. No, it was not enjoyable.

After the errands, I came home and got started on Jake's Christmas present. The upper body workout included in refinishing furniture is incredible - significantly more intense than any of my typical upper body workouts. I intended to get on the bike afterwards, but my back was shot, my knuckles were bloody and raw, and my legs hurt from standing there for 2.5 hours (in addition to 3 hours of errands running around giant box stores). Instead of working out, I decided that what I had done totally counted. And it does. Because I'm still in pain. The only problem is that I can't put it on dailymile because, surprisingly, they don't have an option for "using a chisel to remove a piece of wood that some past owner stupidly glued to the top of the dresser."

However, I did end my day of barely eating (did I mention that I had to run a billion errands? and that I hate it?) with a delicious dinner. I wanted to use up some goat cheese that I had before it went bad, so I created - wait for it - goat cheese and walnut english muffin pizzas. This is what they looked like (in weird lighting).

I could feel bad for eating four little pizzas, but a) they were whole wheat Fiber One english muffins and I hadn't had any fiber all day, b) I don't believe in feeling guilty for eating food, and c) they were delicious. Really delicious.

That's all. I hope to swim tomorrow but we'll see if it happens. I have a lot to get done this week so I have a feeling most of my workouts will be on the stationary bike. As long as I'm doing something...

What's your favorite quick fix dinner?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Terrible weather, negative attitude, and a website addiction.

I haven't worked out seriously since last Tuesday, and I was having a hard time getting motivated today. I wanted to start off my week with swimming but after having a hard time getting up and no caffeine in the house (gasp!) I knew that the pool wasn't going to happen today. After putzing around for a bit longer, I knew I had to do something today to force myself back into working out this week. Leaving the house was pretty much out of the question - it's disgusting outside. It's humid and pouring and just generally awful. Therefore, I got on my trusty stationary bike.

To say that I felt sluggish would be an understatement. I don't know if it was from almost a week of not working out or the lack of caffeine or a weekend of eating crap in celebration of finishing the semester... whatever it was, the first few miles sucked. They sucked so much that I desperately just wanted to stop (which is what I did yesterday in less than half a mile). However, with a DVR full of good shows to watch while working out (namely Tabatha's Salon Makeover and What Not to Wear), I forced myself to stick with it. Well, a bit over an hour later and I'd done 20 (very slow) miles. My legs felt a bit like jello when I got up and while I don't have that post-workout high, I AM glad I did it. It should make the rest of the week much easier.

Also, I'd like to mention a new obsession. A couple of friends (that strangely enough, I have not met in person - yay for Twitter and the whole "friend of a friend" connection) use Daily Mile, and while I was slightly interested, I never cared enough to set it up. But THEN, mid-rant one day on Twitter about how workout machines CANNOT give accurate readings of calories burned, Jess mentioned that she usually trusts to give her an accurate reading (with some wiggle room). This peaked my interest. I went online when I got home from the gym and looked at the website and decided to try it out. It proved to be a good way to keep track of workouts and to get a decent idea of how many calories I burned. Also, the charts are an awesome way to get motivated - either to keep going with the good work or to get started again. For example, my chart since signing up begs the question "wtf happened last week?" and makes me want to get my butt in gear.

I was on the website now, but I only had a couple of friends. This is when I started the quest for friends. I started friending people in the Triathlon communities and anyone else who knows what it's like to train when it's effing cold out. The more friends I got, the more I enjoyed the website. I could keep track of other people and how they were doing, give motivation, and receive comments on my workouts. It really makes you feel like you're not alone in your insanity - there are all of these other people out there doing the same thing as you and working toward a common goal.

In case it's not clear by now, I love it. However, there is one problem with the website - it's ADDICTING. I'm checking in like every ten minutes to comment on workouts! It's totally ridiculous, but there are much worse things that I could be addicted to. Also, without a motivating comment telling me to "just get out there" today, I would've had a much easier time skipping my workout. It's a community of people who will tell you to suck it up when you need motivation, and will praise the work you've done. What's not to love?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Surpassing goals and the inability to rest.

Let's start with yesterday. I decided that I needed to focus on swimming yesterday, and not attempt to do a back to back workout like I've been doing. So I get to the pool (once again, with not much time to spare. I have about 40 minutes left of adult swim.) and get into the pool as fast as I can. The second I get in, I get a major shot to the self-esteem. The woman whose lane I'm taking over is VERY chatty and she decides to tell me about her workout. She did two miles in 34 minutes, she tells me, and "a few days ago I did it in 30" so she's not sure "what went wrong." I look at her with my best fake Good For You smile, and tell her that she must just be having an off day. I try to push down the desire to wring her neck and tell her that some of us just want to hit 1000 yards in 30 minutes, and can't even dream of two miles yet. Not to mention one mile.

Oh, and just so everyone knows, one mile = 1760 yards. Just for a little perspective.

Well as soon as Ms. Better Swimmer Than Me is out of the lane, I push her out of my head and get to work. It was an active effort to not let it seep in. It's hard to not compare yourself to someone else when it's SO in your face. However, I overcame it and started my laps.

The problem is, I started a little hard. I was kicking too hard (most likely the reaction to Ms. BSTM) and I felt it in my bad knee after about 10 laps (half way to my goal). I decided that if I kept going with the side stroke, I'd surely be incapable of walking later, so I mixed it up. I decided to do backstroke for the next set of five, and despite choking on my own waves a few times, I didn't stop. Not even when water went up my nose. Yeah. That's major for me.

In my final set, I tried to side stroke down and backstroke back, but I was running out of time. I was going to get kicked out soon, so I went back to backstroke because it's faster. Well after this, I still had a couple minutes, so I banged out a couple more laps.

You get that? I met my goal and did a couple more laps. That means instead of doing 1000 yards, I did 1100. While it may not be two miles, it's a FAR way from where I was last Wednesday when I started the swim training. After this, I'm a little more than impressed with myself - and in more than a little pain. My knee was bothering me all day today, and my shoulders are sore.

Because of the pain and because I haven't stopped working out in a week, I had already planned on today being a rest day. However, I got home from a long day of classes followed by a tattoo removal appointment (in other words, extreme pain) and I was jonesing. It's seriously a monkey on my back - the bike was SCREAMING my name. I tried to ignore it for a while, determined to give my body a rest. But after a few hours I knew that I just had to get on the bike.

I took it easy, and for that, I give myself props. It's one of those days where I really just wanted to kill it on the bike. I'm overworked and tired and at the end of my semester, and I just wanted to work out my frustration - but I also knew that I didn't want to blow out my knee. So I held back, going at a leisurely pace and hitting 17 miles in 55 minutes. Not the greatest ever, but I feel better just because I did SOMETHING today. Also, happily, my knee feels like it's loosened up a bit. Have I mentioned that I love the bike?

Tomorrow - Pool then run. The goal is 1200 yards followed by two miles. Maybe I'll squish in some biking, too? We'll see. Also, I hope to get a haircut tomorrow. The need has become a desperate one. Yes I know it's not triathlon related, but seriously. It's gotten bad.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Crappy workouts and awkward conversations.

Let's start with the swimming.

I got to the pool later than planned, and only had 20 minutes left of adult swim. I thought I might have to share a lane (a scary notion for someone trying to figure out the scissor kick without killing someone else) but as I was taking my flip flops off a woman finished up. Yay for small victories! Due to the time contraint, I didn't bother to warm up - I just got in and started banging out my sidestroke laps. Well, Mr. Splasheron was back, and once again, in the lane next to me. So I wound up facing the wall for all of my laps, which wound up actually being a good idea because it meant I was switching sides with every up and every down. This way I didn't get too dependent on one side, and I was able to keep some exhaustion out. I managed to do 650 yards in 20 minutes, which blows my mind. In just three days of swimming the improvement I've seen is unbelievable. Love the instant gratification!

Well the swimming was followed by one of the stranger conversations of my life. As I was wrapped in a towel and digging my stuff out of a locker to get my gym gear on, these two women start talking to me. It starts with asking about my tattoos, turns into a friendly conversation, and they're very nice women. One of them leaves, and the other goes on to have a conversation with me about triathlons. She recommends one in Bethel, Maine in August and explains the off road running and how that race has changed over the years.

Oh did I forget to mention? She was naked the entire time. COMPLETELY naked. Middle aged and naked. What do you do when a middle aged naked woman is talking to you? I mean if it was a guy, you'd be pulling out the rape whistle but it's a woman so you assume she's non-threatening. And she's talking NONSTOP so you can't even walk away to get dressed (and hopefully allow her to do the same), so you have to start getting dressed while she's talking to you. I have the "get dressed while still wearing a towel" thing down pat, so I wasn't concerned about that, but she's still naked. And still talking. Like seriously, what is the protocol here? Do you try to look her in the eye? Do you just focus on yourself? I pretended that I REALLY had to organize my swim bag so I could do everything possible to not look in her general direction. At all. That having been said, she was a very lovely woman. She was very helpful, friendly, and I'm not saying anything bad about her. And, if nothing else, she has a level of comfort with her body that I've never seen before. At this point, between the gym and the pool (6 to 7 days a week), I've gotten fairly used to seeing naked women on a daily basis. But that was definitely a new one.

Ok, so I recover from this. I go to the gym and run a mile, but NOTHING feels right. Everything feels awkward and my body just doesn't feel like it's working right, so I get on the bike. I do 8 miles in about 27 minutes, and made no effort to push myself. It was the first time in a while where I was working out just to get it done and not because I was enjoying it. It sucked. I didn't even attempt weights, and just showered and went home.

There's another story about how I forgot underwear this time and after showering at the gym I had to go commando to get home. But it's not nearly as disturbing as yesterday's braless incident, so eh. I think the naked woman wins for today's story. Although I WILL say that pumping gas while wearing yoga pants and going commando is REALLY freaking cold.

Tomorrow I want to do a longer swim session. I want to push myself time wise and try to push myself up to/past 1000 yards.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


So today I decided that I desperately needed to go running. I haven't run since the 5k on Thanksgiving, and it was definitely time. I went to the gym (because I wanted to do weights afterwards), and as soon as I started on the treadmill, I realized that this was going to suck. Majorly. I felt sluggish, I wore baggy track pants instead of my usual tight muscle supporting pants, and worst of all - the pants were thick. I was running on a treadmill that wasn't directly under the fan, and I could feel the sweat pouring off of me. Usually I enjoy sweat - as weird as that sounds. It's a reward. It's proof that I'm kicking my ass. In this case, I just kind of wanted to pass out. I pushed myself to two miles (which was a struggle - which is sad in and of itself), and then stumbled off the treadmill.

Happy that the running was over, yet pissed off at how poorly it went, I moved onto weights. I wanted to do some arm weights in the absence of swimming, and had a pretty good round with those. I usually don't push myself too hard with the arms. They've always been my weakest asset and I get sore really quickly when I use weights. On the other hand, I can push myself hard on the leg machines and love every minute of it.

The real fun began after the workout. I went to shower, ecstatic to cool down. I jump in the shower and as I'm rinsing the shampoo out of my hair (read: too late to do anything about it), I realize that I don't have a towel. Not only did I not bring the towel out of the locker, but I took it out of my car the night before when I brought in my swimming stuff. I finish my shower and make do with paper towels (while feeling like a douchebag for destroying the environment), and start to get dressed.

This is the point where I realize that I forgot my bra. I dig through my bag and yep, the only bra I have is my sweat soaked sports bra. This is the point in the getting dressed process that I fully realize that I'm going to have to go braless. I should point out that I'm not one of those people that's OK with that. I'm NOT OK with going braless. It's awkward and slightly painful and unattractive. I put on my hoodie, and despite the fact that it's blatantly obvious that I'm NOT wearing a bra, I braid my soaking wet hair and make a mad dash to the car. I was going to go to the grocery store after the gym, but that CLEARLY didn't happen. I trudged home and told Jake about my ridiculous couple of hours, and then changed as quickly as possible.

Well, that's the end of my ridiculous day. It went on to improve - which included an incredible panini and seeing Tangled (fantastic movie, by the way), and now I'm relaxing.

Tomorrow? Back in the pool.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Swimmer's high?

A couple days ago, my dad told me that THE stroke for my first tri should be the sidestroke. He explained why and why it worked well for him back in the day (mainly, you keep your head above water so you don't panic and you don't use up all of your energy).

So after spending hours yesterday studying both videos of the sidestroke and the Total Immersion video that Jess recommended, I felt like I would be ready to try some stuff out today.

Then I woke up. I had NO desire to go to the pool. I woke up late, ate a leisurely breakfast, and was watching tv and finding every reason not to go. After talking to Amanda about some of the reasons why it didn't make sense to go, I realized what I was doing - I was talking myself out of it. I was logicing my way out of something I needed to do Also, after some encouragement from Jess, I realized that she was right. I WOULD feel good afterwards, I just needed to get there first. So the good angel (or masochistic one) won out, I sucked it up, and took off. I got to the pool with about 45 minutes left of adult swim time, quickly changed, and got in.

First of all, I got a lane to myself. I took this as a very good sign. Secondly, they were playing 50s music and it put me in a good mood. I did a couple of warm up laps, varying strokes and just trying to get the blood flowing. I quickly found out that the guy in the lane next to me was an INTENSE swimmer - I nicknamed him Splashy McSplasheron. The waves he created and the splashes when his hands hit the water were incredible. I tried to ignore him and I started to experiment with the sidestroke.

At first, I'm pretty sure I looked like a drowning possum. I couldn't get everything to work correctly, and I was starting to stress that I'm just NOT coordinated enough for this stroke (which would really be no surprise to anyone who knows me). I reverted to my elementary school teacher knowledge, and viewed my body as a Simple Machine. If I just get this going that way, when the legs scissor, and I move this hand here, I'll achieve propulsion. Once I started to view my body as a wooden machine connected at the joints, amazingly, I had success. It was AWESOME. On Wednesday, if you recall, I had to stop frequently for breaks and just felt disconnected. Today, I could go 6+ laps without stopping for a break and I realized the true brilliance of the sidestroke. I had power and relative speed, but most importantly, I didn't get tired.

Additionally, I got my first taste of real tri swimming with Mr. Splasherson next door. I swallowed a LOT of water because of him, and I never panicked or stopped. For that, I'm actually really proud of myself.

Once I was finished with about 700 yards (read: 250 more than I did on Wednesday), I felt totally pumped. I realized that THIS is why people get so into swimming - this feeling. I wanted to continue the feeling, so I changed, sped to the gym, and banged out 13 miles on the bike in about 32 minutes. By the time this was done, my legs were hurting but I felt good. Honestly, I felt like a badass - and that's always fun.

My only issue now is the fact that I haven't run since... maybe Thanksgiving? Between my cold and getting SO focused on swimming and biking, it's kind of been left by the wayside. I need to get back to it tomorrow. I miss it.

Also, while my tri is in May, I decided I should do a duathlon before then. I think it would be a good way to get my feet wet with the multisport events, and I can determine how my training is going. There's one in March in Brooklyn, NY and I think it would be a good idea. I'm getting excited about another race sooner than May, because May feels WAY too far off.

Ok, one last thing. Magnet bracelets. I am officially and truly a believer, and I want everyone else to be one, too. Try them out. You really won't regret it.

Tomorrow? Running.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tri Training Has Begun

So today was the day. I finally got in the pool and was able to get started on the most intimidating part of tri training - swimming. Well, after one complete lap, I realized that I was totally justified in being intimidated by this part. After one lap I was winded and wondering why the hell I thought I could really do this. I pushed myself through the discomfort though, and despite my heart beating out of my chest and the difficulty in catching a breath after more laps, I found myself slowly hitting a stride. The issue is, by the time I hit my stride, I was pretty much wiped. (This is the point where I go "maybe my lungs aren't recovered from my cold" but I know it was more than that. It's been a long time since I've tried to legitimately swim.) Feeling wiped, sore, and only slightly relieved that I survived, I finished after 30 minutes and headed to the locker room.

Well, let's just say, SWIM CAP FAIL. While the swim cap DID successfully keep my hair under control while I was swimming (which I was honestly shocked by - if you've seen my hair you understand why I thought it wouldn't all FIT under a cap), I took it off to find that all of my hair was soaked. Oops. It doesn't so much matter but it was a little upsetting. I was hoping I wouldn't have to deal with chlorine head today.

After changing, I headed home to get on my stationary bike. Let's just say... ow. I felt like I was pedaling through quicksand, and whereas yesterday I maintained a pace of about 25 mph and went 13 miles in about 30 minutes, today I couldn't push myself above 17 mph and barely did 10.5 miles in like 40 minutes. Ridiculous. Apparently swimming killed me even more than I'd thought. The idea that by May I'll be physically able to swim 1/3 of a mile, bike 12+ miles, THEN run 3.8 miles is a little.. scary? But also, if I CAN manage to do that - and I WILL, I'll officially be the baddest of all bad asses. (And my body will probably look pretty incredible, too - a perk.)

So the things to focus on for the rest of the week:

Tomorrow I want to get a really good run in.
Friday I will focus on breathing in the pool - till then I will be studying breathing. Yes, that's right. Studying breathing.

Till next time...

Monday, November 29, 2010

A couple steps back.

Y'know that cold I mentioned? Well it kept me up until 5 am with a hacking cough... not ideal for the night before swim training starts. I tried to get up at 9 as planned, but it wasn't happening. When I did wake up, I woke up to hacking up phlegm. I tried to rally - I really wanted to get in that pool today. However, the more I thought about potential swimmer's ear while I have a cold, or what I would be asking my lungs to do by swimming, I just gave up the ghost. So now I'm doing homework and I'll jump on the stationary bike in a bit to get some sort of workout in. Sigh.

Wednesday. Swim training starts Wednesday.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Triathlon training officially starts tomorrow. I have my magnet bracelets, my Ironman watch, a swim cap, and new goggles. I'm technically ready, but I'm a little nervous. The swimming is the part of the triathlon that scares me (and I seriously doubt I'm alone in that) and I haven't really swam in many years. I used to be a pretty good swimmer so I'm not starting from scratch, but it's still a little scary. However, I was just reading an article in Women's Health about muscle memory, and I'm hoping my muscles remember how to swim.

Also, I've had a cold developing since Thursday or so. My throat has been feeling more and more raw by the day, and my nose is getting stuffier. Apparently my immune system didn't get the memo that I need to get in a pool on Monday to step up the "kicking my own ass" game.

That's really all I have to say for now. At this point, I'm eager to get the ball rolling - but I'm giving myself today off from working out to try to actually get over my cold.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Here we go.

One of two things has happened. Either I've officially lost my mind OR I've entered an alternate universe. A few weeks ago I made the decision to enter a triathlon on May 22, 2011. This will be two days before my 25th birthday, and when I pull it off, it will mean I pulled off a lifelong goal just in time to turn 25.

As I was about to type "if I pull it off," I quickly deleted "if" and put in "when" instead. Why do that when there is the possibility that plans will fall through? Because it's all about mindset. WHEN I complete the triathlon, I will probably collapse for a little while and spend my 25th birthday in pain. IF I do not follow through with the triathlon, I will feel like a failure. I don't do failure. I know what I want, and I want to achieve this - and I KNOW I can achieve this. No "ifs" in this blog - only "whens."

The reason I feel the need to start a blog about this is simple: I've gone into tunnel vision mode, and I realize that many of the people in my life do not actually enjoy talking about races every time I speak to them. However, I do want to track my training, successes, and inevitable letdowns.

Oh, and the latest thing I'm trying out (because every little bit helps): Over the summer, my dad became obsessed with the bracelets with magnets in them - or as he calls them, "voodoo bracelets." Despite his derogatory nickname, he swears by them now. Today I ordered a bracelet and an ankle bracelet (because if they do work, the closer to my knees the better) and I can't wait for them to come in.

(The blue will match my running shoes. Shut up, I'm not a dork.)

Training officially begins a week from today. I probably won't post again until then, but I wanted to kick this thing off.

Success: Yesterday I completed a 10k.
Letdown: Today, every muscle in my body hurts.