Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Looking for a Distance Swim Set?

One of my lane mates is preparing for one of those Iron man thingys in the land of Apfelstrudel , Arnie
 Schwarzenegger's birth place and (who knew?) Red Bull's headquarters.

Anywhoo,  Kim is  one of my Team Psycho teammates. Not to be confused with my Team Trakkers 
Green Machine teammates.  Lately Kim has been like the first grade teachers pet. You know,
 Mr. Do-gooder. I haven't really asked but lets assume he wants to nail that 2.4 mile swim without sucking the ever living life out of him before venturing out for a little 112 mile bike ride. Is that right Kim?
Here's the proof:

*Comes to practice early.
*Throws down some core work poolside (extra credit)
*Jumps in for a pre-warm up of at least  600 B4 Coach Bill arrives to give 
us the real warm up set. (more extra credit)
*Never complains ( I make up for that)
*Stays to finish the set no matter the time  (total geek)

  I decided one day for reasons still unclear  to me; I'm jumping on the Kim train. 
Minus the core work and no complaining. 

I'm not sure how long this will actually last, but for now, it gives me somethin'
to do snapping me out of *swim auto pilot*

Today I wasn't in the mood and already told myself before masters, "you can get out
early today" because.... your toe nail polish is chipped? I needed the extra time to shave my legs and deep condition my hair in the shower?  Good enough. But I was good and stayed until practice time ran out.

Here's the set (in honor of Kim of course) The times are appropriate for a 1:20 base swimmer. Adjust accordingly!

600  pre (extra points) warm up
200- 50drill / 50 swim
150- focus on front quad
100 swim/stroke
100 build
100 IM butterfly,back,breast, free
12 x 25 kick 25/35

Main Set 
2 x 500  First 500 on 1:30 pace/7:30
Second  500 on 1:20 pace/ 6:40 (follow this pattern) 
100 on 2:15
2 x 400 1:30 pace 6:00/1:20 pace 5:20
100 on 2:15

2 x 300 1:25/1:25  4:15
100 on 2:15
                          2 x 200 1:30 pace 3:00/1:20 pace 2:40 
100 on 2:15 

2 x 100 1:15/1:20  (ouch)
          100 2:15              

Total Kim-Teachers Pet set: 4750 

 TGP's-  got out when practice ended: 4050

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Total Ramdom-ness (at it's finest!)

I'm dead in the water folks. I'm LOST for blog writing so instead of wasting your time, this one will be QUICK and PAINLESS. Oh, And WHINE FREE! Ha!
Let's start here:
I bought these at the grocery store yesterday of all places. They were among your everyday basic color roses sitting there hiding in the back of the Stop N' Shop flower cooler just waiting to be taken home. So I obliged. Aren't they prudy?

I'm thinking about buying this bike
It's a Kestrel RT 800 SL. Very Sweet!

But in order to justify this purchase, I must sell my Classic Steel Marinoni

And I'm going to unload my Trek mountain bike as well to make some room.
Gawd,could I look any sloppier today? Androgynous Pat. (TGP)

And here's the dental
practice where I work. I told you this was gonna be random.

My Marinoni Road bike was at work so I snapped a few pictures. Here's my room where I YELL at people all day because they DON'T FLOSS. Ha!

This is to prove to patients I'm the real deal. I'm qualified to handle those sharp bladed instruments.

Yup, I have 2 computers, one for work and one to play on when one of you people blow off your dental appointment and I want to shop or catch up on my blog reading.
Shhhhhhh. Don't tell my boss!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It's not what is taken away from you that counts. It's what you do with what you have left.

I like this quote mostly because I strive with great effort to live by it.  I spend way too much time dwelling on what everyone else is doing that I can't do at this very moment. I'll admit, it's an energy zapper.  If I was to be graded on how well I practice this quote, I'd probably only get a D+. For me it's easier to focus on what I CAN'T do or CAN'T have at the moment than to reflect on what I still have intact in terms of my physical being: The capacity to swim, spin on my trainer,  go to yoga and water run. I'll even go a bit further by saying, I have the luxury of getting up everyday and functioning  normally. I can make choices for myself that ultimately effect my well being in a either a positive or negative manner. Seems pretty simple.  Why would I want to impact myself with nothing but good healing thoughts and connections? Instead I have to pull my thoughts AWAY (several times a day) from not having the ability to beat myself up on a hilly  4 hour ride on a  given Saturday or run for 2 hours on a Sunday so i can sit on a Sunday night and reflect on my efforts and fitness gains, weekend after weekend after weekend.  It's a work in progress for sure.

I'm FINALLY on week 8 of recovery from my femoral stress fracture.  I've made some serious healing groundwork and I'm getting to the point where I'm feeling like I'm making some headway in the recovery process.  Phew....

There are days when I think, " Wrap it up.  Kiss the 2010 triathlon season goodbye with any hope of actually toeing a shore line competitively to race. You are WASHED UP and HUNG to DRY."

Still, there are other days when I'm looking into flights to Austin Tx  to nail an October  *A* race and cap
a season of what if's and have not's with a solid effort and smile that screams, YES!  I DID IT!!

I'm a serious waffler these days. The task seems unattainable more times than not but I feel that if I don't try, I'll regret that too but not without the risk of disappointment .  Rock and a hard place?  You bet...

Just stuff
I'm milling over...
 hourly, daily, weekly

  as a bone mends.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Let's Talk Swimming Etiquette. You've got it or you DON'T

I've been swimming with a Masters group for 5 years now. Honestly, I couldn't do without it. You show up toting some CAN DO attitude, perhaps a fun fresh Splish, jump in  and have your workout spoon-fed to you. What could be better?
I swim at one of the best facilitates in New England if not one in the country. The water is crystal clear and temperate for competition. I don't have to deal with pool noodle wielding  ladies water exercising . The water is too cold for them! The locker rooms are sparklingly clean and consistently have perfectly regulated air temperature (dry and cool) so when you dry off with your towels provided , YOU STAY DRY and not saturated with humidity from the showers like I've noticed at other pools.

I'll admit it. I'm spoiled
I've learned a ton over the years swimming with Masters. I hadn't swum competitively since I was a child so it was all new to me again back in 2004 when I  started training for my first Ironman . I had to learn how to read the clock, pace myself, learn where I belong in the lane, understand and execute the given workout. More often than not, I was overly concerned of doing something stupid like screwing up one of my new lane mate's send offs. I wanted to be part of the lane,seen and not heard until I gained some confidence. I'd even go as far as saying I was a bit too concerned with what everyone else was doing  in the lane when I first started.

I had eyes.
Many pairs of eyes.
In the back of my head and on my feet I had eyes, so worried about being caught and tapped on the foot or falling off the pace and screwing up the interval.
For the first few weeks I was NERVOUS every time it was time for masters swim practice.

Eventually I settled in and the core group we have is the BEST. I couldn't ask for better lane mates. We've been swimming together for at least 3 of the 5 years I've been there.  We know each other well. We don't even have to say good morning on those snowy cold winter dark Monday mornings. We can read each others faces.Often saying without opening our mouths:
"What the hell are we doing here at 6:15 on a Monday morning with the roads like a sheet of ice?"

We welcome new swimmers to our lane but the history of new lane mates sticking with it
isn't very good.
It's a pattern and sadly a bad one.

They come, they swim for one session or two, and they are gone.
Because they either don't care or are clueless in introducing themselves to the lane.
I  don't care if you've been swimming for a decade, you need to CHILL and be respectful. Essentially you 
are a guest but more often it's like a drunk party crasher.

Here's how not be the drunk party crasher:

1. Meet with the Masters coach and get yourself in the APPROPRIATE LANE

2. Seat yourself in the back of the lane for the warm up. Get a feel for the swimmers in front of you. Even if you are the FIRST swimmer there, humble thyself and let a veteran take the reigns. It's just good judgment and sends the clear message that you  are there to find cohesion and have a good swim!
3.  Don't leave the wall before a solid 5 second spacing of you and the swimmer in front of you.
4. If the lane is full (5+ swimmers) after getting to the wall, try to squeeze over so if someone is behind you they can finish an interval  AT THE WALL.
5. Please don't flip turn on the  RIGHT side of the wall. You need to flip on the center of the black cross or even better, to the left of it. Why? Because if you don't, you are coming off the wall ready to crash into
the next swimmer behind you.
6. A warm up is just that. A WARM UP. Blasting out the warm up and DYING during the main set
is a big fat F for lane etiquette especially if you think you can lead the lane.

Yesterday this exact thing occurred in my lane.  Exhibit A joined the lane (there were only 3 of us) and was behind me at the start of  the warm up set. Within seconds he was practically on top of me. After enduring this for approximately 100 yards, I stopped at the wall and said, "you seem frustrated during this set and need to swim  in front of me, That is fine. Go."  Within seconds he was right on top of  my lane mate who was leading the set stopping and breast stroking in the middle of the lane because  he was once again bunched up. I wondered why Bill our coach put this fast swimmer in our lane??????
At this point I was rolling my eyes and just completing the set happy he wasn't on top of me anymore.

Then comes the main set.

22 100's at different paces.
The first set of  5 100's was to be on 1:20 but essentially we were to come in on 1:15. Exhibit A  is first at the wall ready to go.  I am next. He seemed pretty speedy in the  warm up so I wasn't going to be the one to hold him up when the bread and butter part of the workout  appeared.

Can you guess what happened?  

He BLASTED out the first 100 on 1:14 and then died. He was unable to sustain even the 1:20 pace screwing up my interval.
Of course the coach is right there timing the lanes and watching this carnage unfold  and tells me to GO AROUND him.  I don't because I don't want to create a scene and really, he should have had enough brain matter intact to stay at the wall, and let me go.

Really? I have to be the lane Biotch and point this out to Exhibit A??? I did not and left it up to
the coach to deal with.

 Most baffling and sadly the pattern I earlier spoke of.  I share it will all of you to pass it on to who
ever you think might benefit from a few good tips.

Happy Zen-like swimming!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Summer in New England, IT'S HERE!

Happy Sprummer
(Spring and Summer all mooshed together if you didn't get that)

Let me just causally  mention how my teeth will soon be nothing but stubs from all gnashing  of them fueled by my pure and simple frustration of all the great cycling and running  in this amazing weather I'M MISSING.
Either my patience is being tested to the sheer limit and/ or I've done something evil enough
to warrant such punishment

Look at this damn thermometer IN THE SHADE.

As to not sound like a Wendy Whiner this entire post, I did get to spend some quality time
up in southern Maine on the coast relaxing and enjoying some Easter traditions (pounding
jelly beans and chocolate eggs) that normally I would have missed so I'm grateful for that!

My sister the floral designer aka Martha Stewart's (evil) twin, made us put our creations
in the wheat grass she grew. "It's A Good Thing!"

Cigar? Cigarette? Easter egg anyone?