17 February 2010

Iron Reflections: 7 Weeks In

My life gives new meaning to the phrase "burning the candle at both ends." As the volume has steadily increased, I have noticed that Mark needs much more sleep. My life is ridiculously crazy at the moment. I have periods of craziness in my life that are usually accompanied with the pressure of finishing a commission in time. Even if I have a year to write a piece, it usually comes down to the last five or six weeks. The good news is I have been chipping away at this one for some time, and the score is officially with my friend Nicholas who is making parts and making the score pretty. Getting close!

I taught an evening seminar last night at the university from 6-:9:15. I came home, had "dinner"—if you can call eating at 10 p.m. dinner—and talked to the wifey. Adam called me around 10:30 last night to see what our game plan was going to be for the morning. I knew right then and there that a morning workout was not possible. I would have had to be in bed already to get up at five in the morning. I felt bad because I am trying to live up to my end of the bargain training for ironman, which is that all of my training should be finished before the kids have to get to school. That way, I can drive them every once in a while, put some time in the bank, and be home for dinner. When I miss an a.m. workout, especially a swim, it means I will have to be at the gym later. The only bright side is that my boys usually like to go to the gym with me, so I can take them.

I had a little bit of a breakthrough swimming last week. I was at the university pool where I made an appointment to get with the swim coach in a few weeks after their national championships. One of the guards stopped me who had seen me talking to the coach and said, "Hey, do you mind if I give you a little advice on your stroke?" She swims competitively on the university team. I was all ears. Turns out, I was really crossing my midline way too much. I seems so natural to do this, but it is really less efficient. The other thing she said that  made a big difference was to think of pulling yourself "up" in the water instead of this idea of pushing the water behind you, which is how I always swam. Does everyone know this? I was immediately swimming faster. The difficult thing for me is to let this all happen naturally. I am always so conscious of my stroke still as I am swimming. I sometimes hold my breath. Not good. Lack of proper oxygen flow can get you get that heart pumping quickly. She did complement me on my stroke and the things I was doing right too. She said I was getting good rotation and then tried to convince me she had no idea that I had only been swimming for four years.

Instead of doing our usual bike workouts, me, Adam and Manuel did the espresso bikes a few times this week. These are bikes with computer screens that have courses with varying degrees of difficulty on them. We did a twenty mile loop over some pretty steep rolling hills. As we were finishing up (the whole course took Adam and I an hour and five minutes to complete,) I looked over at him and said, "Hey only four and a half more times around this and we've done our ironman bike." He glanced over and gave me queer look before jokingly replying "okay, let's do it!" We decided not to. I had to  get to work—yeah, that's the reason. My legs have been fatigued all week from the 10-miler, my leg workout and the two twenty mile rides I have done in the last five days. I need to do some serious stretching. If I can get the legs a little more loose this week, I will welcome another long run. Crazy as it sounds, I kind of miss those 10+ milers!

Train Smart!


Stefanie said...

Compliments at the pool are always great. That is the one area will I feel like I could super benefit from a coach.

Great job on making the works mesh with a family schedule. That is definitely tough!

RockStarTri said...

That girl was so hitting on you :)

Anonymous said...

I could definitely use a swim coach. Thinking about coming for masters, but intimidated by all you "real" swimmers...

Congrats on the ironman training. Sounds like it is really coming along. I am so unmotivated to work out right now. I really need to set a race schedule for the upcoming season so I have some goals to work towards. Maybe an OLY this year. I have an unspoken goal of a HIM by 40. No desire to do a full. Ever.

Your strength training post has me inspired. Is there a "weight room for dummies" program? Would the ready-fit thingy work for something like that? I understand the basics of most of the equipment, and the concept of low(er) weights and higher reps for toning. Is that correct for this instance? I am just not sure where to start or how to plan a program. Any suggestions where to look or who to ask at the gym?