Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Allergies and 2/3

Man, my allergies have been horrible all spring.  It sucks big time.  Luckily, I get my Kleenex at Costco because I go through a box in about 2 weeks.  My allergies probably have a big negative impact on the environment with all the Kleenex I've been using.  This combined with massive sneezing and such after swimming no matter what the season makes a day like today miserable.

I swam this morning and ended up going a little longer than normal.  I started experimenting with breathing every 2 strokes and then every 3 strokes.  I usually breath every 3 strokes so I get to see both sides of the pool.  This makes swimming in open water easier since you can see landmarks no matter what or if you happen to be right next to a person who basically keeps splashing you as you try to suck in oxygen.  It was recommended in the Slowtwitch forums.  Along with increasing stroke rate which I had been experimenting with previously.  Anyway, all this stuff combined has take a couple of seconds off per 100 yards.

The biking has been slowly getting better.  I'm still not in good shape yet but I doing okay.  I rode my longest ride of season so far, 84 miles on Saturday.  It went pretty well although I was on a route with some decent sized hills.  The hills about killed me.  There was a huge hill on a road called, Johnnycake.  I kept thinking man who named this road because it definitely doesn't remind me of cake or pancakes.  I was thinking a more accurate name would be Hellhill Rd. or Losesomeweightfatso Lane.

The run has been so-so.  It's really in maintenance mode right now until later this summer when I start uping the long run for the week and adding significant tempo runs as well.  Just trying to stay injury free.  The posterior tibial tendon pain is gone after taking 5 full days off and doing all kinds of preventive stuff.  Thank god because that made it hurt just to walk.  My poor flat feet have a little to do with all my injuries.  Quite a few folks are always surprised I can run well with such flat feet.  I guess flat feet puts more stress on other various pieces and could explain the latest injuries as well as just being OLD.

It's finally nice weather after a couple of 50 degree days a few weeks ago.  We got heat and of course humidity.  Basically, you feel like you just finished a warm shower after going for an easy run outside.  With the humidity, I've trying to get better about drinking more water.  I hear that staying hydrated also helps in injury prevention.  So it's anything I can do to stay injury free up until the Baltimore Marathon this October.

The most interesting thing that has happened lately is a planned business trip to Oregon is coinciding with the Helvetia Half Marathon and the Blue Lake Olympic Triathlon.  If everything works out, I'll be doing those two events as a book-end to my week in Wilsonville.  I'm definitely not in any Olympic Tri shape but it will be fun to do the event where I first thought about doing an Ironman in 2007.  Back then I was just doing duathlons but that event was where I had decided you know maybe it's time to learn how to swim and step up to a new endurance challenge.  The Helvetia Half and I have a nice history as well.  I help the race organizer plan pieces of the event for the first couple of years.  I ran the old course which was brutal so running this new course should be interesting.

All in all Oregon will be fun.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Recovery Week

After the half on the Sunday before yesterday, I ended up basically doing a recovery week.  My quads were quite sore from the half which was surprising.  I guess they weren't quite ready for 13 miles of pounding or what felt like an easy pace was faster than they wanted to go, or the 50 mile ride on Saturday just gave them extra reasons for tightening up.  Don't you just love blogs where you can write massive run-on sentences.  No english/grammar teacher to make your blog all red.  Do teachers still use red pens?

Anyway, so I basically took it easy on the old legs for the entire week.  I just did low miles and let the run come to me.  I also went pretty easy on the bike as well.  So why the legs were recovery, the start of the real swim workouts for the season started.

I'm just going to start another paragraph well because it looks cool.  On Wednesday, I did my first swim workout since last summer.  I did ten 100 yard repeats.  This time I swam 400 yards for the warmup.  In the past I only have done about 200 yards but it seems that I feel better after a little more warmup.  Another sign of getting old I guess.  In surprise, I was able to hit my same times that I did in the past.  Now maybe I can get faster in the pool by September when I'll be doing my first tri of the season.  It would be nice not to be so far behind coming out of the water.  I got time to really see if I can improve.

I don't have any other races planned til then so I'll just keep following my marathon training plan.  I'll be hanging steady with some 30 something mile weeks until August when I'll start cranking up the long runs as I head towards the Baltimore peak.  I kindof dread the those long runs.  It's hard to stay focused for such long runs.  So not only will I be training my body but I'll be training my brain.  The brain definitely says it's hurting and you need to slow down and why are you being stupid, let's just walk.  Crap like that all the time.  It's like the little devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other.  The devil is telling you to just slow down and we'll only walk for a bit.  The angel is trying to keep you encouraged by saying, "Just think of qualifying for Boston and Wellesley".

It's super cold here again.  Well only high 50s which might feel warm to some people but after a few weeks of 80 degree weather it's cold.  Hopefully, it will turn warm again soon in order to keep getting bike miles in.