Tuesday, April 21, 2009

200 days to go!

This morning marked the crossover from having more than 200 days to prepare for Ironman Florida to having less than 200 days. 199 days seems a lot less than 200 days...

I was really proud of myself for today's workouts. First, on Sunday night I decided I'd run part of my commute on Tuesday. I planned ahead and on Monday I brought everything I'd need on Tuesday so that I wouldn't have to carry everything. When I got to work Monday I saw my reminder that I had to be at work an hour early on Tuesday. yikes. But I stuck to my plan and this morning I incorporated running into my commute for the first time. So that made me proud of myself because the me a few weeks ago would've blown it off.

The weather this morning was perfect for running. 59 degrees made my STC sleeveless jersey and running shorts the perfect outfit. I donned my Camelbak stuffed with my wallet, cell phone, inhaler, and keys, drove my car to the park, hopped out and started running. I learned that the on the bridge I cross, the pedestrian part is super slippery. I walked that portion. I saw a few other runners and wondered if any of them were commuting, or if they were just out exercising. I felt so efficient by eliminating a portion of my drive and saving money on parking downtown. The countdowns on the crosswalk urged me to run faster to make the lights, or to just slow down so I wouldn't have to stop entirely. There's only a half mile stretch with lights, the rest is along the bike path or through Old Sac, but when I ride my bike I feel like I have to stop at every single one some days. I didn't have to stop for very many stop lights while running though. I arrived at my office building ready for a cool shower and feeling good about my day so far. (2.5 miles, 27 minutes, not counting the cooldown walking at the end.)

The temperature was much hotter on my return run. 93! It didn't seem too bad to me. Must be that Phoenician blood. I learned it's hard to fill a Camelbak from a drinking fountain (but also that I'm fine without refilling). The traffic lights stopped me a lot more on the way back. I took a shorter route back to the car, eliminating a few extra blocks that I'd done in the morning. (2.2 miles in 25 min.)

Then comes the second best part of my day (the first part being feeling so awesome after running in the morning) which made me more proud of myself. Once at my car, I went to the gym (very nearby) and went swimming. Woohoo. That alone would've been great. I've been so reluctant to swim because it's been cold or dark or rainy, etc. Today was perfect swimming weather and I was hot from the run. The best part about this was the Masters swim group was swimming so I actually decided to join them for the rest of their workout. Thank goodness I got there late. I'm not sure my arms would've held up for a full hour. 30 minutes of swimming felt good though. Minus the toe cramps. I thought about quitting when the toe cramps set in, so I could put them in the hot tub to relax them. But then I thought about how I got foot cramps during the long swims in the VI and pushed through those and how I might get cramps during the Ironman so I better just learn to deal with them. So I kept swimming.

The coach gave me some good tips I need to remember. I need to look down, not ahead. Pool swimming is different from open water but I could probably still look down more. And when I breathe I need to look back - lips towards the shoulder. I'm still trying to incorporate tips I got from the tri class swim clinic too. Apparently I was very gently placing my right hand in the water. I've been working on pushing it through the surface more. The masters coach told me I had a good even stroke. Maybe it's true, maybe it was just the "say something nice before critique". I can definitely tell that my stroke is improving. Very weird to change my stroke after so many years. Also working on body rotation. belly button rotates from one side to the next.

Tomorrow I'd planned to bike to work and do weights at the gym on the way home. But my little brother is driving through Sac tonight so since I'll be getting up at 1 or 2am to let him in, my plans have changed. (that's what siblings are for though, right?) I'll still stop by the gym on the way home though. Maybe swim again though I'll miss the masters workout if I do weights first... I'll figure something out! Thursday I'm doing the partial run again, which means I need to go make Thursday's lunch right now!

P.S. The race director from Sunday's race informed me they had my time listed wrong because they thought I started with my age group, so looks like I really did get second place. Even cooler because (assuming everyone elses times are correct), I placed 7 out of 24 among women in my age group. I never would've dreamed that I could even be in the top half in my age group but I almost snuck into the top 25%. sweet! speed workouts really do help.

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