Early Morning Workouts

I do not understand how people can get up at crazy hours of the morning to fit in a workout.  Of course, those same people probably don’t understand how I convince myself to run or bike after a full day of work.

Once a week, I get up at 5:00 to go to the pool.  On a normal day, I get up at 5:15, so this is not that much earlier.  No, I don’t swim for only 15 minutes – since the pool doesn’t open til 6, I go to work about an hour late.  My boss is cool about it. But I don’t want to push her generosity.

So, for example, tonight I have a 6 mile run scheduled.  I’m slow, so that will take somewhere around 75 minutes.  The idea of getting up at 4 am or earlier makes me want to cry.  And honestly, I know myself.  I would just reset my alarm and plan to hit the treadmill after work.  If I had something to do after work, it would be a different story, but on any given day, sleep would win in the morning.

So hats off to you, early morning fitness types.  You are crazy, but I’m still impressed.

Swimming is 50% Mental

Monday morning swims are one of the hardest workouts to motivate myself for.  Not because of the swimming – I like swimming.  But 1) it’s Monday and 2) it’s early.  But it’s a good start to the week so I make a point to get there.  Plus I don’t want to drown or get eaten by sharks come race day.

Today’s workout started great.  I actually ended up with my own lane for the first 15 minutes, which never happens.  Someone joined me eventually, and that was fine.  We just split the lane.  He was swimming butterfly for some of his laps, but was conscious of where I was and would pull his arms in when we passed so I didn’t get punched.  All good.

Then a third guy asked to join the lane and we had to circle swim. Not a big deal except that I was a good deal slower than these guys.  I can’t tell you how many times I got lapped.  It was fine, really.  The guys were more than polite about it.  But it was really tough on my motivation.  I really just wanted to quit.  It was so demoralizing.  I’m well aware that I’m not fast and I generally don’t care, but to have these guys swimming around me constantly was just tough.

But I stuck it out.  Conveniently, the third guy joined just as I was starting a tempo set, so the added speed was a good push.  I was definitely feeling it by the end.  And by the time I was ready for cool down, I was once again in the lane alone.  So all in all, a good workout that I was feeling afterwards, but it was a mental struggle for sure.

I just have to remember that it’s not about everyone else – it’s just about me.  I’m doing this because I love to race and I want to improve myself.  It’s not about anyone else but me.

What It Means to Fight Cancer

Take 15 minutes out of your day and watch this.  If you’re just interested in his speech, skip to around 7:00.

“When you die, that doesn’t mean you lose to cancer.  You beat cancer by why you live, how you live, and the manner in which you live.  So live.  Live.  Fight like hell.  And when you get too tired to fight, then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you.”

Amazing.

Wednesday Workout Recap

Not a bad week, workout wise.  I at least tried to get in all of my workouts.

Monday – 5 Treadmill Miles.  Always a bit of a slog, but it’s fun to get in some tv watching.  I can’t remember the last time I just sat on the couch and watched tv.  I’m usually on the trainer or the treadmill.

Tuesday – Swim drills.  I think I might be getting faster.  Maybe.

Wednesday – Easy 45 minute trainer ride.  I always love when Coach uses the word “easy” on my training plan.

Thursday – Well… I went to swim practice.  But I only swam 50m before the lightning alert went off and we all had to get out of the pool.  It’s the thought that counts.

Friday – Rest day, which felt way busier than a normal rest day.  Maybe this is the day I should sit on the couch.

Saturday – 6 miles.  It’s a stepback week, obviously, so seeing 6 was a nice number.  I overslept though, and given the humidity, I ended up doing this on the treadmill.  I have a love/hate relationship with the treadmill.

Sunday – Pedal and Paddle!

This week started out so well and just ended with pain and suffering.  Which is obvious in how my workouts are going so far this week.  I need to just keep sticking to the schedule.  That olympic triathlon is not going to complete itself.

“Race” Recap – Columbia Pedal and Paddle

On Sunday, I did a new-to-me event – the Columbia Pedal and Paddle.  What does this entail?  Well, it’s sort of a crazy event.  The Columbia Association has 23 pools.  So you bike between the pools (around a 45 mile bike ride) and swim a lap in each pool.

Now, it’s not a race, so the rules are a bit fast and loose.  You don’t have to do a lap (though the race director did indicate that you do have to go down all the slides).  And a number of people completed part of the event and then dropped out.

I, however, was determined.  Never mind that I had never biked more than 20 miles at a time.  I was going to finish this event come hell or high water.

For the most part, it was a lot of fun.  It’s sort of a silly event.  The roads aren’t closed, so you definitely have to be careful while riding, which means most of the antics occurred at the pools.  By the end of the race, a guy was doing all of his laps in the wading pool.  Pretty entertaining.

I lost the last of my group of friends around mile 20. I could have quit then as well, but well, I’m too stubborn for that.  I was going to complete this thing.  This also meant that for a chunk of it, I was biking alone.  I was near other packs, but not quite fast enough to keep up with them.  I just have to keep training to become a better cyclist.

Somewhere in the 30’s, mileage wise, I hit the point where I hated everything.  I just wanted to be done.  I have such fond memories of this feeling from my last marathon.  But again, too stubborn to quit.

Ultimately, I hit 21 of the 23 pools – we totally missed one on the course and due to my slow speed, the lifeguards had already moved on when I hit the other.  At least, that’s what I assume – I was a block away when another cyclist shouted to me that the pool was shut down.  Oh well.

What really surprised me was how tired my upper body was.  I don’t think of biking as an upper body workout, and ultimately, I only swam 1050 meters.  That’s not a lot of swimming.  But clearly, the biking was an upper body workout.  As I was driving home, my hand was twitching.  Funny and a little annoying.

So while the event was a struggle at times, it was fun, and it’s been really fun to tell people what I did over the weekend.  I’m pretty sure it just solidifies that I’m insane.  I’ll probably do it again next year and hope to be in better biking shape by then!