Coeur Half-Century Swim

This weekend, I did something crazy.  One of my Coeur teammates set-up a challenge – get together to swim 100×100.  Now, there was no way that I was going to be able to do a full century swim, but this event was totally friendly to all ability levels, and we were all encouraged to set our own goals.  There were over 30 people there, which was pretty impressive.  I felt bad for the regulars at the pool – they just kept looking for an open lane and figuring we had to be done soon.  That said, we were only taking up 4 lanes.

I set my goal at 50×100.  5000 yards in the pool.

When I was setting my goal, I wanted something that was challenging, but also something that I could achieve.  I’m honestly not sure what the longest swim I’ve ever done was, but I’m betting it was somewhere around 3000.  That said, I’m doing the 4500 swim at Fort Ritchie Swimfest at the end of May, so I wanted to see just how much training I need to do to comfortably be able to complete that swim.  But even the night before, I was debating whether or not I wanted to drop my goal to 4000.

This was an awesome event to be a part of.  There were people of a lot of ability levels participating, and there was zero judgment in the slow lane, or from anyone in the fast lanes.  We were all out there challenging ourselves and getting it done.

I definitely wasn’t attempting to swim 5000 without any breaks.  There were chat breaks at the end of the lane, bathroom breaks, snack breaks, water breaks.  Whatever it took to get through the workout.

I definitely hit a bit of a wall somewhere around 3000.  I couldn’t believe that I was only 3/5ths done.  But once I pushed through and hit 4000, doing an extra thousand didn’t sound so bad.  For me, it’s all about breaking up a big workout into manageable chunks.

And while the company was clearly the best part of the workout, the second best part was the delicious Honeymoon Ice Cream sandwiches afterwards.  YUM.  I’ll do just about anything for good ice cream.

January Mileage Update

jarmoluk / Pixabay

At the end of last year, I noticed a lot of people posting about the number of miles they had completed via swim/bike/run, and I realized I had no clue how far I had gone. I had a good guess on biking, since I always used my Garmin to track my distance, be it indoors or outdoors, but I hadn’t been logging treadmill distances, and who knew how much swimming I had done. So this year, I’m trying to get every workout logged into Strava so I can track how far I’ve gone.

In January, I:

Ran 46 miles
Biked 227 miles
Swam 4.2 miles

Not bad for a month with a few missed workouts.

Obviously, the biking mileage is a bit misleading, because indoor mileage doesn’t completely translate to outdoor mileage, but it’s the best measurement I’ve got right now.

I’m pretty pleased with the run mileage as well. 46 miles really isn’t a lot, but I remember the days when I was primarily a runner and I would push to make it to 50 miles a month. Now I’m doing multi-sport training but still getting in some quality mileage.

I don’t have any specific distance goals for the year, primarily because I have no idea what my distance totals have been for recent months and years, so I don’t know what a good goal might be. I guess my goal is just to continue to track and log workouts in Strava. It’s an easy way to keep a record of what I’ve done in one place, plus it’s nice that it automatically tells me when I’m making some sort of improvement. I’m a sucker for data, even when I don’t actually understand what it means.

One thing I’ve discovered about tracking my workouts is that it can reframe how I felt about a workout. I’ll go out for a run and come back feeling like it was terrible. I feel like I struggled for pace, or just couldn’t find a groove. And then I look at the stats from the run and compare it to previous workouts and find that I was faster than I was before. So of course it feels a bit harder. I just didn’t realize I was running faster.

Plus it’s just fun to be able to see what I accomplished. I’m not doing it to compare to anyone else, because I’m sure there are people who easily completed ten times the distance I did this month. I just want to be able to compare to me.

Wednesday Workout Recap

This was pretty much my method for getting over my cold – and it seems to have worked.
Mysticsartdesign / Pixabay

This week could have been better. I blame people who work at my office.  By Tuesday, it was clear that I was coming down with a cold, so I decided to not go to swim practice, in the hopes that added rest would kick whatever was coming.  I also started taking Zinc and Vitamin C.  I was pretty tired for the rest of the week, and can’t tell you if I was just fighting something off or just being lazy, but I decided to go with it and basically missed all of my weekday workouts.

Saturday – So by the time my Saturday workout came around, I was feeling pretty darn rested!  Who knew!  Two hours on the trainer today, not structured, just an endurance workout.  I found a pretty good groove and it felt great.

Sunday – 11 mile run, my last long run before Donna.  This went spectacularly.  I’m not sure if that’s due to the week off or if it was just awesome conditions, but it was an awesome run and I hope that race day can somewhat approximate it.

My throat is still a little scratchy, but I’m honestly hoping that’s simply due to the super low humidity in the office.  I’ve got the humidifier up and running and I’m hoping for the best.

Getting Out Of Your Head

I found many pieces of cars on my run this week.

This weekend, I went out for my last long run before the Donna half.  Eleven miles.  Not too terrible, but I wasn’t really looking forward to it either.  I’m a slow runner!  11 miles takes me a long time.

So I decided to go out and run and not worry about pace.  It had been a long weekend and I had been on my feet the night before at the Ulman Cancer Fund event, so who knew what this run would bring.

I queued up a few episodes of Zombies Run and also listened to some of The West Wing Weekly.  (Basically, I let the Zombies Run episode play, and instead of playing music, I play the podcast and when the Zombies Run episode interrupts, I pause the podcast with the control on my headphones.  I don’t like to listen to music when I run.  Podcasts let me still hear the sound around me.)  I have to say, all these years later, I still love Zombies Run.  Definitely a creative story, though I keep the zombie chases turned off because they are creepy.  I may sign up for one of their virtual races to get the added content.

So I basically just ran and paid no attention to pace.  I knew that I was running at a good pace, because I checked my watch every mile so I didn’t miss my turnaround point, but I didn’t focus on the pace itself.

By the time I was done, I was sore.  But pleased to be done.  Still wasn’t paying too much attention to my pace.  When I finally got home and uploaded my data, I realized why I was so sore.  I had run about 30 seconds per mile faster than I had on my previous week’s ten mile run.  I was closer to my anticipated race pace than I was to a training pace.  And yet I didn’t feel like I was pushing all that hard.

Just goes to show what can happen when you get out of your head. Now to see what happens at my race in just under two weeks.  Maybe I’m better trained than I thought.

On Current Events

RachelBostwick / Pixabay

I don’t typically talk politics here, and in many ways, I’m going to continue to not talk politics in this post.  Why?  While I certainly have the right – this is my blog and I can talk about whatever I want – I also don’t necessarily want this to be a political space.  Regardless of what I believe, I have friends on both sides of just about every issue (I even have a friend who is a staunch “Flat Earth” proponent), and we all have the right to our beliefs.

But this blog isn’t about politics, and I assume you’re not coming here to find out what I think about a certain political issue.  No, this is a blog mostly about running and triathlon (and sometimes cats and pop culture and other fun things).  However, I think it’s pretty hard to ignore what’s been going on in the US over the past weeks and months.  And regardless of which side you’re on, you likely have strong feelings and have been pulled into pretty emotional arguments.

Arguments solve nothing.

Fighting on Facebook solves nothing.

Don’t get me wrong – there is incredible value in having a debate between reasonable people.  Even if I don’t agree with you following the debate, I will have a better understanding of what you believe and why. But right now, we’ve just been seeing a lot of heated words flung back and forth with none of those words doing any good.  All we are doing is creating a divide.

So what can we do?  You can contact your elected representatives to voice your thoughts and encourage them to vote for or against certain bills.  You can volunteer or donate to causes you can believe in.  You can volunteer with groups that are totally unrelated to the current political climate, because it’s always a positive thing to bring a little good to the world, wherever you can.

You can be a positive force.  You can spread your words and thoughts with confidence and civility, not anger and frustration.  But you should also make a point to hear those thoughts and listen and try to understand.  I’m not saying you should change your mind.  Just try to get a teensy, tiny glimpse into the other side.  People who voted differently than you did (or would have, if you are a non-American) aren’t stupid.  They have their beliefs and reasons.  Listen to those and find out what is important to someone else.

Whatever you do, don’t let yourself get so sucked in to the negativity that you forget about all of the good that is still happening in the world.  And do your best to be part of that good, in whatever way you can.