So very tired

I am apparently running myself ragged again.  Thursday, I went to swim practice, where we did LSD.  No, no that.  Long, slow distance.  My favorite kind of swimming.  Because it’s something I’m actually good at.  Coach tried to help me with my form, and I think I have a better idea of what I should be doing.  Whether or not I’m doing it is another question.

After practice, I stopped by a local pub for a friend’s Team Fight fundraiser, and after a burger and a beer, we all got way too engrossed in the claw machine that seemed to provide tens of turns per “play.”  One dollar and six team-earned superballs later, I headed out.

Friday morning, I woke up when my phone rang with a call from the office.  And it was a good thing I got a call.  It was 11:30.  Who knows what time I would have gotten up otherwise.

Spent Friday getting a few things done around the house and then spent more time sleeping.   Saturday and Sunday were more productive, plus I got in a solid bike workout and a short run.  Spinning my legs at a higher cadence is a lot of work!  I managed to keep my cadence around 75, but I’m going to be working up to 85 or 90.  I’ll get there, I suppose.  And I hope this makes spinning up hills easier.  A girl can dream, right?

But somehow, with all the sleep I got, I still woke up exhausted this morning.  I blame last night’s rain storm.  Or the fact that I have a whole lot of things to get done this week before heading out for back to back half marathons.  And no, I still don’t think it’s a good idea.

Cycling Cadence

Quick drive-by post as work is eating my brain.

Last night, I finally put the bike computer onto my bike. It’s wireless and is designed to measure speed and cadence.

Now, speed and distance while on a trainer isn’t all that meaningful.  I suppose I can use it to compare workouts, but it definitely doesn’t translate to the same thing when biking outside.

But what does translate is cadence.  Cadence is the speed at which your legs are completing revolutions.  How many revolutions per minute am I making?

There are lots of recommendations of what cadence a triathlete should be using.  And it does somewhat vary by triathlete, I suppose.  If a fast cadence is killing you, it’s clearly too high.  But from what I’ve seen, somewhere between 85-100rpm.

That is not what I was doing last night.  Of course, I have my gears set so that pedaling is relatively challenging.  I need to change that and see what happens if I spin a bit faster.  I obviously have to monitor my heart rate and make sure it’s not getting out of control, but I think this new addition to my bike will improve my training.

Any recommendations from cyclists out there?  What should my cadence be?

New Shoes!

tumblr_meysmiIPq61qdrqb5o1_500This quote has nothing to do with today’s post, but I was looking for a related Gilmore Girls quote, didn’t find it, found this instead, and posted it because I love it and it applies to my life more times than not.

But anyway.  Shoes.  That’s what I wanted to post about.

I started wearing the Hoka One Ones after many many people raved about them.  They look a bit like moon shoes:

5e88cf81-bcbc-4dc2-8ddb-2e583417f270But I’m not exactly worried about fashion when I’m running.

At first, I was undecided.  My legs felt funny.  My feet cramped.  They just weren’t right.  Then I figured out that I was pulling the laces WAY too tight.  Rookie mistake.  I can’t lace my shoes too tight or everything goes wrong.  I have to find that perfect spot between too tight and too loose that lets me run pain free without risking blisters.  Because I’ve been wearing Brooks Adrenalines for so long, finding that point takes no thought at all.  It’s automatic.  But the Hokas took some figuring out.

So far?  I’m in love.  I’m running faster because I’m not pounding so hard on my feet.  This is a total change from the minimalist running theory, but I think it’s going to be what works for me.  I’m not a small runner.  I’m heavy, so I’m putting more pressure on my feet with each step.  It only makes sense that my body would like more padding underneath, right?

I’ve only done a max of ten miles in the shoes – I’m going to wear them for my first half in two weeks, and possibly for a second half the next day (bringing the old Adrenalines too, just in case).

But so far, this new relationship is working out quite well.

Swim Improvements

At the Tri-Mania expo this weekend, I went to a talk by the founder of Total Immersion swimming.  It was just a 45 minute talk, so it was mostly an overview of the TI method, but it was a good reminder to pull out my Total Immersion book again.

When I first started swimming for triathlons, Jennifer mentioned the TI method to me.  I bought the book and the DVD… and then read half the book, never opened the DVD and promptly forgot about it.

But this talk was a good reminder and the TI method makes a lot of sense for me.  One of the things that I struggle with during all athletic workouts is my heart rate issues.  Too much pushing and my HR gets way too high and I inevitably have to slow down to catch my breath.  Not a big deal at all while running (and it’s why I run intervals).  Not a huge deal with cycling either.  If I have to coast a bit, so be it.  Plus, my heart rate typically gets high going up hills, and frequently (though not always), uphills are followed by downhills, so that gives me a chance to recover.

Swimming, however, is a different story.  I can’t just stop to catch my breath.  I can slow down, but it’s a scary thing to be super out of breath while swimming, so I prefer to just take it easy.  So the idea of being a more efficient swimmer and getting better at moving my body through the water is really appealing.

Of course, I’m PAINFULLY slow right now.  So there are a lot of areas in which I can improve.  I’m sure my body position is horrible.  I’m thinking I should go to a clinic with filming (as much as I don’t want that) and see what I can do about improving my form in general.  But every step helps.

My arms don’t work

Masikryong North Korea Ski Resort

This is not my pool. Apparently, this pool is in North Korea. Therefore, I will never swim in this pool.

You know swim practice is going to be interesting when your coach posts this on Facebook a few hours before:

Swim tonight. Be afraid. Bring your good arms. ?#?springtraining?? #?thisisgonnahurtyoumorethanme?.

Thankfully, it wasn’t too painful, though it was definitely a good workout.  Sprints.  Lots and lots of sprints.  I swam the same distance I swam on Wednesday, only last night, I had many more rest periods between the swimming.

While I’m not sore today (yet), my arms and legs are TIRED.  As in they don’t really want to work today.  It’s an awesome feeling.

Of course, it made it very hard to get out of bed.

So hard, in fact, that I managed to turn my alarm off in my sleep.  And woke up as I was supposed to be leaving for work.


Thankfully, I showered at the gym the night before. I like to take a second shower in the morning after swimming to help get the chlorine smell off of my body, but I had to skip that this morning.  I slapped on some makeup, brushed my teeth, grabbed some clothes, piled my hair on top of my head, grabbed a protein bar and some coffee and managed to get to work only half an hour late.

I call that a win.