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Archive for February, 2012

Why do I do this?

February 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Like opening a can of whoop-ass!

I just read a piece on BeginnerTriathlete.com that made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  It’s called Only Good Days: Redefining Success.  You gotta read it picturing someone giving a speech, ’cause otherwise it’s really bloody hard to follow, but if you can ignore the hard to follow part it’s actually really good!  It talks about defining success in triathlon, but really “triathlon” can be a metaphor in this case for anything someone strives to achieve (whoa!  That’s like Keanu Reeves level of deep).

Anyway, I liked it.  So read up if you’re interested.

– DO’G

Damn mornings

February 29, 2012 Leave a comment

I wish I had a window like that in my office

Most people hate Monday mornings.  I have no problem with them – not that I like Monday mornings, but I find the mornings get worse and worse as the week goes on.  I’m tired.  I stuck to my swim plan last night, even having to leave the restaurant early to do so… although swimming with a belly full of Chinese food was not smart (Note: why the hell do I always eat nice food on Tuesdays?!?  I’m always lugging it through the pool, hoping not to leave it at the bottom.  Next week: Salad on Tuesday!).  Anyway, the point is just to comment that, having stuck to my plan, I’m paying the price this morning after a good workout.

I’m still in awe of people who train in the mornings.  When I wake up in the morning, I have to focus on remembering to breathe – that’s job one.  After about 10-15 minutes I can try swinging a leg or two out of bed, and with a little luck stumble down the hall to get in the shower and stand under the water for 20 minutes until I’m awake.  Screw training – that’s not even in the realm of possible.  How the hell I make it to work every morning is a mystery to me.

So instead I train at night – I’d rather train in the morning.  I’d rather get that burst of energy from exercise.  I’d rather not have to fit it in each evening.  But there’s no chance in hell of that happening!

(ok – maybe I seriously need to start re-evaluating… I know many people aren’t morning people, but this is taking it to an extreme!)

-DO’G

A matter of will power

February 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Curse you Cafeteria Fries!!!

I ate my lunch today.  I had a sandwich from home that tasted awesome!  It filled me up, but something was still missing.  So I ate my granola bar – I wasn’t especially hungry at the time, but I ate it anyway.  I’m stuffed, but I’m still craving…

The curses of working in an office big enough to have it’s own cafeteria.  Fries cost $1.58 after taxes – I know this ’cause I order them way too fucking often!  They’re not even great fries, but they’re there, and they’re warm, and they’re comfort food.

But fries are counter productive.  I don’t train explicitly to lose weight, although it’s a very nice perk if it happens.  Shedding a few pounds of fat would help me run better, especially on hills.  It would help all 3 sports.  You don’t see many endurance athletes who are carrying around spare tires – they’re all wiry sticks.  Does all the training they do keep them thin, or do they keep themselves thin so they can do all that training?  I’m sure it’s a chicken and an egg question, but I’ll bet they eat a lot more chicken and eggs than fries!!!

Keeping out of the cafeteria at lunch is as much a victory as going for a run at night – it’s not actually hard to do, and is really rewarding when successful (and actually quite enjoyable), but it takes a lot of will power when all I want to do is sit on a couch and eat crappy food!

(so how many of you are hungry now thanks to that damn picture of fries? you’re welcome!)

– DO’G

 

Weekly Recap – Feb 20-26

February 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Look, it's a calendar from google images!

I was thinking about the last post that I did yesterday, and realized it really just was a summary of my workout, and without any real story or thought analysis, it was a pretty damn boring post.  So here you go – I’ve started this one off with a picture.  Don’t say I don’t entertain! 🙂

(I actually kinda like the image idea.  Maybe I’ll do this more often – when I’m not being lazy that is)

This past week was a pretty good one.  Coming off an unintentional rest week the week before, I was a bit concerned about jumping back in the deep end, so to speak.  But it went pretty well, all told.  2 Swims, 1 Run, 2 Lift sessions.

The swims were pretty good.  I learned that I really have no idea which way my nose is pointing, and look like an absolute goof with a flutter board.  But I put in the time and distance I had planned and felt particularly strong on my second swim.

The run certainly wasn’t great – only laced up the shoes once, and only for 4kms.  Granted, it was a PB pace shattering 4kms (if it were at all worth tracking one’s PB 4km distance), so it was actually a pretty good workout, but I really would have liked to put more miles behind me this week.  I think that’s my biggest goal going into next week: get my running distance in.  Next week’s goal: 15km.  There – I posted it to the interwebs.  There’s no pulling it down now!

The lifting was really good, particularly the 2nd session.  I hit a few muscle groups I haven’t hit in a long time.  Way too long.  It’s so easy to get into a rut when lifting weights at home, it’s nice to break free from that.  It feels… up lifting (sorry, I had to).  As much as the lifting felt great, the change in stretching strategy was amazing!  The extra blood flow through my neck and back felt like a million bucks.  Must keep that up.

Goals for this upcoming week:

  • 3 run sessions.  Must do.  My goal is 15kms (which is quite aggressive, not based on my skill level, but based on my lazy level)
  • 2 swim sessions.  Trying to step up the running without sacrificing the swim.  Break out the champagne if I can hit all 5 sessions!
  • STRETCH!  Amazing what a good feeling it was this week to stretch properly.  Imagine what it could do for my well being if I kept it up for a full week.  Imagine what it could do for my training!  It seems like such a little thing – but it’s doing the little things to take care of myself that allows you do the big things.  I want to do 2 stretch sessions, all 7 days this week.  Even if I don’t get a training session in, I can find 15 minutes to stretch.

-DO’G

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Fun with flutter boards

February 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Today was supposed to be a “rest day”.  But I missed my swim Thursday night, so off to the pool I went this afternoon.

I decided to mix it up a little bit – instead of doing a km in 100m sprints, like I usually do, today I decided to do 50m all out sprints, with some flutter board lengths mixed in.  As a swimmer, I’m still held back a bit by my former waterpolo days where I was taught to swim almost exclusively with my arms.  My legs are so lazy in the pool.

The all out sprints were tough – my back and shoulders are feeling the day-after effect from lifting weights yesterday, so I probably didn’t go as fast as I might have otherwise.  But it was a nice change of pace to do something sorta drills-ish instead of simply swimming my distance.  The flutter board work was good too – my legs could only go about 50m on their own, they’re that weak in the water.  So much work to do…

The nice thing about Saturday swims is that the pool session is at noon (instead of evenings during the week).  Means I get to take an after-swim nap!

G’night y’all

– DO’G

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All stretched out

February 24, 2012 1 comment

ok – so first the recap.  Since we last saw our hero…

Yes, I did go for my run on Wednesday, since I said I would.  A short run – only about 4kms, but a better average pace than I’ve managed in a long time.  Much credit goes to my running buddy who was fueled by life’s frustrations and started out at a torrid pace (it truly was a run, not a jog).

Last night I did not go for my scheduled swim.  Will instead be made up tomorrow afternoon, which was supposed to be a day off.  That’s what I get for missing a work out… I will miss you, Saturday off…

Instead of my swim, I visited with a very dear and often missed friend.  Amongst many other conversation topics, we got into a discussion about training.  I was in heaven.  I have many friends, with many varied interests, but few who are as interested in training the way I am.  I’m kinda an odd duck that way.  It was so nice to talk about training, and stretching, and aches and pains for a night.

In particular, she described to me a few stretches that she knew and used.  Admittedly, stretching is my biggest weak spot in training.  ‘Cause I don’t do it.  I’m sure if I knew (and remembered) to stretch more often, I could improve a lot faster.  It was great learning some new stretches and hearing what works for someone else.

I just now finished my weight lifting session for today (a perk to working at home on Fridays – lunch hours become “lift hours”).  I spent as much time in stretching as I did in lifting.  Particularly stretching my upper body, my back, and my neck – areas I previously assumed could not be stretched, and thus didn’t.  What a difference.  I feel like I haven’t had blood flow to my head like this in years – my neck is lose, my constant headache is temporarily gone, and I don’t feel completely dizzy if I bend over even slightly.  You know, there may be something to this back/shoulder/neck stretching thing.  I think a bigger sample size is needed, but the results so far are encouraging!

I think I should add this to my to-do list: Learn more upper body stretches.  They’re worth it!

-DO’G

Keeping my nose down

February 22, 2012 Leave a comment

So, a little more on yesterday’s swim.  I get a monthly newsletter from Multisport Canada (the organizers of the triathlon race series I was in last year, and will likely be in again this year).  The February newsletter had a training tip about swimming (sorry, it’s a really shitty link – wish they did a better job with their bookmarks… it’s like the 3rd or 4th training article down, if anyone bothers to go read it).  They talk about nose position:

Today, we are going to readdress balance in the water as the simplest and easiest tip that we can give you. Nose position is the main key point. If you know where to point it when swimming and learn to focus on keeping it pointed there, all sorts of wonderful changes in your swim begin to happen.  …you need to point your nose directly to the bottom of the pool. The waterline needs to be at almost at the back of the head and the centre of the top of your head is under water and pointed directly at the opposite end of the pool.

Anyone else thinking this sounds stupid-easy?  Uh-huh?  Well it ain’t, surprisingly enough!

I want to look forward when I swim, not down.  I don’t care about the pennies at the bottom of the pool, I care about the wall coming up at the other end and not swimming right into it.  I swam my 40 lengths of the pool, and probably only about 2 or 3 of those did I really do a good job of keeping my nose pointed down.  Most of the time my head was all over the place – I would remember for a bit, then regress to a more natural position, then repeat.  But when I did get it right, holly crappers did I swim faster!  I actually had trouble sneaking my breaths in between strokes.  My arms moved easier out of the water, the pulls seemed lighter, the kicking tired my legs less.  It’s not like I’m significantly stronger or lighter or better balanced then last time I was in the pool.  It felt night and day different when I was getting it right then when I wasn’t.  Of course, I probably looked like a goof with my head flopping all over the place, but it felt good.

I’m kinda glad the next training tip won’t come until the March newsletter.  As much as I’m curious what it is, I certainly need to practice this more before I add something else to think about to the mix!

Tonight’s plan is a run.  I haven run in (starts counting on fingers) 12 days.  Almost 2 weeks.  This might be really ugly.  But here I am trying to be accountable.  I’m going to run tonight!  It’s not about how well tonight’s run goes, but about running tonight so the next run goes a little bit better.

-DO’G

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