August 2007 Archives

7 out of 10


So I only ended up bike commuting, or partially bike commuting, 7 out of 10 times last week. Once I opted out so my wife and I could have breakfast together, once it rained, and once I was just too tired. A couple of other times, I biked to someone's soccer practice and got a ride home, but that still counts.

A pretty good effort, I think.

Of course, I was pretty demolished this weekend. Did not do anything structured on Saturday. On Sunday, I did my pushups and situps, but couldn't drag myself out for a run.

Still, I'm already pondering riding in this week, so clearly, it couldn't have been THAT bad.

Overall, my approach to fitness continues to be unstructured and less than committed. It looks like the fall race schedule really is out of the picture. On the other hand, swimming starts in two weeks.

Cheating in Cycling


I confess, I cheated.

Owning 1 vehicle becomes an exercise in compromise. This week, my wife needed the car all week, so I brashly proclaimed that I would commute by bike. All week.

So I stockpiled food at my desk, and brought in some clothes last Friday.

Monday, I got up early for the meteor shower, and was tired all day. Tuesday, I found myself getting tired of a steady diet of granola bars, rice cakes, trail mix and V8. When I woke up from a thunderstorm Tuesday night and couldn't get back to sleep, I overslept my alarm. An opportunity to have my bike and I shuttled to work came up, and I accepted.


So now it's Thursday, and it's raining. Time will tell if I cheat again tonight.

It's been a tough week. I haven't ridden hard, and I've been 16 different forms of hungry. Time and energy seem to be leeching out of me.

Then again, I'm training, albeit somewhat casually. All this suffering has to pay off at some point.

I just want the weekend to come.

Winter Goals


In my last post, I alluded to the fact that my goals this fall would lie outside of running.

My long term goal is to focus more on speed than distance. This applies equally to running, cycling, swimming, whatever. I've asked myself "how much further can I go?" enough times, for now. (For now!!) In order to continue developing as an athlete (that part sounds SO weird), I need to focus on doing what I can already do, faster.

My first short term goal as part of this plan is to swim a World Masters qualifying time in a race, sometime this swim season (before next summer). The qualification times for Perth are listed here. (NB: I am NOT going to Australia, even if I qualify!)

Here's a quick analysis of where I stand with regards to these standards:

Freestyle: 50m is right, right out. I'm not powerful enough to sprint like that. 100m looks tempting - I'd have to improve by about as much time as I did last year. Wait, I'd have to improve by MORE than I improved last year. Of course, I should improve by less time, even if my technique improves by the same amount. So 100m is unrealistic, but I'd like to think I can get close.

200m involves losing 30s. 400m involves losing a minute. I actually suspect I'll make more gains on the 200s and 400s than on the short distances this year, but that's a huge delta.

Backstroke: Get real. (I don't have a single recorded backstroke PB. Now you know why.)

Butterfly: My time from 2 years ago is only 1 second off the qualifying time for the 50m. Wow. Um, seriously wow. Interesting...

I don't seriously believe people swim longer than 50m of butterfly, though. Not if they're sane, at least.

Breaststroke: This has always been my best stroke. So let's see...

My PB is within 2 seconds of the 50m qualification time for the 50m. Nice. The 100 breast qualification is, I think, around 7 seconds faster than I've ever done. That's tough, but honestly, with the speed I had even last season, when breaststroke got the last amount of work, it would be a question of holding a "doable" pace. I really think this might be doable.

The 200 breast time looks extremely fast. They don't let you drop much pace at all from the 100. Also, that would be 200m of crazy leg burn. I really don't think it's doable, but I should probably try some 200s and 400s in training anyways, to get my legs used to the burn.

Individual Medley: My 200 IM swim from last season is "only" 8 seconds off the qualifying time. Two seconds per fify in one discipline sounds reasonable, given enough work. Two seconds per fifty in four disciplines is really only going to happen if you work very hard in all four disciplines.

I really don't see this happening.

The idea of even attempting a 400 IM is just funny at this point. If you're not sure why, read my comment on the idea of doing 100m or more of butterfly. (The 400 IM STARTS with 100m fly....)

Summary: Breaststroke looks like my best chance (big surprise). In 3 years of swimming, though, my breaststroke times really haven't improved much. I may really need some help shaving off even a couple of seconds.

For anything else to happen, my kick is going to have to improve by leaps and bounds. Stronger legs can only help my breaststroke, so I expect to suffer my way through lots of kick drills this fall. If I make a breakthrough on flutter or dolphin kick, the 100 free or 50 fly may be on the cards.

In order to help give myself a chance to succeed in any of the above, I've applied to switch from 2 mornings a week to 3 in master swim. I find the very notion a bit surreal and bizarre, as I only started out doing swimming to cross train, and maybe stop myself from drowning in triathlon. Suddenly, I'm planning 6 months down the road for a swim meet.


Still, this is as close as I'll ever come to sprinting. It seems as good a place as any to start on my long term goals.

Plus, in the middle of January, I'd rather by driving to the pool than running past it.


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In the first two weeks back from vacation, I actually trained less than I had while on vacation. The problems seemed to start with my consistently forgetting to turn on my alarm in the morning. Waking up after 8am on a weekday is great on vacation, but not so great once the vacation is over.

Ergo, I went a disappointing 13 days without a run at one point. Yuck. Almost an Augustathon of my own, but in reverse to Ali and Bill.

Not that I want to be too hard on myself. June and July (at least!) were earmarked as the rest part of my yearly training cycle. Sure, I'd love to run a PB or two in the fall, but my fall focus will be elsewhere....

Anyways, I broke my duck last Friday, running a 5k that would have been humiliatingly slow if I was the type to get humiliated over this sort of thing. (Actually, not running for 13 days was worse, but I digress.) The weekend featured company, lots of plans, and laziness and excuses to match. By the holiday Monday, though, the schedule was clear. So I ran. (Again!)

I also did my usual 2x (15 pushups, 30 situps). I've actually managed to do that 5 days running now. When I first started doing them, pushups two days in a row were hard on my shoulders. I've been horribly inconsistent, but clearly I'm improving.

I also bike commuted on Wednesday, and ran again today. This may just be the start of something.

As for today's run, well, I pushed it a little bit. I didn't really think it was a good idea, but the pace was a bit faster than last Friday. How much faster? Oh, more than 2 minutes per mile.

I offer no explanation for this.


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Recent Comments

  • Cheryl: Right on Wendy! read more
  • Wendy: That swimming fitness will be back before you know it! read more
  • deene: you have to listen to your body, you probably needed read more
  • Cheryl: The heat, mixed with the humidity were extreme and it read more
  • Wendy: Sorry to hear you were so ill, Warren, but good read more
  • Cheryl: Sounds like a tough go! It's a shame that everyone read more
  • deene: anything timed in seconds and with repeats sound tough to read more
  • jank: Ease comes soon while riding in a group. As long read more
  • warren: Sadly, no. Nor did I delve into the Leguminosae family read more
  • jeff: WOOHOO! did you ever come up with a name for read more

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This page is an archive of entries from August 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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