April 2008 Archives



There are all types of sports for all types of people. There are team sports, for those who thrive on that environment. There are individual sports, for those who prefer to rely on themselves. There are technical sports, non-technical sports, sports where you go hard for hours, sports where you go in shifts, and sports where you go for 10 seconds and then it's over.

In general, I think that the sports I partake in are well suited to my personality. Nonetheless, this morning's workout left me a touch bitter.

After a 1300m warmup, our main set was a complicated, but challenging one.

first 4 non-free
next 2 non-free, different than the last
on 1:01
The catch is that wherever the second hand was at the start of your first 50, that's where it had to be when you finished EACH of the 50s. If you ever failed to meet this finish time, you started doing 25m repeats instead of 50s.

So, to be clear, you had 60 seconds to finish the first 50. You had 50 seconds to finish the 10th 50. The last 50 you only had 35 seconds to complete.

The first 6 being non-free were fairly tough. I opted for 4 fly, then 2 breast. Finishing the 2 breast on time was kind of tough. When we were allowed to switch to free, things got easier - for a while. I had started on the 60, and for a while the freestyle 50s were being finished on the 55. As we were starting 1 second later each time, though, it started getting tougher. Once I slipped off of 55, I knew I was in trouble. I was able to sprint through a few, but around repeat number 20 I blew up.

I started doing 25s, trying to keep my stroke together and my speed up. The ladies behind me in my lane were all bitter than I seemed to be throwing off their time, but they kept doing 50s. When we finally finished the set, they started talking about how the set wasn't too bad, and how they felt stronger at the end. Um, what?

It turns out that they had missed the part about the finish time, and had just done a leisurely 25x50m on 1:01.

I felt an overwhelming need to explain to them that they'd missed something. I tried to explain the set, but quickly realized that it didn't matter. All that matters to me is what I do, and I was pretty happy with my effort. If everyone else did a different set and found it easy, more power to them. Or so I told myself.

It did make me feel better, though, to hear the guys from the fast lane talking about the "tough" set afterwards, in the locker room. It made me feel a bit better.

I think I'm still a bit bitter, though.

Nine Minute Negative Split

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After a rest day on Saturday, I knew I had to get out and do something on Sunday. I didn't have a lot of time, but managed to fit in an hour ride before dinner.

The wind was strong and steady from the southwest, bringing the last of the unseasonably warm weather we've been having. I rode south of the city, deciding to make for the rugby park.

It didnt' take long for me to decide to get down into the drops, and stay there as long as I could. I didn't carry much speed into the wind, but I did my best to keep grinding. It quickly became a weird kind of sub-20km/h speed set. I grinded away, and only really got a respite in a wooded section towards the end. I made it the almost 15 kilometers in 38 minutes exactly.

After a quick break to catch my breath, I turned around and made my way home. The difference was unbelievable. It's probably a fair statment that the wind is always in your face. At the speed I was going with the wind at my back, I'm sure the air was slowing me down rather than pushing me along. Still, it felt good to be able to sit up and just fly along.

The return trip felt stronger and faster, and was done in 28:22. Crazy.

Back to Commuting

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I rode to work on Tuesday. It felt a bit better than it had last week. Consequently, I felt much better about the prospect of riding home. The weather was perfect, too - 10 degrees on the way in, around 20 on the way home.

Once I got home, of course, it all hit me. I had a double course of dinner and went straight to bed.

Thursday was cooler and windier. I struggled with a headwind the whole way in. The upside was the return trip, where I felt strangely strong. The 5 minute negative split was not the result of excellent conditioning, I can tell you that!

I was apprehensive about today's swim, but I felt surprisingly good. I even put up a PB on my 50 breast - 41.5. Still not as fast as I'd like to be, but I definitely benefitted from the extra turn.

I was briefly really impressed with how many miles I'd put in on the bike this week, until I did the math and realized I wasn't really ahead of pace to put in 1000km before Rideau Lakes. If anything, I need to maintain this pace for the next month and a half.

Well, that will come. For now, I'm taking a couple of days of well-deserved rest!

Work In Progress.

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With tired legs and sunburnt arms, I hit the cold, cold pool to start my week.

We did some IM work, but mostly we worked on sprint. The main set was:
200 fly kick negative split
4x50 free w 15s rest (3rd 50 fastest)
200 fr ez
8x25 free w 10s rest
4x50 free w 10s rest

Other than the ez, it was all intended to be fast. The upside was that each set was done on 6 minutes, so there was lots of rest between the 200s.

On the heels of this came the benchmark
25 build rest 30
50 sprint rest 60
25 ez rest 30
50 sprint (timed)

My timed 50 was 38 seconds flat. Not bad, but it's a far cry from my 50 fly time. It's also a far cry from what the fast swimmers do.

Part of it, for sure, is that the sprint came at the end of the set. Part of it, though, is that I haven't quite got my freestyle together yet. Which is fine - it, like so many things in life, is a work in progress.

Group Ride

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The initial group ride of the season was Sunday. The group is organized by a triathlete in the masters swim club. I was a bit nervous, despite assurances via email that it would be an easy 60-90 minute ride.

I thought about running this weekend, but I wanted to get another warmup ride in on Saturday. Ergo, I decided to skip the run, and just focus on getting used to the bike again.

Saturday I just rode around the neighbourhood. I was aiming for 15-20, and wound up with.

I rode the 5k to the meeting point on Sunday. There were about a dozen people there, including one who was riding with clips for the first time. The pace wasn't too bad, though obviously there was a range of abilities and fitness there. The organizer did a good job trying to keep everyone together. After about 45 minutes, the group split in two - one group heading straight back to town, the other riding a bit further. I surprised myself a bit by joining the group that continued on.

Two things did get to me. One, I generally tried to hand back a bit. At times, I found myself in a tight group, and I was nervous - either about someone braking in front of me, forgetting someone was behind me and braking/moving, or forgetting to signal a bump or pothole. The other problem happened later, when I was outside and noticed my arms were red. Oops. Oh yeah, I'd forgotten about the sun thing.

The summer-like weather is supposed to persist for at least the early part of the week. Hopefully I'll be able to get some more distance in before the temperatures return to seasonal.

The Return of the Yellow Beast


Yes, the yellow beast is back from the basement.

I went out for a brief ride on Tuesday. I just wanted to take it around the neighbourhood, see if everything was working. It probably needs a tune-up, but the tires still hold air, so that's good.

This morning I bit the bullet and rode in to work. Whether or not I ride home will depend on how I'm feeling, but right now, it seems like I might not. That was tough - especially on the body parts that don't take well to the first few rides of the year.

I read over the Rideau Lakes literature this morning. I more or less have 50 days left to do the 1000km cycling they recommend to prepare. That's 20km a day. Well, whatever happens, I've hit my quota for today. :)

I'm very, very happy to be back into this. Spring is finally truly here, and now I can start spending more time outdoors again!

Still Alive


As the summer approaches, life is getting busier. I'm still alive, though, and still training.

Swimming attendance has been pretty good lately. I've gotten 3 excellent tips over the last month - two related to kick, and one related to freestyle pull. They're having a positive effect, and I'm working hard on trying to focus on them. The downside is they're kicking my butt, so to speak. More efficiency, more technique and more power sometimes mean more breathing, and slower recovery times. It's a process.

Boy, do I miss the aerobic engine that I had last year.

Still, I've set a few minor PBs, most notably breaking 3 minutes on the 200 and going sub-34 seconds on the 50 fly (albeit in a 25m pool). I'm hoping to get the courage (and better technique!) required to try a 100 fly before the end of the year. Right now, I'm a wee bit intimidated.

I went for a run on Sunday - the first time in weeks. I only made it about 13 minutes before I ran into some old friends. Skipping out on the rest of the run was worthwhile. Besides, my quads were plenty sore the next day.

This week I've been seeing cyclists everywhere. I need to kickstart my riding very, very soon. I'd love to see one good rain go by first, though, to clean up some of the dust and salt from the winter.

We've lost several feet of snow over the last few days, and there's water everywhere. I'm also starting to see patches of ground, though, and it can't be too long before they start turning green.


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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

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from April 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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