SWIM Throughout the Fall, I was psyching myself up to do the New England Masters Short Course Yards Championship. I was making it to practice regularly, feeling stronger, swimming faster, almost ready to fill in the entry form and BLAM.
Winter – like 3-feet-of-snow-winter – smacked me upside the head: practices were canceled, my mom fell and I wanted to visit her more often (can’t blame winter but it caused a change to my workout schedule nonetheless). Missed practices, stress, worry, vacation (well that was a good thing – I got to do an open water swim with a group in Barbados!). Sure I still could have signed up for the meet and just done whatever I could, but competing is always a big deal for me. It’s stressful enough – I don’t like feeling defeated before I even start. So now I’m getting my swims in when I can and looking forward to the day when the ice melts and the snow goes away. It’s officially Spring, and perhaps it will eventually feel like winter is over. And thankfully, my mom is doing better!
BIKE Other than commuting and spin classes, not much going on in the bike department. I went to the basement and visited my road bike the other day. Actually touched it! Even thought about pumping up the tires, but really, why bother? They’ll be flat again by the time it’s warm enough to ride. Soon? Last year I got out in early April. We’ll see.
[RUN – I don’t usually post a “RUN” section I’m running again! After taking a long time off (a year?), I’m giving it another try. I’m hoping the exercises my chiropractor gave me will help my disc stays where it’s supposed to. Could there be a sprint tri in my future? Stranger things have happened.]
READ I’ve read a bunch since I last posted. The most recent memorable ones are All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr, and Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel. Two VERY different books. Both really well-done.
and EAT! Lots of that going on, but nothing noteworthy, unfortunately.
A friend of mine has a cut-off temperature for outside biking. At one point it was 60 degrees, although she has been out in lower temps since she told me that. I think she might have dropped the threshold a few points as she became a more experienced rider. What’s my cut-off? I’m not exactly sure, but I think we’re there! I know I’m not happy riding in the 40s, and it snowed (ok, flurried) over the weekend. Sure, I’ll continue to commute my 3-4 miles each way to work and swim, bundled up like the Michelin tire guy – unless it’s icy – but I am by no means hard-core enough to road ride through the winter. Do you have a temperature range?
I did the Rapha Women’s metric century ride over the summer. FUN! There’s another one in December. The Rapha Women’s Braver than the Elements Ride. NOT SO FUN! I won’t be doing that one – I’m really not braver than the elements. I get cranky when my hands and feet go numb and turn funny colors.
SWIM! My last Walden Pond swim was on September 23rd. It wasn’t awful in terms of being cold, but I could tell I was done. I rejoined Cambridge Masters Swim Club and am happily (?) getting my ass kicked in the pool 3-4 times/week. I need a push every few years – I was due. I’m curious to see if my shoulders get bigger with the increased yardage and effort. I’ll keep you informed. I might even do a pool meet in the Spring. Oh shoot, now that I’ve said that, I might actually have to do it. Something I found out: stroke workout right after spin class doesn’t work so well for me. Swim fail!
BIKE! See above. No more outside riding for me. I finished the season by joining some friends to do another metric century: The Calhoun Cancer Challenge Ride and Walk on October 5th (early and chilly!). It was my first benefit ride, and I hope to do it again next year.
It was a very well-supported ride through a scenic part of CT. I got out for a few more rides after that, and now I’m adjusting to ~3-4 spin classes/week. It might be time to put a crappy tire on my bike and set up my trainer, though. There’s only so much “Maniac” and “Eye of the Tiger” that this former Deadhead can take. I get gym class music stuck in my head and it stays there for days. That can’t be healthy.
READ! The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern. Suspend disbelief and let yourself be taken away. A Nation in Pain: Healing Our Biggest Health Problem, by Judy Foreman (friend from Cambridge Masters). This book explores chronic pain and how it is misunderstood and mistreated and a HUGE problem. It is accessible but still not a super easy read. I might be working on this one for a while. Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, by Mary Roach. I just started it.
and EAT! Fig and Pear Crumbles by Frugal Feeding. Wow! Next up: something with apples since we just bought 3 bags of them at Clarkdale Fruit Farms while in Western MA for Cider Days in Franklin County.
SWIM! I’m hoping to do a 5k swim “race”, maybe 2 of them, over the summer. The first opportunity is on June 21st (Mashpee Super Swim), the second is in August (Race for Swim & Fin). We’ll see. I got a 2-mile swim in yesterday, so doing 3 miles in another week could happen… I’m a little nervous, not so much because of the distance, but that it could be choppy, and the water might still be a little chilly. I wore a shorty wetsuit yesterday and was shivering for quite a while after being in the water for an hour.
Yes, I’m a bit of a cold wimp – I think the water temp was around 73F
I figure the 3 miles (3 x 1-mile loops) will take me a about an hour and a half. I just want to settle into a forever pace and not blow out my shoulder (thus the quotation marks around race).
BIKE! I signed up to do the Rapha Women’s 100 on July 20th. I’ll be doing the 101km ride through Ride Studio Cafe with some friends (unless it’s raining). It’s my anniversary, so that’s my husband’s present to me: I get to ride all day. I’ve got the best husband ever!
READ! Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes. One of the best books I’ve read in a while.
and Eat! nothing too exciting in the eating department, but we have greens coming up in our garden and it’s grilling season!
I LOVE SUMMER
My older brother said I was bad luck since I was born on Friday the 13th (he wanted a brother and ended up with me, another sister). Scarred for life. Both of us!
This Friday, December 13th, I turn 50. Wow. How did that happen? And what’s it supposed to feel like? I don’t feel 50 – that sounds so…, well, OLD. Where do I go from here? Oh no, am I having a mid-life (or later) crisis? Does that mean I get to buy a mini? Um, pretty sure I’m not getting a mini.
What I think I’ll do is go to spin class in the morning, work for 3 hours and then get beat up (in a good way) swimming with Cambridge Masters. Sounds like a perfect birthday to me! Who needs all that mental anguish about getting older anyway?
If anybody is interested in a really fun read (much better than this drivel), check out my brother-in-law’s blog post about signing up for IM Mt Tremblant. Warning: sarcasm and humor!
As for next summer’s triathlon season: I can’t believe my sister has already signed me up for a Team EnVision relay (I swim, she bikes, and we beg another team member to run). I guess she didn’t hear me when I said no races. I guess I didn’t hear me, either!
is not quite enough and hurts every time!
Just a quick post.
After last weekend’s swim in the tri (I was part of a relay), I realized that I MUST swim with faster others if I hope to get faster myself. So I went to a master practice yesterday. Wow. Kicked my butt. I’m a little sore today, but that could also have something to do with the pre-work interval challenge class or the post-work total body conditioning class I went to! It seems to be all or nothing some days. I might just swim at the pond today to stretch it all out.
I allowed myself to get talked into doing the One Hour Swim – I think I mentioned that in a previous post. Well, I did it. Phew, glad that’s over! My goal was to do 4000 yds which is a 1:30/100 yd pace. That seemed like an attainable, although challenging enough, goal. The last time I did the OHS was probably 10 years ago and I went just over 4000 yds, if memory serves (why don’t I write these things down?!), so while I know I’ve been swimming fairly consistently, 10 years older is 10 years older! So on January 13th, with the support of a good friend who diligently wrote down my splits, I took the plunge. And, guess what? I swam closer to a 1:25 pace and eked out 4225 yards! I was pretty pleased. An hour later and I was even able to move my arms around in a normal fashion.
USMS One Hour Swim: the website is kind of crappy and scary looking, but basically, you swim as much as you want or can in one hour while someone takes down your 50 splits (cumulative splits. There’s a form). You have to be a USMS member, and there are some other rules about where you can swim – check out the site for details. Swim continuously, or stop and start – it really doesn’t matter – yardage is yardage and it all adds up. A couple people who have shoulder issues kicked for the hour (can’t imagine). My regional team, New England Masters, seems to have some kind of rivalry with Davis Aquatic Masters in CA, so there’s always a big push to get as many people to swim the event as possible. I think we won last year, so Davis is out to get us this year.
Looking ahead to race season… I’m all signed up for the season! I’m doing the swim part (fun part!) on 3 Team EnVision relays, all with my super fast cycling sister, and 3 different runners .
- Escape the Cape in June (brr, but only 1/3 mile swim)
- MASS State in July (Olympic distance, yeah! .9 mile swim)
- The Sharon in August (1/2 mile swim)
- Cranberry Olympic distance Aquabike also in August (not a relay, I get to bike on this one – we’ll see if that’s a good thing…)
I hadn’t planned on registering for events so early, but people started talking about what they were going to do, and relays were getting decided, so… LEAP. No procrastinating.
Do you have your races figured out?
Read: Thereby Hangs a Tail, Spencer Quinn. Detective novel from the point of view of a dog. So fun!
Oh, and EAT! I made a variation of Frugal Feeding’s Onion Bhajis. I added some shredded carrots and beets. I don’t like to fry much, but for these? totally worth it!
I considered signing up for the Janathon challenge, but didn’t find out about it until January 1st, and I was basically a slug that day. I generally do some form of exercise (or 2) every day, which, according the “rules” is the whole point, but it seems like the focus is on running. Every day. And that’s not going to happen! I also doubt that I’d blog every day. I encourage you to take a look at the Janathon site and participants – it looks like a fun challenge and a great way to find new blogs to read.
SWIM – the usual. I try to swim most days, but end up taking a day off here and there. On my own I’ll do 2000-2500 yds; more when I swim with the team. On New Year’s Eve day, I took part in the Miles for Marly 100×100 benefit swim. A Cambridge Masters Swim Club coach was killed in a bike accident a few years ago, and a scholarship has been set up in her name at Smith College, where she did her undergrad. I did 55×100 on a 1:35 interval. I had only planned on doing 50 so I was pretty happy with that. Hey, I wanted to go out on New Year’s Eve and be able to raise my arms in celebration! Next year I might try for more 100s at a slower interval and see how it goes. Next up: USMS One Hour Swim on January 13th – unless I’m sick. I seem to be catching a cold but hope to be better by next week.
Very exciting: I got 2 new bathing suits! And I’m waiting for one more (back order). I decided to give AgonSwim grab bag another try. Unfortunately the one w/the paw prints is too big. Oh well, someone will take it off my hands for $18 (cheap, I know).
What the hell is Cimarron-Memorial anyway?! That’s the fun of grab bag. Maybe somebody will recognize it somewhere along the way.
BIKE – other than commuting my 3 miles to/from work, I’m not riding outside.
It’s just too cold. I went for a road ride when it was in the 40s and I was NOT happy by the end. I hate it when my feet turn purple. And that was WITH shoe covers! So I’ve been on my trainer a couple times and am resigned to spin classes until… June? No, probably April, though.
[RUN – I figure it’s worth mentioning when I actually do it. 3 mile run with a friend, talking most of the way. Actually fun and not horrible! And not too slow – it’s all relative, right?]
READ – Fugitive Pieces, by Anne Michaels. The writing is beautiful, descriptions and characters are rich. But I’m not loving it. I can dive into it and get lost for a little while, but can easily put it down. And I’m not rushing to pick it up again. I’m hoping the next book I read will really grab me.
and EAT! – after run snack (aka breakfast): a banana, 1/2 an apple, 2 dates, home-made almond butter and home-made tahini. Yum! Oh, and MORE COFFEE!!!