Thursday, December 28, 2006

Oh Motivation, Where Art Thou?

Yeah. I'm still feeling lazy. I need to get my act together. Speedy's being less accommodating, which is good (but frustrating - I want to be lazy! Leave me alone! Don't make me get up to go run!) because otherwise it wouldn't happen.

We got a new dog, which makes it 2 people, 2 dogs, and 1 cat in the house. Yes, we're outnumbered. Speedy thinks I am nuts. I think the new dog is awesome. When I dropped off our dog at the kennel to be boarded while we were in San Fran, there was this other adorable dog there, so of course I had to take her in. Speedy was skeptical, but was awesome about it and agreed to go see her. He was also smitten, although admittedly not as quickly as I. So we're keeping her for a few days before we finalize things, just to make sure she gets along with the dog and cat. She does.

Speedy has made it clear that if I want to add any more pets after this I am strictly limited to goldfish. Not saltwater fish, or anything else cool. Goldfish. He knows the cat would have a field day with a fish tank. So it looks like no more pets for us for a while :)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas (or Happy Holidays) to everyone! I hope you have a holiday filled with good food, time with family and friends, and lots of laughter and love. As for me and Speedy, this is the last year that my grandparents will host the seven fishes dinner on Christmas Eve, so I plan to take in and enjoy every minute of it. Next year we will start a new tradition - not sure what yet, but something new.

Sorry for the complete lack of new posts. With all the craziness surrounding the holidays and trying to get things done, there has been approximately zero training in the past 5 days. And I've got my brand-new training plan staring at me. Fortunately, it's not being judgmental. Yet. If I continue this utter laziness into next week, then the stares may become more accusing. But for now it's all good.


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Running Camp Has Started

So now that exams are done, I'm out in San Francisco with Speedy. Since I don't have my bike and I forgot my swim gear (imagine that!), I am just going to do lots of running while I'm here. 'Camp' started today, with an ~8-mile run along the Coastal Trail. It was a great run, although much longer than expected, but just what I needed to help clear my head.

Today was a not-bad day, cool and breezy, and cloudy but not foggy. There were some unbelieveable views along the run, of bluffs and an old fort and the Golden Gate Bridge and the ocean and the rocky shores and the crazy surfers who surf into the rocks. And of course because the water is probably freezing cold they've all got on thick wetsuits, hoods, and booties. They're nuts. But the views were great. I wish we had had a camera. We took the trail though this super-swank neighborhood and ended up on this street with amazing houses. I thought we had lost the trail at that point, so we stopped some nicely-dressed man and asked him where the trail went. His directions included turning at "Robin's house - Robin Williams." Ah, yes, of course - Robin Williams. I bet the guy who gave us the directions was also someone famous who we didn't recognize. Either that, or he just liked name-dropping. Seriously, though, these houses were gorgeous. They were all huge, of course, and beautifully maintained. It's clear that a lot of thought (and money) went into these houses.

The run was excellent in all others ways as well. We found ourselves running on pavement, trails, soft sand, and ridiculous hills and staircases. I took the opportunity to tell a roadie who was climbing a hill that he was a badass, but I'm not sure he heard me. We saw a ton of bikers. I think anyone who rides around here is a badass. There's nothing like these hills in Jersey.

It was great. I loved every minute of it (except maybe the really steep uphills). Lucky for Speedy, I like visiting here but wouldn't want to move here. I save that honor for Austin. :)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Done. Finally.

Well, almost. I have to go drop off one final at school tomorrow, but it's done. I just need to bring it in.

Maybe now I can get off my ass and start working out again. I feel gross and lazy, even though the only consecutive days off have been yesterday and today. I think it's mostly mental, and once my brain clears out and I settle down a little I'll feel better.

I think my trip to SF will serve as a bit of a running camp for me. I won't be able to ride, and I may 'forget' my swim stuff, so I can only run. It will be good for me; since I've recovered I've been neglecting my running (although I did 5 miles this weekend!), and I am starting to feel it. I used to only run, none of this swim and bike stuff, and I wasn't super-fast but I was fast enough, and I felt like I could easily make progress with more speedwork. Now I just feel slow. The distances are coming back, but not the speed. So this weekend and early next week, lots of running. Maybe a short tempo run or fartlek. Just something to get my ass in gear.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Almost There!

Today I took my third exam. This was the one I was really dreading; it was for a philosophy-based class and, after 2.5 years of law school, my aptitude for the abstractness of philosophy was seriously diminished. But I read my notes about 500 times to prepare, and I think I had a decent grasp of the material. None of the questions knocked me on my ass (or, at least, I don't think they did - I'll see when the grade comes) so that was encouraging. One more left; I'll probably take it on Wednesday.

I signed up for a training plan from I tend to overthink things (what? A law student overthinking? No, that never happens....) and I find that trying to figure out what to do any given day/week causes me an unnecessarily large amount of stress. And the 'get up in the morning and decide what I want to do based on the weather/how I feel/alignment of sun and moon in relation to Saggitarius' would never work for me. So I took the plunge. It's reasonably priced ($75/6 week plan) and seems to be just what I need right now. I get the first 6 weeks on Friday. I'll keep you posted!

Oh, and yes, I renamed my blog. The link is still the same. Since I started running regularly about 4 years ago, I latched onto the phrase 'Cheaper Than Therapy' as a tongue-in-cheek explanation for why I like to work out. And with the proliferation of tri-related blog names, I thought I'd change things up a little.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Ow, My Brain Hurts!

I've been trying to post for like two days and I can't get my brain to work well enough to draft a readable post. So here's a list:

1. Speedy made some changes to the measurements of my trainer bike, and also swapped the saddle for my tri saddle. Yay for Speedy!
3. Two exams done, two more to go.
iv. Not so much with the training this week. Monday - trainer ride (I was supposed to run but it was cold and I wimped out), Tuesday - trainer ride again, Wednesday - swim and lower body weights, Thursday - run, Friday - Spinerval, Saturday - off, today - trainer ride and probably upper body weights. If I didn't have the option of going down to the basement to get workouts in right now, I'd probably get nothing done in terms of training. Go me. :)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

One Down, Three to Go

One down. I had three hours for this final today, and took 2h57m. Or something like that. I think my heart was going to jump out of my chest towards the end, I was pretty worried that I wasn't going to get it done in time. But I did, whew. And then it took like 2 hours for my stomach to un-knot itself after that. Yay for being Type A! Sigh.

The worst thing about taking finals (yes, the worst, even worse than the studying) is that I'm totally fried for the rest of the day after I take one. And with three more in the next 9 days, I'm not sure I can spare that much studying time. As an example: After my final today, I went for a swim. I was planning to do something like 2x200, 2x150, 2x100, 2x50, and instead I ended up doing something like 150, 200, 150, 100, 100, 50, 50, 50. Or something like that; I'm not really sure. Why? Because, #1 I could not count laps for the life of me, and #2 I kept messing up my watch timing so I couldn't even count on that for accurate laps. My body was working fine; the swimming itself was not the issue. The problem was the thinking that had to go along with the swimming. I'm pretty sure I spent 75% of my rest time looking confused and playing with my watch, trying to figure out where I was in the workout. It was really quite pathetic.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Okay, Deep Breath . . .

Saturday: 4.5 mile run with Speedy and RocketDog. I felt a bit sluggish, but I really can't complain because it's my longest run since the injury. Whoo-hoo! It's sort of funny that my "long run" right now is 4.5 miles, but that's okay - gotta start somewhere.

Sunday - 1 hour on the trainer

Today - probably a trainer ride.

This week and next - Finals. Yikes. Two this week and two next week. This means my workouts will be less regular and more rushed, but I'll keep getting (most of) them in. After that, I've got a few weeks of relaxing, hanging out with family, and working out to my heart's content before school starts again. But I have to get through the next two weeks first.
To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch . . . to know even one life has lived easier because you have lived. That is to have succeeded! -Emerson

Friday, December 01, 2006

Okay, I'm Not Done.

I think this sums things up pretty well. Being a liberal arts major during undergrad (I know; it's the bane of Speedy's existence) I don't really get the math ones, but overall they're pretty funny.

But to add to the snarkiness: (I felt bad so I took it out.)

Today was a swim. I wanted to do 3x500, but that wasn't working so well. The first one (with a buoy) was okay, and the second wasn't terrible, but I didn't feel like I was incorporating the new catch work so well. So I broke the last one into essentially 10x50 with very short rest. That worked pretty well, and I felt like I was able to use the technique work I've been doing much more effectively than I could during the 500s. Tomorrow is a run; 4.5 miles - the longest yet!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Okay, No More Pictures . . .

I think I'm temporarily over my picture-posting fun. I think. Temporarily.

Today was my last class day of this semester (whoo-hoo!) which means I'm only one semester away from taking (and hopefully passing!) the bar, and then being a lawyer, which would make these past 2.5 years of stress worth it. Or, at least, not a total waste.

My stress level right now, as you can imagine with finals coming up, is not low. Fortunately, I've been getting workouts in. Monday was my run with the RocketDog (I like that better than 'fraud.' 'Saddest Dog Ever' still applies but is too long for everypost use. And "RocketDog" is pretty accurate). Tuesday was a swim, about 2000 yards total. I was in the pool for less than an hour, but it's still pretty cool to be in there and have people get in, do their swim, and get out while I'm there. Yesterday was a rest day. Today, Spinerval. Which leads to . . .

A few observations about Spinervals:

1. Coach Troy does not count well. His 5-second counts are way too short. It's like, "5...321!"
2. The music is terrible. Terrible.
3. Doing a Spinerval after having a beer and dinner at a bar is not a good idea. It was only sheer luck that I didn't puke.

That's all I've got. Goodnight.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Saddest Dog Ever (Part II)

Meet the Saddest Dog Ever.

and his faithful nemesis, Stinky the Wonder Kitten:

Sometimes they get along.

Other times, not so much.

They're great.

Monday, November 27, 2006

My Holiday Card...

Thank you, The New Yorker. I love it.

Saddest Dog Ever

I decided that I was feeling good, and my dog had been in his crate for a while because I was at class, so I'd take him with me on my run tonight. He's a great dog, and a true pain in the ass. He's also the Saddest Dog Ever. Ever. There was never a dog sadder than he. Speedy and I (okay, I) recently made the executive decision that the dog is no longer allowed on the couch, because the couch has white cushions and the dog often has muddy paws. So I washed the cushion covers and put the kibosh on the dog on the couch. Now, this is the saddest dog. He is sitting on his brand-new cushion on the floor, giving me these big sad eyes. I'm so not convinced. He's a fraud.

Anyway, I took the fraud out for a short run. He loves to run, but he get so excited that running with him is like running downhill the entire time because he pulls so much. And I decided that it would be a good idea, while still not 100% recovered, to take this 70-pound missile out with me. Yeah, not my brightest idea ever. I mean, it went okay, but there were lots of lateral movements and other quick movements that don't happen during a normal run. It was a little painful. On the plus side, I went pretty fast, because I practically had a sled dog pulling me along.

In other news, this is the last week of classes. I can't freaking wait for this semester to be over. One of my friends is taking the stress of school and her job search pretty hard, and seems to be taking it out on me. She's a sweetheart to everyone else, and has been evil to me lately. This is the second time in the past few weeks that this has happened with this one particular friend. It happened, and seemed to resolve, and now it's started again. Seriously, I think she's a cool girl and all but I'm done letting her occupy space in my head like this. Ugh. But, after I take four exams, I get to go out to San Francisco with Speedy for a few days. This will be the fourth time I've been there this year. Hopefully when I come back, I won't fall in the airport. I'll make sure to wear flat-soled shoes this time around :)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Here He Comes To Save The Day!

Speedy got sick of hearing me complain about swimming and agreed to come to the pool to coach me. He went without his goggles (or at least left them in the locker room) and even wore board shorts. Now, him totally not participating in order to coach me is a big deal. For instance, he's a good surfer, and once tried to teach me how to surf. We both went out on boards, and he taught me how to paddle and balance on the board, and so on. After we got the very basics down, every time a good wave came, he'd say "Oh, here's a good one, try to get this!" and I'd think, "but HOW?" Meanwhile, he'd be 30 feet in front of me already, having caught said good wave and riding it in. He'd paddle back and say something along the lines of "You'll get the next one." Meanwhile, I had no idea how to stand up on the board or even just how to catch the wave. Needless to say, I didn't learn how to surf that day. Or ever. So, he really took one for the team today by going to the pool for the sole purpose of helping me improve. And I think that's awesome.

I have been getting frustrated with my swimming lately. I've been feeling like I can't get any glide, and as soon as I try to go fast I lose all semblance of control and form. Or, at least, that's how I feel. Over dinner last night, Speedy, who swam in high school and knows more about this than I do, explained to me that there are two main types of strokes: the first is long and gliding, and the second is shorter with a higher turnover. Men, he explained, tend to use a longer stroke, while women have a higher turnover. Sounds like a good enough explanation to me. He thought maybe what was making me so frustrated was that I was trying to use one type when I should be using the other. So off to the pool today.

Turns out he was right. What I thought was all hell breaking loose in the pool when I tried to go fast was just a higher turnover with a shorter stroke length, which is totally acceptable and in his opinion, probably better for open-water swimming anyway. He gave me some great advice, for instance, my catch was not as efficient as it could be, and showed me how to improve. He even took some video of me swimming, and when we got home he showed me what he thought I was doing well and what should change.

He also told me that my times, which I was freaking out over because I felt so crappy, were really not all that bad. Yesterday I broke 1:30 for 100 (twice), and my 50 times were also fine, but I got so caught up in the general frustration that I totally lost sight of that. And today he had me do some sprint 25s, and two were in the 18.xx range. I wonder if I can keep that up for a 50; I'd smash my goal of breaking 40 seconds. Unlikely, but it's nice to imagine.

So all that helped bring me down from the height of frustration, where I had been hanging out for a while. Also, the weather here has been amazing and not like November at all. I had a great 4-mile run on Friday, and I'm really psyched that I keep extending the distance I can run. Yes, I said psyched.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Last night Speedy and I were at my parents' house. My sister is turning 21 in a few months, and we've been trying to come up with a plan to celebrate it appropriately. My mom commented that she didn't know whether she had ever been to a 21st birthday party, and I pointed out the obvious, "well, you turned 21, right?" Speedy, in his infinite wisdom, piped up, "Well, I think she meant recently." Yeah, not so smooth on his part.

Today is Thanksgiving. I've got lots to be thankful for. I have an awesome family and a great group of friends. School is going well, and my foot is almost totally healed. I feel really lucky.

So right - tri training. The reason I have this blog in the first place. So a couple days ago I did an easy swim, 8x100 and 2x400. I didn't feel great, but was doing okay on the 100s. My times were on average slightly faster than they've been, but my 400s were way slow, like 20 seconds slower than a few weeks ago. That was a little disappointing, but not terribly surprising. I felt really inefficient through the water. I'm not feeling like it's the end of the world though; with the end of the semester upon me and finals starting soon I can't really expect to have all my workouts be great. But I'd at least like to be consistent from week to week. I don't have to be faster every week, but not being 20 seconds slower would be nice. Here are the times I'm comparing:

11/7: 10x100 - 1.50 avg, 400 - 7:23
11/21: 8x100 - 1.45 avg, 2x400 - 7:43, 7:51

So the 100 average was quite a bit faster, but the 400 was way slower. Any idea what this means?

Yesterday was 45 minutes of an aerobic basebuilder Spinerval. It was a really good workout, and I felt good when I got off the bike - my legs weren't trashed like they usually are after a Spinerval.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


I've started signing up for races for next year (okay, one race, but it's still a start). I want to put one of those charts in the sidebar. Can someone tell me how to do that? As a law student, I have mastered things like the finer points of using bullet-point lists and formatting headings and page numbers, but I am pretty clueless with things like HTML. Hence my newfound preference for posting from a PC instead of my Mac. Anyway. Help?

Monday, November 20, 2006

Today's run: easy 3 miles with Speedy. We went out after I got back from class and he from work, so it was dark by the time we left. Speedy doesn't often run after dark, or in the cold. (I know. He doesn't run in the dark or cold and just recently relented and started using a trainer. Yet he's still way faster than I am. Oh, the unfairness.) With about a mile left, he commented that he was feeling like a "total hardcore badass." Yes, that is a direct quote. Too bad I can't make that into some sort of pseudonym for him. Luckily for him, I like Speedy McFast and will stick with that. For now.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Shut Up About Your Damn Foot Already!

First. Usually I post from a Mac. This post was done on a PC (Yes, I like both Macs and PCs. Does that make me immoral in some way? Probably. I was studying at a coffee shop the other day, and my friend couldn't get her PC to connect to the WiFi, so I helped her get it working. The girl next to us made a big deal about a Mac user helping a PC user, and how now there was peace on earth. Really.) Blogger clearly prefers PCs, because all the sudden I have an array of options that are not there for the Mac, like font color, bold/italic, links, bullet lists, and so on. These options aren't available to me when I'm using my Mac. Clearly Blogger is Macophobic.

Moving on, yesterday I ran. Not on the treadmill, and not a little half-mile ginger jog, either. I really ran. For 2.5 miles. With Speedy. I wasn't going fast, but I was going. And it was excellent. Today was a 1-hour spin on the trainer, watching The Simpsons and American Dad. (See? Italics!) Really, not a bad hour of TV to be watching while spinning. I think that I need to stop harping on being healed and just start getting down to the business of getting back into shape (hence the post title). I thought I could make a goal be a 5K, but it since the 2.5 miles yesterday went well, it looks like it's going to be more like 5 miles.

Speedy took pity on me tonight and put together my workout schedule for the next couple weeks. After that, it all goes to hell because classes end, finals start, and my schedule becomes pretty nuts. But for the next two weeks I have my workouts planned. Tomorrow: 3-mile run.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Oh Coach Troy, How I Love to Hate You

This seems to be a week of firsts. After doing my first treadmill and road runs, I did my first Spinerval today. Well, not my FIRST first, but my first since I fell. Before that, I had been doing them 1 or 2 times a week, without fail.

Today, Coach Troy kicked my ass. It was great. It was really freaking hard. But I was able to do it, and do the whole thing, and go hard the whole time. It wasn't pretty, but I did it.

I'm thinking I may have recovered enough that I may be released from PT tomorrow. I'm not sure. It seems to me that my physical therapist is rather amused by me. The facility I go to doesn't really cater to athletes, it's more of a functional PT/work hardening place. So I think he finds it funny that even though I can walk without pain, my main concerns are getting my strength/balance back and getting back to working out. Not walking; I can do that. Because my starting point, by the time I got to PT, was sort of where others hope to end after PT, I think my goals are unusual. But, that said, he's been great and pushes me to do more difficult things every time I'm there, which I think is great. But back to my point - I think he may release me tomorrow. That would mean I am officially (almost) better.

Next goal: trail running. I love trail running. I've tried to convince Speedy that we should move to a place that has better trail running. He's not convinced that we should move just based on the availability of trails. Don't worry; I'll keep working on it :)

No Respect.

I was planning to swim today. I got all set to go, and got to the gym to find a sign: "The pool is closed until 5:00 p.m." Fine, whatever. But really, the gym I go to has no respect for swimmers. The pool closes much earlier than the rest of the gym, and it's often a crapshoot as to whether it will be open at all. It makes planning workouts a little difficult.

So anyway. No swimming today. Back on the trainer, I guess.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Yay for Running!

Yes, that's right. I have been running. I ran a half-mile yesterday on the treadmill at physical therapy, and today I ran just over a half-mile on real roads.

I know, I know. One measly half-mile? The last run I did before I got hurt was with Speedy, and we did an ass-kicking seven mile run in Berkeley. That run was basically up the side of a mountain and back down. And here I am, all excited over a half-mile. Well, dear reader, the distance isn't what matters. That will come quickly enough, as I'm confident that I've maintained my cardio fitness well. What matters is that I went running for the first time in over two months. Running was the big hurdle (um, no pun intended). I was not able to think that I was really recovered until I could run. And now, I can. Not far, yet, and my ankle still hurts a bit when I do, but the therapist thinks that's just because I haven't used the small stabilizing muscles in a while. But I can run.

And that. is. AWESOME.

Monday, November 13, 2006

I Need a Coach.

So one of my goals was to get a coach. I've been thinking about this for a while. I think I need some direction in my training (Go forward, quickly. Right. Not that kind of direction). Maybe getting a coach would help provide that, as well as take away the issue of trying to put together my own schedule and wondering if I'm doing it right and knowing that it could be done better. Perhaps if it's financially feasible after the new year I'll look into it.

So where does one go to find a reasonably-priced coach? I want personalized training plans and email contact. Anybody have any ideas?

If he's Speedy McFast, I might be Pokey McSlow.

So after yesterday's musings about whether I've gotten faster in the pool, I went back and looked at my (admittedly meager) workout records. I am quite bummed to report that in fact, I have not gotten faster. Demoralizing, yes, but not totally devastating. There are a few explanations I can think of.

First, my technique has gotten much better, so it's possible that I was swimming faster but with worse form. Okay, so what? Well, if my form is not efficient I'll get tired sooner. So now I need to learn how to go fast while not falling apart. Also, I've really upped my swim volume lately due to my injury, and I've also been lifting, so there's a possibility that I have some fatigue playing into this as well. Physical fatigue as well as mental, given how busy things are right now. Last, when I was faster, I was also swimming with Speedy almost every time I went to the pool, and he would watch me and offer pointers. Due to some circumstances out of our control, Speedy and I swim together only occasionally now.

So these explanations could just be excuses. I probably just need to suck it up and swim faster.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

So Close!

Today was speedwork in the pool. Speedy and I worked out together; it's nice to have someone to chat with during the rest. Not that either of us really feel like chatting, and instead are just trying to catch our breath, but it's still nice.

The workout was 4 x (2 x 50 medium, 1' rest, 1 x 50 fast, 1:30 rest). I feel silly posting these workouts, since this was a 600-yard main set, and I am reading other blogs where people are like "I did 3500 yards this morning and this afternoon, I'm planning a 6-mile tempo run," but I guess it is what it is.

I was hoping to break 40 seconds for one of the 50s, but not quite. I'm really close, but just not quite there. My times were:

Set 1: 46.21, 46.14, 40.65
Set 2: 45.23, 44.47, 40.98
Set 3: 45.26, 45.57, 40.81
Set 4: 45.72, 44.62, 41.44

So pretty close to breaking 40. I feel like I'm faster than I used to be, and logically I think that must be true, because I'm stronger and I've been swimming more. But I think only my 50 time has gotten faster. This is sort of demoralizing, because I've been doing so much swimming lately and really I only learned how to swim about 14 months ago. So it seems that I should be much faster but I don't think I am.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

If he's Speedy McFast, does that make me Mrs. McFast?

Not terribly much to say. My foot is healing nicely, and the therapist said I can likely start running on the treadmill as early as next week! That was awesome to hear.

I did a Spinerval last night. It kicked my ass. I've maintained my fitness pretty well, I think, but man was that Spinerval hard. It felt good to do some interval work, though, even though it was really a lot more painful than I remember Spinervals being. Today I took out my bike and rode along with my husband while he ran. It was good to get out, and I was clipped in, so I got to see how the foot held up to being out on the road. All things considered, it was not bad at all. And I got to chat with my husband (hereinafter "Speedy McFast") while he ran. Okay, I chatted, and he mostly listened and every now and then said something, but since he was running and I was cruising along on my bike it was a pretty one-sided conversation. Which is fine. Clearly I have enough to say that I feel the need to blog, so I can fill the time while Speedy runs. I think that biking while he runs would be a great way to discuss things that we disagree about. I can talk, and he will be too out of breath to answer. Good plan, right?

Today I got my butt back onto the elliptical. I had a great plan: download one of the podcasts from a makeup class I missed earlier in the semester and listen to that while I 'ran.' Yes, I'm a nerd, but we've established that already. And yes, one of my professors records his classes for podcasting. He thought it was so great to record the makeup session that he records all of them now. Seriously, though, it's a 2-credit class. Give me a break. But moving on, I downloaded the file, unhooked my IPod, and went to the gym and got all set to do the longest workout I've done since before I got hurt. I try to open the file, and realize that I forgot that the stupid IPod is set to manual, so I had to actually put the file on it. Dammit. So I wasn't able to multi-task as well as I had hoped, but that's okay. I still went for 60 minutes, which was great.

Abs tonight. Speedwork swim and maybe lifting tomorrow.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Love and Marriage (and PT and The New Yorker)

So. Physical therapy is going well. Apparently after the initial evaluation, the therapist sets out a rehab course for the patient, but when I went in on Tuesday they had misplaced my chart, so the therapist was just doing it on the fly. He started by having me sit on the stationary bike for 5 minutes. First of all, when's the last time you sat on a bike that was not either (a) your own, or (b) at spinning class? For me, it's been quite a while. And let me tell you, that seat on the plain-old bike was NOT comfortable. Funny how one gets used to a certain type of saddle. Anyway. I think the 'warm up' was actually just to give them 5 more minutes to look for my chart. After about 8 minutes, the therapist comes back and tells me to stop at 7. Oh-kay.

Really, though, therapy was not bad, and the therapist seemed to think I was making good progress. That was great. Maybe I'll be back to running soon! Although, I did get through a bit of the new New Yorker on the elliptical this am. There's an interesting article about the biking culture in Manhattan. That kept me occupied for a while.

My husband recently caved and bought himself a trainer. This means that we now have two trainers set up in our not-huge basement, both facing a 13-inch t.v. I think it's great that he has a trainer now. He's been making fun of me for months, but he's finally realizing how awesome it is to be able to get in a good workout even when it's dark, cold, and rainy. He has yet to make the acquaintance of Coach Troy, whom I love to hate. I think he'll have an entirely different view after he does his first Spinerval and discovers just how much those things will kick your ass.

He (my husband, not Coach Troy) and I have a great relationship; we seem to balance each other well. But we're both very competitive. So take a competitive married couple and put them on trainers next to each other, and what do you get? Here's but a small sample:

Me, noticing that his cadence is much higher than mine: "Hon, what gear are you in?"
Him: "42-19, you?"
Me: "42-14."
Him: "Oh, man, you're making me look bad . . . " (sound of him shifting to match my gear)

Okay, so that was a lame example. Whatever. Let's just say I'm a little concerned about the first time we happen to be doing Spinervals at the same time. It's going to be like a whole new realm in our relationship.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


No workout yesterday. I had intended to ride the trainer for a bit, but after physical therapy, acupuncture, and studying for the exam I had to take today, unfortunately it got pushed to the side. Sometimes life gets in the way, I guess.

PT was okay. It was just the first 'getting started' appointment, where they look at range of motion and strength and things, and yell at you because you haven't been icing your foot. I'll start with the good stuff on Tuesday. I was suprised that the therapist didn't ask me at all about my goals. I'd think that would be an important part of this.

Acupuncture was good, of course, and the acupuncturist told me that I need not come back. Well, I mean, she didn't tell me I wasn't welcome back, but just that she thinks I'm doing much better and maybe don't need to drive 45 minutes each way and pay her fee anymore. Which is okay. But really, I thought it was a huge help in getting me back on my feet. Yes, I know that was a terrible pun. If you don't like my stupid jokes, go away.

Clearly I'm cranky. Maybe it's my missed workouts. Maybe it's that I didn't sleep much last night because of the stupid exam this morning, which I feel confident that I may or may not have passed or failed. Seriously, I have no clue how I did. Fortunately, if I failed I can retake it in March. Small condolence, I suppose, but it is keeping me going :)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Turns Out I DO Remember How to Swim

As I said in my last post, my last swim workout was a nightmare. It was an exercise in mental fortitude to just finish the damn thing. I felt like I had lead weights tied to my shoulders the whole time. It was one of those swims where, as soon as you push off the wall for that first warm-up, you know it's going to be a long day. And then it went down from there. Although, despite the fact that it felt terrible, my times were (surprisingly) not terrible. Which was a nice surprise, since I think that means I am getting faster, because I can feel pretty crappy and still not have terrible times.

But. That was 4 days ago. This is now. Today's workout was much better. I had been dreading this workout, given my crap-ass last swim. So after oversleeping (yes, today is Thursday, how did you know?) I dragged my ass to the gym and got in the pool. I figured if I just put myself on autopilot I'd be in the water and moving before I knew it. And it was true. The workout was:

6 x 50 (1:30 rest)
100 easy
4 x 50 (1:30 rest)
100 easy
2 x 50 (1:30 rest)

I felt great. Seriously. The whole time. It was awesome. Part of this may have been that during the rest times, I was watching the woman who got into the lane next to me. I've seen her a few times before. Every time, she leaves her big-ass transition bag on the deck at the end of the lane, and takes out her kickboard, pull buoy, flippers, and snorkel. She was in the water for ~20 minutes (okay, maybe more. I wasn't really paying attention to how long she was there, but she got in well after I had started my main set and got out before I was done). She does her laps, each with a different apparatus. When it comes to the snorkel/flippers set, she puts them on, pushes off the wall, and rockets her way to the other wall. Imagine this: she's flippering her way down the lane, with her snorkel on, head down, with her arms at her side the entire time. It's like a cartoon. Anyway. I think that's why the time went quickly.

But enough about her. I felt great. My times were not spectacular, and were slighly higher than the last time I did speedwork, but that's okay because I also doubled the number of intervals I did this time. My times were:

6 x 50 (47, 45, 45, 44, 44, 44)
4 x 50 (43, 43, 43, 42)
2 x 50 (43, 41)

So I was pretty consistent with dropping my times with each interval, which is good. I probably went out too easy because I didn't want to fly & die. But I felt great. And today, that's what mattered.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Ladies and Gentlemen...

I am pleased to announce that I will officially be starting physical therapy on Friday! Yay!

But before that . . . Thursday is speedwork in the pool. I'm not really looking forward to it; this new biking and ellipticalling (yes, I know that "ellipticalling" is probably not a word) has decreased my swimming mojo. Also, my last swim workout was terrible - I felt like I had weights tied to my shoulders the entire time. Moreover, I want to keep working on the things I haven't been doing. (I just used "Moreover" in a blog post. I am such a nerd.) Although, that said, I was on the trainer yesterday and the elliptical today, and my legs are pretty sore today. I suppose that's not too surprising, considering that I did basically no lower-body anything for nearly 2 months, and now I'm getting back into it. I need to stretch, stretch, and then stretch some more, because I will be so. bummed. if I manage to hurt myself by trying to do too much too soon. Although hopefully that's where the PT will be helpful.

Tomorrow is a rest day, which I am really happy about. It's not like my training level is so high right now that my rest days are such wonderful recovery. Really, though, I think that with the semester winding down, and my stress level being relatively high right now, the rest days are still pretty welcome.
So I somehow convinced myself that I had last posted on Sunday. Clearly not true.

Big news in the world of injury recovery!! I am now (drumroll please...) walking without my boot! Yes, indeed, I have made the decision that it's time to downsize to an aircast. Yeah, I know, "Isn't that a decision the doctor should be making?" But the specialist I saw gave me a general timeframe for recovery, then told me that the specifics would be limited only by my pain tolerance. So once I realized that walking around the house without the boot was not terribly painful anymore, I decided to do away with it completely. I still feel a little pain when I'm walking, but it's so nice to be walking in regular shoes and wearing jeans, which I haven't been able to do because they don't fit over the boot. This whole development, as you can imagine, is a very good thing, and I think the acupuncture has been extremely beneficial in aiding my recovery. I will also be starting traditional PT soon, to help get my strength and range of motion back.

So because I can walk without the boot, I have revamped my training schedule. I got back on the bike yesterday, for a 45-minute spin on the trainer. It was the first time I've been on the bike since I got hurt, and let me tell you . . . my butt hurt. Seriously, when you're riding 3-4 days per week you get used to it, and having gone almost 2 months now, I am definitely out of practice. But, I was on the trainer, and got a decent workout, so yay! And I was on the elliptical this morning.

My goals now are more focused on starting to re-establish my biking and running (well, for the time being, ellipticalling) workouts. I will continue to swim, but probably only 2 days per week - one longer swim and one speed workout. As excited as I am to be able to bike and elliptical, it would definitely be a shame if I lost the progress I have made in swimming.

So. Recovery is happening!!

Thursday, October 26, 2006


So I suppose that if I'm going to be keeping a blog I should try to post in it on a semi-regular basis.

For having relatively nothing to do, and fairly low stress this year (at least compared to last year), I am so freaking busy! I feel like I have so much to do (maybe it's the 6 classes) but overall, my stress level is so much lower than this time last year, when I was interviewing at law firms. There's something just so draining about having to be 'on' all the time during interview season; I think it's tough not to be exhausted all the time.

Monday was a rest day. Tuesday was another long slow swim, and like the speedwork last Friday, I took a couple seconds off of each swim. It's great to see such immediate results, but it's too bad that these drops in time won't keep up at the same rate.

Because I'm so happy that I can finally do the elliptical, I did that on Wednesday. I had planned to go for 45 minutes, but after about 25 I felt a twinge in my foot and decided to cut it short. I like continuing to recover more than I liked staying on the elliptical for another 20 minutes and potentially doing any more damage or impeding the healing process at all.

Today was a short swim, because of course I overslept (it's a Thursday, after all). I managed to get in 11 x 50 (15 sec rest) (meant to do 10 but miscounted) and 12 x 25 (10 sec rest). My times for the 50s ranged from 48 to 52 (50, 50, 50, 48, 49, 52, 49, 50, 49, 49, 50), and the 25s were (25, 24, 24, 24, 24, 24, 25, 24, 24, 25, 25, 25). I might not be fast, but at least I'm consistent!

Tomorrow is acupuncture again. Last week after I did it I was able to do the elliptical. Hopefully there will be good results this time as well!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

This weekend was not bad, apart from the BLACKOUT we had this weekend! Okay, really, it wasn't that bad, and we fled to my mother's house, with the dog in tow. Hooch the dog got to play with my mom's dog, which always makes for good time (except when they fight - eek! Fortunately that only happened once, when one cornered the other). But really, they get along quite well, and it was a good chance for him to get out some excess energy, which stops him from running around our house. It's really a shame that he's totally uncoordinated and can't play fetch to save his life, because that would be a great way to run him around. But instead, when we throw a ball to him, it'll land and he'll run to it, look at it and maybe sniff it, and then run back (sans ball) to us. I've tried throwing the ball directly at him, hoping that if it falls in front of his nose he'll catch it. But no. The ball may even hit him, with no discernible result. This dog has no fetch instincts AT ALL. It's really quite pathetic.

As for me, I spent most of the weekend, as I spend every weekend, studying. It will be so excellent when I can do something other than studying during the weekend and not hear my nagging conscience telling me that I should be studying. I have a nagging case of senioritis that I just can't kick, and I still have another 1.5 semesters to go, followed by what should be an . . . um . . . well . . . okay, whatever, I just have to accept that studying for the bar is going to suck. As in suck up all my free time, and energy, and perhaps will to live. But it's a necessary evil, and since I've already accepted a job that's contingent on me PASSING the bar, one that I should really accept quite willingly.

So I am happy to say that my "one the road to recovery" thought was probably not premature! I was able to do the elliptical this weekend, for 45 minutes yesterday and 30 minutes today. I am totally psyched that I did not lose all my fitness!! Yesterday's workout was just the elliptical, which although 45 minutes was at a low resistance. Today was a sprint workout in the pool, which I chose to follow with the elliptical because I was just so freaking happy to be able to do it! I took a few seconds off of my times from last week; today's 50s were in the 40-41 second range. If only I could take 2 seconds off my 50 time every week!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Woah-oh, We're Halfway There...

Rest day today; I'll do abs and perhaps some light upper-body weights.

I went to get a haircut today. I had my hair very long for a while, and cut it off about 2 years ago. Now I'm trying to grow it out again, and of course that means enduring those lovely awkward lengths where nothing quite looks right. And with curly hair, I'm lucky if I can avoid it looking like a bird's nest half the time :)

Acupuncture was interesting. I am not really sure what to expect now, in terms of healing. I will go back, but can I expect to see results soon? Or do I have to go for a few sessions before I see any results? And at that point, how do I know it's the acupuncture and not just the healing that would have othewise taken place in the three weeks that has passed? I mean, I'm all for trying something new, but I'm not all for paying a couple hundred bucks for something that's not going to help.

And yes, in response to the comment (from my only reader), you're right, I didn't put goal times for my races. That's because I think I need to evaluate where I am fitness-wise after I'm healed up. Once that happens, I will be able to set aggressive-yet-realistic times. If I try to set times before then, I think I risk setting my sights too high (and being disappointed) or too low (and not pushing myself hard enough). Thoughts?

As for the thread title, I am feeling cautiously optimistic that the healing is going well, and I think I will start looking into some PT to address the lost strength and flexibility. I am on the road to recovery!!

Thursday, October 19, 2006


So by posting twice in one day I am revealing myself to be a potential blogger-dork. The dork part is already well-established, but I'm not sure how I feel about the blogger-dork part. Promise to self: Self, I will not become a blogger whose first thought is "Like, OMG, this totally has to go on my BLOG!!" That said...

I think I need to establish goals for myself. So here goes:

1. Get healthy. Without this, none of the others are possible.
2. Rebuild the huge base that I had before I was injured.
3. Continue swimming regularly (though not the 5-6 days a week I am doing now)
4. Do Spinervals at least once a week until January, and then at least twice per week.
5. Start doing running speedwork. I am the queen of the base-building aerobic run, but it's time I face the fact that that won't help me get faster.
6. (maybe) Get a coach to help me achieve these goals.

2007: Olympic distance.
2008: 70.3
Today's workout was fun. It was:

10-minute warmup (Kick sets are getting easier! YAY!)
10 x 50 (15 sec. rest)
12 x 25 (15 sec. rest)

The main set was a 'moderate' effort. It went by pretty quickly. I like these shorter middle-intensity workouts, I think they give me a good chance to work on form while still getting in a good workout. And, after my workout I noticed that the woman in the lane next to me was wearing the same goggles I have (Speedo Women's Vanquisher), so I asked her if she has had problems with them fogging. I got these goggles like 3 weeks ago and they are fogging like mad, despite a promised "Anti-Fog" coating. And really, it's not so attractive to be licking the inside of my goggles before every workout. Anyway, she said she has had those problems, so I know it's not just mine. Maybe it's time to change brands. I hate goggle shopping.

Overall, though, not a bad day in the pool, not bad at all.

And tomorrow: Acupuncture!!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Change In Perspective?

I did something today that seems totally outside my usual.

I went for a swim to "just loosen up." This is the role that a short run or a quick spin used to serve, and it's odd to do the same with swimming.

In the pool this morning, it was me and the three elderly people water-walking. I think one was the man who told me, at my last swim before I got hurt, that he liked watching me swim because I looked very smooth in the water. Given that I've been feeling rather less than graceful in the water, I took that as quite the compliment. Actually, it just about made my freaking day.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming...

Today's workout felt like the swimming equivalent of an LSD run. It was:

10-minute warmup
10 x 50 (20 sec. rest)
5 x 100 (45 sec. rest)
10 x 50 (20 sec rest)

It actually went by pretty quickly - the 50s just fly by.

I've lost patience with my injury. I can't wait to start biking and running again. Ick. But, I am going to try acupuncture on Friday, hopefully that will get the healing process going.

Monday, October 16, 2006

I am a Swimmer.

I am a swimmer.

Well, not really. But I am injured. I fell down some steps in early September (in the San Francisco airport, getting ready to board a redeye) and ended up with a bone bruise in my foot and a high ankle sprain. And then I got on the plane for a 6-hour flight.

I still can't walk. I have to wear a big boot. Needless to say (but I'll say anyway) I can't run. Hell, I can't even walk. I can't ride a bike. Not even on the trainer. But I can swim. Oh, yes, I can swim. Luckily, my husband taught me how to swim about a year ago.

I have been in the pool more in the past month than I thought I'd be until March. Fortunately, people were nice and sent me swim workouts, so I have some good workouts to do. Maybe all this swimming will make me fast!

I did 50s on Friday. My times were in the 43-44 second range. Not great, but all things considered, not too bad.