Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Kids Today...

I am an assistant coach for a local high-school crew team. I have some very fun times with the crazy kids I coach. I also have conversations like this:

Rower: Remember that exchange student from last year?
Me: Of course
Rower: So, is she in France or in America? Because she friended me on Facebook.
Me: I think she's back in France; how does her friending you affect where she is?
Rower: Well, I mean, Facebook is a .com site, and if she's back home, can't she only access .fr sites?
Me: [Thinking, ?!??!?!???] Well, the countries all have tags that indicate where the site is, but you can access them from anywhere. You know, as in the World-Wide Web?
Rower: Ohh, so like Australia is .aus? That just means where the site is?
Me: Exactly, or .uk or something like that.
Rower: No, I'm pretty sure Australia is .aus.
Me: [shaking head] No, I meant that was just another example. But yes, she can access Facebook, even though it's .com and she's in France.
Rower: Ohhhh. Cool!

This particular rower is a great girl. I've known her for 3 years now, and she's fun and smart and a little crazy. She's also probably got the least common sense of anyone I've ever met. But really, conversations like this are why I love coaching, and I'm going to miss is next year when I get to the real world.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Counting Laps

There's something you should know about me: I am really bad at counting laps.

In the past, I've let myself believe that it's because I'm busy, or fried from exams, or whatever the case may be. But I'm running out of excuses.

Yesterday I was supposed to do 2x400 (yeah, short workout, I know - my coach has really backed off on the swim volume) and I think I did a 450 and a 350. Today was a 1000yd time trial. I came up with a brilliant plan. Instead of counting the yards, I would go by letters of the alphabet. So 1000yds = 10x100 = 10x4 lengths = 40 lengths = 40 letters. Which means I had to go through the alphabet once and then around again to H. So I'm swimming along, all proud of myself for my brilliant plan, which was clearly brilliant because it was working so well. I didn't lose count at all. I get done, all proud of myself for counting correctly (what am I, 3?), look at my watch, and realize there's no freaking way I went that fast, even with my recently-found speed. That's okay, I thought, I'm probably only off by a little.

When I got home, I sat down to figure out exactly what happened. Turns out my brilliant plan would have been more brilliant if I had gone through the alphabet correctly (again with the apparently regressing to age 3). So 40 letters is not once around and back to H, it's once around and back to N. Which means my 1000yd time trial was actually only 850. Crap.

Go me.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Heartrate Training

My coach has requested that I get a heartrate monitor. Since it's now my job to do everything my coach tells me to do, I got one. He didn't tell me that HR training sucks.

As IM Able put it, "Trying to run in Zone 1 is nearly impossible. Zone 2 should be reserved for inside, out of sight of neighbors or other friendly runners. Lock the doors, pull the shades, it's time for a recovery run. Backwards." Thank you, IM Able, for putting into words my exact thoughts.

I do a good portion of my running with Speedy. He is, as the name may imply, speedy. I am more along the lines of Pokey. Running with Speedy makes me run faster, but as I am discovering, running with Speedy and running in Zone 2 are mutually exclusive. It's one or the other. Unfortunately, I think if this coach thing is going to work out, I need to train properly. Which is to say, slowly.

In other news, working with a coach is interesting. My volume this week is way down from where it was with the online training plan, but I'm confident my coach has a plan. Not sure what it is, because he only gives me one week at a time, but it's there. I think.

Oh Here It Goes!

Dear Registered Triathlete/Duathlete:

This is your confirmation letter indicating we received your mail-in application for the following 2007 events:

DDT half

Monday, January 22, 2007

First Day

Today was my first training day with my new coach. I'm going to get faster. I will definitely feel like hell getting there.

Today's workout was to set my LT threshold, so the plan was to run as hard as I could for 45 minutes. And as the self-professed queen of the aerobic base-building run, this is certainly not something in my comfort zone. Yeah . . . ouch. But, that said, I am 100% sure that it will be worth it in the end. Painful, but worth it.

Friday, January 19, 2007

I Did It.

I sent in my Diamondman registration.

That's all.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I Am So Lame.

So I've been following this training plan for the past month or so. While it's had the desired effect of letting me train without having the come up with my workout schedule, it has also apparently made me stupid.

I was all set to go to the gym and swim this morning after class. I get there, and get my things out and am all ready to get changed, but first I wanted to review the workout. But when I looked through my bag for the printout, it wasn't there. I must have left it on the table this morning. Oh no, the horror! But really, it totally threw me off.

I stood there looking at my swim gear for a while, contemplating my options. I knew I was supposed to do 2500 yards, but the idea of coming up with my own 2500-yard workout practically threw me into a panic. I actually considered driving home (about 10 minutes each way) to get the workout. Then I thought that I could just go home, and come back later to do the workout. I thought about asking the front desk folks if I could look it up online. I might as well have put a sign around my neck that said, "My training plan has made me stupid. Can you help me?" Finally, though, I called Speedy who humored me and read me the workout over the phone. Now that I had been told exactly what to do, I could finally get in the pool. Whew. That was close.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Race Registration

I actually haven't yet registered for Diamondman. I don't think it's going to sell out soon, so I'm not super worried. But to secure myself a spot, I went on the Piranha Sports site to register tonight. The registration instructions: "Print application, fill it out, and mail it in." Wait . . . what? Print? MAIL? What is this? I've clearly gotten spoiled by online race registration, which makes impulsive decision-making much easier. Now I have to plan in advance, take the time to fill it out, and track down my stamps. Okay, it's not that bad, but still. Online registration isn't exactly cutting-edge technology anymore, people.

Monday, January 15, 2007


Last weekend I went to a stroke clinic put on by my tri club. The coach gave lots of good instruction, and I was all set to apply it today during my swim (yes, this is the first time I've been in the pool since last Sunday - oops). So I get in and start warming up, and I'm feeling good. Strong. Tired, since this weekend's workouts consisted of a 90-minute brick on Saturday and a long run on Sunday, which are fairly long workouts for me at this time of year, but strong.

I timed my sets, which is sometimes a good idea and sometimes bad, depending on whether I'm going fast. Today's set included was 3x(100 easy, 4x50 fast). On the first 100, I somehow knocked like 7 seconds off of my previous best 100 time, and felt great. I was shocked to see that I had gone so fast - I thought maybe I had started my watch late, but I'm pretty sure that was an accurate time. So that rocked. But the workout went downhill from there. I couldn't get my act together on the fast 50s, and I was sloooooooooow. Apparently focusing on going fast wasn't working for me today, because when I tried to focus instead on staying long and pulling hard though the water, instead of focusing on the speed, I got faster. Seems that there's a lesson in there for this grasshopper.

In other news, I think I'm going to get a real actual live coach. One of the founding members of my tri club is trying to get his coaching business off the ground. He seems really knowledgeable, and is in fact a Level 1 coach, but because he's just getting started his rates are awesome. So my online training program has served me well for the past month, but I think it's time to move on. Yay!!

Friday, January 12, 2007

70.3, Here I Come.

I hope I don't get sued for using the 70.3 designation for a non-IMNA event. :)

I'm going to do it. After reading others' blogs, especially those who are training or have trained for full Ironman races, I can get off my ass to do a half. The swim will be okay (although probably not terribly fast), Speedy has agreed to do my long training rides with me, and I was planning to do some late-season half-marathons anyway so my run training should be sufficient as well. Really, though, I'm sort of "Holy Crap!" about the whole thing, and I don't know how all you Ironmen do it.

Classes have started again. I'm loving my schedule for this semester. I am taking two 'real' classes, and am enrolled in a clinic, where we provide representation to community members. Students practice under the licenses of the profs, so we get to do everything related to the cases, including court appearances. I'm pretty psyched about it. I get to start off by going to traffic court with my sister next week (actually, she's not a client of the clinic, she's just a moron who waited 6 months too long to get her car inspected).

And I had a chat with a friend with whom there's been some tension lately, and we seem to have worked things out nicely. All in all, not a bad week.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

What Do You Know About Diamondman?

I've heard different opinions, ranging from that it's not well-run and it's a bad race for a first half-Ironman, to it's a fine race. Has anyone done it or heard anything about it? What do you think?

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Race Schedule - Advice?

I posted my tentative race schedule. I say tentative because it will change, the only question is how. I'm considering doing Diamondman in September, which would knock out the North East Oly and probably the Distance Run as well. This is a big step for me, but I think I'll have the training time available to do it. Anybody have any advice/ideas?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Back In The Saddle

Thanks to some quality time with my training plan and some less-than-subtle motivation from Speedy, I am finally feeling more motivated to train. I've gotten in some good workouts in the past week, and the laziness that went along with the holidays seems to have subsided. It's about time, too - school starts again on Monday (my last semester as a law student!) and I start working soon (my third, and likely last, year as an assistant coach for a local crew team) too. So it's about time I get my ass in gear.

I think the training plan is going to make me faster. It's certainly nice to not have to worry about what I'm doing on a given day, because it's already set out for me. That takes away a lot of the stress for me, because I don't have to worry about getting in enough swims/bikes/runs/lifts any given week, as someone has already done that. And it includes the speedwork that I am less inclined to do when I am doing my own schedules. And bricks. Starting today. Yikes! If I were doing my own schedule, bricks wouldn't even be on my radar screen for another month or two, at least. I think this plan will prove to be a good thing.

I will start posting more soon. When I'm in school, I sit in front of my computer practically all day. When I'm on break, I generally try not to spend tons of time using the computer. But school starts again soon, so I'll be posting more frequently. I know, I know - please, try to contain your excitement. :)