Friday, October 29, 2010

Running

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day who is a great runner. I was asking him about running - specifically why he liked running so much - and he began his diatribe with, "I have a love/hate relationship with running . . ." Well that got me thinking about my relationship to running. I have a love-to-hate relationship to running. Part of me enjoys the simplicity of running. You don't need a lot of stuff just a good sports bra, running shoes, and maybe some socks. You can do it anywhere in the world and it requires very very little prep time. The bad part about running, at least for me, is the amount of effort and training it takes to really make a go of it. I convinced myself last season that I did not need to spend a lot of time on my run. I decided that a great swim with a fast bike would be a hard enough double punch to not have to worry about the run. Silly girl. Now as I sit back and reflect on my season I am remembering why a triathlon is called a TRI-athlon. To be a good triathlete, you need to be a good swimmer, cyclist, and runner. You can still have your strengths and weaknesses but you need to have a balanced approach to all three disciplines. If I ever say otherwise you all have the permission to punch me in the arm or better yet, run me down in a race . . . again!


Soooooooo my goal is to work on my running a bit (I am gritting my teeth as I type this, natural reflex I guess). I ran my first post-Kona run this week and it was abysmal. But that is ok, I rallied and attempted an easy run again last night. I felt pretty good the first mile and then I hit traffic . . . Halloween traffic that is! The Common Market, a great little deli/market by my house hosts a Thursday night 4-miler. I forgot about this, but every year on the last Thursday before Halloween everyone dresses up for the run. I would say easily 50 people do this run every week so you can only imagine what craziness I saw when I turned the corner right by the market. Everyone was running, in costume. One guy was a tree, Super Mario was there, as well as Little Bo-Peep, I passed another guy running in a jail uniform complete with the ball and chain - highly appropriate Halloween fun run attire! I felt a little sheepish running the course with everyone in my ultra-lite-super-fast-matching-with-blinding-reflecter-tape running attire. Oh well, let's just say I went as a runner for Halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

AM Swim with MAC masters

Ah the joys of morning swimming! It must be in ingrained in my nature after 26 years of swimming but no workout beats an early morning swim! Today was a great practice. I was late, of course, but I did not miss much. Joe was coaching today and had a "surprise" set for us. I tried to convince him to let me in on the surprise. He just told me someone else thought "I could hang." I got in the water giddy - I took that to mean some distance freestyle was coming my way! After two warm up sets we started the surprise set of 20x100 yds on 1:15. Who wouldn't like a challenge like that!?! The Danish Donut didn't but no surprise there. I mentally broke the set down into 5 sets of 4. Each set of 4 would take five minutes so I figured it that would be a good way to break down the set and keep count at the same time. I personally like to make sets by a least 5 secs. I found when I get less than 5 secs rest I get flustered. When you are flustered you can't concentrate on swimming fast. I was able to cruise 1:08 to 1:09 through the first 16. AquaGeek in the lane next to me decided to go fast on the last five. I figured this out after he dusted me on number 15 so the game was on hence forward! We started dropping a sec each 100 until we hit 1:04/1:05 on the last one. Of course I immediately accused him of being a sandbagger and he immediately defended himself by saying it was his plan all along because he needed to "keep it interesting." Sandbagger. Regardless of his "plan" AquaGeek pushed me to go faster and today made me a better swimmer. AquaGeek told me he would not have been able to do that set last year - he has come a long way. Maybe I had a role in that, maybe? There is something great in healthy humble competition, it can bring out the best in you and your teammates!