Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Swimming in the rain > sitting in traffic

I joined Pure Austin so I could swim at the Quarry and use their treadmills. I've found it useful for other purposes too, but I think the most useful is to have an option besides sitting in traffic. The north gym location is only about 5 miles from my work, and as I was leaving, I heard the traffic report where the speeds going south were less than 15 miles an hour. So, even though I was tired and not particularly motivated for a workout, I went to swim.

And it turned out to be a pretty good swim. It was drizzling and overcast, and the pool is partially covered and heated, so I was plenty warm, but I could feel the difference when I was out from under the roof. I practiced the alligator sighting technique, and had a pretty good time, even though I know I don't swim as hard on my own as I do at the coached swim practices. And after that I had some dinner at Boston Market, which was pretty tasty. And finally, I drove home and there was zero traffic. Fantastic!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Swimming with Brendan Hansen

Well, technically, he was swimming and I was watching. Sunday, T3 had planned their Practiceman- a mini triathlon to work on transitions and fine tuning to warm up for the triathlon season. The only problem was the cold front that blew in Saturday morning, causing the cancellation of the Spokes and Spurs charity ride. So it was about 40 degrees, with winds 20-30 mph. That is just no good for triathlon.

Ceci, who had driven up from San Antonio for the weekend of training was determined to get something in, and I was game, so we drove up to Pflugerville for the Practiceman, already thinking about how we would not do the whole thing. There were more people there than we had originally expected, with a total of about 25 triathletes. After the bikes were blown over on the practice racks, we put those away and went to Starbucks to kill some time before Brendan Hansen showed up for the Open Water Swim Clinic at 10 am.

So back at Lake Pflugerville at 10, the Zoot wetsuit guy was out there to allow people to try out wetsuits. Brendan talked about techniques in the windblock of the bathrooms, though his advice was more suited for really fast people like himself, not the average T3er. Like start in the front, sprint at the start to shake people who want to draft off you (which should be done at the hip of the front swimmer, not behind), and finally sight separately from breathing, like an alligator. That last one might be more helpful to me, and I'm looking forward to trying them out.

And then 4 triathletes and Brendan got in the water for a total of about 4 minutes. It was that cold, even in wetsuits! And then they all got out and we all left. I was just fine not swimming with Brendan Hansen this time. He's going to be putting on another clinic in a couple of weeks, and I'll swim with him then!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Good run before the rains

After going to bed at 7 pm last night, I was up at 5 am. That was about 9 hours of real sleep, if you consider reading before I actually went to sleep, and then lazing about before actually getting up. Fantastic!

Not particularly sore, just more overall tired. I waited for daylight before going out for a long run. I had wanted 10, but wound up with 9 before it started raining and decided that was good enough. I have a new route that goes out to Westgate, but I haven't figured out the connections over to Stassney- most of the neighborhoods are all just big interconnected cul de sacs. But it's nice to explore new areas, and there are good rest stops- Starbucks, Newflower, and gas stations every 2-3 miles at least.

So a big training weekend, and I feel good. I think that might be part of the improvement as well. I can do the big stuff and it doesn't kill me like it used to. Now I don't think I'll be doing my long runs before work any time soon (like fellow T3er Sparkle) but I can do them in the morning and still have time to run errands and do stuff around the house.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Pedal through the Pines

I did the charity ride, Pedal through the Pines, this morning and it was great. It was in Bastrop, going from the high school, through Bastrop and Buescher state parks, then out to Serbin, then back to Bastrop. It was A LOT hillier than I expected. I mean, west of Austin is hilly, east of Austin should be flat, right. Not quite. There were about 7 steep grades I had to get off and walk, along with 75% of the cyclists out there. They were steep! Plus a lot of rollers.

The rest stops were well stocked, and the weather was good- about 65 degrees and overcast, but it was a little windy. Luckily it was a headwind out, so it was nice to fly on the way back. Though I did have an annoying situation- a woman was going slower than me, so I passed her. She immediately passes me back and then slows down. Instead of leapfrogging again, I just sat on her wheel and tried to draft, and it worked. I could feel it was easier with her blocking the wind for me. I think I pissed her off, but she couldn't (or wouldn't) go faster. And she had a little helmet mirror, so she could see where I was. And I wasn't going to pass her again until I knew I could stay ahead, which didn't come for another 10 miles on a long downhill where I could get into aero. Good practice drafting for me. The few times people have tried to draft off me, I will slow down and make them pass. But sometimes overly competitive people can be so silly, causing themselves more trouble.

I wound up with a total of 63, so I can check off the metric century off my list. I felt really good at the end too, though I didn't have my running shoes to do a brick like a couple of the other T3ers out there. A 10 mile run planned for tomorrow, depending on the weather. I guess I could do it inside at the gym (ugh!) Hopefully it will be clear!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Rest is a wonderful thing

I've been back on track with my workouts this week, and am trying to get double workouts at least 3 days a week. And since I've joined Pure Austin and can get a run or swim in the evenings after work (and miss traffic- yay!) it's been really good. Another benefit of doubling up some days, is I can sleep in on Thursday mornings. That extra 1.5-2 hours of sleep is FANTASTIC! And while I can justify the need for allowing my muscles to recover and therefore perform better at another workout later, it just feels really good to sleep in.

Monday, March 1, 2010

1:58/ 100 swim!

I broke 2 minutes for a 100 m swim! I'm hoping the Pure Austin pool isn't short, because it felt pretty good! I had been getting closer in practice, but on my own, I could go all out, and then quit. A good time!