Friday, March 28, 2008

Multi-tasking while Freestyling

I find it amazing how much my mind and body are so active during my freestyle workouts in the pool. The structure of my workout is a Warm up, Build up (Drills), Core (main set), then Warm down. During the workout I am focusing on so many things to help me become a more efficient swimmer.

I am thinking about having proper:
arm catch and high elbows,
having a strong flutter like kick moving from the hips,
breathing bilaterally,
stream line body position so that I am as slippery in the water as possible,
and becoming like a fish with shoulder and hip rotating as one.
Not to mention I'm trying to keep track of the 10 x 100 yard repeats in my head while swimming in a 25 yard pool.

Oh, did I just finish my 6th set or 7th set? I was chatting too long with the guy in the lane next to me and now I lost track. Anyway, I go with 6 and continue focusing on having proper bio-mechanical positioning in the water but then I'm thinking, oh no, I have to go pee...

If you like multi-tasking like I do then you'll find swimming is so much fun.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Windy Track Workout & Cookies.

I was able to run my 4 x 1000 meter repeats on the track this week and on one hand I was happy to be outside on the track rather than on the treadmill but the winds were so strong that I felt I was pushed from all sides and could not maintain my projected pace. I chalked it up as a strength training workout. I kept telling myself, "each 1000 I complete will make me stronger". After completing the windy workout I went home and checked the current weather conditions and sure enough winds were 30 mph and gusting to 40 mph. I'll have to somehow figure out how the winds effect my times.

A friend thought I might want to try this cookie recipe so I whipped up a batch and I couldn't stop eating them.
These are banana cookies that have no eggs, flour, sugar, or salt.
Here is how I made them.
I mashed 3 medium bananas in a bowl and
mixed in 1/3 cup ev-olive oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 1/4 cups chopped walnuts, 2 tablespoons of milled flax seed, and 1/4 cup raisins. I dropped tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheet and pressed then down lightly with fork and placed in the oven at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. I made 2 dozen, ate 5 cookies and put the rest a in freezer bag and placed it in the freezer.
I'll be snacking on these things all week.

Friday, March 21, 2008

An athlete.

Iron G in 2015 posted a pop quiz for us runners to answer and I thought I'd put my thoughts down here to share with everyone.

1. How long have you been running or tri-training?
I have been running and road racing from the mile to the marathon for 18 years. This summer will be my 5th year of Triathlon racing.

2. Why did you start running or tri-training?
I started to run after I gained 15 pounds between 19 and 26 years old and I decided I needed an easy exercise program that would get me back to my boxing weight and shape.
I think tri-training is something most of us did as kids, but we didn't call it training, we called it play. We swam, we biked, and we ran around all day. It seemed natural that one day I decided to try a triathlon race and to do it with the intent of having FUN. After 5 years of triathlon training and racing I'm still having fun.

3. What's your most memorable race?
Running the Hope Memorial Mile in 4:29

4. What's your favorite race to run (distance and/or specific event)?
The Cleveland 10K because of the quality of the field and to be part of the excitement among thousands of runners.

5. What's the best advice you have ever received?
Learn to incorporate cross training like, swim, bike, run, lift weights, yoga, pilates, you name it, into your running program.

6. What's the best advice you never followed (that you should have)?
Don't eat before training or racing in the morning.

7. Where do you train?
In the evenings at home in the basement on the treadmill and bike trainer. On the weekends in Garfield Park and Mill Creek Trail and the beautiful Cuyahoga Valley National Park. During lunch time in CSU Pool and running in and around the downtown area
8. What are your long-term goals?
Run the marathon under 3 hours (2008 or 2009). Complete a Half Ironman under 5 hours (2009). Bike a century as fast as I can (2008).

9. What's your favorite pre-race meal?
Oatmeal, banana, and green tea

10. What's your favorite post-race, PR or goal-meeting reward?
A hot shower and an afternoon nap in the recliner while reading The Art of Learning

Saturday, March 15, 2008

St. Malachi Race

I went from a 5 mile race to coaching my indoor soccer team Saturday morning. The race was hard but the game was exciting. We played against the first place team and managed to pull off a tie with them. We have 2 more games and if all goes well, we could be 1st place champions in this inaugural fustal season and my first time coaching.

According to my training schedule I needed to run 8 miles at a 6:43 per mile pace but I figured if I ran 2 miles as a warm up before the 5 mile race I would be close enough to the scheduled distance. My thoughts for the race was that I'd run at a 6:00 per mile pace and finish around 30 minutes but then I also had a feeling I'd finish around 29:00.

The course had enough ups and downs to make the run tough. I felt I ran at a good hard effort the whole race but I had a little mental struggle after about 3.5 miles. I had to keep telling myself to push through the pain because the first place women was gaining on me. So many people would yell out, "1st place women". It felt like it was me against her.

I couldn't stay for the awards so I grabbed a banana and a bottle of water and drove to the soccer game. I did slip on my running pants and coaching shirt so that no one could tell I came from a 5 mile race.

First place in 45-49 age group Race results.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mind games on the treadmill

The anxiety of running fast on the treadmill today was driving me crazy. According to my schedule I needed to run two 1 mile repeats and a 1/2 mile at a 5:38 pace with a 1/2 mile recovery between sets. This type of workout was to be done on the track but with a slushy snow covered track there was no way I would be able to run fast on it. With the crummy conditions I resorted to doing the workout on the treadmill later in the evening. Although, throughout the day I was thinking how was I going to run the fast set of intervals on the treadmill.

The top speed of my treadmill goes from 10 mph (6:00 pace per mile) to 11 mph (5:30 pace per mile)to 12 mph (5:00 pace per mile)and I only needed to run at a 5:38 pace per mile. Do I run at 10 mph with a 3 to 4 percent incline? Do I run at 5:30 mph with no incline? I had to get on the treadmill to find out what I could do.

During the warm up I focused on being relaxed and told myself that I could run at the 5:30 pace, even if I had to hold on the bars or if I puked, I was going to run it. After 20 minutes of easy running I hit the first set of 1 miles at a 5:30 pace with the incline set not at ZERO but at TWO percent. Yes, I went for the gutsy workout. And, I survived two 1 mile repeats and a half mile feeling great because I conquered the mind battle over the treadmill.

This weekend I am looking forward to running a 5 mile race (St. Malachi).

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Baby and all

Last week we drove to Baltimore to visit my son and his wife to celebrate the birth of our grand daughter, Arianna.
She is a bundle of sweet joy with an inquisitive mind of interest in all her surroundings.

My off-season Core training workouts finally paid off this past weekend. We had record snow fall and I was left to shovel my way out of my drive and then a couple of other neighbor drives. I didn't get sore from all the shoveling but I did get mentally whipped and I didn't have the strength to run my scheduled 7 mile tempo run for today. I was able to take an afternoon nap in the recliner while reading and all I could see when I closed my eyes was me lifting shovel after shovel of heavy snow and yet I wasn't making any progress in clearing a path. How frustrating was that.

I am looking forward to running my 3 key training runs outside rather than on the treadmill. The temperatures are suppose to reach in the high 40's by Thursday and maybe by then the track and trails will be clear of ice and snow. Running on the treadmill has been easy for me to hit my target times but I think running outside will be different. I can't wait to test my progress on the track soon.