The pool, Judy and 3000 meters.

I managed to talk myself into crawling out of bed and making my way to the pool. The workout was:

400 Swim
100 Kick with Fins
8×50 Drill
100 Swim on 2:15
200 Swim on 4:30
300 Swim on 6:45
400 Swim on 9:00
400 Swim on 9:00
300 Swim on 6:45
200 Swim on 4:30
100 Swim on 2:15
100 Swim cool down

It was 3000 total. We swam long course, so my times were generally slower than they would be on short course, but it felt great. My arms were sore from yesterday, but being in the water loosened them up a bit. And, is if I needed anything to sweeten the deal, Judy was there.

What a morning.

After a weekend of rest, I’m ready to go.

I flew to Pittsburgh this weekend to visit a high school classmate, so I had two restful days off. The travel wasn’t terribly restful, but I did come home feeling rejuvenated. Time with friends – especially good friends – is always worth the journey.

I rested (actually worked) on Monday. Then this morning, I had my session with Jake where we focused on my upper body. It’s tired, and I will hurt tomorrow, but I love my sessions with Jake. I didn’t run, partly because last night was a late night but mostly because Jenny wasn’t available to run with me. She makes getting up to run in the dark an easy thing to do, but without her…I stink at it. I need to remind myself that my race is less than four months away. The fear has to kick in soon to help me overcome simple things like others not always being available on my schedule!

Tomorrow, I plan to swim in the morning and then hit the gym for a spin session after work.

Fun news looking ahead…Marline and I are doing a ride this weekend in Bastrop, and next weekend I’ll be at the Texas Iron Endurance Camp in Kerrville. Much much fun.

After two days of rest, I had a good swim.

This morning, I got myself up to swim. Here is what I think we did:

400 Swim
100 Kick
100 Swim
8×25 Underwater there, Easy swim back

Main set (4 times through on 7 minutes):
100 Distance per stroke
25 kick hard
100 Build (but 50 on the 4th)
25 kick hard
100 Fast

Cool down:
400 Easy

If I did the math right, that was 2550 this morning. And it felt great. The main set really got my heartrate up. And I got to see Judy again this morning.

The Austin Marathon was yesterday.

After much debate about whether I should or shouldn’t, I did. I ran it. Slowly, but I ran it. My end time was 6:00:56, which is my slowest marathon ever, but I’m proud of myself for getting through it.

This time, I was untrained for it. My only run in 2008 that was in the double digit miles was the 10 miler that Caroline and I ran on New Years Day. After that, I was out of training, either because of injury or sickness. I considered skipping the race altogether but I decided that it was worth starting at least as a training run and that I could simply stop if ever I hit the point of feeling like I was injuring myself.

Of course, once I got in the race, I really didn’t want to stop. I would have, though, had I hit injury point, but I didn’t. So I plugged through it. I stayed on a 12 minutes per mile pace for about the first 11 miles, and then I slowed down dramatically and ended up doing a run/walk much of the way. I’m proud of myself for continuing on and knew that it was important to me not to quit just out of being tired. Hurt is one thing, but tired is another. Tired isn’t reason enough to quit anything.

This morning I’m feeling good, and I’m looking forward to regrouping to approach the next few months. At the end of March, I have a half Ironman in Galveston. Then I’ll do the Olympic distance race over Memorial Day in late May. Then the big race in June. It’s astonishing how quickly June seems to be approaching.

I should also mention that Caroline successfully finished the marathon too. She earned her Distance Challenge jacket and very quickly went from “I’ll never do this again” to “I think I’ll do another.” Sounds to me like she caught the bug.

Where have I been for the last nine days?

Swamped. Just swamped. But I need a mental break and have much goodness to report.

I have been able to work out seven out of the last eight days. On the 7th, I did a Texas Iron track workout and then met Michelle at the gym to walk on the treadmill and bike. On the 8th, I ran with Jenny and then had a session with Jake. On the 9th, I swam at Barton Springs and acquired a wetsuit! On the 10th, I ran the first part of the marathon course with Texas Iron. I took the 11th off. On the 12th, I ran with Jenny and then had a session with Jake. On the 13th and today, I swam. All good. All fun. I’m grateful for my health and the ability to be active again.

I’m noticing though that the workout schedule I anticipated around New Years isn’t playing out like I expected. Here’s a modification:

Monday: Swim (am) or OFF
Tuesday: Run (am), Lift (am)
Wednesday: Swim (am), Spin (pm)
Thursday: Swim (am), Texas Iron (pm)
Friday: Run (am), Lift (am)
Saturday: Swim (am), Bike (am)
Sunday: Run (am), Yoga or Bike (pm)

Let’s see if this works better.

My first Ironman nightmare!

I woke up a number of times last night and tried desperately to shake off a nightmare I was having, but I kept dozing back into it. We were in Coeur d’Alene. I had finished the swim and was struggling to find my bike. After far too long of searching, I finally found it covered with a bag. When I removed the bag, I saw that my bike was in pieces – completely unassembled. It was as though the shippers packed and delivered it, but it had been up to me to put it back together and I’d simply forgotten to or didn’t realize that I needed to do so. In my dream, I spent a couple of hours working with the event volunteers to get it together. All the while I knew that the passing time meant I couldn’t finish the race. It was a nightmare – one of the worst I’ve ever had.

And then I woke up and proceeded to have quite possibly the best workout I’ve had all year. I ran around Quarry Lake with Jenny Lloyd and then had a lifting session with Jake. In the session with Jake, I learned that I’m favoring my right arm a bit. I could do some exercises that required me to put my weight on both arms, and I could fully support my body weight on my left arm, but I was not able to support my body weight on my right arm. The elbow just didn’t feel steady, though it did feel a lot stronger than the last time I worked out with Jake almost ten days ago.

It was so fantastic to be working out again. It was hard, but I loved every minute of it. I need to be someone who has the time to train two to four hours a day. It simply makes me happy to be working out. I need to write my masterpiece, make my millions, and get on with doing this sort of thing all day long. How do I make that happen?

I am finally whole again.

This morning I went to Lifetime Fitness with Michelle. I had planned to run for 45 minutes on the treadmill, but I found that my body heartrate got too high when I tried that. So I ended up running five minutes, walking five minutes, running five minutes, etc. It felt wonderful to be doing something – anything – again, but it also showed me how out of sorts I am given the events of the past month.

The big question ahead of me is whether I run the Austin marathon. I haven’t really run since new years day when Caroline and I had a great run. (If I remember right, we did ten miles.) Then I had two weeks of no workouts and then another two weeks disrupted by sickness. So now I’m two weeks out from the marathon and feeling completely unprepared. I’m thinking I should try it anyway, just as a training run. I might be miserable, but I think I’ll be more miserable if I end up having to skip it.

I think my plan is to focus these next two weeks on running. If I can run three or four times this week and get a reasonably long run in next weekend, then I think I can do it.