Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Little Horn Tooting

So I'm going to brag a little bit tonight, something I rarely do, but after today's swim workout I just can't help myself. I set a goal this winter to improve my swimming. It's easily the worst of the 3 sports for me and the one I struggle with the most. So eight weeks ago I set my focus on the swim and embarked upon a new plan. This plan had me swimming 4-5 times a week with a huge emphasis on drilling. At the beginning of the 8 weeks I swam a 1000yd time trial. This is an all out effort in order to see how fast I was. The result of that test was 17:21 or 1:44 per 100yds.

Well, after 8 weeks of hard work (and ample time due to a running injury) I got to repeat the time trial to see if there was any improvement over that span of time. Well, I finished in 16:07, or 1:37 per 100 yds, taking a whole 1:14 off of my previous time! I was so stoked when I finished today. This is the most notable improvement I've had since I first was able to finish 100yds without being completely out of breath.

So there it is. Yay me! Kudos! Congrats! A little well deserved horn tooting.

But I'm not quite done. I originally set out with a goal of going sub-16' by the end of March. It's time for another 8 weeks of swim focused fun and I should easily be able to shave off that 7 seconds and more by the time March 1st rolls around. I can't wait to see what I can accomplish. Swimming across the bay come May should be a breeze ;)

Sunday, December 27, 2009


So Christmas has come and gone once again. Not only that, but it passes quickly like always. I enjoyed some down time with my family and spent nearly 5 days with almost no activity and some pretty atrocious eating habits. It was awesome.

But, with the holiday over it is time to get down to business. I was dying to get back in the pool today and had a pretty good swim all things considered. I figured all the food I put in my gut the past week would cause me to sink and slow me down. Fortunately that wasn't the case. With today's workout I have come to the end of my 8 week swim focus. Sometime this week I will be doing another 1000yd time trial to measure my improvement. I know I am faster, but I really can't wait to see how much faster.

And while there has been mucho progress in my worst sport, there has been little to no progress on the running front. Last week I managed a short run with little pain, but the constant discomfort is still there and I just can't fathom running hard or far at this point. I have one final appointment with my PT and we will discuss a long term plan.

I ceased biking a few weeks back in hopes that it would help facilitate the healing of my hip. I'm not real sure if that accomplished much of anything so I will be getting back on the bike this week. It's perfect timing too as there is going to be a lot of bowl games to watch and I have a fun interval workout while I watch that makes the trainer time pass by.

I realized today that I have just four months to get ready for my first tri of the year. Having not run for 2 months makes that seem a little daunting. If only Santa had just brought me a new hip like I had asked for. If I'm not completely 100% my May 2 perhaps I will just take it easy and enjoy the San Franciscan scenery. Either way, the off season is starting to wrap up and I must say that I am sufficiently unwound and recharged, ready to tackle the goal of the upcoming season.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Trying to stay positive

Well, my injury has an official name so I guess I better take it seriously. I haven't been injured since my sophomore year of high school in wrestling when I separated some tendons from my sternum. This time it doesn't sound as painful, but it's irritating nonetheless.

I have hip bursitis in my right hip. Burisits is an inflammation of the bursa sacs (fluid filled sacs that provided lubrication for joints) and in my case it was caused by repetitive motion, ie. running. I've been working with a physical therapist to try and get this thing nipped in the bud. I was allowed to try some run/walk workouts where I would run a quarter mile then walk a quarter mile. I was okay for about a mile and then things got ugly and painful. So we decided I would be better off with some more rest. Biking and swimming are still in play and I can use an elliptical (meh) or do some aquajogging (double meh) to keep the aerobic fitness up without the high impact.

During the appointment yesterday I got a patch on my hip that delivered anti-inflammatories for four hours via magnets (sweet, I know) so I was forced to lay on the couch and be lazy when I really wanted to swim. I'm hoping they help, but my hip feels more sore today.

I'd wouldn't be lying if I were to say the my motivation is lacking. Even though I've been cleared to bike I've been rationalizing that skipping some workouts here and there can only help the hip rehabilitation. It doesn't help that winter is settling in(it's cold and we got some snow today) and all I really want to do is settle under a blanket and watch a movie. I will continue to swim and I'm still really excited about that. It helps to have a concrete goal there and I can still feel the progress being made every (well, almost every) time I get in the water.

It helps to focus on the positives and before I know it February 1st will roll around, marking the beginning of Ironman training. Provided I am up and running by then I'm sure motivation will be firing on all cylinders. For now I'll weather the off season storm the best I can and hopefully retain some measure of fitness these next couple of months.