Category Archives: Workout Recaps

A different kind of recovery formula

My husband and I spent last weekend up in Massachusetts, just outside of Boston, for the wedding of one of my best friends from college.

It was a beautiful wedding – perfectly fitting for the couple. I was honored to be a part of it. And of course it was fantastic to see friends that we hadn’t seen in ten years and be all like, “OH my GOD, YOU are a LAWYER?” before remembering that we are all in our thirties now and having established, grown-up careers is perfectly normal.

And staying up until 4:30 in the morning is decidedly not normal.

When you’re in your thirties, such behavior will probably leave you in a nasty wake of exhaustion and dehydration for no fewer than 48 hours afterward. And will cause you to develop an embarrassing stuffy nose that you really can’t claim is “just allergies” because, um, it’s almost July and allergy season is long gone.

Not that I’d know.

But seriously…to help manage our expectations, someone should develop a Recovery Rule of Thumb for situations like this. Like how they say that you need a day to recover for every mile raced? I’m thinking it takes an hour to recover for every hour stayed up past midnight, multiplied by the number of years of age over 29. Plus two penalty hours for every post-midnight drink consumed. Make that three penalty hours if it’s a drink you’d never consider consuming under normal circumstances. Like Jaegermeister. Or White Zin from a gallon jug.

According to this formula, I should be good to go by…Thursday.

Of course, I don’t regret a single minute. It was a wonderful weekend. Congrats to Meg and Derek!

These shenanigans meant that I took the entire weekend off of running/exercise. It’s okay, it happens sometimes.

Truthfully, I’m more bummed about not making it to f*cking yoga last week than I am about the hangover-slash-rest days. In spite of the fact that it makes me feel like a stumpy, sweaty gnome, I’ve kind of come to enjoy hot yoga. Or at least not totally dread it. Well, I still dread the class itself a bit, but I love how it makes me feel afterward. Kind of like a hard track workout.

Speaking of which: tonight’s was a bitch.

I’ve been approaching my track workouts with more intensity these last few weeks. Because this session is my only quality running workout of the week and I’m not racing much right now, I feel like I can (and should) push it pretty hard. It’s been fun watching my splits drop; in spite of the 90-degree heat tonight, I was thrilled to be able to run an 84-second 400 at the end of the workout. Fun!

And because I’m sure you are all wondering whether my wedding weekend bender affected my half-hearted efforts to lean up the bod:

I guess…not really? Hard to tell. Maybe I worked some of it off on the dance floor.

I’m thinking of changing up my eating habits a little more to see if that helps me drop a couple of more pounds. When I embarked on this OMG EPIC JOURNEY seven weeks ago, I really didn’t do anything drastic with my diet outside of cutting back on the weeknight boozing (as you may have inferred from the sad lack of beer reviews on here) and trying to eat a few more veggies and a little less crap.

But I’ve still been eating a fair amount of crap, and probably eat too many superfluous carbs, so I’m gonna try to switch the emphasis to protein for a few weeks and see what happens.

Disclaimer: I’m not anti-carb, and when I’m training for a distance race I believe my body needs quite a lot of them. But I’m not training for a distance race right now. So minimizing my consumption of things like pasta and rice and bread probably won’t kill me.

Or maybe it will. If I stop posting for a while, please send help.

Unless it’s before Thursday, because, you know…I’m still recovering.

Hail the cloud

It’s amazing the difference a well-placed clump of vapor in the sky can make.

When I left for yesterday’s track workout, the skies were blue and the sun was beating down 90-degree rays of misery. Half an hour later, as I pulled up to the high school, it was overcast. A merciful cloud had taken pity on us and moved in to perfect sun-blocking position. I swear it was twenty degrees cooler.

I took it as a sign that I should run hard.

The assignment was 3X800 + 6X400. Our workouts are always three miles of total track work, usually parsed out in some combination of 800s and 400s. This particular combination was one that I don’t think I’d ever done before, so that was kind of fun.

(If your idea of “kind of fun” includes having other people’s sweat flung all over you while you pant and grunt and turn tomato red, that is. Ah, I love the track.)

I was pleasantly surprised at the pace of last week’s 800s, so I set out to see if I could do it again. I latched on to a pack of guys who seemed to be running a couple of seconds faster and tried to hang on.

Can we just pause for a sec and talk about this? I haven’t run a 3:03 800 in a non-race situation since…college?

I paid for it during the 400s.

Definitely fighting a major case of dead legs during the first three quarters. But I fought it off and snuck under 90 for the last three, so that was good.

I can’t say enough how happy I am to have been introduced to this Tuesday track group. There is no way I would have gone out and done this on my own. And having a pack of people to work with makes pushing the pace so much easier.

Anyway. Looking back on last week’s workouts, I think I set a new record low for weekly mileage:

SEVEN WHOLE MILES! I blame the stomach flu.

(Also, G and I finally started that boot camp last week. It meets Mondays and Thursdays, and will basically replace the weight room for the next month, I think. I’ve only been once since I missed last Thursday’s session (flu!) and this week’s Monday session was rescheduled due to thunderstorms. It seemed like a decent workout, though. If nothing else, it’s a nice change of pace.)

I wonder if the stomach flu is also responsible for this…

…or if this eating-healthier-strength-training-more thing is actually working? I guess we’ll see next week.

Off to deal with yet another home-repair-related headache:

And by “deal with” I mean “argue with people on the phone until someone agrees to send a repairman.”

Hail the home warranty.

Points for consistency?

It’s been just over a month since I stated that I wanted to spend my summer running less, cross-training/lifting more, and ridding my frame of the marathon chub that it had collected over two seasons of high mileage and little else.

So how’s that going?

Um…apparently, it’s going nowhere.

This isn’t so much upsetting as it is weird. Granted, I haven’t counted calories or anything but I have been making a major effort to eat healthy things instead of unhealthy things and I’ve pretty much nixed the weeknight boozing. I’ve been hitting the weight room faithfully and have seen tangible improvements there. I feel less bloated and I no longer need to do an elaborate ballet routine to get in to my favorite jeans.

Dirty filthy lying piece-of-shit scale.

Or, my body is just happy where it is, I guess. I’m going to keep at it for a few more weeks and see what happens. When it comes down to it, I’m not unhappy with my current weight, and I’m not willing to start tracking every morsel that enters my mouth – if that’s what it would take – for the sake of losing a few pounds.

I am also not willing to totally give up delicious food. Eating is one of my favorite hobbies. Some people like modern art or music or classic cars or porn; I like Pork Belly Banh Mi sandwiches from Star Provisions. I have no doubt that if I stopped enjoying food I would lose weight. But delicious food…it’s so delicious….

Anyway. That’s my non-progress report on that project. On to other meaningless statistics, such as workouts from the last two weeks while I was on my little blog hiatus*:

And mileage for May:

(The “days trained” stat includes lifting/XT days as well as running days.)

It still feels weird to be running so little, and my pace has definitely suffered from all of the other activity, but I’ve been pretty happy with my weight room adventures so far.

For instance, last Thursday, I talked Gesina in to doing this work out that I made up which involved 11 different leg and core exercises separated by sets of burpees for a total of 100 burpees. We were at the gym for almost two hours. But that’s mostly because we tend to get chatty between sets. But, hey – at least we’re being chatty at the gym instead of at happy hour, which is probably where we’d be otherwise. I know I’ve said this before, but having a workout partner makes weight lifting about a thousand times more bearable than doing it alone.

And I’ve been pleased with my track workouts too, especially given my lack of overall mileage. This week’s assignment was two sets of 2X800 + 2X400.

I went out hard.

I didn’t have a watch on and somehow missed hearing the 400 split of our first repeat, so I was a little surprised when I heard 3:08 as I finished. Crap, that is too fast, I thought.

So of course I went out and ran a second faster on the next one.

The 400s were a breeze by comparison, but that third 800 was hell. My lungs were burning and my stride was getting all flat and slappy. On the second lap, I let the group I’d been hanging with slip away from me. That pissed me off.

You started this, and you’re going to finish it, I told myself.

So despite the fact that I have no balls and the track has no walls, I put ’em there and finished it hard.

It hurt. In a good way.

Suck it, scale.

*Thank you to each and every one of you who left such flattering and supportive comments on my last post! I absolutely did not intend for it to be a fishing-for-SOMI thing; I just wanted to explain my insecurities about my life and my writing lately. It’s comforting to know that so many of you have had similar feelings and experiences. And of course, I’m glad that there are people out there who want to read this blog. As always, I welcome feedback – negative or positive – in the comments or at eatdrinkrun [at] gmail. <3

Musings

One. Every so often, I have these moments where I see something that makes me inexplicably happy to be back in a big city again. Yesterday, I saw this guy casually cycling up Peachtree through the heart of Midtown wearing a leopard print unitard and…wings?

I can never articulate exactly why, but things like this always make me smile. Thank you, Flying Leopard Man.

Two. I really don’t get the big deal about Publix. It’s just a grocery store, and an average one at that. What am I missing here?

Three. At track this week, I had one goal, and that was to finish the workout faster than I started it. Bam:

I’m still a little frustrated at my inability to crank out 80-something-second 400s at the moment, but at least I was able to duck under the 90-second mark for a few at the end.

Also, half a mile of cool down is probably not enough. But our workouts don’t start until 7 PM, and by the time we finish it’s all dusky and buggy and I’m ready to go home. Oh well.

Four. I have been so good this week. SO GOOD. NO WEEKNIGHT BEERS. (Or wine.)

But Thursday is practically the weekend (at least it was in college…), and my husband and I have a playdate at a bar with some friends-of-friends tonight, so you can bet I’ll be enjoying a beer or two. As a reward. Or a means or not being an awkward mess when meeting new people. Or something.

Five. Speaking of messes. This has been happening on our roof all week.

I am so thankful that we don’t need a whole new roof. We do, however, need part of a new roof and it’s quite the ordeal, apparently. The roofers should be finished tomorrow, and then I get to finally execute on my portion of Project Roof Deck, which is the selection of patio furniture. I have a hard life, I know.

Six. My gym scam is bust. I finally joined yesterday. And celebrated this morning with a 6 AM workout date with Gesina, during which she introduced me to something called a one-legged squat. I’m going to go ahead and blame her in advance for my inability to handle stairs tomorrow.

Seven. At the grocery store the other day, this women grabbed my arm, pointed at a package of fresh lasagna sheets in my cart, placed her face uncomfortably close to mine, and yelled: WHAT ARE THOSE?

I explained what they were, and she gasped audibly and – still clutching my arm – told me that this was the best idea she’d ever heard of.

(Necessary for Sausage and Butternut Squash Lasagna, always a favorite!)

For a moment, I considered taking credit for the invention of lasagna sheets – hell, perhaps the entire concept of fresh pasta generally. This woman was obviously drunk or high or insane, she probably would’ve bought it. But instead I just pointed her toward the appropriate aisle, extracted myself from her grasp, and moved on.

Ah yes, city life. Crazy, but fun.

Pretty sure that’s not what they mean when they say Free Weights

For the last two weeks, I’ve been unintentionally scamming the LA Fitness down the street from me. I keep trying to give them my money, and they keep refusing to take it.

As as example: today marked the sixth occasion on which I’ve been a visitor. So like a good honest citizen, I strolled in this morning with my credit card in hand, ready to settle up.

“I’ve been coming here on a visitor’s pass and I’d like to go ahead and join,” I said, tapping the card on the Lysol-scented counter. This wasn’t the first time I’d tried to get my application processed. Let’s keep this simple, I thought.

“Okay, what’s your membership number?” said the girl behind the counter.

UM.

“I don’t have one yet. I’m hoping you can give me one,” I smiled hopefully.

At which point the attendant began to tap extensively on her computer’s keyboard and frown at its screen, as if she were trying to rebook my missed connection to Timbuktu, or perhaps transcribe the IRS code in to Russian.

After several minutes of this, she stopped abruptly and informed me that her computer wasn’t working, and that I could go ahead and work out and we’d deal with it next time I came in.

Okaaaaaay. I tucked my method of payment back into my purse and proceeded toward the locker room. Is it just me, or have I entered some sort of bizarro LA Fitness Super Opposite Backwards World? Aren’t they supposed to be the ones harassing me about membership?

Anyway.

I had a good workout this morning, and maximized the value of the time I hadn’t paid for by spending a whole 75 minutes at the gym, with most of it in the weight room.

All of this strength training is sure paying off…

Gah. But I know. These things don’t happen overnight.

Here’s what last week’s workouts looked like:

Around 20 miles of running (some of it pretty slow, because I’m kinda sore from all of this other crap), two lifting sessions, and two yoga classes.

And one good beer:

Okay, I had more than one of these. Probably why that scale isn’t moving.

This beer was a worthy expenditure of junk calories, though! Sweetwater’s spring seasonal, the Road Trip Pilsner, runs right over (ha) the notion that the Pils is a boring style of beer. A nice bready backbone leads the way, then turns it over to more nuanced flavors (a touch of bitter lime? fresh cut grass?) before giving you a nicely carbonated finish. An excellent example of a quenching, warm-weather beer that isn’t totally watered down or wheated out. 5.2% ABV.

Bottom line: I’ll definitely be stocking this as long as it’s around! (Purchased at Target, $10/6)

Time to go make a healthy dinner (boring) and drink water (double boring).

Eight is enough

My feet were wrinkled and prune-like when I finally kicked off my running shoes after tonight’s track workout.

Welcome to the soggy summer running season here in the south. If the sweat doesn’t soak you, the humidity will, and if you’re lucky there will be an intermittent sun-filtered storm to drench you while you’re at it. Tonight we had all three.

I haven’t even attempted to untangle my hair yet. That’s a project for bedtime.

Ugh. Anyway.

Tonight’s assignment was a classic: 12 X 400M. Oh hey: it’s my favorite track workout! I’ll give you the spoiler and say that it wasn’t such a favorite tonight. But that wasn’t the workout’s fault. It was my first speed session in five weeks, and my legs were pretty torn up from a reintroduction to squats and deadlifts yesterday.

(You see? This is why I hate weight lifting. It makes me sore and slow. I know, I know: it’s good for me in the long run. And dedicating this summer to achieving better overall fitness might mean sacrificing quality running sometimes. But I’ll still pout about it.)

After a stiff 2+ mile warm-up, I coaxed my reluctant legs into finding something approximating a six-minute pace, as a 90-second 400 is sort of my benchmark for this workout.

I did the first one in 92.

From there it went: 93, 91, 93, 94, 95, 94, 93.

These were not fun intervals. They hurt. Every time, I’d start out and think I felt okay and then come through 200 meters and feel like I’d been hit by a truck.

My friend Gesina was along tonight for her first track workout since high school, and so naturally I was acting like some big expert on the whole subject, explaining things to her as we went along. (Not that she needed it – she did great!)

After the fifth repeat, I mentioned that it would be totally reasonable if she wanted to do eight. Because 12 X 400 is a lot to tackle your first time.

After the sixth, I realized that I needed to take my own advice. Eight was going to be enough for me today.

So as another round of chunky raindrops thudded on the track, we both aborted the assigned workout and started our cool down laps. I think it was the right call. For whatever reason, my legs were toast.

As if to confirm our decision, as we shuffled along the backstretch a gorgeous rainbow appeared, hugging the steamy track and its sweaty occupants through the haze of sunshine and dark clouds.

I know I’ll get back to a place where I can do loads of 400s in the 80-something-second range. I’m not there right now. And that’s ok. I’m going to be throwing a lot of different challenges at my body for the next few weeks, so of course I’m going to be sore and fatigued. That’s the whole point.

For now, it’s time to tackle the stairs up to bed. Ouch.

But that’s nothing on the pain I’m going to feel when I try to get a brush through this sweat-dredded mop on my head. Ouch indeed.

Tuck in and hang on

This post is dedicated to my friend Dre – my college teammate, suitemate, poolside “study” buddy, drunk razor scooter-riding partner and so much more. I tried to find a picture of us from those days, but alas, we’re of the elderly generation whose college shenanigans predate digital photography. Probably a good thing.

(From my wedding a few years later. No razor scooters involved.)

Anyway, this post is for Dre because now I have managed to insert myself in to not one but TWO track groups by following in her (very speedy) footsteps.

First, when I lived in NYC, it was her encouragement from afar that made me sack up and start going to CPTC practices. Dre had lived in the city right after we graduated college and had run with the club during her years as a New Yorker. Even though I was on the CPTC D Team (D is for derriere…as in, bringing up the rear), I met some pretty cool people that year that I lived there and ran with the team.

And second, here in Atlanta. Dre connected me with one of her friends who lives here and runs with a group that does weekly track workouts (among other things). Last Sunday night, I met up with Faith and her boyfriend John for gelato.

…which was much more fun than running. They’re also fairly new to Atlanta, so we had lots to chat about.

And then Tuesday, I joined their track group for their weekly workout.

In my last post where I begged (shamelessly, I might add) for all of you to tell me what to write about, Cindy suggested I talk about making local running friends. That’s a process that I’ve been through a few times now, having lived in six different states in the last ten years.

The easy answer is that you have a friend like Dre, who hooks your shit up.

The hard answer is that you research, and you go to different groups, and you try a bunch of things out, knowing full well that you’re going to show up to group runs and be the odd (wo)man out. No matter who you are, there are gonna be people faster than you and people slower than you. The worst thing that can happen is you can’t hang (embarrassing, but whatever, runners are nice people) or you end up doing a really easy run at a slower pace (no harm in that). And just because you go once doesn’t mean you’re committed. I’ve done my share of showing up at running groups and knowing pretty quickly that it wasn’t a good fit. No big deal.

The lucky answer is that you show up to your first track workout with a new group and find a bunch of people who are friendly, fun, and happen to be exactly your pace.

I got lucky this week. Those 800s and 400s were, of course, challenging, but I’d forgotten how nice is it just to tuck in to a pack and hang on. I haven’t experienced that since my CPTC days. It really does make track work easier. There is no way I would have gone out and run a 3:04 800 on my own.

(And I probably shouldn’t be out running 3:04 800s right now, given that I have a marathon to run in a week and a half…so I tried to slow it down, a little, but eh…it was easier just to stick with the group. Those 400s were fun!)

So: thanks, Dre. And thanks, Faith and John, for welcoming me in to your running community. (And also reader/commenter Lisa, who runs with the group as well!) I’m happy to be here.

Tonight, I headed out for a recovery run. The air was extra thick and muggy. When I got home and showered, I could see why.

There seems to be a massive storm brewing out there. Tucking in (to bed) and hanging on (to my wine glass)!

Around and around the Oval

Discovered: it’s exactly one mile from my apartment to the southwestern corner of Piedmont Park. I expect to become very familiar with this route over the next few weeks.

Atlanta’s Piedmont Park seems to be a miniature version of NYC’s Central Park. There are winding roads upon which one can run or bike, a lake, playgrounds, and tennis courts. There’s a dog park and a boathouse and a botanical garden. You’re never far from a drinking fountain or a bathroom.

And there’s a flat crushed gravel loop restricted to runners/walkers moving in a counter-clockwise direction. Yep, the “Active Oval” is Piedmont Park’s version of the Reservoir.

I decided to take my planned tempo run to the Oval yesterday, mostly because of its flatness. With 10K on the agenda, that would mean nearly 12 times around the roughly half-mile loop.

Looking back at my training so far this year, clearly I’ve been slacking on the tempo front. I used to try to work in both a track and a tempo session each week, but lately I’ve only been doing the track work. Primarily because that’s what my group was doing, but also because I actually enjoy track workouts while I generally despise tempo runs.

But sometimes you’ve gotta do stuff you don’t really enjoy. And even though it wasn’t exactly fun, I needed a long, grinding tempo to make me feel like I’m even a little bit prepared for this marathon next month.

Since Piedmont Park is a mini version of Central Park, I decided to do a mini version of the classic CPTC marathon pace/half marathon pace tempo, or as Megan recently called it, the 2 X 4 Mile Beast.

Meet the 2 X 5K Mini Beast.

I was pretty happy with how this went. Nice even splits! The last couple of miles were definitely hard, both on account of the faster pace and the fact that I was starting to get bored of looping the Oval. Total workout was nine miles and change, including warm up and cool down.

My new ASICS DS Trainer 17‘s felt great during the workout:

Before leaving my old job, I had to take advantage of my employee discount one last time. I almost picked up a pair of the new Brooks Ravenna 3, but given that I wasn’t totally thrilled with the mileage I got out of the previous version of the Ravenna, I decided to mix it up and go with a comparable shoe from ASICS instead.

Like the Ravenna, the DS Trainer is a light stability shoe, designed to provide a touch of support for mild over-pronators, while weighing in a bit lighter than a traditional stability shoe. (The DS Trainer is 8.8 ounces, versus 9.3 ounces for ASICS’s traditional stability shoe, the GT-2170.) Previous versions of the DS Trainer had run very narrow and had a weird puffy collar thing around the ankle; the new version released this year seems to be a touch roomier in the toe box, and the collar thing is significantly less puffy. So I decided to give them a try.

I’ve been running in them for a couple of weeks, and no complaints so far! It’s a nice soft shoe that doesn’t feel too clunky or heavy.

I’m still alternating with my Brooks PureFlows, but I think having a traditional cushioned shoe for longer runs is a good thing for me. When I had that weird foot pain a couple of weeks ago, I’d been running almost exclusively in the PureFlows and had done a 20-miler in them day the pain started. No idea whether the foot issue was in any way related to my choice of shoes, but I’m going to be a little more cautious just in case.

Recovery run on the agenda tonight. You’ll find me in Piedmont Park again, but I think I’ll be avoiding the Active Oval.

Nice rack, tough track

I forgot to tell you guys my favorite part of the flat tire story.

So I was sitting in the cab of the tow truck, waiting for the driver to finish hooking my car up, when the guy’s cell phone rang.

Now, this guy was about my age, super friendly, a little country…I don’t mean that in a bad way. So the phone, which was sitting face up on the center console, started to ring. I wasn’t trying to be nosy or anything but my gut reaction was to glance at it, and when I did, I saw a topless chick with a fantastic rack.

It was one of those moments where I wished someone had been there, because I was all like: OMG! Some hot naked chick is calling this tow truck guy! Check out her boobs! But alas, no one else was in the cab to share the moment with me.

A few seconds later, the driver hopped back in the cab and snatched up his phone, which was still ringing and flashing (literally). I buried my nose in my own phone, pretending I hadn’t even noticed it. As it turned out, I gathered from the ensuing conversation, it was his girlfriend.

Well played, tow truck guy.

Anyway.

I headed to the track tonight for my VERY LAST TIME working out with my Raleigh track group. On the menu were some spicy-fast 600s, which sounded like fun, if a little challenging in the 80-degree heat.

Oof. I don’t know if it was the heat, or the spring pollen, or just the fact that I hadn’t run that fast in a couple of weeks, but my lungs were burning as I did these! Everything else felt pretty good though, so I’ll take it.

I am going to miss you, track crew. I’m gonna need to find a track workout group in Atlanta ASAP!

Well, it’s bedtime…at 11 PM! I know – so early! This week, I’ve been trying to train myself to go to bed at a normal-person time. I’ve gotten hooked on this 1 AM bedtime thing since I’ve been living alone these last three months, but my husband is most definitely NOT on that schedule with his new job, and it would be nice to be on the same page, routine-wise, when we are reunited in a few days.

(In truth, I am probably going to lay in bed and play on my phone for at least another hour, but hey – I’m moving in the right direction!)

Good night!

(Swim) Suit Up!

So my foot still hurts, but I’ve decided I’m not going to get mopey about it. As many of you said in yesterday’s comments, it could be something as dumb as user error on the shoelace front.

(Although, to those of you who have experienced bizarro foot pain on account of shoes being tied too tight: did the pain continue after you took your shoes off? My foot seems to be crankiest when I’m walking barefoot on a hard surface. So obviously, I’m avoiding doing that.)

Anyway. NO MOPEY FACE! Whether this hiatus ends up being a couple of days or a couple of months, I’m not going to sit around and watch my fitness level tank. Yesterday. I lifted weights for almost an hour (!). And today, I sucked it up and paid for a day pass at the YMCA so I could use the pool to get my heart rate going a little.

However, before I could do that I had to – as Barney Stinson would say – SUIT UP.

The last time I was in a pool that didn’t have a swim-up bar was probably 4 or 5 years ago. But I knew I had a two-piece speedo lap suit, cap and goggles somewhere, so last night I tore the apartment apart (always an awesome thing to do when you’re in the process of moving) until I found them.

Cap and goggles? Still fit fine. But that suit? Not so much. Apparently I have, ahem, expanded in the lower region. My ass in the bottom half of that swimsuit called to mind marshmallows and rubber bands. Together.

It was kind of mortifying, and made me further realize something I already kind of knew: that even though I’ve been logging a ton of miles and running great workouts lately, my overall fitness and body fat/composition could use some work. But that’s a topic for another day.

One trip to the sporting-goods store later, I’d procured an ugly lap suit from the clearance rack that fits much better.

My ass is totally a Monet.

And then this morning, I swam.

You know what? It wasn’t actually that bad. After a few awkward laps, I fell into a rhythm and although I’m sure I’m a slow swimmer with terrible form, it was a decent workout. Since swimming is pretty damn monotonous, I broke it up in to sections with a few “recovery” breaststroke laps thrown in:

  • 6 lengths easy breast
  • 10 lengths crawl
  • 2 lengths breast
  • 20 lengths crawl
  • 2 lengths breast
  • 20 lengths crawl
  • 2 lengths breast
  • 10 lengths crawl
  • 2 lengths breast
  • 6 lengths hard crawl
  • 6 lengths easy breast

The whole thing took about 55 minutes. Afterward, I asked the lifeguard how many lengths are in a mile and he said 66 so I guess with 86 lengths I swam about 1.3 miles? Swimming/tri people, does that seem correct?

Other observations from the pool:

  • I cannot swim straight. I’m either right on top of the big black line or brushing my elbows against the plastic lane divider thingy. (Why are swimming lanes so narrow? Someone should pull a Kramer on that shit.)
  • And hence: I am so glad I had a lane to myself today. I am only going to go to the pool during really weird off-peak times.
  • Because: I’m terrified at the prospect of having to share a lane with an actual swimmer. Seriously, every time I  approached the end of the pool I breathed a sigh of relief when I didn’t see a pair of legs hanging there, about to disrupt my crooked flailing.
  • And sharing with multiple swimmers? The circle thing? Absolutely terrifying.
  • For some reason, I can only breathe on my left side. It’s like my head won’t turn all the way to the right or something. (I’m not an ambi-turner!)
  • And since I can’t quite go two full strokes without coming up for air, so I end up breathing on every stroke, which, I believe, adds to the whole package: flailing, wandering around the lane, gasping for air. I’m sure I look awesome in the pool.
  • People can say what they will about running being intimidating. At least there aren’t LIFEGUARDS watching you make an ass of yourself on the track.

It’s a good thing I got a properly fitting swimsuit.

And finally, February stats:

It was a pretty good month. Well, aside from this foot thing.

(Which I’m still really hoping is a temporary thing.)