Tuesday, July 01, 2008


The schedule said rest/xt. You've all seen it. Every other day, your program doesn't give you an option: 11 mi, easy; Tempo - 6 mi with 3 @ 8:10; Intervals - 6x800 @ 7:00 w/400 rest .... but once or twice a week we get rest/xt - Options! Usually this means little more than kicking back and taking the day off; giving my leg muscles and connective tissue another day to recuperate. However, last night, I took the plunge and moved to the right of the hash mark. Instead of staying home and eating a plate of snickerdoodles, I went to the gym for a swim.
To say I'm not a strong swimmer is a gross understatement. I can stay afloat, but with my bulging mid-section, I've got plenty of drag; add that to my total lack of upper-body strength and you get a 6 foot blob slithering slowly through the water. All during the 30 or so minutes I spent in the water, I kept getting visions of Michael Phelps powering through the water - Michael Phelps I ain't. In the end, I got in 1300m in 32 minutes using a combination of free-style, breast and back stroke. It wasn't pretty. I even put my competitive spirit aside and didn't try to race the women in the next lane nor the guy in the lane next to her; although I did out last both of them (does that really count as competing?)
I don't know how your tri-athletes do this, especially in the summer. I've been hiding inside for the past two weeks - I can do so because my mileage has been so low of late. But I can't ride my bike inside. Since the beginning of the year, I've been commuting back and forth to work; leaving my house right after sun rise and leaving late in the afternoon with the sun low on the western horizon. However, yesterday I had to be home at 5:30 and found myself riding with the sun still high enough in the sky to thoroughly bake any exposed skin and the air temp holding steady at 111F (44C). Riding in the hot dry wind with the sun beating down on my back was surreal. It felt as if gossamer fabric was being drawn over every bit of exposed skin. The heat felt as if it was reaching out to touch me - it was visceral, well beyond the usual feeling of moving air; much more primal.
I'm gearing up for another 5K on Friday ... should be fun to run on a week-day.
Hope all is well you. Take care


david said...

I can relate to the swimming.... There is just something about putting your face in a suffocating liquid that makes me uncomfortable.

J~Mom said...

Phil, Your swim pace is not bad! I bet with a little practice you would be ready to race! I have become so accustomed to working out 6 days per week that I really hate the rest day. There is just something about the s-b-r that works all of the muscles together. I feel better if I swim the day after a long run then if I just rest. My muscles stay loose and don't get sore.

I am really nervous about Friday but still want to go and run it in a bizarre way. See ya bright and early!

Gotta Run said...

Do I see a tri in Phil's future?? Great way to mix it up. I continue to be amazed by the Tri sport. Just another way to grow stronger and reach new goals.

Hope you 5k race rocks. You will be chasing someone for sure.