Thursday, August 16, 2012

three things thursday

1. One of the things that I'm trying to do better is get out of the cycling-route rut I've been floating in all summer.  So when a monster long ride showed up on my schedule for Monday, instead of riding out to Poolesville for the 200th time, I packed up my car and made the trip out to Purcellville to do some of my favorite climbing loops.
There aren't any really sustained climbs, but there's a lot of short steep stuff mixed in with long gradual rollers.  I did two loops plus another small half loop and my climbing legs were shot.  But I had a perfect day.  I bumped into a friend and we rode together for about 45 minutes, and I got to spend a lot of time in the scary dark places in my head, and then I put on some James Taylor and sang away the miles.  Going long on the bike just plain old makes me happy (especially when I don't have hard intervals to hit, word).

2. Stalking of the official race photos from the sprint brought this gem to light:
Hopefully you're as pumped as I am to see that even as I'm sprinting my way to the finish, I'm not heel-striking my ass off.  Go ahead, get excited.  Bent knee, good push-off in the back, about to land squarely on the midfoot, and foot only slightly turned out from my slightly tight hip flexor.  GET EXCITED DAMMIT.  I'm such a nerd for running form.  Let's bring back an old favorite to compare:
LAWD HAVE MERCY.  I'm actually probably running at close to the same pace in these two shots.  Okay, enough of that.

3. Since last year, I have definitely made significant progress in the pool.  (That's my disclaimer before you get mad at me for bitching about being slow).  However, I feel like I've been at a bit of a plateau over the past few months, and I'm not sure exactly how to bust past it.  One answer, I know, would be to join a master's group.  However, I'm a spoiled brat who doesn't like to be massively inconvenienced by other people's schedules, so I'm not sure that's the answer for me just yet (and it's only $30/month to swim in the manky LA Fitness pool as opposed to grotesque master's fees).  Sonja writes great swim workouts, and my execution is usually pretty solid, but I've been trying to pay a little extra attention to my effort in the water and the details of the session.  I know that for some workouts, especially short ouchy stuff, I tend to just float along at a sub-1:30 pace (yards, don't get crazy) and call it good.  There are times when I know that I could man up and swim a little harder, so that's probably part of it.
Another piece is probably swimming with people a lot faster than me (see above, see also: master's, sigh), so I'll be hunting around for some fast feet to chase in the pool whenever I can fit it in my life.  I also know that those extra 20-40 minute easy swims I was putting in my schedule all spring made a difference, and I need to get back in the habit of doing them again on hard leg days.  Which is exactly what I'm going to do on the way to work once I finish sucking down this delicious recovery smoothie (switched to strawberry protein powder, a big win).

Happy Thursday, friends and neighbors!  What are you sucking down this morning?

16 comments:

  1. I, too, have a coach that writes great swim workouts, so I swim literally every swim workout alone. The thing that has helped me the most is my Swim H20 audio player. I don't use it every workout, but for the day I don't want to swim, it really helps to push me out of my comfort zone. BUT, if I had the option of a masters group of similiar ability, I'd do that in a heart beat. . .

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  2. Lager, mostly! I just learned we passed all the checks and crap and we're moving house. Woot!

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  3. Running form geek over here too. I can't help but look at my pictures and i get frustrated when I still see myself heel striking errr! You however have made some great strides (pun intended) toward better form. Kudos. What have you done differently?

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    1. 5 million PT appointments and learned how to use my glutes!

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  4. I have that one illusive good form photo from the 10k I ran back in June, but I'm wondering if it will ever show up again. The one photo I saw from the mile on Sunday is just awful. AWFUL. But it makes me happy that you are putting it all together!

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    1. *elusive* (ah, incorrect spelling/word choice)

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  5. I want arms like you when I grow up.

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    1. you have arms like me! better, actually.

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  6. Hooray for awesome run form. And also, ditto what TPG said. I covet your arms.

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  7. That is a killer running photo (the 2nd one) I'm a sucker for finding the worst race photos of myself and getting a laugh. Much improved on the running form! Nice guns too! Sheesh lady! Our masters program was $70/mo and the coach did noooothing and half the guys in the pool were there to relive their heyday. So competitive that a few of the guys would flip turn MID lane to "keep up". Mhm sure guy!

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  8. Oh man, that 2nd running picture....how far you've come! I look like that 2nd picture at the end of every marathon - ha.

    I suck so bad on a bike and keep wondering how I can get faster. Time on that damn seat I guess. Keep plugging away at the swimming, it will come! :)

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  9. Nice update, Katie! Glad you switched things up with your ride.

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  10. Your running form did make me excited!!! Yay!!

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  11. So glad I read this today and not on Thursday otherwise I would have really pushed myself in the pool on Sunday. I am like you that I hit a plateau and kinda enjoying it though. OK I got faster and its cool, but at the same time we want to be faster too right.....Ahhhh!

    I keep playing these words from Coach C in my head: the race starts on the bike.

    So to me just get through the swim.......going to have to push myself so that my easy warm-up and cool down is closer to 1:50/100y and not 2:00/100y. That will help me improve right?

    Just say yes!

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  12. Crap! I still look like that. you must teach me the ways...

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