Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Aqua Jogging is Da Bomb

I have been meaning to try this: running in the pool, but I wasn't quite sure how to do it. But I borrowed the required floatation belt on Monday and I know I must get back to running so yesterday I made myself do it. I told myself it was my "do something every day that scares you" for Tuesday.

Well, it was just awesome.

First, it turned out to be dead easy to do. I was afraid I would be floating and sinking all over the place or "running" all bent over like some people I saw in a video on aqua jogging. But it was pretty easy to have good form and to keep my head above water.

Second, it really is like running especially if you remember to keep your heels down rather than run like your feet are flippers.

Third, it wasn't that hard but it was obviously a good workout. I thought I might be able to go for 10 minutes so my plan was to do three 10 minute sets. But I was able to go for 30 minutes pretty easily and even getting to 45 wasn't too bad. I pushed myself to do an hour but the last five minutes were kind of brutal. But I was happy because I think if I can do for 45-60 min. in the pool, that I should be able to do 30 min. on the road once I get back to road running. I was worried I'd have to start with 10 min. and it would take me until my Ironman to even do an hour.

Finally, I really enjoyed the exercise. I enjoyed it so much that I am thinking about doing all my "long" runs in the pool even after my calf is completely healed. I think that will serve me well in letting me work on my running "engine" without beating the crap out of my body.

I can't wait to do it again!

Eastern vs. Western Medicine

I am an evidence-based kind of person. But I also believe that our bodies are interacting systems and this recent trend in medicine to treat people like they are a collection of body parts is not good medicine.

This puts me in an interesting position when it comes to things like Vitamin Supplements and Acupuncture. Right now I'm taking both "whole food" supplements and having needles stuck in me a few times a week and I have to admit that I am skeptical.

My calf is getting better but I don't feel like it's getting better any faster than if I wasn't taking handfuls of pills three times a day, smearing smelly liquids on my calf and getting needles stuck in me. For one thing, I still haven't stressed it by going back to running so of course it's healing. Plus, I'm back to PT and I feel like I'm getting better no faster than when I was doing PT alone.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A week of doctors

It's that time of year again. Time for my yearly check-ups. Time to see Dr. Awesome. Plus the fiscal year rolled over so I'm going to get some crowns fixed and start back to PT.

Yesterday I saw Dr. Awesome. He was pretty happy with me. He's still cautioning me about what will happen when and if I don't exercise as much. But I've already been through that this winter and will probably go through a mini version of that every winter when I can't be outdoors as much. So I'm not too worried. I know that my hunger will decrease, if I let it, and that tracking my food will help me through it. If I can get through this winter when I'm more than a year out from my losing phase without a major gain, I think I'll be okay. I guess we'll see.

He did use words like phenomenal and exceptional to describe my results. That was nice.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Vineman Full AquaBike

Prologue

I decided to do this race at the end of May when I realized that I was in funk due to my injury. Although it was a big race in terms of time and distance, I was treating it more like training. The whole point was to have a reason to work on my swim and my bike while I couldn't run and also have something scary to look forward to that I had to train for to complete without dying. Having a PR or go into it racing for a particular time was just not supposed to be the point.

Of course, being the competitive bugger I am, I did have time goals. I want to do my Ironman swim in 1.5 hours, give or take. So I wanted to see if I could do that here. I'd been swimming shorter distances on that pace, but I hadn't done the full 2.4 miles yet. And, the last time I'd swum here, it had taken me longer than I'd expected.

For the bike, I had biked the first 56 miles of the course and had a horrible time -- around 4 hours and 10 minutes. Double that and add in a bit extra because you generally go at a slower place when it's a longer distance and I was afraid that it would take me 8.5 hours on the bike -- which would not make me happy.

However, I knew I'd done things wrong on that ride. I pushed too hard on the beginning part of the course, which was hilly, but not that hilly, and I mismanaged my nutrition. Plus, we didn't get out on the course until around 11am, which meant we had a lot of wind to deal with later in the day and also it was a hotter day overall.

I was hoping that, with the earlier start, better nutrition, knowing not to under-estimate those early hills, and having aide on the course that I didn't have to stop for, that I'd be able to do better. Based on my training times, I thought finishing in under eight hours was possible, but I really wanted to do it in more like 7.5 hours. Even though I kind of knew that wasn't going to happen.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Don't be the Food Police

I know, I'm supposed to be working my race report. But I'm steaming mad about something that happened over on the "My Fitness Pal" site where I log my food.

I came back from dinner and went to log my food. Of course, because of my race yesterday, I'm way behind on calories and I've been eating like crazy all day trying to catch up. Which means, anyone looking at my food diary and only looking at today would see that I'm over my "daily" allotment and by quite a bit. (And yet, I'm still behind in my calories for the week... sometimes I just love being a triathlete!)