Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Swimming Headaches

During a swim session in February, I climbed out of the pool with a pounding headache. It hung around as I cleaned up, packed up, and left the gym. Even most of my way home my head continued to hurt. I couldn't figure out what I had done while in the pool so I was determined to pay close attention during my next swim to see if I could solve the puzzle.

And I did. I found that as I became tired, I started holding my breath. I was taking four strokes with my head in the water of which I was holding my breath for about three. So, either I needed to force myself to exhale or shorten the number of strokes between breaths. I found that the latter was much easier, and when I was finished with my workout yesterday I only had a small ache in my head. I wonder what other weird habits I'm going to discover I have as I train...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ack! Am I One of Those Now?

Jeff and I are taking a week off to celebrate our one year wedding anniversary (yay!). As we were taking care of the hotel today, I asked if they were going to have at least a fitness center, if not a pool as well. I couldn't believe that I was asking those questions! I've never cared if there was a fitness center and/or pool. Usually I've booked a hotel, gotten there, and thought "darn, I wish I had brought my running/swimming/lifting clothes". I suppose that's what a regular workout routine does to you - it makes you think about sticking to it while you are vacationing. So while it could be worse, I am currently one of those people who works out while on vacation. Not a bad thing, considering Jeff will probably be sleeping in and I'll need something to do since I'm the early bird in the marriage. :O) Maybe I'll get him to workout with me, but only if it's after noon.

Colorist, Stat!

Oh Harmony; oh Harmony. What have you done now with your hair? I wouldn't be writing about her again, but what I saw today was just... indescribable. I'll do my best though.

As I was heading to the locker room, something bright caught my eye. No, it wasn't a light. It was the crown of Harmony's head. She had her hair pulled back into a pony tail and the hair on her head was... bright, bright blonde. And the rest of her hair was a strawberry-ish looked-like-a-home-dye-job-gone-wrong blonde. I almost broke out laughing as I walked past her. I don't know what she's trying to do with her locks, but she needs to go see someone at a salon ASAP. She can afford D&G glasses; I bet she can afford paying someone to color her hair.

First Quarter Mile Done, I Think

Yes, I'm still breaking all kinds of "first" barriers. I have to enjoy them while they last!

My swim workout today was 850 yards. Mind you, I've been out of the pool for five weeks due to the previously mentioned funeral and work, so I was a little worried. After chatting with Kristin who has lots of experience training in the pool, we determined that I should start using a chunk of my workout for endurance training. So for today's workout, I was cutting off 450 yards (440 yards = 0.25 miles) and using that as an endurance piece. The rest would be sprint workouts (my usual kick and pull training). And I was to do this at the end of my workout because Kristin has an evil streak and wants my endurance training to be doubly tough. Yes, I don't have to listen to her, but I can't remember when she has ever led me astray.

So I did it, and it was great. Except for the fact that I'm not positive that I completed 450 yards. I lost count somewhere between five and seven, and I think I was counting right, but I can't be sure. I'll have to bring something with me to help with that, because if I can't count to nine (laps), how am I going to count to 18 when I'm doing 900 yards (880 yards = 0.5 miles)? Since I'm not sure this time, I'll make sure next week. Even if I have to beg the lifeguard to count for me.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Toe Update

So I was right on the money when I decided that it would take six months for my bloodied toe nail to grow out. I rode my century on 10/06/07 which puts six months at 04/06/08. I have about 1/4" to go which should be gone about then. As for the raised part of the nail which developed because the pressure from the blood, that'll be gone about three months from now, so around 06/06/08.

I think I may have figured out what happened with my toe. I had those orthotics in my running shoes as I was walking about one day. I noticed on that foot that it felt as though my big toes was being smacked into the front of the toe box when I stepped with that foot. It was subtle, but 100 miles of subtleness could definitely have amounted to what happened. And since the toe box of my running shoes is more roomy than my cycling shoes, it makes sense. So, that's my theory and I'm sticking to it.

First Road Run

I have survived my first road workout! It was such a nice day yesterday that I decided to skip my swim workout and do another run workout (I ran on Monday). This workout was more "complicated" than Monday's "90 sec/90 sec/3 min /3 min repeat twice" layout, so I had to write it on my arm. It went something like this:

5 min warm-up
3 min run
90 sec walk
5 min run
2.5 min walk
3 min run
90 sec walk
5 min run

I wrote down the transition times so I didn't have to calculate them in my head as I was dodging traffic and deciding where to turn next. I'm glad I did that.

I was impressed with how much ground I covered during my 5 minute warm-up, so I knew I'd have to find a route that was longer than what I had originally planned. Not a problem - my streets are block-style so I just had to run down or over a few extra blocks and I'd be covered. During the first run (3 minutes) I went out a little too fast. I know I was dehydrated before I started, so that didn't help any (I had water with me). I was cramping up, but it wasn't bad enough that I couldn't run through it. So I finished that run and had one lesson learned for the next run. I dreaded the 5 minute run a bit because that was my longest run so far in the Couch-to-5k plan. It didn't go all that bad. I started getting into a rhythm with the longer run time, and that was building my confidence. I made it through the next run, and felt the best during the last run, another 5 minute stint. Considering this is my first road run in about nine years, I guess I was working out the cobwebs.

I don't think I looked like a svelte marathoner gliding down the road. More like someone running from something. :O) I've always been built more like a sprinter and since I've never trained for anything long distance, that physique has suited me just fine. I'm not sure how much I'll change as I'm working towards my goal, but I'm tracking my numbers to see how I change. I may post my numbers here. I'll see how brave I get.

Two things were different from the treadmill runs: (1) hills, of course, and (2) my calves were beat. I'm guessing that (1) caused (2) as well as the uneven sidewalks and having to go from curb to street and back again. And I suppose there in the scenery thing as well. And the fresh air and sunshine. So five things. Probably more if I thought about it longer.

I finished off my successful first run by stretching in front of my house and beating up my abs a bit by doing some 30 second planks with 15 seconds of rest between. I made it through three before I threw in the towel. I have a long way to go with strengthening my core.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Back in the Gym

So after three weeks of not working out, I finally got back into the gym last Thursday. Work and a death in the family got in the way, with work being the biggest culprit. When you're working 12/16/18 hour days consistently, you just don't feel like doing anything else aside from grabbing what little time you can with your husband and going to sleep. I hated it.

My first workout back had me a little worried. Three weeks off can really set you back, especially when you're working out getting into shape and not just maintaining it. As it turned out, everything went well.

My run workout was a 5 min brisk walk, following by two sets of: 90 sec jog, 90 sec walk, 3 min jog, 3 min walk. I was impressed with myself. I had a few side cramps at the end of the last run, but nothing that a little walking didn't alleviate. After that I did a full body iron pump and called it a day. All was good.