Wednesday, April 09, 2008

I deserve a medal.

I had to sit through four hours of presentations yesterday. While a box of doughnuts was approximately six inches from me. In particular there was a delectable looking white frosted one. But I didn't have it. Four hours! Never mind how badly I wanted to have a pop to get through an afternoon of student groups giving the same presentation. (Jeanne, I thought of you as I stared at the doughnuts) Well, I am just saving up so that on Sunday, I can devour six doughnuts while running a 5k. Steve has challenged me to seven, but I am not sure I am ready for that step quite yet.

In other news, I did my first honest to goodness bike/run brick of they year on sunday - 22 mile ride/3 mile run. It was windy. I looped the lake 4 times to avoid leaving town. It was boring, but at least I didn't have to stop for roads nor did I fall over on my bike.

* Boring swim rant below! *

Lastly, I tried the Blink-approved breathing method at the pool last night. I think my massive suckitude at swimming prevents an honest evaluation. The first two 300s I did at 7:55 or so (which is middle of my typical range - I'm effing slow, I know it, so shut up). I decided it wasn't helping so I switched to my typical every other right stroke breathing for the next 300 - I thought I was being smooth and efficient, but did my first 100 10 seconds slower. By the fourth 300, everything had gone to pot and it took me 8:30. I went to the pool to swim 1500, so I dragged my sorry ass through another 300 in 9:15. Yes, you read that right. How ridiculous is that? I read about people learning to swim who do 100s faster than 3:05. Nevermind that a year ago I did them in 2:15-2:30 pretty typically! Jenny assured me that she got a lot slower when switching from flat swimming to rotational swimming too, so maybe there is hope. Maybe if I get in the water more than once a week.

I'm actually starting to think that I am attacking this all wrong. Because I am a swim slacker, when I do get in the pool, I typically do longish sets. As we can see from above, I totally devolved as my 5x300s progressed. So maybe like with my running, I have to forget about long workouts and focus more on doing short workouts several times a week and only increase distance once I feel like I am at least swimming at a proper pace and form at the shorter distances. And it probably wouldn't hurt to do more drills. Thank God the Siouxperman is only 300m!

Also, I thought I was going to die when I finished the set. Not in a "my arms or sore" or "I can't catch my breath" sorta way, but in a "oh my god I have a massive headache and I think I am going to throw up" sorta way. I lay down in the sauna afterwards and totally fell asleep, had to drag myself out and to my car and home and collapsed in bed at 9. I had some trail mix at 4:30, then went to spinning for an hour and then got in the pool for 45 minutes - someone told me I need to eat better before swimming. Also I weighed five pounds less this morning than yesterday morning, which means I must have been superdehydrated (as much as I would love to believe that a bike/swim brick and no dinner caused me to actually lose five pounds).

* End boring analysis of my swim *

Oh and if you made it this far, enjoy this video (lots of curse words, so possibly NSFW, unless you are a grad student like me and no one cares).


Jenny Davidson said...

Wendy will give better advice than I can re: swimming! But it is true that I have been working very hard on it this past year.

It seems to me that swimming at least three times a week is crucial for real improvement. I agree with your diagnosis that 2:15-2:30 should be very attainable & that if you're swimming slower than that, there is some technique fix that will make all better. I would recommend 3 x week just for half an hour if you cannot stand longer, not bad just to do a really short one where you can concentrate, and doing probably almost as much as half drill. Doing some hundreds at the beginning of the swim that are drill is going to be more helpful than swimming 200s and 300s straight. But see if you can find a real live teacher, it will be more helpful than anything else if you can find some good instruction! Stroke clinic of some sort? Group swim lesson or workout? It should be there's something that's not too expensive... (Or find a great swimming teacher who will trade you a lesson for you helping their kid with math homework/SAT coaching or something!)

Wendy said...

Jenny's right. Swimming is a game of technique. And it is almost impossible to fix your technique by yourself because you cannot see what you are doing. (You might think you know. Most often this is not the case.)

Big changes in technique generally result in slower swimming until the technique "takes". (Rotational swimming is where it's at!)

I don't think you can really develop a feel for the water if you don't swim regularly.

A swim clinic where they provide video analysis can be invaluable if you can find one.

P.S. Good job on rejecting the do-not.

jeanne said...


Tomorrow I face 36 donuts at 7:30 a.m. after spin class, when NO ONE IS IN THE OFFICE except the evil person who brings them every thursday.

This will be my FINEST HOUR!

I appreciated the swim rant. Truly. Here's how I practice (Jenny and Wendy should avert their eyes): I swim four sets of 5 x 50. I have no idea why. I just made it up. Sometimes it's 50 yards, sometimes 50 meters. I time them. Is 1:40 horrible for 50 meters? I have no idea. swim clinic on saturday! all my probs will be solved there.

You're doing great with no sugar! WE CAN DO THIS!

Joe said...

D, got another video if you have some time to kill in a NSWF way:

jeanne said...

p.s. hysterical video.

Anonymous said...

what's up with running and dognhuts. i was at the running club party and they played this game (with one girl in a jersey from our club) where you hang doghnuts from the ceiling and eat them.

omg, i cannot believe you and steve s. are going to do that race!! good luck!


Steve Stenzel said...

Yeah, I have similar issues in the pool. I've recently started doing shorter, faster swims to be able to get faster, and I like it. So now I will do 1 interval swim for every 2 or 3 distance swims.

"I make pretty good spaghetti sauce, mother-f*cker"

"I'm somewhat afraid of heights, mother-f*cker"

"If you got a pet cat, put your hands up!"

Priceless. LOVE IT!

Nitmos said...

I am not a swimmer but I've been told by a seasoned triathlete that "Total Immersion" is a great book with lots of terrific swimming techniques. Rock on!