Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Whiff of Potential

1 x 200- Warm-up
1 x 500- 7:28
1 x 50- easy
3 x 200- 100-5, 7, 9/ 100- fingertip drag
1 x 50- easy
1 x 500- 7:17
1 x 100- Cool down
total- 2000yd

2 Scoops Pineapple Hill
time- approx 2:15*
distance- approx 35mi*
* stoopid watch battery died halfway up the second lap

Strong day today in Dirtbag Fitness World. I needed a day like this. My swim, while not all that long, left me feeling good about swimming for the first time in a few weeks. Every session recently had been off. I've been a swimmer for long enough to know stuff like that happens and the only way to fix it is to suffer through and wait for the body to catch the expectations. I'm almost there. The set design was pretty simple. Throw down a strong 500. Do a drill set. Try to best the first 500. Did it, check. By 10 seconds too, which is big time as anyone who swims knows. I know I did better the second time because a 200 warm-up isn't really all that much, especially at oh-dark hundred in a cool pool. By the time I got to 500 number two the muscles were stretched and ready to pound. My biggest goal for both 500s was to stay present in them and not lose focus. The more I do this, the shorter the distance gets, the easier it will be to stack sets like this. I can smell the potential for a sub-30 minute Honu swim from here.
And today's ride was one I've been thinking about for months. I knew there would come a time when Pineapple Hill repeats were going to happen. And, to be frank, I was pretty nervous about it. Sometimes that damn hill seems awfully long. But, much like the 500s, repeated exposure has shortened and flattened it a bit. I felt strong, friends, and tried my damnedest to attack each section of the climb. Goals were to pump, stay present, and try like hell to avoid the lightest gear. Mission accomplishedish. There are a few points where the granny gear is still my friend, but I stayed away. In all honesty, the ride wasn't as difficult as I thought it was going to be. I don't know if that means I wasn't suffering as much as I should have been or if it means I'm dogging it when I'm doing Pineapple
Like this but, you know, for real
on long rides. Or maybe today was the breakthrough I've been waiting for and my body has found that
next gear and my mind has recognized the gear's existence as well. Or maybe all this talk about how strong I felt over two laps of Pineapple will just lead to the Grey and Diesel taunting me next time I find myself getting dropped like a burning baby.* Either way, now I know, or I think I know, that I can attack Pineapple better than I have been. Which really means I see three scoops Pineapple in the future.
Don't forget to submit your questions for my first Ask the Super Awesome Wife blog. I'm probably going to be as amused and surprised as you are.

*No, I have no idea where this metaphor came from.


  1. Your cycling is really getting good. I think this is super important for the Honu. I believe managing the bike is the key. Good job.

    I am going to totally steal your swim workout. Btw, while I closing in on the sub 2:00/100. The drills are helping. I hope I get an aha moment soon.

  2. Kepa- I agree, this type of cycling workout is going to be invaluable come June 2.
    And steal. Steal steal steal. In case it isn't clear or I haven't explained it in a while, the 5, 7, 9 drill is breathe on the fifth stroke, then the seventh, then the ninth, repeat. It teaches water confidence, breath control, increases lung capacity, and forces bilateral breathing. I would suggest starting with smaller odd numbers like a 3, 5 drill. You don't want to hit failure/overdiscomfort too quickly. Good to hear your swims are getting faster. Swimming is the place where slowing down and fixing problems will equal faster in the long run.

  3. Thanks for the details on the breathing drills. I have been working on those. I tend to go back to one-sided breathing during my main swim sets though. I need to work on muscle memory.

  4. Doug... you have been tagged. See my blog.

    1. Oof, 11 people? I don't know if I know 11 people who haven't done this yet. I'll get right on that!