Monday, February 13, 2012

The Grind for XP*

1 x 200- Warm-up
10 x 100- 1:30ish
1 x 50- easy
3 x 200- 100-1, 2, 3, swim/ 50- thumb drag/ 50- swim
2 x 100 IM
1 x 100- Cool down
total- 2150yd

time- 1:27
distance- 22.97

Hit the pool this morning and almost immediately realized that today was not going to be one of those badass Tattooed Wake kind of days. It was going to be a Drag My Ass Through the Water kind of day instead. But those days happen, and they probably happen in training more than awesome killer smoke 'em days. These are The Grind kind of days, where you pile on distance, get some, and then go again tomorrow. They aren't sexy, they aren't much fun, but they do come with a sense of accomplishment when you fight through that and get it anyway.
I've mentioned a few times in talking with various people about swimming that I think every swimmer, and I include triathletes in that, should know and do every stroke. At least once in a while. I have a bunch of reasons for that but I'm kind of stocking them up for a future article so you're going to have to wait until I'm able to put them together. Nevertheless, I hadn't hit anything but free in a long while and decided it was time to throw down an IM (Individual Medley). This, for those of you without chlorine in your blood streams, is x laps of butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle. So a 100 IM means one lap of each. A hundred years ago I was a decent butterflier and IMer. My brain still remembers that. Here is what I think my fly should look like:

Here is what my fly probably actually looks like:

The Grind continued on the bike after school. It was one of those afternoons where the bike just didn't look appetizing. Gotta fight through that though. Henry Rollins once wrote that the hardest part of working out if putting on your shoes, and I believe that completely. If you can get those shoes on and get off the couch, you're going to work out. Too many people say they are going to work out, but never get past the saying it stage. Those of us who get up and get out, we conquer, we suffer, we bring it, and we excel and learn something new about ourselves.
Still, I wasn't going on a long ride. I waited too long to leave and would be riding in the dark if I went much over 90 minutes, so I headed to base and planned on getting up Kolekole a few times. Halfway up I found this.
Oh, ok then. No Dirtbag Fulla Holes, so I'll turn around. Got two laps in, charging as hard as I could up the medium-to-low grade of that section of Kolekole, staying in slightly heavier gears but trying to spin. Not bad.
Oh, one more this, Dirtbag Friends. This morning as I left the gym I found something very strange on my truck.
A chicken on the roof of my truck? Is someone, perhaps a certain yellow-clad someone, trying to send me a message?

*If you know what XP is and know why you have to grind for it sometimes congratulations, you're a Dirtbag Nerd too. 


  1. I am looking forward to your next active article. Personally, I think my time in the water is better spent perfecting my freestyle technique than learning other strokes. So it will be fun to read you upcoming column.

    1. Kepa, completely agree that right now your time is best spent focusing on freestyle. But there is something to be said for mixing it up. This is actually why I would argue swimming is the hardest of the three disciplines. Hard to learn basics, the one most people are scared of, lots of small things to continually fix, and then there are THREE more parts to learn!

  2. Very interesting...very very interesting!!! You are a funny guy...still trying to find a pic of you with this long beard:)

    I will be doing my frist tri this summer...if all goes well with my recovery from hip surgery, sooooo, looking forward to reading more about your advice!!

    I'm gonna now go check out your wife's blog...thanks for the follow btw!

    1. I have tons of unsolicited advice! Free! Glad you're reading and really glad you're getting into triathlon to help recover from your surgery. Good luck!

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