Monday, August 18, 2008

1/2 an Hour After Eating

I added swimming to my routine today. I was inspired by Michael Phelps and Dara Torres. They make it look easy. I figured I would just swim slower like I do with the running. I run the same as the Olympians they just do it faster. Swimming doesn’t seem to work that way. I jumped into the pool at the Y. It’s twenty-five meters long, which is half of what’s seen on television. I planned to do ten laps, minimum. I’m in pretty good shape. I can run pretty far pretty fast. I found out during lap two that I can’t swim very far or very fast. The first lap went swimmingly. The Australian Crawl is my stroke – Freestyle to the uninitiated – because the backstroke is for old women and the breaststroke and butterfly are flat out retarded outside of a swim meet. I was feeling so good that I thought about doing a flip turn to impress the hottie lifeguard with jewelry in her face. I’ve never done a flip turn, and in a freak occurrence good sense won out and I still haven’t. When I run my body handles the breathing. I don’t have to think about it. With swimming the breathing is “hands on” the whole time. I hadn’t really thought about this until I was half way through lap two. I didn’t get my face far enough out of the water, and a mouth full of water isn’t useful when one is trying to gasp. It’s funny how quickly panic can set in, and while I felt a surge of adrenaline, it didn’t seem to help me get any closer to the wall. I did make it to the wall without looking too stupid but I did decide that a full fifty meters was way too far to swim all at once. I finished my swim one lap at a time with a break in between each to catch my breath. I even started to figure out how my stroke actually works. I swam for about a half hour including my breaks, and I was more spent than after a session of weights and an hour of cardio. My feet didn’t hurt. I wasn’t drenched in sweat. And I’m thinking about getting rid of all my body hair. So MJ, if you come home and find me booty naked, covered in Nair it’s because the London games are only four years away.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Stuck at Work

The Duval County website is down. The ridiculous important and necessary training that I’m supposed to do to keep certain regulatory agencies happy is down. I came into work for almost no reason today. So I guess I’ll write about the Tour de Pain I ran over the weekend. Now that I’m done with it it’s not that bad. This is the second year that I’ve done the race. It consists of a four mile run on the beach, a 5k through Jacksonville suburbia, and a one mile sprint through downtown. I did better than I did last year in the first two legs, but the fifteen pounds – down from twenty - of baby weight added an extra half minute onto my mile time. I almost puked up a lung. I started the beach run four minutes late because there weren’t enough port-o-lets – there was one (1) – but that, along with where I parked, allowed me to sufficiently warm up by adding an extra mile and a half to my run. I was like Willie Mays Hayes at the beginning of Major League, except I wasn’t wearing my pajamas. I knocked a couple minutes off my time from last year’s beach run so I was very happy about that. There had been a mini-hurricane about an hour before that carved canals into the sand, turning the race into an obstacle course. I tweaked my already iffy achilles tendon jumping over one of these temporary rivers. I have brand new Nikes (Air Pegasus 25’s). I wasn’t getting them wet by running through the puddles. Last year I barely showed up for the 5k, which starts only twelve hours after the first race, because I was frickin’ tired. I didn’t care how I finished just that I finished. This year I ate right and got a decent amount of rest. I also showed up early enough to stretch out my sore ankle, and I chopped another couple of minutes off of my time from last year’s race. The only downside was that my iPod died half a mile into the race. I have a 30g video iPod that’s probably a little too big to run with, but I am way too cheap to buy an additional one designed for shaking and jostling, so I just deal with it when it hangs up. I hate running without tunes. I can hear myself breathing gasping while I run and it demotivates me. The 5k is at 7:30 on Saturday morning and the one mile sprint is at 3 in the afternoon… in downtown Jacksonville… in August. It’s pretty easy to understand why they call it the sizzler. It’s like running in a steam room. The glass, concrete, and asphalt reflect roughly 100% of the heat the sun pours down. Hot air into the lungs is not conducive to efficient aerobic function. To get an idea of what it’s like turn the hot water on in your bathroom for fifteen minutes, get an old school hair dryer with no diffuser, turn that sumbitch on high, spray it in your mouth, and see how long you can do some jumping jacks. The reason it’s so tough is because the race is so short and it comes on the heels of the first two stages. I had nothing left. I finished in under eight minutes on pride alone. I started too fast, got into oxygen debt, and that was that. However, I did knock almost four minutes off my total time from last year so I’m calling it a win.

Monday, August 4, 2008

A Day at the Beach