Saturday, December 16, 2006


So, yesterday my alarm clock didn't go off and I missed my swim. I was really bummed, which is a good sign. My disappointment made me more determined to get out the door this morning - the plan went as follows: 1) Get up at 6:00, pack my backpack with suit, goggles, cap, towel and water. 2) Ride my bike to the pool and swim for 45 min. 3) Take off from the pool and bike for 45 (with a stop back home to drop off my backpack). It was a good plan. I liked the plan. Unfortunately,the plan didn't happen the way I anticipated. 1) The alarm clock didn't go off AGAIN - it keeps cutting out in the middle of the night so at 6:00 it said it was 1:00. I can't see the thing, anyway, without my contacts, so when I opened my eyes this morning and saw the first glow of daylight peeking in my window, I knew I was screwed. It was almost 7:00. The pool's lap time was 7:00 to 7:50. The bike ride to the pool was out. 2) I rushed to get my suit on, get dressed over it, grab a water bottle, and other necessities and got out the door 3) I was in the pool at 7:25. 25 minutes to swim. Bummer.

But I had a good swim. I'm finally starting to get the feel for the water. I swam more laps in less time than my last swim. And I improved my time on 25yds by 8 seconds. That's the beautiful thing about being new at something. Improvements happen in leaps and bounds. The pool was nearly deserted and it felt both luxurious and awkward. I felt self conscious being the only one in the pool for the life gaurd to watch. I wandered if she was critiquing my stroke, if she was silently making fun of the fact that I had to stop, out of breath, after 100 slow yards. These are the demons that will kill me on the race course. I'm not sure what to do with them other than shut them out, try to ignore them, tell them to shut up. I don't really believe in "The Devil" persay, but those little voices are the closest things to it. How much would have been accomplished in this world if not for those self defeating devils? World Peace? Cures for hosts of diseases? How many people would conquer - or never begin - bad habits that lead them down paths of destruction? Maybe, on the most fundemental level, that's what this whole journey is about for me - conquering those critical little beasts that like to feed on my confidence, my self-worth, my peace. I've come a long way in my life towards getting rid of them, but they're still there. Still lurking around the glow of the confident fire I've built for myself, sneering at me when I stray too far from it's heat.

After the pool, I drove home, got ready for my bike leg and went out for my planned 45 min. ride. The bike was according to plan, though my heart rate, the beligerent little shit, was way over what it was "supposed" to be. Still, I find that I'm comfortable exercising around 160, though my aerobic range is supposed to be 135-145. Don't know why. Just is. I did notice much more burn in my quads on the hills than the last time I was able to ride outside. Obviously, I need to keep at those hills. The courses of all but one of the races I'm doing this summer are hilly.

When my bike ride was done, I got a wild hair. My legs wanted to run. I shouldn't have indulged them, but I did. I parked the bike in my driveway and headed out for a jog. My concession to injury prevention was running on the grass instead of the sidewalk. I don't know why I never thought of that before - with my cranky knees, you'd think I wouldn've explored that option. Oh well, it was fun today. I only ran about a mile and a half. I've got my long run tomorrow and I can't sleep all day today. I understand, now, why that part of the brick is so important. My legs just didn't know what to do for awhile when I got off the bike. It was the oddest feeling.

Fun day. I hope I don't pay for it tomorrow, but, what the hell.


Bree said...

I'm excited you have a blog now! I just now noticed it. I read somewhere that target heart rate is pretty generalized because the tests they did to determine the maximums were based on middle aged MEN. I used to be able to work out at what should have been around 80-90% of my max and yet my percieved rate of exsertion was around a 6 or 7. Something to think about anyway. Keep up the great work!

In a year I hope to be close to where you are fitness wise! :)

Phoenix said...

Thanks, Bree! You know, I've seen your workouts and I think your fitness is higher than you give yourself credit for.