Great scot, friends, I’ve really fallen down on my half-marathon training blog duties. This is in large part due to the fact that my workouts are starting to run together (HAHA I MADE A PUN WITHOUT EVEN TRYING!). But this week has had some twists for me and I would like to share them with all of you lovelies.
Monday, Day 78, Molly invited me to do a hill workout with her. This basically entailed a short warmup, followed by running up the quarter-mile-long hill pictured above and jogging (or should I say “yogging”) back down. In all, it was 2 miles of pure h-e-double-hockeysticks. Molly was almost embarrassingly faster than me, especially on the last rep when I passed a nine-week-old cockapoo puppy and was forced to stop for some face-licking and cuddle time. I asked her to take a picture of me after she finished the last climb. Instead of being the harrowing portrait I envisioned of my struggles, it’s pretty much evidence of how far behind I got. Oh well.
Why do I always look like I’m power-walking when my running buddies snap photos of me? Because it sure as eff doesn’t feel like power-walking.
The lame part of the workout, however, was the pain in my shins. In addition, the owie I had on the top of my right foot was still there, and when I took my shoes off at home there was a red bump that looked almost like an insect bite but was painful as eff to the touch. I’m starting to think that maybe there’s something pressing on that point inside my right shoe, so I must investigate. But ohhh boy, people. I’m really starting to get nervous here. What have I done to myself? Dave’s aunt is a physical therapist and I’m going to ask her to refer me to a running specialist this week. I’ll let you know how that goes.
In the meantime, while I give my kickers a break, I’ve decided to do some swimming in place of my running workouts for the week.
I was out on the island where my parents live on Tuesday and Wednesday (Days 79 and 80), so I headed to my old stomping grounds: the public pool. You guys, I spent more time here than any other place during my childhood and teenage years. I know it like the back of my hand. And I SWEAR I’ve never done any psychedellic drugs, but for some reason being there gave me the strangest flashbacks.
The above picture is of me winning the annual innertube relay put on by my high school swimteam when I was seventeen. Incidentally, we set the unofficial world-record that day. So…I’m awesome. I was also the anchor of the relay, which raises my awesomeness level to the power of five.
I swam on both Tuesday and Wednesday, and the whole time I was in the pool I was reliving my most vivid high school memories: over there is where my first boyfriend dumped me…that lane is where I first broke a minute in the 100 free…there’s the kickboard I carved my name into with a safety pin…that lifeguard chair is where I sat on my first-ever day of work…that locker room is where I first shaved my legs…this corner is where I was so mean to my best friend in seventh grade that I made her cry…that doorway is where I had my first kiss…there’s the diving board that I leapt from in glee after getting accepted to Pomona College…this pool ledge is where I cried and cried when I lost one of my childhood friends in a car accident, and my coach rubbed my shoulder and told me that our team was like a family, and they would all support me through anything. Talk about a friggin’ mind-game.
The whole time I was there, I kept expecting to hear someone holler “Wiggs!” in my direction…but I never saw a single person I recognized. Most people, like me, have moved on.
I gotta say, though, I underestimated what a mental challenge it has been for me to do a sport that I’m legitimately bad at. And I’m not fishing for compliments here (seriously). I’m not good at running. I haven’t been doing it for long enough, and I don’t think I’m a natural at it anyway. Being in the pool again was a heady feeling, and made me realize how important it is to have an activity in your life that you excel at. Even though I haven’t been a swimmer for three years, getting into an actual 25-yard pool with real lanes and lanelines was incredible. I was one of the fastest people in the water. I was passing all of the other swimmers! I haven’t passed anyone in MONTHS of running. Even though I’m much, much slower than I was the last time I swam in that pool, I finished each workout feeling great about myself.
Here are the two workouts I did, Tuesday’s first. I have an old laminated sheet of off-season workouts given to me by my college coach (who holds the world record in swimming the English Channel, so you KNOW these are legit if you decide to try them yourself).
Tuesday (3,600 yards)
- 500 easy
- 8 x 50 on :45 (your choice of stroke)
- 500 freestyle @ 28 (this refers to beats per 10 seconds when you take your pulse), :30 rest
- 12 x 25 alternating #1 and #2 strokes (your best and second best strokes)
- 400 IM (butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle) @ 32, :30 rest
- 4 x 100 kick, right-arm, left-arm, swim (KRLS) on 1:45
- 300 freestyle @ 30, :15 rest
- 200 IM @ 33, :30 rest
- 100 all out #1, :30 rest
- 500 cool down
Wednesday (3, 550 yards)
- 400 reverse IM, easy pace
- 4 x 75 on 1:15 (your choice)
- 400, 300, 200, 100 with :20 rest in between (increase speed)
- 6 x 25 underwater dolphin kick fast on :40
- 4 x 200 kick, IM order, :15 rest in between
- 5 x 100 freestyle @ 30, :10 rest
- 400 cool down
Pretty sweet. I also have a mega-embarrassing story to tell you, but I realize that if you’re reading this right now, you’re probably ready for me to wrap it up. So I’ll save it for later.
What do you excel at? And how often do you do that activity?