Category Archives: Cycling

Week 39: workouts

After a series of hard workouts and standing most of the days at work last week, I was unprepared to handle the tough schedule I had planned for this week.  I sometimes hate backing down, but taking care of my body and mental health it worth it.

I planned to lift on Monday morning, but I was exhausted when I woke up and my quads were killing my, so I opted to sleep an extra two hours to 7am.

Tuesday morning, though, I was up at 5am to swim with Adam.  I’m very grateful he was able to make the time despite his very busy schedule this week.  It was the coldest morning so far, and the pool was still open to the outdoors, but it turned out to be tolerable since the pool is heated.  I did 200m warm up, 100m kick, 50m one-arm drills, 50m catch-up drills, 2x100m, 4x50m, 8x25m, 100m kick, and 100m backstroke.  I was nice and warm by the end of it.  It was actually really cool to swim in the cold air since it created a thick fog over the pool.  I had trouble with the water coming up my nose, but was able to work through this.  Hopefully that particular issue will lessen as I become more acclimated to swimming.  I specifically focused on keeping my legs together while kicking and turning my body to breathe.  My quads still felt sore.  Overall, it was another good swim.

bike-gearWednesday morning I woke at 6:15 to be suited and ready to bike when the sun finally rose at 7am.  Adam joined me yet again for a bike ride around Baltimore, but this time we chose a different approach: we took a longer route to get out of town but did so on less-traveled roads.  It was my favorite route so far.  We rode for a total of about 15 miles through nearby neighborhoods then onto Charles Street.  To turn around on Charles we had to make a “Copenhagen left” by crossing at the crosswalk instead of making a left-hand turn like a car (which can be tricky with multiple lanes of traffic).  The temperature was below 50F so I bundled up warmer last week and the weather turned out to be perfect for my cold weather gear (though I could have gone warmer, too).  My legs were tired from the beginning of the run and my breathing was heavy but at no point did I feel it was too much.  At one point while we were stopped on a side street waiting to turn left, I lost focus for a moment and started to fall to the right with my foot clipped in.  I immediately realized what was happening, called out an expletive of impending doom, and somehow managed to unclip myself just in time to recover.  It was a close call.  Thankfully I managed to laugh it off, but if I was on my own it probably would have shaken my confidence instead.  It’s made a huge difference having someone who cares about me along for the ride.  In total we finished the 15 miles in about 1:30:00.  I enjoyed the ride, but felt like a zombie for most of the day at work.  I was just completely exhausted.

On Thursday I woke at 5am feeling more tired than usual.  I thought about going back to sleep, but Adam’s presence convinced me otherwise.  I knew I would appreciate the swim later in the day.  It was still a little chilly out but not so bad.  I did have a lot of trouble with water going up my nose, though, since I’ve been sniffling and sneezing for the past few days.  With a little effort I managed to avoid this by starting to breath out as I put my face into the water.  I swam 200m, 100m kick, 50m one-arm drills, 50m catch-up drills, 4x25m 4x100m, 4x25m, 100m kick, and 100m.  I was swimming the 25m in about 24 seconds at my fastest.  It was my best swim yet.  It’s going to be a little sad when this stops being the case!  I remember feeling limited by my pectoral strength during the second half of this workout.  When I got home I crawled back in bed and took an hour nap while Adam went out for a run.  I felt like I had a chest cold, but I didn’t feel as exhausted as I had been the day before.

Friday morning I purposefully slept in to avoid getting really sick.  I was sad to miss my lifting workout, but I felt better later in the day so the extra sleep was worth it.

On Saturday I took a rest day as usual.

My long run on Sunday was rough.  Adam and I woke at 5:50 to drive to the Gunpowder Falls trail where we planned to run.  I remember feeling very emotional on the car ride there, though I couldn’t pinpoint any one cause.  I tried to keep it to myself and let it pass.  The initial route we chose was an out-and-back on one of the longer loops for six miles total, but once we started running I knew we would have to cut it short.  The route was extremely hilly.  I found myself walking up the steepest parts about 2.5 miles into the run.  There weren’t any rocks like at Loch Raven – only tree roots – but these posed a problem on the steep descents.  Thanks to my emotions running high that morning, I also had trouble with my asthma.  After 3.5 miles I had to stop running and I just started crying out of frustration and a sense of helplessness.  I hate when emotions trigger my asthma – it frustrates me more than anything else.  I eventually decided to call it a day and jog the quarter mile back to the car.  Adam was very supportive, but I felt disappointed that we couldn’t have enjoyed the run more (especially since we went so far out of our way to get there).  It wasn’t a great run, but sometimes there’s nothing you can do about it.  In total I ran the 3.75 miles in XX:XX minutes.  After I stretched at the car I took a few minutes to say hi to the three horses that were grazing next to the parking lot.

horses

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Week 38: workouts

Without a doubt, working out consistently over the past several months has been a mental boost as well as a physical boost, and I’m lucky to be able to do it.  Every night before bed I write down five things I’m thankful for and my workout makes the list every time.  This week was no exception.

On Monday morning I woke at 5am to lift weights at Meadowbrook while Adam swam.  I was feeling pretty sleepy when we arrived and just wasn’t feeling motivated to work.  Jumping in the pool usually takes care of this problem on a swim morning, but that wasn’t an enticing option before lifting.  I opted to wake up by running as a warm up.  A mile and 9:40 later I found myself awake and ready to go.  Watching the swimmers while I ran also served as inspiration which helped me get moving.  I did 12 repetitions of cable row, bench press, shoulder press, skullcrushers, and curls for three sets, then my ab routine, then two more sets.  It felt really good.

Tuesday morning was another 5am wake-up, this time for a swim workout.  It was chilly outside with temperature in the high 50s, but the indoor pool was just warm enough to be comfortable once I swam a few laps.  I did 100m free and 100m kick for warm-up, 50m one-armed drills, 50m catch-up drills, 100m kick, 100m free, 4x25m free, 100m kick, and 100m cool down (50m free, 50m back).  My legs were, as usual, wobbly getting out of the water.  I tried to warm up with a shower in the locker room, but the water simply didn’t get hot enough.  Winter is going to be tough.

On Wednesday I was lucky enough to have Adam join me (once again!) on an early morning bike ride.  He’s been great about trying to find beginner-friendly routes around the city since I’m not comfortable sharing the road with too many (often impatient) morning commuters.  We’ve only had moderate luck, so he suggested we try driving out of the city to start.  I was happy to give it a shot.  After a half hour drive, we set out from Oregon Ridge around 7:30am and immediately felt the chill of the 42 degree air.  My teeth were chattering for the first few minutes until we turned onto a sunnier road.  At that point it became tolerably cold.  Unfortunately the first long stretch was packed with cars and trucks going both ways on a reasonably well-paved road with a one-foot shoulder.  It was more than a little harrowing.  After five miles we turned onto a beautiful little picturesque road with cows and horses and absolutely no cars.  Now that’s what I’m talking about!  If only such roads existed for more than a mile at a time.  The second half of the ride was thankfully much quieter, though it was also much hillier.  My quads felt shot on the climbs and I found myself gearing up to take it easy – but instead of making things easier, I just found myself going slower for the same level of effort.  I actually considered getting off the bike and walking it up the hill at more than a few points.  I simply didn’t have the power I needed.  Near the end of the ride my asthma acted up on an easy climb and forced me to pull over to recover.  As usual, it probably had more to do with emotions than physical strain.  It was a frustrating and scary moment.  After that I just tried to shake it off and finish the ride.  We finished the 15 mile ride in 1:05:00, and I was happy to be safely on the ground again.  Despite the chaos, I was happy to have done the workout and was thankful to Adam for all the work he’s done to help me get started.  Routes don’t always work as planned, but it’s helpful to know I have someone by my side to help when things get tough.

I was up at 5am again on Thursday morning to swim.  There was a chill in the air and I was comfortable in my sweatpants and fleece, so I hoped the folks at Meadowbrook had finally closed the wall separating the indoor and outdoor pools.  No such luck.  To my surprise the majority of people were still swimming outdoors.  Because of the cold it was hard to get in the water, but it was only really chilly for a few seconds – nothing compared to the bike ride the day before.  I did 100m free, 100m kick, 50m one-arm drills, 50m catch-up drills, 200m free, 100m kick, 4x25m with paddles, 4x50m, 100m kick, and 100m cool down.  I was definitely feeling the cardio aspect after the 200m and each 4x25m and 4x50m.  I could also feel my quads were tired from the day before.

I was excited to get out Friday morning for another lifting routine with Adam.  He convinced me to try fewer reps with heavier weights, and I’m glad I did.  After a 3/4 mile warm up on the treadmill, I did pull-ups and dips with 50 lbs removed for 5 reps.  I tried doing push-ups from my knees with elbows in, but they were tough so I had to shift to working on an incline.  That’s something I need to work on!  I also did shoulder presses and biceps curls for six reps each to round out the circuit.  In total I did five rounds of this circuit before finishing with an ab workout.

Saturday was, in some sense, a celebration of sport though I didn’t personally partake.  In the morning Adam and I had the pleasure of witnessing a high school cross country competition that took place in a nearby park.  It was really inspiring to see those kids working so hard and still having fun.  It made me wish I had the courage to start running when I was their age.  Afterwards, Adam had to leave to man a beer tent at a local cyclocross race sponsored by Twenty20 cycling company.  Man, those athletes are amazing.  If you’ve never seen a cyclocross race, find one!

On Sunday I went for another 7 mile long run at Loch Raven with Adam.  It rained quite a bit the day before and the trails were too muddy for my taste, so we parked in the same place as last time and stuck to the road for the run.  After the initial downhill portion I wrote about last week, it continued downhill and increased that distance by maybe 50% compared to the hill and trail combination.  We soon crossed a bridge that provided a beautiful view of the reservoir.  Throughout the run we saw lots of spiders on their webs by the side of the road – enough to make me glad I wasn’t on the trails.  The air was cool and it was a relatively peaceful run, but by the time we turned around at 3.5 miles I could tell the rest of the run would be tough.  The run was hillier than I’m used to.  I took it steady on the big hill at the end of the run and managed to finish without having to stop.  But, man, I was so done by the end.  My asthma caught up with me a little bit on this last hill, probably because of the humidity.  My phone said it was 100% humidity when I work up that morning.  Overall, it was a very good run and I was proud that I finished.  It was a great way to start the day.  We even had entertainment while we stretched at the car – a very territorial little dachshund!

Week 36: workouts

I have some exciting news to share this week: I’m officially learning how to swim for exercise!  Way back in the fourth grade I took swimming lessons that taught me how to handle myself in the water and we had a pool in our backyard for a time growing up.  It was enough to get me through the Notre Dame swimming test many years later, but not enough to make me feel comfortable in the water.  Well, that’s about to change.  I signed up for a winter membership at Meadowbrook (pictured below) and swam twice this week with Adam’s helpful guidance.

meadowbrookOn Monday morning I felt really sore (knees especially) from my long run the previous day, so I opted to warm up using a spinner rather than by running.  For twelve minutes I kept the cadence high and the resistance low.  After my warm up, I did a workout inspired by Adam’s new bodyweight routine, but using the handy assisted dip/pull-up machine.  I did twelve dips and twelve pull-ups with 70 lbs removed (a lot!), then tried to do some push ups.  In the process I felt so much strain in my right tricep I had to stop.  Instead I used the flye machine they had nearby.  I also did planks to work on my ab strength.  I repeated this cycle four times in total.  Afterwards I used a form roller to work out some soreness in my legs and I felt pain from this process for the first time.  Later that (Labor) day I spent a lot of time cleaning and reorganizing the apartment so I was on my feet more than usual.  My knees and heels were really hurting by the end of the day which I took as a warning to back off on the downhills during my runs.

Tuesday morning was my first swim workout in the Meadowbrook pool!  I woke up at 5:30am and was in the water with Adam by 6:15am.  I was intimidated enough that I intended just to kick with the kickboard to acclimate myself to the water and the early morning while Adam did his workout.  Luckily, he instead convinced me to try some real swimming.  It was rather warm out so we used one of the 25m outdoor lanes.  This was especially awesome since the sun rose sometime during the workout, though I was too distracted to notice until we finished.  In total, I swam about 500m and kicked 250m with plenty of breaks to rest in between laps.  I had quite a bit of trouble with water getting up my nose and into my sinuses so I had to practice breathing out my nose.  I found that it helped to start breathing out just before my face went underwater.  This wasn’t a strenuous swim workout, but it did a lot for my confidence and I felt very accomplished afterwards.

wed-bikeOn Wednesday morning Adam and I were joined by our friend Adrien for a bike ride around northern Baltimore.  It was relatively cool so I had to wear long sleeves under my cycling kit.  As usual, I forgot to start my watch until five miles into the ride, so I don’t have the full route.  According to Adam’s GPS, we covered 15.8 miles in 1:18:00.  It was great to have the guys there for company and to look out for me as we shared the road with some early commuters.  It will still be a while before I’m comfortable enough to go out on my own, so I’m grateful that they took the time to go slow with me.  By the end of the ride my legs were tired and my triceps were killing me, but I was happy to be out riding.  I was especially proud that I didn’t have any trouble with the clip-on cycling shoes!

I woke up at 5:30am again on Thursday to swim at Meadowbrook.  This time we opted for one of the less crowded indoor 25m lanes.  I practiced my freestyle and did my first set of drills to work on form and practice breathing.  I was still having trouble with my nose, but I felt pretty comfortable by the end of it.  My last few laps were freestyle with breathing every third stroke (rather than my usual two) and I felt good though I could tell I need to build up a lot of strength before I can handle sustained swimming.  The drills were one-armed strokes and catch-ups with a pull buoy to keep my legs high in the water.  My kicking tends to be sporadic when I’m uncomfortable/struggling so these drills helped my calm down a bit and tone down the kicking.  Overall, it was a great workout and I felt very accomplished by the end of it.  When we got back from the pool, I went out for a 5k run to maintain my running fitness while I play around with swimming.  I felt really slow at the beginning – low on energy and possibly water – so I’ll have to be more conscious of this next time.  I felt stronger by the end and finished the 5k run up north in 29:26.

Friday morning Adam joined me at the gym for another lifting routine.  I did just a kilometer run for warm up since I was feeling pretty tired from my workouts the day before.  I did four sets of 20 reps for back, chest, shoulders, triceps, and biceps with an ab workout in the middle.  I could have gone harder, but I was still glad how everything turned out.

On Saturday I took the day off from exercise since errands and a 1pm Orioles game ate up most of the daylight hours.  I like to exercise, but I’m not going to pass on grocery shopping to do it!

On Sunday morning Adam and I were joined by Adrien and Howard (from work) for my 8 mile long run around the harbor.  After last week’s tough run along the Jones Falls trail, I was really looking forward to this easier run.  This was also my first time running in a group where I’m clearly the slowest runner there.  Luckily it didn’t cause much stress since I knew the guys would be receptive to any suggestion that we slow down.  At the very least, I knew Adam would be there to look out for me.  That said, it all went very well.  We started from Boston Street Running as usual and I was conversational until about 3.5 miles in.  At the six mile mark I had to stop to rest, something I don’t usually like to do.  I could feel my body temperature rising with my face starting to flush and my heart rate wouldn’t go below 180.  I stopped in the shade for a little more than two minutes during which time i experienced a very minor asthma attack (no inhaler necessary).  I don’t know if it was stress or the heat, but I was glad when it passed and we could continue running.  I was on my own for the last half mile as Adam and Adrien raced to the finish and it really made me appreciate how nice it was to have them there for the rest of it.  Overall I finished the 8 miles in 1:23:08.  It was a good run and not nearly as brutal as the one the week before.  I actually had some energy left for the rest of the day!

Week 33: workouts

There’s not too much to say about week 33 except that it was wonderful and I didn’t do any workouts.  I had time away from work and spent the week with Adam driving all over Michigan to visit family.  It seemed like every minute was packed with family time so I took a break from the workouts.  In retrospect it would have been nice to work in a few runs, but I’m still happy with how the week turned out.

mackinacOn Wednesday Adam, my little brother Mike, and I spent the day on Mackinac Island.  It was a little chilly, but still a beautiful day spent cycling and walking around.  I also had some fun taking pictures on the ferry ride home.

reflection

Next week is more vacation – this time with Adam’s family – so let’s see if I can log some miles and remind my legs how to run!

Week 32: workouts

This week I managed to get a few good workouts in before I left home for a two week vacation with lots of driving time.  Adam qualified for the USAT age group national championship race in Milwaukee (read his race report here) so we planned to combine that trip with some family visits in (every corner of) Michigan.

Monday morning was my usual lifting routine.  I found the perfect weight for everything but my back with is often a challenge since my forearms tend to give out before my back muscles.

tue-runOn Tuesday Adam ran his pre-race “remind my legs how to go fast” workout.  After an eight minute warm up, he ran a 5k at race pace and I ran 2.2 miles in roughly the same amount of time (19:12 for me @ 8:46 min/mi pace).  One mile into the run my legs found their groove and the running felt really good.  I felt the inclination to fall back into that groove again during my barefoot lap for cool down.  Clearly my legs were prepared to run farther.

 

 

Wednesday we were back at Lake Montebello for more cycling.  To prepare for the upcoming race, Adam practiced his transition by repeatedly cycling a lap then running a couple hundred meters.  I didn’t expect to have much time so I opted for a sustained pace rather than intervals.  I did nine full laps (12 miles total) before a cool down lap with Adam.  The effort was moderate with an average speed over 17 mph.

wed-bike

Thursday began the many days of driving and visiting with family so I didn’t complete any more workouts this week, through I suppose I could have done so if I’d make an effort.  After many long months of consistent training, it was nice to have a little break.

Week 31: workouts

This week Adam helped me develop a new workout schedule to incorporate some cycling.  The plan is roughly as follows:

  • Mon – strength training
  • Tue – running  (alternate weeks of 5k and track sessions)
  • Wed – cycling intervals
  • Thurs – running  (alternate weeks of 5k and track sessions)
  • Fri – strength training
  • Sat – cycling
  • Sun – long run

On Monday I made it back to the gym to work on my upper-body strength.  My love for lifting has definitely waned since I started running, but I do miss the muscle tone I used to have when I was lifting five days a week (about two years ago now).  Part of the problem is that I’m being lazy with my warm ups.  I tend to skip the ten minutes of cardio beforehand and the early sets with less weight.  I do this to save time, but the rest of the workout suffers.  I’ll need to get to the gym a little earlier in the future so I don’t feel so rushed for time.  For this workout I did the usual five muscle groups (back, chest, shoulders, triceps, and biceps) and I hit my chest especially well.  My pecs were still sore two days later.

My calves were really sore Tuesday morning, so I took Adam’s advice and let them rest.  I like keeping to a schedule, but I know my body needs time to recover.  No worries.

Wednesday morning I joined Adam at Lake Montebello for some cycling intervals.  The paved path around the lake is 1.34 miles and the bike lane is generally clear of pedestrians, so it’s a good place to go fast.  I did a ten minute warm up followed by three intervals of 10 minutes hard + 5 minutes easy.  The effort was definitely less than running, but it was enough to feel my quads working and my breathing get a little faster.  I’m still working on my bike handling skills, so I don’t like to go too fast.  I covered 14 miles in an hour and considered doing a fourth interval, but opted to skip it since I had a 5k planning for the next morning.  At the end of the workout, I pulled up to the car and unclipped my left shoe.  As the bike came to a stop I felt it leaning slightly to the right and, before I had a chance to unclip the right shoe, I fell on my right side in front of a group of pedestrians.  I couldn’t help but laugh as several people ran over to help me.  It wasn’t my most graceful moment, but I knew it would happen eventually.  Lesson learned – lean to the left!

Thursday morning I ran a 30:08 5k down by Druid Hill Park.  The weather was cloudy with a light rain, but it was still muggy.  I didn’t push too hard and kept an easy pace so I felt pretty good at the end of the run.  This was my first time running since Sunday – a long gap for me lately.  That evening Adam and I rode our bikes down to Mt. Vernon for the First Thursday concert (Brett Dennen!) – about three miles each way.  It was a fun ride that kept me on my toes thanks to potholes and the sometimes unpredictable traffic.  The weather was perfect and the concert was great so I was glad we decided to bike down rather than drive.  It’s not something I would have done a year ago, but I’m definitely becoming more adventurous.

I was back at the gym on Friday for my lifting routine.  Inspired by the good chest workout on Monday, I upped the intensity for the rest of the exercises and was able to really push it for my back, chest, shoulders, and triceps.  At the end of each set, my arms were shaking but I was still in control.  I really got my heart rate up for the shoulder presses, too.  It felt great.

sat-bike-mapSaturday morning Adam joined me for a 14 mile bike around northern Baltimore.  It was relatively easy with some fast downhills in the first half.   Nine miles in we hit Bellona Ave with a steep 800m climb that got my heart rate up to 180 and nearly stopped my in my tracks.  I really had to fight, but I successfully made it to the top.  It took a good three minutes for my breathing to get back to normal.  The rest of the ride was uneventful but enjoyable with the cool early-morning weather.  By the end of the ride I felt like my triceps we going to fall off, but my legs were feeling good.  We finished the 14.4 miles in approximately 1:21:00 with a top speed of about 25 mph.

sat-bike-dataSunday morning I ran a mentally-tough 8 miles for my long run.  Adam and I drove down to Boston Street for this run, and I made sure to drink a glass of water and eat half a banana before the drive so it would have time to digest before the run.  The weather was cool with a bit of wind, but my legs were fatigued from the start so I didn’t enjoy it much.  Two miles in I could feel my stomach rumble, but I thankfully didn’t feel thirsty.  I was having a hard time on that run and it seemed like I was surrounded with people strolling leisurely with coffee in hand.  (I recently gave up coffee so this made me grumpy.)  There were also many more runners than usual, and it felt like we were constantly being passed.  Overall, we finished in 1:23:40 which is a bit slower than usual, but not a surprise given the two extra cycling workouts earlier in the week.  It was a tough workout so I was especially glad to have Adam by my side – some days I couldn’t do it without him.

Week 13: workouts

Strength training

Last week I mentioned that I’ve been unhappy with my lifting routine lately.  Well, this week I decided to combine my strength days with some extra recovery work, namely a low-resistance spin session and lots of stretching.  On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of this week I spent 20 minutes on the spinner to help my legs recover from running the day before.  I kept the resistance low and the rpm between 90 and 100.  Afterwards I spent at least twenty minutes stretching out, focusing on my hips which gave me trouble last Sunday and on my calves which always feel tight after a run.  It felt great to warm up a bit and stretch out before my lifting routine – I think it’s what I’ve been missing.

Running intervals

tue-run

Tuesday and Thursday were interval runs.  On Tuesday, Adam and I were back on the treadmills at the gym.  We did the usual 8 minute jog and drills as a warm up.  The workout: 5:00 on and 2:15 off:

  • 7.0 mph  (8:35 min/mile)
  • 7.1 mph  (8:27 min/mile)
  • 7.2 mph  (8:20 min/mile)
  • 7.3 mph  (8:13 min/mile)
  • 7.4 mph  (8:06 min/mile)
  • 7.5 mph  (7:59 min/mile)

During the easy part, though, I was walking at 3.5 mph.  Below is an image showing my heart rate during this workout (click to see large version).  You can see that my heart rate dropped quite a bit (down to 120 bpm) which is way too low for my tastes.  It puts too much stress on my body when I make such a large jump in intensity from slow to fast.  My peak heart rate was 182 bpm and I was pushing it by that point.  Overall, I was very happy with this workout, even if it wasn’t perfect.tue-hr

On Thursday I was on my own since Adam was home with a mild cold.  For once I was going to do intervals based on distance rather than time.  Usually, Adam runs by distance and I match his time.  This workout:  0.75 miles on and 0.25 miles off.

  • 7.0 mph  (8:35 min/mile)
  • 7.4 mph  (8:06 min/mile)
  • 7.4 mph  (8:06 min/mile)

The time was about 6 minutes on and 3 minutes off.  Instead of walking between sets I decided to keep my heart rate up with a jog at 5 mph.  You can see from my heart rate below that this workout was spot on.  During the slow parts my heart rate went back down to a comfortable level (matching where I was for the warm up) and it steadily climbed during the hard parts.  This was a hard workout, without a doubt, but I was proud of myself for having done it on my own.

thurs-hr

Saturday fun on the bike and in the pool

On Saturday I went on an impromptu bike ride in the beautiful weather.  Adam had just returned home from a 90k bike and was preparing for a 20k run (all part of training for a half-Iron distance triathlon).  I could tell he was hurting and could use the extra company, so I volunteered to ride along with him during the run.  It was a good opportunity to take a break from work and enjoy the sunshine.  It was also my first time on the roads aside from the short commute to and from work each day.  I wouldn’t consider that ride a workout, but being out on the roads was certainly good practice for the future.

After all that cycling and running, Adam graciously agreed to join me at the pool for my first swim in many years (since gym in the ninth grade).  I just wanted to test the waters, get the lay of the land, and have Adam critique my technique.  We were only there for twenty minutes or so, but it was enough time for a few uncomfortable laps.  They weren’t really as bad as I thought they would be – I just need to get used to the water in my ears, nose, and mouth.  Also, my technique was surprisingly good, according to Adam.  There are some small things I need to work on, but it’s mostly just building up endurance and becoming comfortable with the breathing.  Having proper goggles and a swim cap (a first for me) definitely helped.

Easter long run

Sunday is now my long run day – to coincide with the group runs at Boston Street – so Adam and I took a break from Easter festivities for a 10k run.  My legs felt like rocks for the first half and the weather was dreary – cold and a little drizzle.  Needless to say, it would have been tough doing this one on my own.  I decided to just buckle down and make the best of it.  When all was said and done, we had run 10k in 1:02 (9:56 min/mile) which I’m very happy about considering I felt very slow.  At the end I even had enough left in me to run the last 400m at 7:48 min/mile pace (which floored Adam).  I certainly could have pushed harder/faster on this run, but I’m in no rush and I certainly don’t want to risk injury.  I’m just here to enjoy the journey.  Now, for a recovery week!