Thursday, April 9, 2009

Getting worked by Amber on caffeine

There are a lot of crazy athletes in Boulder who swim at Flatirons Athletic Club, but most of them are too lazy to swim at 6 am. Well, maybe they just aren't crazy enough or don't need to get to work by 8. We can't even claim to be there every time, but most of the year we are.

Anyways, its a pretty small group that shows up every Tuesday and Thursday at that time to work out with Wolfgang or Kurt. As a small group, there are usually only four lanes going. The fastest lane recently has been occupied by the Finangers and whoever can keep up with them. Next is usually Amber's lane which numbers between 1 (solo Amber) and 4 (on a busy day). Most of the time she is the lane leader. Next is my lane with 3 or 4 people, which I have been leaded recently. The last lane usually has 1 or 2. Compared to Sunday's workout with at least 6 people per lane for all 6 lanes, our workout is tiny.

The Plan
Since my swimming has been going well, I decided to move up to A's lane today. But, Kurt removed the cover from all of the lanes and her normal swim buddies went to the lanes with my normal swim buddies, so I found myself all by myself with A. Oh, boy. My hope had been to hang on by drafting off the second to last person, but I've never been able to draft off of A for long. To make matters worse, I wanted coffee this morning before the workout and so A had a mug of it as well. We've only had coffee before the swim twice before and A has noticed the performance enhancement that it give. So, not only did was I alone with A, I was alone with a caffeinated A.

The Workout
The warm up went fine, although A took the full rest assigned and I took less to keep up.

Then, Kurt gave us the main set. He started by telling us that it was a 200's day, to which A responded "Great, I love 200's". Red alert, red alert. Kurt told us "4 x 200", okay not too bad, "then 4 x 50's with kicking ...", good, some recovery, "then 3 x 200" uh, oh, I think I know where this is going, "50's again" here it comes "2 x 200" yep, we're going to be doing 10, "50's and then 1 x 200", I hate it when I'm right some times. Then, the timing discussion started and I deferred to A as I was the interloper in her lane. She gave Kurt a range and luckily he picked the top end of it.

The first one went well as it always seems to go and I got 5 seconds rest. After the second, I got 3 seconds rest. After the third, I had to immediately start the fourth. I skipped the first 50 to get some recovery and A told me she was getting 24 seconds of rest after each.

The next set started okay and I got 5 seconds rest after the first. I blew up on the second and missed the interval by 10 seconds. On the third, my goal was to keep A from lapping me. She was at the flags by the time I flipped at 150 meters, but at least I made that goal. I missed the first 50 and skipped the second.

For the third set, I geared up with paddles and buoy and made the intervals for both.

For the last one, I was determined to make it my fastest and I beat my goal time by 1 second. Still 16 seconds slower than the caffeinated A, but there is always next week.

For now, my plan is to only swim with A's lane once a week until I can complete the entire workout as given. Maybe next time, I'll substitute decaf for her.

Peace Out,

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Future Adventures

I started this post a while ago, so some of it is a bit dated...

Over at the Daily Espresso, Lars had two recent posts that got me thinking. The first was his post on some of the adventures he has had including his ride from Canada to Mexico and Emily and his races at the Xtreme Norseman in Norway. The second post was a link to a triathlon training camp in Sweden that traverses the length of the country.

I've wanted to do the Norseman since first heard about it a few years ago, but our annual pilgrimage to IM Canada has taken the summer Ironman role and the Norseman is a difficult race to coordinate for since you have to have your own support crew, including someone to finish the race with you as it is up a trail to the top of the mountain. And we don't have enough vacation. And we took a trip to Sweden and Norway a few summers ago, so we should go somewhere else. And the swim is freezing, since it is in a fjord. And it doesn't have qualifying slots to Kona. And, all that doesn't matter since I really want to do the race.

Its not like Amber and I haven't had some cool adventures (weeklong backpacking trip in Montana, the trip to Sweden and Norway (which for the first half we didn't know the driving laws), our IMs as they really are adventures, ...). But, it is easy to get complacent.

We keep going back to IM Canada for a number of reasons. The course is awesome. And our Wisconsin friends are always there (Jim, Janine, Wolfie, etc.) And its hard to get into, so if we stop going, we may not get in again And we have a nice room at the Tiki Shores (took us three years to get into there). And we like the peaches. And, all those reasons shouldn't matter if it is keeping us from trying something new.

Mt. Taylor is a different as it really doesn't keep us from trying something else and suggesting otherwise would get me in deep trouble with A.

So, here is a list of adventures I want to have and why. The next step will be to figure out when.

Xtreme Norseman triathlon: it would be supremely challenging race in a country I want to explore more.

Ironman Lake Placid: I didn't like Ironman Arizona's multiple loops as the scenery got boring. I don't think that I would get bored with the scenery in this upstate New York gem. Our plan is to try to get into 2010.

Kona: 'Nuff said.

Challenge Wanaka: this is a new addition, but they claim it is the most scenic Iron distance race. The pictures they have would support that claim. Also, it is in New Zealand which holds many adventurous opportunities.

Boston and New York Marathons: I really don't have any desire to run a marathon by itself, but the history and courses of these two races really intrigue me.

Mt Evans Hillclimb (bike version): I've bike up Mt Evans before and plan on racing up it this summer. Not many races finish at 14,000 ft.

Iron Horse Bike Race: We're signed up for this year. The race won't be a huge adventure, but it takes us down to southwest Colorado for only the second time. The only other time was when Amber did the Imogene Pass Run and we drove straight there and straight back. Hopefully since we will be there the whole weekend this time, we can see more of the area.

TransRockies Run: 113 mile, 6 days, and 1 partner. Only 12% on paved roads or paths, the rest on dirt trails or roads. I know who I want my partner to be (the wife). If you're interested they are 75% full for this year. Get on it. Unfortunately we'll be in Canada.

Italy: Not a race, the country.

Alaska: 'Cause it is the home of Sarah Palin. Actually, for the backpacking, kayaking, skiing, and other outdoor adventures. And it is where A was born.

Late addition - Ironman St. George: After I started drafting this, they announced a new Ironman in St George, Utah in May 2010. After some deliberation, A and I signed up. The best part of the course should be run with its hills.