Friday, November 30, 2012

51 Weeks to Iron Hubby: Already Arguing With the Coach

While many triathletes monitor their every last watt, breath, and body fat percentage, my hubby just finally got out the HR monitor/watch I got him for his birthday  (2 months ago!) out of the box.

"Put it on" I say

"I don't know how it works, I'll just go swim" says he

"You press this button here to start it going, and press it again when you want to record a split time. Then you press this button over here to stop it" (this guy can fix or fly a $10 million dollar jet airplane, I know he can work the darned watch already)

"It's too much trouble"

(Sound of me tearing my hair out)

Finally I got him convinced to use the watch. Then it was another argument over the workout - honestly, I do get paid to write up swim workouts and OTHER people actually follow them. Eventually though, I talked him into doing a timed 4000 with a 400 yard warmup, so the total distance is about equal to the Ironman swim. In my experience, the wetsuit gives most men about a 10% bonus in speed, so a 4000 yard pool swim time is roughly what you can expect to swim an Ironman in.

Off he went to the pool, returning with some great splits on the watch and a smile on his face.
That's a pretty darned nice swim split for your first timed effort, a year out from your Ironman. Yeah, I don't think he'll have much trouble on the swim.

As long as he stops arguing with his coach, that is.

Monday, November 19, 2012

New Countdown: 52 Weeks to IronHubby

Yep, he did it. For years, he's been Mr. "I'll Never Do an Ironman" (sometimes I think about how wise he is, how sane). But all that changed in a tent in Tempe Arizona today. Last night we volunteered here at the 2012 Ironman Arizona, and he got to see first-hand the zombie-walkers of the evening marathon slog. That, coupled with supporting me through two Ironmans means he absolutely knows what he's getting into.

Well, almost.

No one ever really knows what they're getting into when they sign up for their first Ironman. They may think they do, but they don't. So from here on out, I'll let him tell the story in his own words. Once a week, I'm going to have him do a guest post as he counts down to his first Ironman. He's done one Sprint (10 years ago) and one Olympic (3 years ago) triathlon in his life, so he's really quite new to this sport. His perspective will be totally different than mine in what he brings to the Ironman. However, he's quite a good all-around athlete with great strength and endurance, so I have confidence that he'll do just fine.

So here, in all of his tri-newbie glory, are my husbands first words as he prepares for his 52- week Ironman Countdown:

"What the Heck Have I Done?" (Robin's Note: I'm paraphrasing here, to keep my G rating)

"The journey begins.  I'm excited for the challenges ahead. The combination of turning 50 and taking on this kind of challenge in my life is going to take some extreme commitment. The reason I'm so excited is that I've done much of this stuff on its own. I've swam 2 miles, I've biked 100 miles, and I've run a marathon. But I've never put all three of those things together in one day. I want to see what I can accomplish.

The biggest difficulty for me is going to be training alone. I'm such a social person, and I love to exercise in groups - mountain biking with my friends or swimming with the Masters. Robin is such a loner-type, it's fine for her to go out on her own for a 6-hour bike ride, but for me it's going to be extremely challenging to do some of this training just out there by myself.

Also, I'm the kind of athlete who can train minimally and finish a race. I got by doing a marathon with only one 14 mile run. It sucked, but I could finish it. You can't cheat the Ironman. I absolutely have to put in the training time. The reason that I really want to do this is that for one year of my life I will really have to work hard, juggling my training time, my work, and family."

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Making the Most of a Hotel Workout

Do you know how hard it is to be down here at Ironman Arizona and not be able to run? I never thought I'd say this, because I was always a "Running Sucks" kinda gal (and I laughed out loud each time the guy wearing the shirt that said exactly that came through my aid station at IMAZ), but it's emotionally difficult to not be able to run. And to not know when or if I'll ever be able to run again. But I'm not one to cry into my morning tea, so I have to count my blessings - I'm down here in the Arizona sunshine and I have a POOL.

I've ranted here before about trying to squeeze in a workout in a hotel pool. They can be short, narrow, kidney-shaped, and full of splashing kids. Somehow, when it's your only resort, you find a way. I got lucky this week, the pool may be oddly shaped, but at least it was almost 20 yards long. I did discover that when you do a flip-turn on a curved wall, you end up heading sideways and if you're very lucky you won't crush your skull on the other wall that you're headed straight towards.

But, since I can't run, I've been swimming over a mile a day in a crescent-shaped bit of sunny water and loving it. My home state is being hammered with 60 mile an hour winds and 5 - 10 inches of rain (and no, that's not even a hurricane, I live in Oregon, that's just a typical winter storm.), so while I'm here, I'm going to love every 18 1/3 yard lap!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Excuses, Excuses

The weather has been unseasonally warm and beautiful outside. Who can resist  bike rides in shorts in November?

I just finished editing and submitting the screenplay my son and I wrote to the BlueCat Screenwriting competition (deadline today! nothing like a deadline to make you work). I think I read the darned thing 20 times or more in the last 3 days.

My daughter is in a play that's 25 miles away and requires 5-night-a-week rehearsals, while my son has 5 nights a week of karate and medieval martial arts here in town (how can a mom be in two places at one time? with way too much driving and some crafty carpooling)

I'm going away with my hubby for the first time in 16 years. Mom has the kids, the kids take care of the dogs, cats, rabbit, mice, and chickens. Hubby and I enjoy the Arizona sunshine, volunteer at Ironman Arizona this Sunday and register him for his first Ironman on Monday. Yes, I'm going to have an Iron Hubby on the year of his 50th birthday.

All these are excuses for why I haven't been blogging lately. Truth be told, by the time I can have some "me" time at 10:30 at night, I'm just done in.  I'm actually writing this from the airport at 4:00 in the morning having gotten up at 3:00 am. But if this is the me time I get, so be it!

All in all though, life is good. Other than the persistent knee problem (still can't run), I'm in good health and the family is awesome, though terribly busy. I've been swimming a lot more than I have in years and am actually getting faster as a result. Turns out that two times a week is barely enough to maintain in swimming, but four times a week kicks ass. I hope to write a post up this week about my recent swimming breakthrough, a technique change that bumped me down to a 1:10 pace for my 100's in yesterdays workout.

I am woefully behind in reading my favorite blogs, so hopefully on this relaxing weekend I will get to catch up somewhat on what you all are doing out there in blogland. But not before I hit the pool with my goggles, a towel, and a paperback.