33 Laps

I swam a decent amount (for me) in 2014 as I was preparing for my first triathlon. A total of 36 swims, actually. My longest swim session was 1700 yards, but the longest actual swim was probably 600 yards. After that year, I swam…..once. One single time, in 2015, for about 900 total yards. After that single time in ’15, I didn’t swim again until a few weeks ago. Yikes!

Since I started back up again, I’ve been following the stupid simple plan from this site. It helps you build up to a mile. Last time I swam more than once, I made it up to week four, where you go 600 yards in a straight shot before some intervals. This time, I wasn’t really following the plan in a strict sense, but I was generally following portions of it. I’d swim the workout, then swim 450 yards in a straight shot. I was feeling pretty good about things!

Monday morning, I went to the pool and decided that rather than following the plan, I was just going to swim and see how far I could go. I figured I’d go 800, maybe 900 yards. A straight thousand would be awesome. When it was all said and done, I hit 1650 yards. A full swimmer’s mile! Just over an Olympic distance swim, a bit short of a half ironman.

Sure, it wasn’t fast at all. My total time was 39:XX, which is pretty dang slow for a pool swim. But that’s fine; speed will come. It’s the fact that I could go for about 40 minutes and cover that distance. That gives me some confidence in a sprint tri, where I’ll be swimming a much, much shorter distance (the one I’m targeting in June is a quarter mile, or about 440 yards). I’ll need to work on open water swimming, but being able to go 3x farther than necessary has to help.

Very happy crossing that milestone! Onto the next one (sub-2:00 100s).

Weekly Recap: May 15th – 21st

Another decent base week. The weather has been surprisingly awesome around here. Usually by this time of the year, it’s an inferno outside. The humidity comes later, but it’s typically in the 80s every day, and only getting to the low 60s at night. This year, it’s been much more pleasant, which has been great for running!

I also managed to get in two bikes during the week. The first was a 3 min x 3 session, and the other was 20 second sprints with two minutes of recovery. My butt still hurts a ton once I get to about 30-40 minutes though, which I need to fix. No way could I do an Olympic of 70.3/140.6 if my body hates me after 30 minutes. Not sure if it’s my saddle, my cycling shorts (they’re Pearl Izumi, so not some off-brand stuff!) or just my fit. I know my fit is pretty bad and I need to get it checked/reset…

We moved the long-ish run to Sunday, since we knew Saturday would be a recovery day from BBQ Fest. For those that don’t know, for one glorious week in May, Tome Lee Park in downtown Memphis turns into the mecca for BBQ: Memphis In May World Championship BBQ Cooking Competition (phew, that’s a mouthful). Here, everyone just calls it BBQ Fest. Basically, teams compete in three main categories (Ribs, Shoulder, Whole Hog) and a host of ancillaries (i.e. sauce, seafood, anything-but, etc.) to see who is the best pitmaster. Each team has a tent that serves as home base, where they cook, eat, relax, and party. Some teams take it more seriously than others….you could have one tent that has lots of trophies and is empty at night except for the guys watching the smoker, while the tent next door has a massive party going on. Our tent straddles the two, with a pretty good party scene but also some great food! Check out our tent (the honored country this year was Colombia…and you’d be amazed how many teams misspelled that!) and some of the shoulders while they were prepped/smoked:

As you can see by the picture of the tent, these aren’t some little Coleman tents. Our is two stories tall, has full plumbing and electric, a DJ booth, a bar, a solid floor (we build ours up a few feet in the air so we get an awesome river view), and of course the kitchen in the back. After dinner, the music starts and the tables are moved away and everyone dances until it’s time to go!

It was a great year, and we came in third for best booth! Since I joined the team in 2012, we’ve been in the top three for all but one year. It’s a ton of fun, great food, and the people watching is fantastic. I highly recommend a visit.

Weekly Recap: 5/1-5/7

The week post-Louisville (race report here) was pretty easy. We decided to take it nice and easy as we tried to revel in our new PRs and accomplishing a goal I set out to achieve nearly six years ago. Just a few easy weekday runs and 8 miles on Saturday. It’s getting hot already!

Weekly recap for 5/1 – 5/7

Friday morning I actually went to the pool and got in a swim. Now, this is the first time I’ve swam since June of 2015! And that was a single time; previously it was summer of 2014 shortly after my only triathlon. So yeah….second time swimming in three years. And shockingly, I didn’t drown. It was a decent swim all things considered: 4×100, 4×50, 4×25 and then a 450 yard straight swim.

Saturday after our run, it was time to hit up Memphis in May’s Music Fest, a three-day concert held at Tom Lee Park. We only had tickets for Saturday, since all I really wanted to see was Silversun Pickups. It was an absolutely GORGEOUS night out for it:

Sunday I got in a bit of a ride. Actually, it was the longest I’ve ever ridden outside (apparently my records don’t last long), just shy of 18 miles.

I head straight towards the river to see how high it’s gotten (we are a bit over flood stage at the moment):

Yup, pretty high!

Afterwards, it was time for some brunch at the pub

And with that, another week in the books!

Weekly Recap: 4/17 – 4/23

Another solid week of training, including taper for the Kentucky Derby half marathon. I slightly increased my Wednesday medium run to be six miles, as I want to get out of the 4/5/4 or 5/5/5 rut. Time to start taking those to be a bit longer!

Weekly recap for 4/17 – 4/23

Tuesday is typically my speed work day. Since it was the week before a race, I did an easy 3 mile goal pace run, totaling five miles. I’ve been doing this workout often during this training cycle, and I’m hoping it’ll help come race day and my goal of sub-2.

Of course, the weather might have other ideas. The current forecast is a low of 72 and high of 89. That’s not gonna be fun, and the back half is mostly uphill. Yikes!

Our Saturday run got wiped out in the rain, so we moved it to Sunday instead. I know we better get used to Sunday runs since it’s part of my training plan for MCM and Dopey, but it still sucks. Just feels like everything is off. Without a run to do Saturday, I was able to whip up a little feast!

My feast!

Asian-spiced shrimp with a parmesan risotto and an onion & brussel sprouts mix in a soy glaze. Delightful! The meal was completed by some wedding cake, which, after a year, is surprisingly still delicious!

It’s race week, so keeping things nice and easy for the taper. We will head up to Louisville on Friday and we’ve got a fun post-race weekend planned.

Weekly Recap: 4/10-4/16

As mentioned the other day, the weather has begun to heat up in the mid-south already. The runs are hotter, biking is harder, and there’s just a general sense of always being tired.

Weekly training recap: 4/10-4/16

I missed my Wednesday morning run. I spent Tuesday night in the ER getting my chest checked out. While everything was ok, I was there so long and hadn’t eaten, I decided to sleep in and rest. Got my miles in Thursday and had a 12 mile run on Saturday, the last long run before Louisville. It was hot and my pace suffered.

I also managed the longest bike ride I’ve ever done, a whopping 14+ miles. At 11MPH. Still, it’s a start.

This week is a normal week, with a shorter Saturday run (8 miles or so) leading into taper for the Kentucky Derby half marathon on 4/29.