Wednesday, July 22, 2009

a reason to sleep in!

I knew swimming was bad for me: Are Indoor Pools Bad for Your Lungs?

A few years ago I learned that pools with broken chlorine pumps are also bad for your eyebrows (they disappeared), your swimsuits (went through several in one month), and your old silver ring you forgot to take off (it turned black). And that's not to mention the flu-like symptoms that wouldn't go away.

No more swimming for me! Oh, but isn't the downtown Y's pool saline? Darn.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

T minus... 6 weeks?!

Unlike the recent shuttle launch, my race will commence. Six weeks and three days to get into Ironman shape from whatever blobby shape I'm in right now. But things are looking up. As much as I joked about missing my running legs, it was a really hard time for me this spring. It started with a half marathon that was 5 minutes slower than last year's, and it was all downhill from there. The New Orleans 70.3 was just a few seconds off my worst half ever. Next up was the MIM double, for which I had a terrible cold. I attributed that poor 10k to the inflammation in my chest that caused some major hacking for days before and after the race. I was over the sickness for Heatwave and hoping to improve on that awful 10k time. Instead I managed the worst run since my very first olympic distance in 1998. Lots of friends were having difficulties from injuries and such during this time as well. The problem with mine was that there was no diagnosis of a fracture, no recent surgery, nothing that could excuse all of this.

When is it all in your head and when is something really wrong? I still haven't figured that out. The doctor who drew the labs for me seemed to think it was in my head, especially when everything came back outstandingly normal. If it hadn't been before, it was starting to get to my head. So with nothing else to do, I ignored the problem. I tend to ignore things I don't want to deal with. I did do the workouts assigned and tried to have patience. In all my 13 years of racing (and 10 years of actual training), I've never regressed so much. One triathlete even suggested that it was age; I laughed at their ignorance of endurance athletics. But slowly my lack of -- what, fitness?-- has seemed to turn around. It's definitely not back where it was even 4 months ago when this all started, but I can tell it's changing in a positive direction. If this trend continues, I may make it through two Ironmans in the next 12 weeks after all. And eventually you may even see me do this while running: