Swim Week

So I'm less than 5 days away from my first half marathon and my opening race for the 2011 season. I wish I could say that I am prepared and ready to "rock" the Rock & Roll Arizona 1/2 Marathon but I am just hoping to finish at this point. About three weeks ago during an interval session (in the cold rain), with about 20 meters to go on my very last interval (of course), I felt a twinge in my calf. I walked off the track without doing a cool down and figured it was just a little cramp or something. A few days later I ran easy and it felt OK. But then when the weekend rolled around I tried for a 10 mile tempo run and after about 5 miles, the pain came on strong. I hobbled back home and for the last few weeks I have been trying to run on it -but am still getting pain. Tonight I'm heading to the track after taking over a week off with no running -so I'm hoping with some ibuprofen, some tape and some luck that I'll be ready to roll. You can track me here on Sunday. With the lack of prep I'm changing my goal time from 1:16 to just going sub 1:20 and finishing!

Staying in striking distance
at the TRI Rock last year
 So with no running going on, what have I been up to? Swimming. I almost look at this as a blessing in disguise because it's forced me to spend more time in the pool. Last week I got in 3 sessions covering just under 3 miles for the week and this week I'm putting in 4 miles. I've been reading a lot of books, watching a lot of video and just becoming a student. It's definitely my limiter of the three disciplines. You always here the saying that you can't win the race with the swim alone, but you can sure lose it. It's about finding that balance. I don't want to devote so much of my training to swimming and neglect my biking and running fitness. After all, you spend the most time on the bike, then run and finally the swim. My goal is to just be in good enough position to exit the swim, not have to fight through bike traffic and be in striking distance of my AG leader when the run starts. Then the hunt begins!

I've been working on a lot of technique drills, trying to find the balance in my stroke and becoming as efficient as possible. I want to be as fast as I can while conserving the most energy. One of the ways I've discovered to do this is by incorporating a "2 beat kick." I've found out that a big reason why I tire so quickly swimming is because I've been doing a 4-6 beat kick on my tired biking/running legs. I almost always hit the pool the next morning after a hard workout and my legs are trashed. The 2 beat kick allows me to limit my kicking and use them more for balance and rotation help rather than propulsion. Check out this video:

This guy's doing 1:12's (per 100) with a 2 beat kick. He's fast, efficient and if it were a race his legs would be primed to kill it on the bike and run (where the race is won). It's kind of a hard habit to break, but I still have until April to perfect my form and technique so I can come out of the water within striking distance.

Monte De Oro
 Last weekend was also me and Amy's 7 year anniversary! Amy's mom watched the kids and we went wine tasting at Briar Rose which was just OK and Monte De Oro which I highly recommend. It's a new winery and not only was it a great experience but the wines are probably the best I've tasted in Temecula Valley. After some tasting we went to The Gambling Cowboy which is in Old Town Temecula. For those of you that have never been to Old Town--take a date and go. Great upscale restaurants and wine bars and suprisingly great Gastro pubs with great beers like The Public House. We've been here for a year now and both Amy and I are really surprised how much we love it here.

I also can't believe it's already been 7 years since we tied the knot. We originally agreed (at the time) to NOT have kids, then 5 years later we softened up and have had two in the past 2 1/2 years! It was the greatest decision we've ever made and can't love these rascals more!

Cheers to the next 7 years!


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