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Just Keep Swimming

August 2, 2011

Work was a little busy this afternoon and I didn’t leave until almost 5:30 pm, which meant that I wouldn’t make the 6 pm departure time of my training ride. I was already sore from weight lifting this morning and the idea of running is never appealing to me. Plus I have a run planned for tomorrow morning so I switched things up and went swimming. My roommate came with me and we headed out to the pool.

We were in luck and there were open lanes so we took one to share and swam on our own sides. Swam for just over 45 minutes and I did my standard mid-tempo workout.

200 swim
200 pull
200 kick
x3

50 pull sprints x 4
200 IM at 80%
100 cool down

Total of 2300 yards.

It took the first 400 to get the soreness out of my shoulders and settle into a good rhythm. I was using new paddles and they felt great. I think they may be a bit too small but I’m going to give them a try on Friday and see how they feel then. I found myself wanting more resistance. Considering my old paddles were from some time in the early 90s when I was swimming on a year round team these were a huge improvement in being able to still feel the water, so maybe that was the difference I felt. I would say something about all this new technology but that would make me sound old and since I just told you I was in high school in the 90s I don’t need to reinforce that.

 

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Barbell Rollouts

August 1, 2011

Unlike fruit roll ups, barbell rollouts are no tasty treat. They seem so innocent, but every muscle in your upper body is working hard. Never done one? Watch this video. Keep in mind that this guys is crazy fit and makes them look easy. Just like after watching Nastia Liukin you think you can do double back flip with three twists. While on the balance beam.

When I do these they don’t look as impressive, and at the bottom I lay down on the ground while I mentally prepare myself to lift my body weight back up using my core. These use all the muscles in my shoulders, arms, abs and back.

They are hard, but I’m starting to see some muscle definition in my arms so I guess they’re working.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

July 31, 2011

I posted on twitter that I was successful with my first loads of laundry with homemade detergent and I got a lot of questions of how this worked and how to make it. It also worked on smelly triathlete training clothes so that’s a huge bonus. Here’s the recipe:

Homemade Laundry Detergent

1 c. borax
1 c. washing soda (not baking soda!!)
1 bar of soap, grated

Mix well until the grated soap breaks up even more and everything looks evenly distributed. You can also add 2-3 drops of essential oil (not extracts) when you are mixing it. Use as follows: 1T for small loads, 2T for large loads, 3T for heavily soiled loads. Yes, that’s tablespoons.

For HE machines everything online says it’s safe since it doesn’t suds. The internets recommend only using 2T max, as there is less water in HE machines. DISCLAIMER: I don’t have a HE machine, so I can only pass along advice that I’ve found.

Here’s my notes:

  • The recipe I had said you can use any type of bar soap. I used a bar soap from Yardley’s that was lavender scented. There are some special laundry soaps, and a lot of people online said they like Dr. Bronner’s soaps, but others said they used plain ivory.
  • My soap was scented so I didn’t add the essential oil.
  • The detergent will not get sudsy and the water will look grey. Everyone assures me this is normal!
  • For my sports clothes I added 1/2 c. of baking soda to that load to help with the smell. I did this with regular detergent as well. I didn’t notice any smell (other than the lavender) when the clothes were dry.
  • To grate the soap I used my microplane grater, rinsed it well, and then ran it through the dishwasher. I may at some point invest in a separate grater.

Overall I’m happy with it and I felt like my clothes are just as clean as with regular detergent. As a bonus this is phosphate free and costs about $.05 a load verses $.15 a load that my previous detergent was. That’s the on sale with a coupon price. If I purchased detergent at full price it would be about $.25 a load.

Let’s do the math. Four loads a week for a year is 208 loads.

Homemade detergent: $10.40
Regular Detergent: $31.20

Over a year that’s a savings of $20.80.

Summer Storms

July 31, 2011

Summer storms make for great napping. Today I should be doing a bike ride to make up for not riding yesterday. I should be doing an open water swim. Instead I am laying on the couch in my pajamas and watching a movie. I’m listening to my body and it’s telling me “I’m tired.” So I’ll take advantage of the thunderstorms and take another rest day and get ready to hit it hard tomorrow. 41 days until my race.

If you can’t be an athlete, be an athletic supporter.

July 30, 2011

I have to admit that every time I hear that line in Grease I crack up. I guess somewhere inside each of us is a little kid. Today several of my training friends raced in an olympic distance triathlon a few hours away. After a quick swim Friday morning (I was running late and hit the snooze too many times) and working half a day, we packed up and headed out. It was weird to only have one little bag with me! Usually when I travel to races I have 2-3 bags plus my bike. It felt like I had forgotten to pack everything I needed.

We headed down and picked up their race packets then met up with the rest of our group for a pasta dinner. While they were all carb loading I had to remind myself that I was not racing and should not eat like I was! We turned in early and then got an even earlier start. We were at the race site by 5:30am so they could set up their transition areas. I volunteered and put my excellent penmanship to good use by grabbing a sharpie and heading to the body marking area.

Once they started I and another friend were able to cheer them all on as they came out of the water, returned on the bike and came down the finish line. Knowing that someone was there cheering me on at my first triathlon was amazing and helped me to push through when I was ready to give up. Plus it’s nice to have someone else there to help you shlep all your stuff and drive you home!

Getting Stronger

July 28, 2011

Some days I feel like I am the slowest biker ever. Like I am regressing in my training instead of progressing. Tonight was not one of those nights. I had a great ride and as a bonus, didn’t ever feel like I was going to get hit by a car. I have high expectations for myself and want every ride, every swim, and every run to be better than the last one.

I know I’m gonna have good days and bad days. Today was a good day and I’m happy to have the mental encouragement that it brings.