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My First New York Road Runner Club Council Meeting

January 28, 2010 2 comments

The meeting was held at the NYRR office at 9 East 89th Street at the NYRR headquarters.  I was asked to attend since our usual club representative would not be able to make it, and I happily agreed.  I want to take a larger role with our club Brooklyn Road Runners (BRRC) and attending this and subsequent meetings is a big step to do that.

My main goal was to go and observe and kind of get the gist of what it was all about and how it was run.  I did have one “issue” to bring up when the time presented itself.  There are over 100 running clubs in the NYC area and we all compete in predetermined races throughout the year for points.  These races determine the club winners.  Now, normally (in years past) the exact races that would be deemed “club points races” were discussed and determined at this meeting.  This year however, this was not the case.  A ballot was sent out to 150 club reps and they all voted on what races they wanted to have as points races.  This vote was tallied and an unofficial list was compiled and sent to the club reps, who then forwarded the info to the club members.

Here is the issue…one of the races listed was the Feb. 7th race, the Gridiron Classic 4 mile.  Now I and everyone else (I’m assuming) realized it was an unofficial list and may change.  The problem was NYRR races have caps or limits on entries due to the capacity of Central Park, so a decision had to be made.  Enter the Feb 7th race before it becomes official or wait and risk the race filling up and missing the opportunity to compete in a points race.  Well, the BRRC members signed up only to discover Jan. 24th that the Gridiron race had in fact been removed from the list and replaced with another race in September.

I planned to bring this bait and switch up at the meeting 🙂

The meeting room was packed, luckily I arrived early and got a seat.  There were about 30 seats and 50 people in all.  The meeting was run by Mary Wittenberg, CEO of NYRR and a couple of her assistants.  We were all given a printed agenda and then the floor was opened to anyone who wanted to add agenda items.  We went around the room and introduced ourselves, telling our name, club, aprox. club membership, and our position.  I estimated the last two 🙂

There was a heated remark given by Stacy the rep from Central Park Track Club regarding the Club Points Schedule being decided without our input AND she mentioned that 40 of her club members had signed up for Gridiron thinking it would be a club race.  Discussion of the Club Points Schedule would dominate the night.

Here are my notes…

-Club Night will be held Thursday March 4th 6pm-11pm at Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square.  Tickets are $50 and include soda/juice, appetizers, and 2 cocktails, beer, or wine.  Award winners will get photo on stage and their award, of course.

-Haitian Relief Road Runners Race/Walk will be held on Saturday, Feb 20th.  It will be a 4 miler and proceeds with go to Red Cross, Partners in Health, and Doctors without Borders.

-The NYC 1/2 Marathon will be held on March 21st and volunteers are still needed.  The reason for the moving of the date to the Spring was to establish and International Premium race to “bookend” the NYC marathon in the Fall.

-Rules of the Road, reminding runners to be aware in the parks (Central and Prospect) since there are often many others to share the park with.  Cyclists, cars, and of course other runners.  Try not to run more than 2 or 3 abreast and be aware of people going in the opposite direction.

Then we got to the main event…Club Points Schedule

One main concern was the lack of variety of distances.  In example, there is one stretch where the women compete in 3 straight 10ks.  There was also a lack of a 1 mile race, no 15k, only 1 half marathon.  Also, one race was on Sept. 11th and one race on Easter, the concern here was some people observe these day(s) in a special way and racing in the morning is not possible.

I suggested adding the Gridiron back to the list, but since it was yet another 4 miler, it got voted down.  We, and when I say we, I’m refering to myself, Central Park TC, and 2 other club wanted the Gridiron since our clubs signed up for the race…but no luck.  I can say we fought the good fight.

After much discussion the outcome (after a vote) was no change.  Keep the schedule as is, so the Club Races for 2010 will be as follows

Coogans 5k, March 7th

Scotland Run 10K, Apr 3rd

Healthy Kidney 10K, May 15th

NYRR  Mini 10K, June 12 (Women Only)

NYRR Father’s Day, 5M, June 20 (Men Only)

CPC Run for Central Park, 4M, July 17th

NYRR Club Championships 5M, Aug 7th

Mind, Body, Spirit Games 4M, Sept 11th (Separate Starts)

Grete’s Great Gallop, 13.1M, Oct 2nd

NYC Marathon, 26.2M, Nov 7th

Kleinerman 10K, Dec 5th

(Although there were no changes, it was decided that the Club council meeting in September will discuss the 2011 list of races and discuss the types of distances that will be included.)

Of these races, each club will be able to drop their worst team race, 9 of the 10 will be scored.

Also, to complete in the Club Championships, runners must run in at least 1 club race before July 17th.

A couple other notes…clubs can volunteers as a club 2 times per year to earn 2 entries into the marathon.

Mary also spoke of caps on races, saying that most races are capped at 5000, meaning 6500-7000 entries are accepted.  She is working on increasing caps on some races this year.  It was also mentioned that a cap amount list may also be published.

They are looking at altering the course of the NY Half so they can increase the field to over 10,ooo.  It is currently capped at 10,000 due to the fact that a full loop of the park is made before exiting and a larger field would interfer with the leaders exiting the park.

And last but not least, race fees will be going up.  They are currently $17 for members early entry and will go up to 18 or 19.  While 1/2 marathons will increase to 22-24 per race.  The NY Marathon entry fee for member will go up yet again by $10 😦

All in all, a good experience.  I am eager to discuss the future of Brooklyn Road Runners with the current officers of the club.

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A couple attempts at movie making :)

January 23, 2010 1 comment

Maybe I’m late but I just realized how easy it is to make movies on the mac and post on youtube…

Without further adieu…

And an old one…I’m a bit out of shape though…thats what polish kielbasa for every meal does after 2 weeks straight…ah well…it is what it is…

Very anxious to run again!

January 20, 2010 1 comment

For anyone that has been injured (if you haven’t keep doing what you’re doing!) for any amount of time…you know the frustration of not being able to do your sport.  I think the hardest thing is working hard to achieve a level of fitness and then having to put the training on hold.  The tough thing for me, with my ailment being my knee, is that I need to refrain from biking, running and even eliptical, so, I’m reduced to walking, swimming and weights.

The one thing that time off is giving me is the ability to work on drills and stretching more (which I should be doing religiously anyway).  One thing I learned in Matt Fitzgerald’s book “Brain Training for Runners” is how important it is to correct muscle imbalances caused by sitting. (more on this later)

I had a great swim on Monday.  Swam 1200 meters total.  And I got my lap times down to 23-25 seconds.  I still have a lot of work to do on my technique, and a coach, or at least an observer will be needed to get faster.  I’m going to have a friend video tape me next time I go.

Today is Tuesday and the knee feels great.  It never really hurt, but I think the time off of no running or biking has helped it.  It is popping a lot less frequently and doesn’t feel “loose” anymore.  I did a 3.5 mile walk around the park loop that I usually run.  It was tough not to break into a run since everyone around me was running.  I actually snuck in a few drills and a short jog at the end….I HAD TO!!  I feel like I’m tapering with no race coming up.  All this energy and nowhere to put it.

Bad Knee News…(but don’t worry)

January 14, 2010 2 comments

Went to the doctor on Tuesday to check out the knee problem I’ve been having since extended kneeling while cleaning.  It appears to be a meniscus problem in my left inner knee.  The good thing is both of my knees are stable.  There is no problem with ACL, MCL, or PCL.  Everything is sturdy.  AND everything is relatively pain free.  I mean, I came in 4th in a triathlon with ease 🙂

Anyway, my knee doesn’t feel right, it feels “loose” and pops more then usual, which is why I succumbed to the medical professionals, which I really don’t like doing…

The doctor was cool, I actually picked him from a giant list of available doctors online with my insurance company.  The reason I picked HIM in particualar was he was a D.O. and not an M.D.

D.O.s bring something extra to medicine:

  • Osteopathic medical schools emphasize training students to be primary care physicians.
  • D.O.s practice a “whole person” approach to medicine. Instead of just treating specific symptoms or illnesses, they regard your body as an integrated whole.
  • Osteopathic physicians focus on preventive health care.
  • D.O.s receive extra training in the musculoskeletal system-your body’s interconnected system of nerves, muscles and bones that make up two-thirds of your body mass. This training provides osteopathic physicians with a better understanding of the ways that an illness or injury in one part of your body can affect another.

I didn’t even know what D.O. meant, and had never seen or noticed the abbreviation before.  I decided it would be a good option for my knee.  I then got lucky in that the D.O. I saw was a fellow triathlete!  I love athlete doctors!  They understand athletes so much better than normal doctors.  So the preliminary diagnosis is partial meniscus tear or fraying.  So I will take 2 weeks off of running or biking, so scar tissue can form and then I can test it out again.  If it is still swelling after running, an MRI will be taken to check out the extent of the damage.

This gives me more time to work on my swim stroke, which I did today.  I think I’m faster already!

//

How to Rehab a Torn Meniscus-VIDEO

My knee has been feeling good.  Still popping from time to time.  I’m working on hamstring flexibility and doing the standard R.I.C.E with an addition of ultrasound, so U.R.I.C.E.  Ultrasound is good because it increases blood flow to the injured area, and since swelling is down, blood flow is a key to healing, especially in things like cartilage which get very little blood flow as it is.

A few more great articles from Livestrong…

5 Things You Need to Know About the Knee Mensicus

1. What Is a Meniscus?

The meniscus is a C-shaped piece of fibrocartilage that acts like a cushion between the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone). It is wedge-shaped, such that it is larger on the outer rim of the meniscus and tapers towards the inner rim. There is one on the lateral side and one on the medial side of the knee. The medial one is torn approximately three times more often than the lateral meniscus.

2. What Is Its Function?

The meniscus serves to distribute the forces more evenly across the joint. The end of the femur is curved, whereas the tibia is relatively flat. A curved object meeting a flat surface only has a small contact area, and therefore higher peak contact pressures. The meniscus “cups” the end of the femur and spreads out the pressure. It also functions as a shock-absorber. Its collagen fibers are oriented both radially and circumferentially to accomplish these tasks.

3. How Is It Torn?

The meniscus can be torn with an injury (traumatic) or with wear-and-tear over time (degenerative). Traumatic tears usually happen in younger patients, with twisting motions or sudden changes in direction or speed. They also happen in conjunction with other injuries, especially anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, up to 70% of the time in some studies. Degenerative tears occur because the meniscus thins out and becomes more easily torn. Over time, the meniscus has less collagen and more water content. It is less able to resist the forces put upon it. There are numerous configurations of meniscus tears–horizontal, vertical, radial, longitudinal, complex, bird beak, flap and bucket-handle tears.

4. How Do I Know If I Tore My Meniscus?

People with traumatic tears can sometimes pinpoint it to a specific activity, oftentimes associated with a popping or tearing sensation. In other cases, there is no inciting event and no limitations to activity, except for occasional pain. Common symptoms include pain and swelling, tenderness on the joint line, effusion (water on the knee), catching or locking, and a sensation of your knee giving out. Sometimes, the tear is large and unstable. It can flip inside-out upon itself, like the handle of a pail (bucket-handle tears). When that happens, the knee can lock up and get stuck at a certain angle or it is unable to be fully straightened. A radiograph (x-ray) may be useful in ruling out other causes of these symptoms, but it largely only shows bones. Remember, the meniscus is made up of cartilage. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is useful in diagnosis, because it shows not only bones, but muscles, tendons, ligaments, articular cartilage and, of course, the meniscus.

5. I Don’t Want Surgery–What Are My Options?

Non-surgical treatments include rest, anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy. Meniscus tears tend not to heal by themselves due to a poor blood supply. However, it may get to the point where it doesn’t bother you, especially with smaller tears. There are plenty of people out there walking around with meniscus tears. By calming down the inflammation and strengthening the muscles around the knee, the tear may only cause an occasional twinge or flare-up. If you know certain activities aggravate the meniscus tear, but if you can live within those limitations, then you may want to just observe tear to see what happens. On the other hand, if the symptoms are affecting the activities you want to do, then it’s probably time to talk about surgery.

Signs of a Torn Miniscus

The purposes of the knee meniscus (menisci for plural because there are two in each knee joint) is to disperse the stresses of weight across a large area of the knee in an attempt to keep the joint cartilage healthy. The menisci also serve as shock absorbers in the knee as well as stabilizers of the joint during most activities. They are crescent-shaped and have a tapered appearance.
Because the meniscus is composed of a tough rubber-like cartilage, it tends to not heal when torn. In turn, the knee can exhibit certain particular signs and symptoms indicating a torn meniscus.

Pain

If the injury is recent enough, there may be pain, ranging from mild soreness to severe disabling pain. This occurs primarily because there are pain nerve endings in the outer zones of the cartilage, as well as pain receptors located within the joint cartilage cells. When weight is applied, or motion exerted, on the knee joint, pain receptors fire to warn the host of a problem within the knee.

Excessive Fluid Production in the Knee (Effusion)

In cases of a torn meniscus, the tear pattern can be such that a portion of the meniscus can displace into the knee joint, creating a mechanical blockage or irritant. If this happens, the body only knows one way to battle against the irritation that is caused by the meniscal tear, and that is to produce additional joint fluid. This is done as the body’s effort to increase lubrication to reduce the local mechanical irritation. This is called “joint effusion.”

Limited Range of Motion

Meniscal tears, especially with the added problem of extra fluid buildup in the joint, can easily translate into altered range of motion of the knee. The mere presence of excess fluid can cause hydraulic pressure to be exerted when there is an attempt to bend the knee, effectively blocking full motion.

Additionally, the torn meniscus can, and usually does, play an important role in altered mobility of the joint, particularly if the meniscus has been damaged to the point of mobile flasp that flip in and out of the knee, causing a “catching” sensation.

Popping Sensation

A torn cartilage can often “flip” in and out of the joint, getting “stuck” and then releasing back to its near-normal position and shape. The catching is frequently referred to as a “popping” in the knee and is one of the most common complaints.

Indoor Triathlon Race Report! (with results!)

January 10, 2010 1 comment

Done.  My first ever triathlon.  Thankfully it WAS an indoor, as it was 0 degrees outside with the windchill…brrrrr.  It was a chilly walk to the subway!

As most people know, I’m a runner.  I don’t bike, I don’t swim…ever.  Well I shouldn’t say ever, I’ve gone on about 5 bike rides in the last 3 years.  I used to bike to and from work back in ’04.  In other words, not a lot of training, although I have been using the gym bikes for cross training during the last 4-5 months, so that helps.

Swimming?  I don’t think so 🙂  I swam for 12 minutes last week just to make sure I wouldn’t die in this triathlon.  That is the extent of my swimming in the last 10 years.  I never swam competitively in high school.

Running I was obviously confident about.  I’m in the middle of training for the Boston marathon and still have quite a bit of fitness from the NYC marathon build up.

The tri was based on distance covered during the time allowed.  10 min swim, 30 min bike, 20 min run.

McBurney YMCA

I arrived at the McBurney YMCA at about 10am, 1 hour early.  I had signed up for the 11am wave, knowing I had a restaurant employee annual party to attend the night before, so I knew I wouldn’t be getting to bed early.  The 11 o’clock wave was taken on a tour of the facilities and shown all of the location for each stage.  I wasn’t too nervous, a little anxious to just get started, but I had no expectations except to pace myself in the swim, go hard and even in the bike, and go after it in the run.

I was watching racers in the pool before I had to swim and saw a wide range of ability which was encouraging.  I knew I wouldn’t be the slowest 🙂  But my ultimate goal with these indoor triathlon is to eventually be in the top 3 overall at one of them.  This is already #3 in a series of 5.  The top finishers in each race will qualify to enter the Indoor Tri Championships at Asphalt Green on March 15th.  The next race happens to be at Asphalt Green on Jan 31st, which I plan on doing.

I knew I should warm up a little so I hopped on their indoor track and jogged for about 10 minutes, then did some light stretching.  I don’t really know how to warm up for swimming, but I remembered seeing Michael Phelps doing some arm circles and shoulder stretches, so I did that.

I showered and got to the pool just in time to hear the instructions of the wave before mine.  I overheard some ladies in my wave talking about how unprepared they were for the swim and had planned to train more before, but “December happened”.  That eased my nerves a little.  There were only 4 in my wave; the 2 ladies, one other guy and myself.

So it was 10 minutes, there would be a whistle at 5 minutes to go, 1 minute to go, and the stop whistle.  Jackrabbit Sports puts on the triathlons, so their employees were the officials and would be counting the lengths.  The pool was 25 yards and my goal based on how I struggled in my pool outing a couple weeks ago was 10 laps as a minimum, 15 would be a good effort and 20 would be my max if everything went well.

I spent an hour on Saturday (the day before the tri) studying video of efficient swim and stroke technique and learned some good tips.  The site is called Total Immersion and had a series of 6 videos of a seminar done by Terry Laughlin’s  at the 2009 New England Multisport Expo at MIT.

I picked up valuable energy saving tips like don’t cup your hands and why flutter kicking is unnecessary.  But I didn’t have time to test my new found tips…until race day.  Now, I haven’t swam much during my life, especially lately, but I do have habits in the pool, and they happen to be cupping my hands and flutter kicking.  It took all of my concentration to not do these things, and yet I still caught myself doing them.

I did 1 down and back to warm up and then it was Go Time.  Surprisingly my swim went well.  I felt better than I had at my training session, maybe because of the adreneline.  I was right on goal pace of 30 seconds a length.  At 3 minutes in, I touched for 6 laps.  At 5 minutes, right at 10 laps.  At about 7 minutes I felt like I was getting tired.  It’s hard to explain the fatigue of swimming, totally different from running fatigue.  I guess it is the forced breathing and gasping.  I fell off pace a little and made it to 18.5 laps and got credit for the last lap…19 laps.  Very happy with it.  I was in a lane by myself which was nice, it gave me a little more space.  Since I had the space I tried to backstroke a little to catch my breath, but I think it was worse than regular freestyle, so I flipped back over.  Looking back there is A LOT I can improve on.  I know I was turning my head to far out of the water to breathe for example.  I will take a class soon since I have no idea what I look like swimming and need some help.  But I feel good knowing there is a lot of room for improvement.

We had a solid 10 minutes to get out of pool, go change into bike/run outfit and make out way to the spin bike room.  I was able to change fairly quickly and got to the spin room with plenty of time to adjust the bike (which I had also researched…the proper adjustment of a spin bike).  With me I brought a water bottle, a bottle of Accelerade and a pack of Clif Bar Shot Bloks.  The bike had toe clips to slide our shoes into, bringing your own pedals was not allowed.  Not that I have any, but I guess some people do.  There was not extra bonus for having resistance on the bike, so everyone turned to resistance to minimum.

I had done a trial of the spin bike after my swim at Chelsea Piers last weekend and discovered 2 things, spin bikes can be pedaled very fast, much faster than a traditional exercise bike AND I needed to purchase some padded cycling shorts 🙂

I wore my cycling shorts over my compression running shorts, since the next transition was faster, only 5 minutes allowed to go from spin room, upstairs to the treadmills.  I got my bike set up and warmed up a little.  All the bikes had an electronic display showing mph and total miles.  At Chelsea Piers I managed to go 16.6 miles in 30 minutes, that was with a little resistance because it felt to weird to pedal without it.  When we got the tour the wave that was spinning were going so fast and frantic I thought a few of them might actually achieve lift off like a space shuttle.

We got the 5 second countdown, and we were off…pedaling like mad.  I quickly got the bike up to 35mph, a little quicker than my training session, but it felt good.  Spinning like this didn’t really get my heart rate up very fast and it seemed easy.  The struggle was to be coordinated enough to pedal so fast, it reminds me of boxers who workout on the speed bag.

At the halfway point (15 min) I was at 9.55 miles, 19 mile pace.  Nice!  I actually hit 40mph a few times, but settled in around 35-36.  My right foot started feeling sore at the halfway point, I think the clip was too tight.  I started sweating a lot at 15 minutes and finished all of my accelerade and half of my Shot Bloks.

I started to fatigue a little in the 2nd half and really focused on maintaining.  As I looked at others in the room, I felt like I was faster than most, just based on the cadence I was seeing.  I finished up with 18.3 miles and I can’t see how I could have gone much faster, but after getting home and looking at past race winners, I saw that one person got to 22 miles!!  It really becomes a leg quickness test rather than strength, I think.

Spin Fest

The bike being done, I got off and assessed the damage…a little soreness in the inner thighs, and some calf soreness, but overall, not bad.  My wave headed upstairs to the treadmill run portion.  We got there in about 90 seconds and had to wait a few more minutes for treadmills to open from the previous wave.  This gave me a little time to stretch and shake out my legs.  I glanced around at the other competitors to get a gauge of what pace they had set their treadmills to, I saw a 6.0 and a 7.5, which equate to 10 min/mile and 8 min/mile.

A treadmill opened up and I jumped on it.  I immediately cranked it up to 9.0 (6:40 pace).  There is no bonus for using incline so I kept it at 0.0.  Those of you who run on treadmills know that no incline almost feels like running downhill.  9.0 felt to easy so I went to 9.5 (6:13 pace) and then to 10 (6 min pace), I came through 1 mile in about 6:16.  I didn’t want to crash and burn on the treadmill and have to slow the pace down, but it really felt easy, so I went to 10.3 (5:50 pace) and hung out there for a while.  2 mile split was 12:01.

I had heard some guys from an earlier wave talking about the bike portion in the locker room and one guy said, he usually does 3.2 miles on the run portion but, didn’t get there today.  So based on that, I wanted to at least beat 3.2.  During the last 8 minutes a gradually increased to pace until I was at 10.9 (5:30 pace) for the last 1:30.  My final distance was 3.42 miles, the recording lady told me it was the best of the day 🙂  Hopefully it held for the last few heats after me.  Lord knows I needed to make up points after my swim…

So that was it.  I was proud of myself.  Especially of the run.  It was really exciting to have 3 different challenges…I think I have found a new event to attack.

I will know the results of the race tomorrow (hopefully) and will post as soon as I get them.

Here is JackRabbit’s blog about various news, including past results of their Indoor Tri Series

Treadmill Pace Conversions

My Tri Results

Cold Weather, Bursitis, Rolfing, New Shoes

January 6, 2010 1 comment

(written 1/5/10 Tuesday…forgot to click “publish”)

It is SO cold, and has been for about 10 days now.  It is the longest extended cold spell in the last 20+ years, and it is making starting Boston training tough.  I could only tough out 60 minutes this Sunday.  Not only was it 5 degrees with the windchill but it was also 5 degrees with the windchill (isn’t that enough).  I know its colder in Minnesota and North Dakota and I’m glad I’m not there, but I would still like to vent about MY frozen face.  To be honest, I can handle cold, I was born and raised in Michigan.  That doesn’t mean I like it 🙂  And the wind just cuts through you and makes it very hard to get into a groove.  I think the key is layers and covering all exposed skin.  OK, enough complaining already…

I went to Michigan during Christmas.  Had fun, ran very little.  Forgot my running shoes in Michigan.  Oops.  My mom will send them to me, but in the meantime I needed to get a new pair.  I didn’t love the Brooks Adrenaline, they rubbed my heal strangely and were not comfortable around my ankle on long runs.  So I explored my options on the internet and did a little research.  I have been running in orthotics and would prefer not to if possible, so I looked for a stability shoe that is build for overpronation, (which I do).  I found several highly rated ones like Nike Equalon, a couple Mizuno shoes looked interesting, but what caught my eye was the Asics GT-2150

Asics GT-2150

I’ve run in them a handful of times already and so far so good.  In fact my shin and foot pain has subsided so much that today my 5 mile run was pain free with no taping and no orthotics.

That leads me to my other point in the title…rolfing.  I had my 3rd session last night and the focus was reorganizing my side line.  Most of the work was focused on shoulder, upper torso, and hip/glutes.  I could see more now why it is not reccomended to stop the rolfing progression before the 10 sessions are done.  Each session builds on the last.

It’s funny.  It’s hard to put my finger on what is different after each session, mainly because it is subtle.  But I can tell you that being an athlete my whole life, I am very in tune with my body and regularly inventory every nick, pain, and imperfection of health going on with my body.  I have been running very well since starting rolfing, very comfortable at a good pace.  Although, sometimes after a rolfing session I have noticed new pains or odd muscle fatigue.  I am thinking that is due to a slight shift in posture and stance forcing me to use different muscles more.  I do know that I feel better lately and walk taller, AND feel like I’m generating more power while running more efficiently.  A good analogy I thought of while studying tips for my upcoming indoor triathlon is this…adjusting your bike seat.  There are many variables with the bike seat, height, tilt, and position it sits from the handle bars.  The perfect position is different for everyone, but when you find it you will have the best balance, power, and efficiency.

My knee bursitis is significantly better.  I took a very light running week last week, logging only 13 miles, but over 2 hours cross training on various machines.  The swelling and lump have stopped, although the knee still feels a little “loose” which is common after swelling subsides, but just in case I am doing some knee rehab exercises to strengthen it.  Still taking it easy and listening to my body.

Swimming Laps

January 2, 2010 3 comments

Since I signed up for my first ever triathlon, I figured I better see if I can still swim 🙂  And since my gym doesn’t have a pool I needed to investigate and find a pool to use.  The triathlon is a very short indoor tri.  10 minute swim, 30 min bike, 20 min treadmill.  I googled “indoor pools in nyc” and came across the Sports Center at Chelsea Pier, which I’ve heard of before, but never been inside.  I filled out the form online and received a call from a rep there.  I scheduled a trial day for today at 2pm.

I went to the gym after running an moderate 6 miles outside in the morning.  I think it would be fair to say that it would be warmer on the moon than it was in Brooklyn today.  Wow!  SO Cold and super windy, gusting up to 40mph.  I was happy to get the run in, like one of the guys in our group said, it’s the kind of weather that makes you tougher at mile 19.

I came back home had  breakfast and got ready to head out to the Chelsea Pier Gym.  It’s an awesome place, but really far from my apartment.  It took me a solid hour to get there.  I can’t see myself making that trip very often, there are some YMCA pools closer, but obviously not as nice.

Chelsea Pier Pool

Well the swim was tough, to say the least.  I think my fellow blogger sums it up best here…

“I started off in a 25 meter pool, beginning with with the modest goal of six laps of the pool (150 metres). On the first day, I thought my lungs would explode after doing the first 25 meters, gasping, eyes bulging and wondering what the hell I was doing in this environment unsuitable for humans.”

That’s about right 🙂  I wanted to swim for 10 minutes just to get a feel of how long that was for the tri.  It’s long!  I had to take a breather every 2 laps.  It was a weird kind of tired.  Nothing was fatigued muscularly, but I couldn’t catch my breath.  My pulse wasn’t even that high, only about 120.  I did 12 laps comfortably with much rest.  I did a couple “quick” ones at the end and was around 22 seconds.  I don’t think my form is very good.  Maybe I’ll take a triathlon class and get some tips.  It was fun and definitely a challenge, much respect for swimmers.

Then I went to check out the track.  Pretty nice.  A full 4oo meter track with a mini 200 meter banked loop inside of the big track.  I ran a mile.  The track is only 3 lanes most of the way, so its a little tight if there are other people on it.  Great view of the river from the pool and the track.

After the track I realized they had a spin bike and that is what I need to ride in the tri.  Usually at the gym I ride the “regular” exercise bike, they are very different.

I rode it for 30 minutes and managed to get to 16.6 miles.  I feel like that’s decent.  The resistance was light, set at “gear 8” for most of the ride, but I don’t think resistance is a factor at the indoor tri, just total RPMs.

Then I jumped back on the track for 800m just to see how my legs would feel running after that effort.  Pretty heavy, but they loosened up after 400m.  I’ll try to get back in a pool one more time.  But if I don’t, no biggie.  I know now that I won’t drown 🙂

Happy new year everyone.  Let’s set some ambitious goals and go get em!!

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