Monday, March 4, 2013

Swim Lesson II, Crap Run Weather, and Weight Lifting

Swim Lesson No. 2
A few weeks ago I got back up to the Mecklenberg Aquatic Center for my second swim lesson with Melinda Yelton.  We mostly focused on timing, rotation, and position.  She pointed out a couple of things with my entry and pull that I had no idea I was doing.

But that is exactly the kind of thing I had been looking for.  You can read all the articles.  You can watch all the Youtube videos.  But if it feels right to you, then you'll never know what you're doing wrong.  Being a runner, I certainly don't know what feels right or wrong sometimes.  My left arm was crossing over to the mid point upon entry.  Who knew? So every left stroke was weak.  Then she told me my pull technique was all wrong.  That was easy to fix (the left arm thing has taken a couple of weeks to rectify).  So just those two little nuggets of info literally slashed 10 seconds off my 100 scy times.  My pace for a 400 is now the same pace I was doing 100's last fall with a 45 second rest!

I still having a bit of trouble with the rotation.  That's not going as well.  I will try and schedule Lesson No. 3 sometime in late March.  Probably more work on rotation, but then throw in some catch and pull drills.  It's definitely coming along as I had hoped.  I wish I was at this point a year ago, but that's ok.  I was able to get away with a weak swim at IM Augusta and Rev3 Florida last year.  This year at IM Las Vegas and Rev3 SC will be a different matter.

The Worst Run Weather
I've always said that the worst weather to run in is 35 degrees and raining.  I stand Corrected:

Oh yeah.  34 degrees, steady rain, and 10 MPH winds!  That run really stunk.  Definitely the worst that I can recall since college. It didn't help that the previous Saturday was the Charlotte 10 miler race, and I rode my bike that afternoon.  Sunday I ran 18 miles and biked 50, so I wasn't exactly feeling great to begin with.  My hands were just froze.  I can't find good gloves to wear in that kind of weather.  Next time I will probably wear some winter gloves and risk them weighing 5 pounds each at the end of the run. When I was done, I jumped straight into the shower and it took quite a while to warm up.  Even then, as soon as I got out, I was freezing again.  I put on 4 layers of clothes and didn't get the chill out of my body until about 10am.

Lifting Weights
I started back with my blasphemous exercise of lifting weights a couple of weeks ago.  On the Slowtwitch forums, weight lifting is routinely panned for being a useless waste of time.  My college run coach got me lifting weights back then for strength to keep my form at the end of races when you get tired.  I only lift upper body so it only takes my like 15-20 minutes.  Most importantly it helps the beach body.  So I felt a little better when I read this article from Mark Allen on Active here.  I don't do all of those, but the ones I do are on his upper body list.  Maybe I'm not so far off after all.

Oh, and I got my Wheelbuilder Aerojacket covers in last week.  I'll post a writeup on those soon!