Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘swim’ Category

We are finally settled into our apartment in Tel Aviv and I’ve begun my Alcatraz training again. It’s been almost a month since I’ve done anything, between sickness and travel, and I’m not sure I can get myself where I need to be before the race in June. Since this isn’t a race in which I can just “get by” there is the possibility that I may not be able to participate. However, I am going about my training as if I’m still preparing for the race.

I’ve managed three short workouts in the four days that we’ve been here. Thursday morning I ran just over a mile pushing the stroller along the beach path. It was a glorious welcome back to this beautiful Mediterranean location. On Friday, while everyone else lounged over coffee and brunch on the beach, I slowly inching my way into the cold water and submerged myself in the Mediterranean Sea. I swam back-and-forth parallel to the shoreline, relearning the currents and waves and narrowly missing an enormous white jellyfish. Yesterday evening we put both kids on their scooters and attempted to go for a run. Total fail. Ariel completed some semblance of a mile with Aviv while I headed straight to playground with a kicking, screaming Eitan. He wanted only to ride back-and-forth across the path where the bikes zipped by at a furious speed. Nobody rides cautiously here and the chaos was at a higher level than usual, it being a sunny Saturday afternoon.

Once the big boys returned I took off across the beach to do one loop of what will become my regular sand training; across the sand, up the steps to gan hatzmaut, across the vista-point, back down the hill to the beach path, sprint the pavement to the ritz carlton restaurant and back through the sand to the playground. Hopefully this combination of sand and steps will not only prepare me for the sand & steps I’ll tackle at Baker Beach but also strengthen small muscles in my feet to prevent injury. 

Saturday’s stats: 1 loop – 1.22 miles, 11:55, 9’46” pace

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

So…  A few months ago I put my name into the lottery for the famous Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon.  I won a spot (!!!!), thought about it for 20 seconds then payed a large sum of money for the “opportunity” to swim from Alcatraz, bike around the Presidio hills and run up the Baker Beach sand steps with 1,999 other crazy people this June. A few days later when my exhilaration wore off I decided to check out the details. I learned important details like, the 1.5 mile swim has a 1 hr. cut-off time (which would currently be difficult for me in a swimming pool without a current). There’s also a half mile “warm-up” run from the swim exit to the bike transition area. Then after the 18 mile bike ride, we run 8 miles, not the usual 6 like most International distance triathlons. Looking on the bright side, even if I’m not finished, the race course closes at 1pm so I can still make it to my 2pm Don Giovanni!

What have I gotten myself into?  And exactly when am I planning on training for this race?? That second question came from my husband.  It hadn’t even occurred to me until he brought it up. 1 hour at the gym several times a week is certainly not going to prepare me for this race so I’ve been brainstorming about how I can use my time most efficiently and which parts of this race will be trickiest.

Let’s evaluate: Currently I can comfortably swim half mile, less comfortably a full mile. I can run 3 miles pushing a stroller and I haven’t been for a training ride on my bike since before I was pregnant with Eitan (he’s now 20 months old). Most of my bike training will need to occur in spin classes, which are excellent and utilize the Y’s free childcare. Most of my runs will be done pushing a growing Eitan in the running stroller, so probably not as hilly as the course but difficult nonetheless. In a few months I’ll start walking the Baker Beach sand steps with Eitan in a backpack. Again, not like running them but probably by that point in the race I won’t be running anyway and they’ll feel easy without a baby on my back. Right?? My major concern is fitting in open water swims and a few outdoor bike rides. I’ll either need to pay a babysitter or do them on the weekends when we usually enjoy family time. Oh, and then there’s the 7 weeks of travel time smack in the middle of training season. Back to my first question; What have I gotten myself into???

the workout: I pushed myself to do two consecutive days of spin classes Sunday & Monday. Just to see if I could. (No problem!) I threw in a short run before yesterday’s class (doing a reverse brick) and instead of feeling extra exhausting, I was energized throughout my spin.  My heart rate monitor did report that I was at the top of my workout zone through most of the class. We’ve got these new alien-looking bikes that I’m still not comfortable on but my favorite drills have to do with watts.  A few to try in your next spin workout:

:20 @ watts = body weight -10, :10 recovery x 8

:30 @ watts = body weight, :30 recovery x 4

1:00 @watts = body weight, 1:00 recovery x 4

1:30 @watts = body weight, :30 @watts = body weight +10, 1:00 recovery X 2

Read Full Post »

Technically speaking, I wasn’t kicked out of Ulpan today, I was simply told I couldn’t come back because my month was over and I didn’t pay for the next month.  I don’t think it unreasonable of me to not want to pay for an entire other month since my class ends next week, but they were completely unwilling to be flexible, so I left at the first break.

Since our nanny was planning on staying all morning, I took advantage of the free time to grab a workout.  I hopped on a green bike  and started pedaling toward Yafo.  Riding bikes around here is very unlike San Francisco.  There are bike lanes on all the boulevards, but there are no regulations about who can use them.  (And if there were, nobody would follow the rules anyway.)  The most common sight is a parent on a motorized bike, with kids on front and back seats.  Also, there’s the more-than-occasional person riding top speed on a motorized bike while smoking.  And talking on the phone.  And perhaps, running the dog.  Sometimes motorcycles use the bike lane.  Sometimes kids with scooters go between the bikes, ringing their bells because the bikes are in their way, even though the rest of the boulevard is empty.  Oh wait, that’s my kid.  Yes, he thinks he owns the sidewalk.  How very Israeli of him.  Anyway, you get the picture.

My ride today was quite pleasant.  I’d fortunately chosen a green bike that was in good shape, with two tires pumped and brakes working.  I rode along the water, enjoying the view.  Then my friend from Ireland called and I tried talking on the phone while biking.  And not wearing a helmet.  How very Israeli of me.  And also not safe.  I promise I won’t do it again.

I arrived back at my favorite swimming beach in one piece and returned the bike in just under the allotted free half hour (what’s with me and saving money today??).  I changed into my suit and slowly walked into the clear, cold water.  And walked.  And walked.

IMG_5612

original_url: android-assets-library://asset?file=file%3A%2F%2F%2Fstorage%2Femulated%2F0%2FDCIM%2FCamera%2FIMG_20160214_134313.jpg&time=1455450193863&id=8665

It’s shallow for quite a long time at that beach!  I’m not one who likes to tiptoe into the water and feel the cold slowly creeping over me.  I more of a plunge-and-get-it-over-with type of person.  Oh well.  I swam back and forth – from the end of one cafe’s green lounge chairs to the end of the next cafe’s green lounge chairs – twice.  Maybe half a kilometer.  Maybe more, but who knows because the software for the fancy watch I bought still hasn’t been updated to include the advertised swim distance function.  It tells me only how long I swam.  How practical.  Since I couldn’t just check the time on my watch to see how long I’ve been swimming while I’m actually in the water.

Once out of the water and hurrying along to gather a baby and pick up a preschooler, I realized that my legs were sore.  What a great feeling!  Does that sound weird?  You probably have to be an exercise addict like myself to think being sore after a workout is a good thing.

Just for the record, now that I’ve been kicked out of school, I’m planning on keeping the nanny and using my free mornings to swim and bike and run.  Maybe I’ll study a little Hebrew on my own and practice some violin too!IMG_5652.JPG

Read Full Post »

I almost stepped in two fresh piles of doggy poo while walking as I checked my phone to determine which bus to take to the pool today. Why is it so difficult to clean up after one’s pet?!

I found my bus, then, thanks to directions from my cousin (given in Hebrew!), I found an indoor heated pool at Jimmy’s Health Club on the fourth floor of the enormous Dizengoff Center mall.

I figured out where to pay and how much (my 3rd Hebrew interaction of the day!) then found the changing room and stuffed myself into a hot pink maternity swimsuit. I felt like a big bright balloon. I’ve been wearing a bikini plus sun shirt for my outdoor swims but this seemed easier today. If you too are pregnant and want to look like a hot pink balloon gliding across the pool you can find the suit and my review here

My swim (in a narrow lane by myself) went extremely quickly but I found it annoying to switch directions every 20 meters instead of 50, like at Gordon Pool.

IMG_9760

I also really missed the saltwater and, surprisingly, sharing a lane with others who are constantly either in my way or trying to pass me. The warmer temperature, as compared to the cold saltwater, was a welcome change to me today but if I’d been moving faster than my pregnant paddle I would have been too warm.

If you’re in the area and want to find this pool, enter the Dizengoff Center near the huge guitars shop then take the glass elevator to the right up to the fourth floor. Follow the signs that look like this

IMG_9761

then pay in the office to the left. 70nis as of today. The bottom word, starting with the second letter, means pool.

If the lanes are full you should add your name to the waitlist on the dry erase board.

Overall, I recommend Gordon Pool over this one. It’s only slightly more expensive for a much more interesting experience!

Read Full Post »

’tis the season for speed

I love off-season because I have the chance to fall into a great workout routine!  During the past two weeks I’ve made good use of the gym daycare and hired a sitter on Wednesdays so I can ride outside with a friend.   She’s way faster than me but is encouraging me to be more efficient with my energy output and I’m moving faster!  In a couple of days we will tackle Paradise Loop, which is almost 40 miles and used to be my regular ride.  The last time I did Paradise was before I was pregnant- and I never completed it in 3 hours, which will be our goal this week.  Wish me luck…

Happily, my newfound speed is translating into other workouts also.  I’m no longer doing lazy swims just to say I got in the IMG_0236water, but I’m working on 100 and 200 yd splits, making each faster than the previous.  I’ve added a second spin class into my week and am doing my best to follow all given instructions for RPMs and watts on the spin bike computer.  Finally,I’m back to running again.  I did a short loop around the Presidio this morning, choosing music with a quick beat to inspire quick foot speed.  I recommend 2Pac and Cypress Hill if you’re into that stuff.  My foot has been relatively pain free for over a week, since my manual therapist released my left ankle joint.  I’ve got renewed flexibility, which felt weird even when walking the first couple of days, and I’m consciously working to keep the joint from compressing again.  My physical therapist showed me several balance exercises to stabilize and strengthen all the little muscles in my foot.  My favorite is standing on one foot on an upside down Bosu ball and asking my husband to toss me a medicine ball.  He throws it at me, not to me which makes the exercise somewhat tricker (and more entertaining).

Some days I’m still pressed for time so I’ve become more creative with my multitasking.  After this week’s ride, I dove right into violin practicing, doing calf stretches with my scales and balancing over a Beethoven Trio.  Ironically, practicing on one foot helped me feel more grounded and be more expressive in my playing.

We leave town soon so my goal for this holiday season is to gracefully let go of my current routine and embrace another, enjoying  swims and runs with my family in a warmer climate.  Hawaii…. here I come!!

weekly totals:  1900 yds swimming, 48 miles biking, 4.3 miles running

Read Full Post »

fourth

I was utterly shocked when I looked up my See Jane Tri race results today and found that I’d placed 4th in my age group and 29th out of 325 women.  The funny part of this was, my sister and I were joking through the awards ceremony that we should be listening for our names as they recognized the top three in each age group.  I had no idea how close I was.

posing before the swim

posing before the swim

I’d gone into Saturday’s race knowing that I might need to skip the run if my foot hurt, so I gave everything I had to the swim and run.  I went out really strong on the swim and surprised myself with my pace.  Toward the end of the swim I spaced out as I tried to remove water from my goggles and de-fog them so I could see where I was going.  I came out of the swim fast and hurried through my first transition.  Once on my bike, I flew by many other cyclists, my only goal being to catch my sister so I wouldn’t need to start the run alone (in the event that my foot didn’t hurt).  The 8 mile bike course went by surprisingly slowly but right at the end I spotted my sister (who’d done the entire ride in one gear because her borrowed bike was making suspicious noises whenever she tried shifting).  We changed into running shoes together and ran out of the transition area.  My first thought was that my feet were blocks of ice and I had no idea if my foot was hurting.  I’m used to running triathlons on frozen feet so this wasn’t anything more than a pleasant surprise to me since I felt no pain.  We chatted though the run but kept a decent pace.  As the finish line came into view, I yelled “let’s go” and she took off at a sprint.  I was sort of kidding since I wasn’t sure I could sprint all the way in but we managed to cross the finish line together and smiling.

Baby A was disturbed by the loud start

Baby A was disturbed by the loud start

This race has become a special event to me.  The first year I entered, I made a new friend from a last minute carpool and enjoyed wearing my really cool SuperJane race shirt for months after.  Last year another new mom friend joined me to do her first triathlon and my first post- baby race.  We felt triumphant for completing both the training and the race with six month old babies.  This year my sister flew in from Georgia to participate in her first triathlon and I was reminded how much I love sharing my passion for racing with others!

showing off our medals

showing off our medals

Read Full Post »

I’d like to file a complaint with the Google maps app bike directions team. Or maybe with the folks who decide which city streets are decorated with cute bike decals labeling the most appropriate bike routes through the city. And while I’m at it, I propose a law prohibiting trucks with sickening exhaust from using these routes. Rant closed.

It was obviously my choice which route to take biking from the Presidio Y pool to the opera house. And it was also my choice to swim then do water running sprints before I chose which way to climb out of the Marina. I haven’t done a real workout in so long that I’ve forgotten what it feels like to have sore muscles.

My arms ached a few laps into my swim, both from being out of swim shape and from carrying a heavy toddler around. Luckily they felt better as I swam more so I pushed through 900 yds. Not far, but a good amount for me these days. Then I snapped on a water belt and did five minutes of water running, sprinting the final 20 seconds of each minute. When I hopped back onto my bike after being in the pool my legs were sludgy. The first few blocks left me wondering if I might not make it to work at all, then when I turned right toward my climb I actually started laughing. As if I’d make it up that hill! Those four hills. I switched to granny gear on the first block, stood on the second, turned onto the side street to catch my breath after the third, then congratulated myself for not walking my bike up the fourth. The rest of the ride was easy except for inhaling fumes from the truck I couldn’t lose. Not the best route ever but a great morning workout!

20130823-225825.jpg

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: