adventures of a mere mortal in fitness and life

Posts tagged ‘swim to the moon’

Mighty Mac Training Update 6.6.15

This was a great training week! Consistency is the name of the game for me, both in workouts and nutrition. Nutrition was pretty spot on this week, with the exception being the UH-mazing birthday dinner for Mr. Prepared we ate last night downtown. But how often do birthdays come around, right? 🙂

A big thanks to my husband, Mr. Prepared, for being the clutch player this week. He knows I become slightly insane if I get off schedule, and he has been awesome at helping me to get done what I need in addition to the fact he’s prepping for his own 100 mile run in July. Today he was my canoe guide through the Saturday afternoon chop on our lake. He said it was fun and a decent upper body workout, so I’m throwing it out there if you want to accompany me on a few laps of the lake anytime, I’m taking offers for help!

My left shoulder has been giving me some issues, but it went from feeling like crap midweek last week to getting fixed up by Shawn at Synergy Movement Therapy last Thursday to feeling awesome. For shoulders that see a good bit of use anyways. 😉 If you have an ongoing injury and you haven’t tried NeuroKinetic Therapy as a tool for actually fixing the problem, you should check it out.

Workouts this week:

Sunday: KB workout

Monday: Strength workout. Like a real workout in the gym. My coach says that one is still better than none in addition to the swings. I think I can be successful at one a week right now.

Tuesday: 400 WU, 400 drills

Main Set: 6×400 – 50 sprint, 250 moderate, 100 sprint, :40 RI
I bastardized this from a triathlon website (being honest), but these were hard as HELL. After the first one, I was like, “I’m screwed”. But I kept one and tried to keep them even splits. Died the last one.  400 cooldown.

Wednesday: Swings set, 300 swings + goblet squats, etc. I can break it down for anyone who is interested, but that’s not the primary purpose of this blog.

Thursday: 400 WU, 400 drills, 4×50 build

Main Set: 10×250- Inside/Outside Corners, 10×250, :30 RI
Odds: First 2.5 lengths sprint, middle 5 lengths moderate, last 2.5 lengths sprint

Evens: First 2.5 lengths moderate, middle 5 lengths sprint, last 2.5 lengths easy
Again, not as easy. The evens were the really challenging ones. 400 cooldown.

So I have created two workouts with work sets of variable intensity of 30+ minutes, which is where I need to hang for now. I have been sitting at a pace plateau for about 6-9 weeks, and I can feel it crumbling apart with sets like these under my belt. It feels awful while I’m doing the sets, but I have done swim/run/etc. prep enough times to know that for me, feeling awful = verge of a speed breakthrough.

Saturday: Open water swim, 2 miles ish. We calculated the distance across our lake via Google Maps, which is about .5 miles round trip. I like the accompanied swim, truly because our lake is an all sports lake, which is cool, but I don’t want to freak out jet skiers or boats- I feel safer for them and for me with a canoe or paddleboard out in the water nearby.



race report: swim to the moon 5k

How was it?

Fun. Freaky. Chill.  Not as bad as I thought it would be.  I was so nervous about this race I didn’t fall asleep until midnight the night before– and had to be up at 5:15 AM to drive out to packet pick-up and the start.

This race was absolutely so different than triathlons I cannot tell you.  Let’s be honest, there’s a tiny “gear geek” (there’s another word for it that isn’t as nice, but you get the picture) factor with some triathletes that just annoys the ever-loving crap out of me.  When my husband started racing ultras, it was a lot of guys in baggy shorts who put on a pair of shoes and ran.  Obviously, it’s slightly different for the pros and whatnot, but it is still mostly like that in ultrarunning.  Now, there weren’t any “pros” (HAHA! Could you imagine open water swimming pros? Somebody give Michael Phelps a call!) at this event, but people kept it casual -swimsuit, goggles, cap.  No dynamic warmups, no speed suits, etc.  I could get used to racing at this pace…but I digress.

The main point of this race for me, other than because you should if you can and you should always support races that support kids with cancer, was to continue to dispel open water swimming fears and prepare for some longer distance swimming (Alcatraz anyone?).  But it was much more educational than that because:

  1. I had no idea where I was going, other than the description on the website reading, “The 5k will swim south and east through the heavily forested Pinckney Recreation Area, passing through five lakes along the way. Scattered cottages are the only signs of civilization.”  As if the cardinal directions were gonna help this poor gal.  Seriously, if I don’t have Google Maps, I can’t find my house.
  2. I had no idea how long it would take me. Maybe an hour?  Maybe two?  That’s a lot of swimming under/over.
  3. I had no idea what the swimming would be like.  Lake monsters?

So…all those things probably conspired against sleeping on Saturday night, although I did spend a lot of time thinking about paint colors for the new house and not about all those legitimate fears.

For the 5k, they bussed us to the old U of M “Fresh Air” camp site, the future home of NorthStar Reach, which will be part of the Newman’s camps for kids with life-threatening illnesses.  At the former children’s camp site, the swim was a mass start, which was predictably annoying, but people spread out within a few hundred meters.  The first lake actually had homes on it, and going into the first channel, there was a bridge made of a huge steel tunnel.  Swimming through that was kind of freaky but not as freaky as blooms of seaweed that would pop right into your line of sight unpredictably in the channel.  That crap freaks me out (perceived lake monsters/regular fish), but I realized by about the fourth time that happened that it just meant it was so shallow I could stand up.  Which I did once at what I was told was the halfway point, but the girl who told me that said that only what she had heard.  Which was another freaky part because I had no idea when to turn on the speed, since I had no idea how far I had gone or how much farther I had to go.  It was kind of laughable, but I tried not to laugh because I didn’t want to swallow too much lake water.

Finally, we got to a point where I saw bright yellow buoys instead of orange buoys and I assumed that meant we were close to the end.  I was dragging a little, but my main concern was how tight my calves were getting.  I didn’t want to end up with a charley horse cramp in my leg, for if you have never had one in the water, you have no idea how painful it is not to be able to put weight against it and stretch it out.  I was in a particularly deep part of the lake, so I wouldn’t have been able to stand up.  Once I reached the first yellow buoy, I decided to just go for it and swim as fast as I could to get it over with and get to shallower water in case I did cramp up.  I didn’t drink any water or take in any food during this race, as I can’t imagine eating or drinking while I am swimming.  Perhaps that would have been a good idea.

Anyhow, I was pleased with the result.  The weather was perfect, the lakes were calm, and I finished in 1:23.27.  Not too shabby, I thought, and good enough for first in my age group.  Most importantly, I faced my fears head on again, and was reminded that those fears are really, really, really tiny compared to having cancer or having a kid with cancer.  If you have the opportunity or ability, please consider donating to Northstar Reach camp.  It’s the only camp of its kind in Michigan, and one of only 2 in the whole Midwestern US.  They still have a long way to go to restore the camp, but it will have a really beautiful location.

northstar reach

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