The Return of the Swass

>> Wednesday, December 30, 2009

It was a rough start-up 3 weeks ago when I started back after nearly 3 weeks of self-prescribed rest. I noticed it most in my running and lifting: my times were slower but still difficult, and I couldn’t lift QUITE as much at the gym. I noticed it with my times in the pool too, but my swimming is so sporadic that I didn’t think much of it. So it’s been time to ramp back up into training!

• Wed, Dec 23: X-country run along side of Pharmie as she X-country skied. Click here to see a bunch of fun photos from that early morning workout. Oh, and I had a quick upper body and core workout at the Y later in the day.

• Thurs, Dec 24: Nothing. Two Christmas parties in the PM.

• Fri, Dec 25: Nothing. Three Christmas parties.

• Sat, Dec 26: Nothing. One Christmas party in the AM. Yeah, do the math: that’s 6 “Christmases” in 48 hours. I had wanted to get in a long run, but the weather out in rural MN wasn’t cooperating. We had gotten a LOT of snow. Here it is coming down at Grandpa and Grandmas:

And here it is coming down sideways late at night while going from Christmas party to Christmas party on Friday. We’re driving on a highway, but you’d have no idea because it was so crappy:

• EARLY Sun, Dec 27: Stomach pains. I was up from about 1:45 am to 5:00 am because... well... look at the last 3 days of Christmas bingeing.... Yuck.

• Sun, Dec 27: 8 mile run in 56:24. I knew (with all the recent snow) that it’d be less than ideal to run outside, but I’m committed to doing my long runs outside in preparation for the St. Paul Winter Carnival Half Marathon. All of the residential streets SUCKED. This looks like slush, but at 18 degrees, it’s frozen solid and super hard to run on:

I made my way to River Road, which I knew would be better maintained. It still had a coating of packed snow, but at least it wasn’t so uneven as the side-streets:

Up a little hill just after getting on RR near Summit Ave.

Crossing the frozen Mississippi River on the Franklin Bridge.

My run wasn’t super fast, but I was OK with that. (More on that new running theory shortly...) I made it home in 56:24, which was 7:03 / mile. My “loose” mile splits were 6:59, 7:00, 6:46, 7:03, 6:58, 6:59, 7:37 (3 uphills this mile!), and 6:59. Heels and knees felt OK after all that uneven running!

I got home and took off my shirt. Pharmie remarked at how red I was. I was sweaty too. I grabbed my camera and snapped this shot:

• Mon, Dec 28: 4 x 400 yards in the pool. I had about 50 seconds rest between the intervals. My 400 times were 6:34, 6:40, 6:42, and 6:41, which comes out to an average 400 of 6:39.3 (that’s 1:39.8 / 100 yard average). I need to work on my swimming this winter.

• Tues, Dec 29: Upper body and core, then 4 x 1503 meter intervals at the Metrodome. Jeremy, Pharmie, and I all met at the Dome last night at 5 pm. We grabbed a quick shot before starting:

Oops, Jeremy blinked...

The dome was BUSY!! Even as full as it was, it’s no problem to run there.

I did 4 intervals of 2.5 loops. That’s about 1503 meters / interval. Here were my times:


5:24.25 / 1503 meter average (5:45.2 / mile pace)

That was over 2 seconds better / interval from my times last week. And last week I only did 3!! Sweet! Gettin’ better already! I snapped a photo when I wrapped up:

And I snapped a photo of Pharmie finishing her last loop:

Today, I might do a long-ish swim (1700 - 2200 yards). Tomorrow, I hope to hit a 2 hour and 10 minute spinning class (for 2010 - get it?). That should be fun!

Today is the last day to vote for Steve in a Speedo as the Best Endurance Blog of the Year. At recent check, it looks like Fat Cyclist has it wrapped up with 67% of the votes. I’m in second with a meager 19%. So unless you’re friends with someone in the IT department of the People's Liberation Army of China, I don’t think I can get enough votes to take the top spot. Dang. But still cast your vote to see if we can’t make a run for it! Thanks everyone!!


jeremy 9:48 AM, December 30, 2009  

What a lovely pic of me! Ha ha. It was great seeing you and pharmie again! Oh and thanks for letting me into your swishy pants ;o)

Steve Stenzel 10:08 AM, December 30, 2009  

Nice seeing you too! And you're welcome "in my pants" anyday! Ha! I'm just glad I had a pair for you!

Kim 10:33 AM, December 30, 2009  

awesome mile paces in that nasty weather steve! are you wearing yak tracks?

Steve Stenzel 11:43 AM, December 30, 2009  

No Kim, I didn't for that 8 miler, but I probably should have. I will from now on unless we have a major melt (I'll be wearing them for my 5-6 mile tempo run on Fri).

Mike Russell 12:39 PM, December 30, 2009  

I have driven in Wyoming when the snow was blowing sideways and literally you could not see the road. You had to drive by the reflectors that are at the side of the road, hoping you are on the correct side!

MM 1:36 PM, December 30, 2009  

Happy New Year. What races do you have planned in 2010?

Borsch 4:48 PM, December 30, 2009  

Happy New year! Hope to see you tomorrow! Where are you doing your ride? I was thinking about throwing in a two hour movie tomorrow for a nice bike ride.

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