Friday, December 28, 2007

Lance, LeBron and Lactic Acid

Did you know that Lance Armstrong was once a triathlete? I was thinking today that he’d make a good one. The guy ran a sub-3 marathon last year and I hear he can bike. He also started as a swimmer. But it turns out, on the tri-front, that he’s been there, done that.

These days he’s just another athlete (LBJ?) who makes great out-of-place cameos on TV and movies. Have you seen him in Dodgeball? Or the Dick’s commercials? Sigh. To be multi-talented.

I started thinking about Lance while talking to cyclist Matt Cooke’s uncle at the rec. center (the uncle said Matt started as a triathlete, but peaked out on swimming and now cycles for a living). He too was astounded at how awful I am at cycling, but gave me hope for the future. He said that swimming was the leg that trips up many triathletes; I knew my childhood wasn’t all for naught.

So, today I had a mini reverse triathlete of my own: just one mile running (at 10:00 pace), about five miles stationary cycling and 3,000 yards swimming, which included

- 300 yards free warm-up
- 2,500-yard ladder:
  • 100 yards IM
  • 200 yards IM kick
  • 300 yards one-arm fly
  • 400 yards stroke-clinic free
  • 500 yards IM kick
  • 400 yards free on 5:00
  • 300 yards one-arm fly
  • 200 yards backstroke
  • 100 yards IM
-200 yards super-slow cool down

IM Able’s blog reminded me that ladders offer plenty of yardage mixed with the possibility of rest and some speed work. But today it mostly offered me incentive to just keep swimming.

Do you ever swim after you’ve been running or cycling? For some reason, I can conquer the world after I swim, but I can’t swim after I do any type of workout with any intensity. My arms burn with lactic acid the whole time and I never regain my energy. That was today. How I made it through the 3,000 yards is a mystery (I think I feel a responsibility to my readers not to be a swimming wimp ;-). Generally if I push myself past the pain threshold, it’s smooth sailing. Today I just couldn’t shake it. Lactic acid was there to stay.

After 3,000 yards I thought about calling it a day, but I wanted to try something new. Sans floaty belt, I water ran for 500 yards/20 laps. I think I had the motion down, but it didn’t do anything for me. I couldn’t feel any endurance, cardio, strength or anything else working for me. Maybe water running just isn’t my thang. At least I tried.

Thankfully my leg has begun to feel solid in time for my new start in running. Sure, I started a little early (and maybe TriGuyJT is right and my body did rebel with exercise-induced anaphylaxis… does my body have to be so mean and vengeful?), but I’m being careful for once.

Finally, a little Lance for your viewing pleasure:


kelsalynn said...

I'm slightly obsessed w/ Lance Armstrong. If you haven't already, you should read his book(s)... they're really good... they will make you respect him greatly.

Graet workout too IronG!

IM Able said...

Yeah! Swim, swim, swim!! :)

miss petite america said...

my dear, there is NO WAY anyone would mistake you for a wimp!

Neese said...

"and I hear he can bike.." LOL!
Lance has been to our town a few times his best friend George lives here. They both are tremendous athletes!

Nice job with the swimming!! Do you ever feel hungry after all that? I would be famished!

Landon said...

Jesus Christ on a stick! Your swimming is ungodly in this season of rest. Or maybe I'm just feeling guilty for being lazy.

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triguyjt said...

I am a lance freak too. I remember competing in tris in downtown cleveland in early 90's and he was a hotshot teenage pro from austin texas. real sure of himself and he was damn good too.
what ever happened to him?