I love this time of year. Early summer when the days are hot and sunny. There's lots of cool sporting events on television between baseball games, Wimbeldon, and the Tour De France of course. This year we have/had the added bonus of the Euro Cup, track and field olympic trials, and swimming olympic trials. Watching these events get's me fired up to get out there and train. Well, I enjoy following baseball and Wmbledon but they don't get me fired up to train. The swimming trials motvated me to the point that I actually went to the pool yesterday and swam 3000 yards!
This time of year is when, if you trained properly, your fitness feels strong and you are anxious to race. I'm beginning to increase my running volume a bit in preparation for the NYC marathon this fall. I'm running pretty good at the moment so I'm enjoying it. When you are running poorly, training can really blow. I'm aiming to run 7 times a week over 6 to 7 days. I'm building up my volume gradually, but more importantly relative to my current fitness, I'm building up my speed. I'm a strength and endurance guy, so I need to address my limiters which is my speed. Running from the deer flys in the trails is a good way to work on this.
Yesterday I celebrated a birthday. It certainly wasnt a monumental one like last year, so it's not a big deal. After the age of 10, you have monumental birthdays like 16, 21, 30, 40, ... The birthdays in between these should serve some purpose in motivating us to reach a bit, and remind us to live the life we want, but otherwise, they're not that big a deal. I worked with a bunch of PT clients, sneaking in a great 9 mile run including 5 miles of tempo done at 5:30 to 5:40/mile pace, and also the 3000 yd swim. Lisa and my kids took me out to a nice dinner - I had a great seared sesame tuna and a couple glasses of red wine, then we went home and watched the swimming trials. Michael Phelps's turns are absolutely amazing! He puts a 1/2 a body length into his rivals off the wall. What's interesting is that most swimmers start kicking immediately upon leaving the wall, yet Phelps glides a bit, then dolphin kicks. I was telling Lisa how my high school swim coach would yell at me constantly to kick off the turns. He looked like popeye and was probably in his late 60's or early 70's at the time and would yell "god damn it Hodskiii, kick off the god damn wall in the turns!!!" He'd stand there at the end of the lane with his bull whip. He was old school and coaches and teachers got away with quite a bit more back then! Lisa was hysterically laughing. I was also telling her how I went out for the high school swim team the day before the schools first meet. I probably told this story before but it's a good one. The coach told me to get in and swim a length of the pool (25 yards). After following his orders, he said, "you'll do". I had never swam competitively before. The next day, we swam Foran High School and coach through me in the longest event, the 500, because no one ever wants to swim this event. Foran had a senior, Rich Enders who was all-american. He kept lapping me - I remember thinking "how the hell is doing that - swimming so fast? I still had two laps left and I remember going to take a breath and seeing Enders sitting on his team bench fully dressed in his sweats. I think he was eating a sandwich. I finished in 8 minutes 46 seconds.
Back to the present; it's going to be a fun summer! some sprint races are coming up quickly, Lake Placid IM will be here in a couple of weeks (I have a bunch of athletes racing there and I'll be heading up to train, coach, spectate, and drink some beers with Baker and Brennan), some family trips. How can you not like the summer?!