Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Brussels Sprouts and other ramblings

Probably the most random title ever, right?  I ate like 3 cups of these things tonight, I think that constituted most of my dinner.  Let's just say there is a beach vacation in my future and I want my race-weight bikini body to go with me.  It turns out after never having brussels sprouts growing up and always thinking they were nasty based on what other people said...I found a way to cook them that I love them! (just roasting with olive oil, salt and pepper)

Training is coming along well.  Today was another double-swim day (a mostly-pull swim assigned by Coach earlier in the day and my weekly technique lesson in the evening) and so my arms and shoulders are feeling nicely toasted.  I'm starting to see the glimmerings of time improvements from all this form work I'm doing...in my first swim of the day (which was not done until lunch because our cold weather - don't laugh - is killing my morning swim motivation) I had to descend a set of 50s and not only did I nail the timing perfectly, I broke a time barrier in the last 50 that I can't remember hitting anytime in recent memory.  It will still take more work to hold that good form over longer distances but it's a start!  Then in tonight's session one of the things I had to do was descend a round of 50s again!  It was good to repeat the same thing with someone hovering over me and correcting my form in between each one.  Tim the swim guru has all sorts of new and evil tricks to help me - tonight I was tied to the blocks by a bungee cord and then had to swim against the resistance while held in place to help identify the weak point in my stroke.  I got further on the bungee with each repeat and got pulled backwards less each time!  So still a long way to go but it's nice to see progress from these weekly sessions.

My biking is still on the light side right now - mostly one legged drills and form work.  I'm starting to use Jeff's trainer instead of mine this year on Coach's suggestion and it gives tougher resistance, so I *really* feel slow on it.  It'll make me stronger though!

Running is on the light side as well but it feels great after taking the time off post-IM.  I know so many people that run so soon after IM but for my body I know a couple weeks off results in much happier running when I come back.  Plus I haven't ended up injured in all this time with Coach so we must be doing something right!

Not that I didn't think I was at one point this weekend...here's the story: I did a bunch of run drills on the track on Thursday and watched the videos beforehand very carefully so I could really nail the drills.  I came back and wrote in TrainingPeaks that I was so happy with the high knees drill because it really clicked unlike in past years - I got the strong push-off from the ground.  About 36 hours later, my calves started to hurt.  Like, I couldn't even let Jeff touch them, they hurt to the touch, they hurt to walk.  Saturday morning, running was out of the question and even walking was difficult.  Thankfully they were better by Sunday for my run and our agility trial.  On Monday I saw my ART doctor - who said it meant I was doing the drills right and that if anything I should do them more to condition the muscles properly.  So that's good!  But he did spend some quality time working out the tight bands in my calves :)  He also worked on something Tim wanted him to address, which was my tight ankles.  You know how most of you try to point your toes and you can actually point them?  Well when Tim was watching me kick in the pool last week, he noted that my "pointed toes" were at nearly a 90 degree angle to my leg.  No wonder kicking seems to pull me backwards!  My doc noted the same thing, that I had a hard stop at a pretty pathetic ankle angle, and proceeded to loosen up my whole shin and ankle to give me some more flexibility there.  I'll be doing a lot of sitting on my feet and walking around on my toes (and seeing Dr Brink more often than he'd like, I'm sure) to keep working on the problem.

So that's pretty much life around here in a nutshell right now.  I've been on an emotional roller coaster all week with Melissa's death and appreciate all the kind comments you all left.  I'm grateful for good mutual friends who've helped commiserate and remember her fondly.

And because no blog post is complete without a photo, here's a little taste of Puck's daily suffering.


11 comments:

SSB said...

Love Puck. Dislike brussel sprouts-unless they are drowning in olive oil & garlic. Love Puck. Dislike my inflexible ankles. And love Puck :-)

heather said...

Being a dog is so rough. I have one who suffers through most days the same way here.

kT said...

Roasted brussels sprouts are the bomb--I want to eat them every day.

Christi said...

Yeah, Puck looks like he is really suffering! :)

Great job on the swimming. I have terrible ankles as well. I have a horrible kick and they are very weak so that makes running hard. I really need to work on them!

Meera said...

Two things - Brussels sprouts (and most green things) taste better with bacon; And Omg - the pointed toe thing! I can point with one foot but not the other. I consistently go backwards with flutter kicks unless I use fins and/or use my arms.

Kim said...

i tried brussel sprouts for the first time on tuesday night at bookclub - ICK!! they are gross!

look at you swimming, nice job! i still havent been in the pool since august.

Wes said...

I used to never eat leafy green vegetables as a kid. Now, I love them all! Put those brussel sprouts in a good processor and pulse them a few times to break them up. Then wilt them further in some stock. Add salt pepper and bacon and there ya go :-)

I have SERIOUS delayed onset muscle soreness from my 5 mile Vibrams run on Tuesday. I must be doing something right too!

Larissa said...

I love fresh Brussels sprouts. I can't stand frozen ones though. Trader Joes sells stalks of them and i could eat my self silly on them! I wonder if they are hard to grow hmmmm....

Meredith said...

What is this torture of blocks and bungee cords that you speak of? You are doing nothing to convince me that I want to be a swimmer :)

Meggan Johnson said...

YUM! Love brussels sprouts!

HILARIOUS doggie photo!

So jealous of your awesome swims this week!

I Have A Boxer said...

Awe, Puck sleeps like my boxers! I can actually hear Puck saying, "Ahhhh, that's the stuff"