Friday, February 27, 2009

Half-Fast


If you take up triathlon, you will find that the sport has a way of regularly humbling you. With three sports involved, hardly anyone starts the sport being stellar at all three, and no matter how much you improve, there is always something to work on. Yesterday was a day of humility at Trigreyhound training central. To explain:

The picture set out above shows what a good triathlon coach and a nagging spouse have in common: both will zero in on your weaknesses ( a coach may call them "limiters") and they'll just pick pick pick pick pick. I can already tell that Coach Kris is going to be a good triathlon coach for me because he's been picking on my swimming.

Good swimmers are tall, lithe people with looooooonnnnng arms and legs, ginourmous hands and feet, broad shoulders, with power and muscle memory born of staring for long hours at the black line on the bottom of the pool from the time they were 6 or 7 years old. I am the opposite of all these things. I am a short, stiff person with stocky arms and legs, tiny hands and feet, narrow shoulders and a lack of power and muscle memory born of neglecting pool practice until I was 39 years old.

As a result I swim the opposite of fast--that is slow, or maybe half-fast. And in the past, I have typically avoided sets and time trials that put a stopwatch on exactly how half-fast I am swimming, because swimming fast is hard. It is anaerobic and it makes the whole body burn. Pain might be just weakness leaving the body, but I am pretty comfortable in my weakness.

But Coach Kris dislikes comfort and abhors weakness--at least that is what I gather from the pick pick pick pick pick pick at my swimming. Having completed three seasons of triathlon races and two Ironmans, I have never EVER put myself through a time trial in the pool. Coach Kris, however, has put me through two sets of time trials in the last four weeks. The second set of time trials was the evil surprise he had for me on Thursday: 800m TT and 400m TT

So, Thursday morning I girded my loins, ate a good breakfast, channeled my inner-Michael-Phelps (sans bong) and did my best. I thought I could be slightly faster than twice the time for the world record at each distance, even swimming short course without a flip turn, and I was. But you swimmers would be shocked at how much effort it took to go even that half-fast. Suffice it to say that there was much weakness leaving the body during that effort.

And then, just to add a side of indignity with my sadness bowl, Miki--the Serbian Strength Coach--decided he wanted to take the calipers to me to measure my body composition. He was grabbing horrifying amounts of adipose tissue to measure with the calipers, and it is sad to say that I am no longer the fat free salad dressing that I was three years and six pounds ago. Sure, I probably have some more muscle mass too, but according to the numbers, my midriff has been injected with four pounds of Baconnaise. According to John Stewart of the Daily Show, this is a uniquely American combination of bacon and mayo for the slacker who wants heart disease but is just too lazy to make his own bacon.

baconnaise

I can't wait to sign onto training peaks and get my program from Coach Kris for the next four weeks, because this has got to stop.

13 comments:

Kim said...

ah grey - isn't it crazy how fast swimmers make swimming seem so easy and graceful? then there are cows like me who flop and flail around, practically drowning in the pool? same with running. and with biking. mmmm bacon.

Curly Su said...

Baconnaise?? UGH!

Spokane Al said...

I think that possessing well girded loins must be secret to swimming success. Of course all bets are off if we gird them with Baconnaise.

Amy said...

Maybe you should switch to Baconnaise Lite.

Benson said...

Kris got a PR out of me during the build phase of my IM training. You will GET IT too.
I gotta get me some of that Baconnaise.

Captain Cactus said...

That Baconnaise bit on The Daily Show the other night was one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time! Good job on the TTs though ... if they were your first at those distances, they had to both have been PRs!

Fe-lady said...

Baconnaise? Did you make that up? ha!

And just remember...a triathlon, no matter what distance was never won on the swim... it's 3% of the day in an IM (well, at least in a sprint) so DON WAWWRYABOWTIT! (so much!)

Steve Stenzel said...

Hey Kendall, I just posted my IM COZ race course preview. I'm letting anyone who's doing COZ know about it. Check it out!

MisheleK said...

Half-fast is better than half-assed. You'll get there!

21stCenturyMom said...

Methinks you should have done those TT swims avec bong. At least you wouldn't give a crap about your time!


Keep it up! I was forced to lead my lane twice this week. ME! Lead.the.lane. That's new.

Liam O'Connell said...

i think if you continue eating mayonaise with added meaty flavors, you will get faster. at least thats my opinion

Supalinds said...

I think coach is on the right track!! You are going to be super fast when he's done with you!

CoachLiz said...

That Baconaise is nasty! Now if I could find the person that slathered a few jars of that stuff on my rear and upper legs, I'm going to beat them to a pulp. 7 pounds to my IM race weight to go.