Weekend in Review: Kicking my butt

Back to work today ūüė¶ ¬†It is lovely outside and all I want to do is sit outside on the lawn and lay in the sun. ¬†Alas, grad school has be stuck inside watching the beauty through the windows.

I had a rocking weekend, workout wise. ¬†After my strange dizzy spell on Thursday, things have been looking up and I’m feeling great!

Friday I hopped in the pool with my tri-buddy and after giving her some tips, headed out for my favorite kick-your-ass workout.

500 free

500 pull

500 kick

3 x 300 pull/swim/pull

2x 200 IM

200 cool down

3000m/50 minutes


Saturday I did a full body lift and followed it up with 30 min/7 miles on the bike.

Sunday was a 30 min step machine/ 5k run combo

Monday (today) : 5.75miles/1 hour on the treadmill


I’m feeling great, very little hip pain, and I can’t wait for my triathlon! Its only a month away, but I think I’m going to be fine. ¬†My goal is to attempt the brick workout again on Wednesday, but I’ll start out the run slower and hopefully avoid any side cramps this time. ¬†I think in addition to hunger, last time I started out too fast and lost it early. ¬†I should know better than this!

The first official day of spring is tomorrow and I can’t wait until I get back outside! ¬†No more treadmill running for me.


Almost there

It’s been nearly three weeks since I felt an uncomfortable twinge in my lift thigh during a run and told myself- no big deal, just keep running. ¬†Unfortunately, I kept running and it got so bad that I started to have trouble doing normal things, like walking. ¬†One afternoon while I was limping up a staircase, I realized that I was being ridiculous. ¬†I’m not an elite athlete, I’m barely a competent runner, and there I was hurting my body because I didn’t want to admit defeat. ¬†Anyway, I decided to take a full week and a half off from running to let my body heal. ¬†Since then I’ve swam, lifted, biked and stair-mastered my way through the week. ¬†I definitely feel a difference in my thigh and I think I’m just about back to normal. ¬†Hopefully, tomorrow will be my first run back and I can’t wait!

This morning I jumped in the pool for a solid 45 minutes.  I swam hard, but not full out and finished 2800m.

500 free warmup

500 pull


Pyramid: 50,100,150,200,150,100,50

3X100 sprint

200 Cool down

The swim felt good but I can’t wait to get back to running tomorrow. ¬†Here’s hoping it doesn’t snow overnight!

Parrot Suit

Happy Post Christmas and almost New Year! ¬†Christmas this year was very quiet, but I had a nice time with my mama and nana. ¬†We ate way too much delicious food (my mom is a fabulous cook) and watched a lot of movies. ¬†This morning I decided to head to the pool at our local YMCA for a serious sweat session. ¬†I had packed all my swim gear, fins, goggles, cap, pull buoy,etc, but this morning I discovered I had forgotten the integral piece: the bathing suit! ¬†Luckily, my mother is an insane swimmer as well, and orders suits by the dozen from SwimOutlet.com. ¬†I usually don’t care what my suit looks like, as long as it fits, so I went to her stash to grab one. ¬†Much to my disappointment, there was only one left, and it was THE suit….A few months ago, my mom got her annual dozen suits in the mail and we were horrified to see a suit covered in orange and green parrots! ¬†One of the many negatives of buying cheapo grab-bag suits, is that you get the leftover patterns, but we had never seen as anything as hideous that this thing! ¬†Needless to say, we both refused to wear it, and laughed about how stupid the poor person who had to wear it would look. ¬†Well, this morning, I wore the parrot suit. ¬†My mom couldn’t stop laughing, and I’m pretty sure she planned it that way so that I’d look like a complete idiot in the pool, but it was a pretty comfy suit! ¬†I was a tad bit embarrassed walking into the pool with orange parrots all over my butt, but once I got in the water, those parrots served me well!

Workout: 3200 m, 5o minutes

I repeated the following set twice:

500 free @ 8min

500 pull @ 9 min

500 kick

and ended with a 200 cooldown

Short, simple, sweaty.  Just what I wanted

Seriously, how ugly is this thing...

Just got home and I’m gobbling down a banana and almond butter smoothie while I wait for 1pm when I can go meet my friend Kelly for lunch. ¬†Hungry….1pm can’t come fast enough!

Swim Like a Fish

So that whole moderation thing I was on about yesterday….I sunk it in the pool this morning.

Workout: 3000m/45 min

5oo free easy

200 kick

200 pull

8X100 @ 1:30 (2 swim, 1 pull, 1 IM)

8X 75 10sec rest (swim, pull, sprint, swim)

500 kick set

200 CD

So this is a pretty general workout, and I repeat it a lot, but this morning I smoked through it. ¬†I had headed to the pool with every intention of doing a slow 2500m recovery swim. ¬†This week has been a blur of heaving lifting, brick workouts, and painful muscles, so I wanted something to ease me into my planned long run on Saturday. ¬†As luck would have it, I arrived at the pool at the same time these two buff guys that I see in the weight room all the time. ¬†Now, this was my territory, and I wasn’t about to let them pass me in the pool, so in I jumped and zoom….I always start my workouts with an easy 500 free. ¬†I like to keep this to about a 9-10 min pace, which is slow but a nice warm up. ¬†I looked up at the clock after I was done and saw I had finished in 7:45. ¬†Zoom….wayyyy to fast considering this was supposed to be a recovery swim and this was a warm up! I tried to slow myself down, but I just kept seeing those men in the next lane and I had to fly by them; I didn’t have a choice ūüôā Needless to say, my “slow” 2500m swim turned into an all out, heart pumping, arm burning 45 min zoom session. I got out of the pool, feeling great ( I love the burn) and starving. Sometimes, you just have to throw caution to the wind, let moderation sink, and go for it.


At the moment, moderation is sounding pretty good. ¬†I was too tired to put on real clothes, so I’m working in the lab in work out clothes today (wet hair, no makeup and workout clothes….great day for my male co workers :). ¬†I’m looking forward to a super long stretching session this evening, followed by more lack of moderation in the form of extra hours of sleep!

The Swimmer that I am; The Runner I am not

Swim Workout: 3000 m/ 45 min

500 free easy

200 pull

200 kick

8X100 : (2 sets of sprint, sprint, pull, IM) @ 1:30

8X75: (2 sets of sprint, pull, recover, sprint) @ :10 sec rest

500 kick set

200 CD


After Monday’s awful run and yesterday’s killer weight workout, my body was aching this morning. ¬†I hopped in the pool hoping to go for an easy 2000m, and I just kept going! ¬†No matter how much I run, train and repeat those silly mantras (I AM a runner) to myself, I know what I am: ¬†I am a swimmer. ¬†There is just something about being in the water that makes every muscle in my body come together in some sort of harmony I’ve never experienced elsewhere. ¬†When I run, I have to think about every step, force my feet in front of each other, get my arms working, remember to breathe, and a million other things. ¬†I may be able to run 4 miles without a stopping now, but it is never going to feel good or easy. ¬†Swimming, on the other hand, is just bliss. ¬†My body just knows what to do and it goes for it. ¬†I suppose I should stop pretending to be something I’m not and do what I know best. ¬†That doesn’t mean I’m giving up on running; it does mean that I’m going to temper my expectations. ¬†No more dreams of half-marathons and running like the wind. ¬†No more of this silly “I’ll be a runner if I just work harder”. ¬†Nope. I know what I am, and I know what I’m not. ¬†I’m a swimmer, not a runner. ¬†I’m a swimmer, but not a quitter- so treadmill…I’ll see you tomorrow morning ūüôā

My Swimming Rant

Got in the pool this morning for a fabulous 3000m swim. ¬†50 Minutes, in and out, smoking it the whole time. ¬†So why am I about to rant? ¬†Well, my workout pet peeve struck again this morning and I just can’t keep it down…Etiquette, people, we are going to talk about etiquette!

I credit my mother with teaching me to work out; I swear, the woman is a beast! ¬†From the time I was a little kid, she was taking me on her runs with her (she was a single mother, so having me rollerblade along side her on her runs was free daycare!), I was in the pool every morning with her, and when I hit 14 she started teaching me about weight lifting. ¬†I credit her with my love of exercise and my desire to always push myself to work harder. ¬†Aside from being determined in everything she does, my mother is also one of the biggest sticklers for etiquette you will meet. ¬†So…from day 1, she was teaching me about proper workout etiquette. ¬†Running- if you are slower, stay to the side and let the speed demons pass. ¬†Weight room- don’t hog the benches, bring a sweat towel, let people work in, and most importantly: SMILE and say hi to the people you see every morning! ¬†They become your family (some of my best friends are people I’ve met in gyms)

So that brings us to swimming…..

Swimming is one of those sports that attracts all types. ¬†You get the hardcore swimmers (I sort of stupidly put myself in this group, seeing as I competed for many years and still swim all out), the average lap swimmer, the aqua joggers (but this is a whole other can of worms) and the floaters. ¬†Then, you get the final class: the people who can’t swim, but sure as hell think they can. ¬†These are the people who will place themselves in the center lane (the fastest lane, for those of you unfamiliar with lane speeds) and do a lilting breaststroke down the center of the lane, directly into me. ¬†That is exactly what happened this morning. ¬†I was about 1/3 of the way through my workout and really getting up to speed when I looked up to spot the wall, and saw barreling at me, a man doing the most ridiculous form of butterfly I’ve ever seen: straight down the middle of the lane. ¬†I immediately zoomed to the bottom of the pool and swam under him to avoid swimming full speed into his head and waited at the end of the lane until he returned. ¬†I politely told him that when we gets into a lane, he needs to inform the other swimmers of his presence, and asked if we could circle swim. ¬†He was very nice (so nice that I didn’t yell at him :)) and really got into the circle swimming, so even with my passing him, we managed to have a good swim.

It doesn’t always happen that you get very agreeable lane-mates that really don’t know the rules and are happy to learn. ¬†Usually I get the people who don’t want to be told that what they are doing is dangerous (but honestly, no one likes to be corrected, its human nature) and will continue to swim directly into me for an hour. ¬†So in light of this issue…I present to you…

Liz’s Rules for Happy Lap Swimming!

1. Always pick the correct lane for your speed. ¬†Walk around the pool for a few minutes and try to gage the speed of people in the lanes. ¬†If you think you have found a good one….

2. Stick a kickboard or your hand into the water at the wall when a swimmer approaches the wall.  They will see your hand, and stop to see that you are at the wall.  Then ask them if you can circle swim with them

3. Circle swimming is swimming on the right at all times.  Its just like driving in the U.S. and its the best choice

4. Swim a few laps and see if you can keep up with the speed of the lane. ¬†If you are too slow or too fast, find another lane. ¬†There is nothing worse than being in a lane with someone who you are passing every lap. ¬†Its almost as bad as being the person who is passed! ¬†So if you aren’t at the right speed: MOVE

5. Do not do strokes that can harm others. ¬†If you are circling with a large group (or even one not so hot swimmer) avoid doing butterfly. ¬†Your stroke is too wide and its VERY DANGEROUS. ¬†I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been whacked in the face by a flying arm of a passerby. ¬†Combine this with your speed and goggles…ouch. Major ouch. Just say no to fly if you aren’t alone

6. Pay attention to your partners. ¬†In the fast lane its not uncommon to get in with someone ( like me) who does speed workouts. ¬†This means I stop now and then, watch the clock, and try to pace against the clock. ¬†This can take some getting used to for both partners, so just make sure you spot well and don’t go barreling into each other at the wall.

7. Enjoy your swim, have fun, and when you get out, say thanks to the other swimmer and wish them a good rest of their swim. smile…it really works!

An addition: 8. EAT….Having not swam for most of the summer, I forgot how hungry swimming makes you. ¬†No wonder I was so thin in high school! ¬†I was swimming more than twice what I do now, and faster. ¬†Time to go raid my desk and see what kind of munchies I can find to hold me over until lunch!


From rainy, dreary New England..have a great day!

A Day in the Life

Ever wondered what the day in the life of a grad student is? ¬†You haven’t? ¬†Well, I’m going to tell you anyway!

5:30am: alarm goes off and I’m up and out of bed. ¬†I’m a big morning person, so waking up early isn’t hard for me

Grab a banana, my gym bag and out the door

6:00am: In the pool for a great workout (see below)

Shower, eat breakfast, get dressed

8:00am: Arrive at the lab, don my stylish work goggles and get to work.  Today was mostly making starting material for a few things I have going.  There is an undergraduate student who works with me, so today I was able to help him with his first real difficult air-sensative reaction.  Worked great and I could tell he was happy about it

6:00pm Heading home to make dinner. ¬†On the menu tonight: my No-Pasta, Pasta dinner. ¬†Yes, that sounds crazy, but its actually crazy good! ¬†I’m not a huge pasta person, but I love everything that goes on it- cheese, sauce, veggies- so I thought…why do I need the pasta? ¬†The rest of that good stuff is a complete meal! ¬†So, here it is!

I used some lean ground turkey and browned it with some garlic and spices.  Added some sauteed zucchini, broccoli, onion and spinach and tomato and topped it off with some shredded cheddar cheese.  Yum!  May not look gourmet, but it was great after a long day of work!

7:00pm : Back to work for a bit to help out a friend. ¬†I don’t normally return to work after dinner, but occasionally something will be going on and I’ll go back for a while. ¬†Tonight was short and sweet

9:00pm: Finishing up my blog post, washing dishes and getting my gym bag ready for tomorrow morning.  Heading off to bed at 9:45 (yes, I am an old lady, thanks for asking!) after a full day!

Workout: Swim 2800m/ 55 minutesРthis is a solid workout that I go to whenever I need a fast in and out swim.  Certainly not long on distance and the pace varies with the day, but its an oldie and its a goodie!


500 free, easy

200 pull

200 kick

Main Set:

800 Pyramid (50,100,150,200,150,100,50) with 10 sec between set

10 x 50 free @ 55 sec (alternate swim/pull)

Kick Set:

4 x 100 kick, hard

Cool Down:

200 free, easy