Sometimes I do things without truly understanding my motives. Yesterday was one of those days. A few hours ago I asked myself, candidly, "Were you smoking crack??"
Allow me to digress. Tuesday night a small group of us met at West End in Boulder to celebrate and congratulate our friend, JZ, for her recent fricking amazing 2:43 marathon, an Olympic Trials qualification time. 2:43? Shitballs. I could do a 2:43 half. ? Add to the fact homegirl is 41 years old and faster than ever is nothing short of inspiring. Congratulations, Joanna. You deserve that, sister.
Me with Kelly Reed and Krista Shultz.
Joanna Zeiger, Jen Martinez and Kelly Reed (with Matty Reed's head popped in...silly!)
Matty, Kelly and Peyton Reed
Me with Shane Neimeyer and Krista Shultz
Okay. So I texted JZ later that night. Blame it on the Ambien combined with the quart of vodka chaser, perhaps, but I asked if I could join her when she next lifted at the gym. She texted back almost immediately. I've been running a bit more over the last few months....nothing noteworthy (relative to the Pro days) but several times a week of 45min-1:20 in length. I told JZ I'd not been finding any progress and I was frustrated. She told me she noticed my weak gluts lately and getting in the gym was needed. (I couldn't disagree. I know the truth when I hear it.) She told me she'd help me with some strength stuff after Dave's swim on Thursday (yesterday). Then my friend Krista (pictured above) told me she was going to Dave's swim too and I'd better be there. Oh man. Now I am getting called out.
I've not been swimming since June. Usually when you've been out of the pool for a while, you get back to things a bit slowly. You do a few solo swims for a couple weeks, start feeling a little better - THEN you go to Masters in Boulder. I say this so you understand the sheer idiocy of going to DAVE SCOTT's Masters session when I've not been in the pool in months. The top swimmers in our sport go to his practice and though I've never been one to compete in practice or care how fast anyone else is, it's not exactly a high self esteem situation when you're getting your ass absolutely kicked by fit, gorgeous people while you're feeling like shit. Was I HIGH to put myself in that situation?
That's like stepping into the ring for a boxing match with Sugar Ray Leonard without any gloves and little boxing experience.........also on live TV with everyone watching.
I walked out to the pool deck and stood on the ledge ready to jump in, and I waved hello to Dave.
Dave: "Where have YOU been?!"
Carole: "I know...."
Dave: "Been eating the pizza a bit, I see..."
I laughed and knodded my head. (I'm not exactly lean these days, it was true, how could I not laugh?) Teasing comes with the territory with Dave and no one is immune. Plus he's a pretty funny dude. He'll target himself too though so it all evens out. And I dish out the teasing all the time to others - so I'd better be able to take it when it's dished at me.
I was warming up and the pool started swarming with people. Holy crap. Each lane gets PACKED. There are like 8-9 people to a lane. Way too many. This was a zoo. It was crazy. Every star pro triathlete and age grouper galore was in attendance today too. Lovely.
We all stood at the wall - the pool packed full of sardines - awaiting Dave's instructions. I will say, probably the best part of Dave Scott's Masters in Boulder is this part about to happen. There will be a monologue of some sort at the start of practice post warmup. He'll pick people out in the crowd, roast people, make fun of people, it's always pretty funny. Especially when he targets those with big egos (ummmm, everyone?). It takes people down a notch and that's needed around here.
Dave: "Wow. Look at this today. I counted 52 people. Take a look at this talent pool. Let's see how many World Champions, Ironman champions and Olympians are here today!"
Everyone laughed. Then he said the best line of the day..
Dave: "Raise your hand if there is someone in your lane you don't like..."
Hands went up like crazy, and everyone laughed. (Now THAT was funny!!) Boulder has many great aspects, but this is a small, small town, with very type-A competitive personalities. It can be a tough place and one of the things I do not particularly love about it. There are definitely good people here, but there are hurtful aspects that are undeniable. You need to watch your back in Boulder and any environment like that is not one I particularily respond to well.
In any event, I somehow survived Masters. At one point when I was huffing and puffing at the wall, Dave stood over me.
Dave: "How you feeling, Carole?"
Carole: "Like a beached whale..."
Dave: "That's what you get for staying out so long!"
Yeah yeah yeah.... :)
After Masters I headed to the weight room with JZ who was kind enough to have set aside time just to watch me and give me some exercises to work on. Things are worse than we thought. I am SO completely inflexible that I'm not even strong enough to be doing weights, or even drills. I've got to get my hips and hamstrings loosened up or all I am going to be doing is compensating and never getting to the weaker muscles. My stronger muscles dominate the weaker ones and we can't get things to fire. "You can't run well and are not making progress because you're body isn't capable of it in this state. Until you can get better range of motion, all the drills you're doing are useless because you can't do them correctly", JZ said.
She is right. Sometimes we only look at the goal of doing a drill or exercise, but unless we're capable of doing it correctly, we don't relize that all our work is pretty much getting us nowhere. Sure, I can do knee lifting drills and squats through tomorrow, but if I am arching my back to do them because that's the only way my body will 'lift my knee', then it's an ineffective drill. If the drill won't engage other muscles needed for power and efficiency, it is USELESS.
I went on the True Stretch machine and she was literally cementing my hips in place, holding me with full force, to try to help me do even simple stretches correctly. "You are way too tight. No wonder you can't lift your knees. You are too locked up. This is where you need to start."
So..........I am now on mission: STRETCH. I am in basic movement 101. We're talking JUST getting my hips to move and open.
It's extremely humbling. But at least I have a vision that makes sense to me and can help explain my complete lack of progress.
Let's see how this goes.