Sunday, February 13, 2011

Bench Press Meet and Floating Like a Birch Leaf

Bench Press

Next Saturday is the Virginia Tech bench press competition. This will be my third year doing it. It's always been a fun thing to focus on post-season during the winter months. I like the challenge especially since being relatively tall (5'7") and long-limbed I am not exactly the prototypical bench presser.  I try to make up for that with good technique, mental focus, and belief.  I think Jake and I have worked harder on it this year than ever and he adjusted our approach to incorporate negatives, positives, and elastic band work.

Last year I benched 130 and was the overall women's winner. I compete in the 122 weight class so it's also a good excuse to focus on nutrition and get to a good performance weight heading into spring.  I like my race weight to be around 126.  I drop a few extra for the bench meet but they don't stay gone long!

Floating Like a Birch Leaf

I'm coming to the end of my six week swim block. On Friday, I did two 1000yd swim ladders (50-50-100-100-150-150-200-200 alternating fast segments with recovery segments) and Coach Jim captured some video footage without me knowing. That was good because I couldn't "spiff it up" for him, it was truly how I swim.

He told me I am looking much longer and smoother in the water and I said that was exactly how I felt.  When I swim I envision a birch leaf floating effortlessly on the water's surface, and with drill work this winter I discovered that if I focus on a subtle "catch-up" style with my arms, I improve my balance in the water.  The drills that most help me are obviously the catch-up drill, and also using an elastic band around my ankles to limit the amplitude of my kick.  To swim well in that case, I have to keep my arms out in front a split-second longer.


I DO need to think about not lifting the top of my head so much and instead letting it lead the way through the water to create the little trough that would let me breathe lower in the water like TJ here. These pictures help enormously. I'm leaning toward a left arm crossover too and need to be aware of that.

Dwindling Patience

Still no word from the doc. I have an appointment Tuesday in case I don't hear via phone sooner. It's been a very tough return to the boot and I have zero patience remaining for the comments and unsolicited advice from unqualified advice-givers. I've had it with all the assumptions people make about how I might have brought this on myself, what I need, or what I should be doing. I flew off the handle when my spouse asked how my FOOT was. It's perfect, thank you, did you mean my leg? Patience is running very very thin. I'm still grieving over the loss of the Boston dream for this year. And frustrated because my leg feels perfectly fine to walk, bike, and yes, run on (I know because I tried a little last week). The "only" issue is the remaining bone tenderness, and now I am second-guessing whether I should have even bothered mentioning it or not. But I did, and here I am, waiting word, staying busy.