Friday, May 25, 2007

What's Kickin'?

First and foremost, thanks for all the heartfelt comments and just acknowledgement of my last post. I really appreciate it! Sometimes I wonder how much I should say, for fear of sounding like some ungrateful bee-yotch, but I decided that I am just going to be real here. What I feel is too private to share I put on my private blog, but some fears are good to get out there, you know?

I feel like before I got pregnant, I really only heard the GOOD things. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of good here. Baby Z is kickin' like crazy, and that's pretty awesome. But I never realized what a hard time I'd have with certain aspects of this journey, and I guess it's just good to see that I'm not alone. That I'm not the ONLY one to think that pregnancy isn't all sunshine and roses. I've got my partner in crime standing by me, too, which has been wonderful. And I've even got an IMW boy who is going through this on the flip side. And I've got all you guys and girls who have been there before. And that just rocks.

So Baby Z is kickin'. And I thought today when I went for my somewhere-around-2200-yard-swim with Canada Jenn, my kick really blows. She's got this powerful kick that when she does kick sets, she just HAULS. My kick sets are SOOOOOOOOOOOO wimpy. I feel like all I do is pull! I wonder why this is. When I got my stroke analyzed by Coach Angela last year, she said she could "tell I was a sprinter." She told me I needed to kick LESS for tri-swimming, which makes total sense. No use burning your legs out before you even get on the bike, you know? When I am swimming hard, I usually fall into old habits of kicking my arse off for a 50, but have a hard time finding a happy medium in long sets. They just kinda flutter back there. It's so lame.

Does anyone have any advice on how to improve my kicking? I feel like I just kick and kick and get nowhere. I want Canada Jenn's nice strong kick. She said she wants my pull, though. If we could just put her legs on my body we'd kick some serious butt. We could have a CanadaZimJennSaraLainger. That would be pretty sweet.

Lots of fun stuff this weekend--meeting ESpeed for a run/walk (I've been running 9 minutes and walking 1...seems to be going well now that I'm pokin' out and stuff) tomorrow morning! I hope my pace doesn't make her fall asleep. Monday I'm doing Yoga in the Park and then hopefully meeting up with Kelly and Melissa for a walk later in the day. Kelly's due with twins in late-July--she just did IMFL in November and rocks! And Melissa is an old friend who is due 4 days before me with baby #2. She is another marathon running chick. We've got 2 BBQ's this weekend, too. And next week I have 4 days of school....and then for all intents and purposes I am DONE. Yahoooooooooooooooooo! Let the part-time jobs begin this summer! I gotta make me some ki-zash for this kid, you know?

And, I've got a new plan in the works. It's been in the works for a month or so now. It involves IronJohnny, Wil, and Lush. Lush isn't a triathlete YET. But don't you worry. The girl can swim 1000 yards in TEN MINUTES.

Yes, that's TEN. As in 1-0. She's a FREAKING MACHINE.

Let's just say the plan involves 2009. And, it involves something that rhymes with "Ironman KanSuckEEEE." And I know, Mom, that you're worried about me growing a third eye from that nasty river, as am I. But they've got two years to perfect things before the plan goes into place, you know? That's plenty of time for me to see if anyone else grows third eyes or extra appendages. And I've been swimming in Lake Erie for 6 years now. So far, no third eyes. I'll just have to swim fast.


The plan involves driving distance, no plane tickets, no shipped bike, a race date before school starts, and the most time consuming part of training during the summer. It allows for more time for me to get used to my new role, as well as time to save up a little moo-lah. It also allows for me to share a suite with my Iron-Sis and have my family there, too. It does involve some rolling hills (which totally grew on me last year) and ridonkulous humidity, but hey, you can't have it all. It's as close to a perfect plan as I think I can get.

The more I get to talk with my Iron buds and Tri buddies, the more excited I get for next year.

And the more this kid kicks around up in herrrrrr, the more excited I get for that.

And I really need to work on my kick. I can't let this kid get the upper hand on me already.


Wendy said...

I'm not at all qualified to talk about pregnancies or tris, but the pool -- maybe I can help a little.

Lots of people that have difficulty with kicking have too much knee bend -- especially folks who also bike and run.

Make sure that you are kicking from the hips, nice relaxed knees (but not bending too much) and relaxed ankles.

When you're doing a flutter kick set make sure you're kicking under the water but not too deeply. More splash = more drag. Not too deeply because you are still looking for a fairly streamlined shape.

Let me know if this helps at all. If not, perhaps I can suggest a few other options.

Wes said...

Well, when I swim in the pool, I don't really kick at all. Just enough to keep my feet level, but that's probably because someone told me not to use my legs and I don't know any better :-) Maybe you should meditate and ask Baby Z where he gets his strong kick from! LOL. Probably locking his ankles and everything.

Glad to hear your plans are rolling, and they involve family and friends! Woo hoo!

E-Speed said...

Can't wait to see you at yoga Monday! Sorry the run this morning didn't work out, Blossom weekend is usually crazy, adding a baptism and b-day party to the mix makes it downright hectic. Guess I have to go find a yoga mat for Monday now!

Mallie said...

My kick needs work too. I'll just troll here for advice.

I think your goals are great. You'll kick it in KY in '09.

Wil said...

Did you just say ridonkulous?

Oh, I'm so stealing that...

It's all gonna be such a blast! And all the coolness of 2008 with the Chi-town mary and whatnot! Promise no keeping you up with my laptop light writing into the wee hours of the morning again, either ;)

Kurt said...

I was in Cleveland this week and didn't see you do any kicking!

I love hearing about the baby kicks. My oldest is talking about having another critter also.

greyhound said...

IMKY? Hmmmmm. That has real potential.

I think you'll have time to finish, feed baby Z, and serve as my volunteer finish line catcher.

Run for Chocolate said...

I hated being pregnant too, but the pay off is so worth it.

Jennifer P said...

I agree with Wendy, it's all in the hips. Don't waste time on kick only drills, just work on it during your regular workouts. Fins might help.
Isn't the kicking a miracle! It makes all the other out of control stuff happening to your body worth while.

Siren said...

Baby Z is kicking already?! That's so exciting!! I'm on pins and needles waiting for some hint of life in there because it gets old when the only reassurance is waiting 4 weeks between hearing the heartbeat at doctor visits.

As far as the other kicking... if YOU'RE asking for advice I'm so screwed! I just started with the new swim coach and in our first session she just laughed and said something about dealing with my kick another time. It's that bad
: )

Meghan said...

Hi, I'm a lurker and I just couldn't help but comment about the flutter kick.

I mastered the flutter kick! Wendy has great advice; the trick is to kick from the hips! If you are focusing on powering your kick through your hips and glutes (instead of focusing on your quads and calves) then you will gain a lot of power. For 200m and 500m races I used to reserve energy in my glutes by using them a little less, and swim just fast enough to stay right behind my competitors, then at the end (last 100m or 75m) when everyone else had worn out their legs I'd blast into overdrive with 100% pure glute power and come in for the win! I always had negative splits in those distances. I imagine that for triathlon you could experiment with saving your legs by using more hip/glute power in the swim and keeping your other leg muscles lightly activated, mainly using them to keep your legs streamline.

Another trick I learned for the flutter kick is to balance between allowing your knees to bend and keeping them ramrod straight. My swim coach didn't want our knees bent at all ("straighten those legs!" is what you heard all through practice) but I found that if I keep my knees a little loose and allow them to bend just a little bit that I can kind of use my lower legs and feet like flippers and get a little more power from them. It sounds weird but it was my trick. I adapted that over a few years' time of year round swimming so I'm not sure if it would work for everyone.

I was well known for my awesome flutter kick in my middle school and high school swim teams (my pull always sucked though) and these were my tricks. Now I am missing those days... *sigh*

Kim said...

hi doll! i suck at kicking and a pull, so i have no good advice to offer you :( but it sounds like baby z might have some suggestions! :) glad to hear you are doing well! im thinking about you!

Kewl Nitrox said...

Sorry, can't help much on the kicking. I am pretty much in the same boat - having difficulty getting into some sort of medium to long distance kicking pace. I am thinking of getting kicking fins for next season, so keep us posted on how you are going.