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A little bit of everything

You know it has the possibility of being a long day when your very early morning run -- a supposedly easily-paced 30 minute jaunt -- ends with every piece of fabric, wicking or not, on your body drenched.

Running is not my focus this week, but in the post-Olympic trial haze I'm still drawn to stories about track and field. This piece on about the forgotten stepchild of race walking particularly caught my attention especially when I realized that these athletes walk faster than I can run.

Meanwhile, I'm still enthralled with the story of swimmer Dara Torres who, at 41, is the first American to make five Olympic teams. Then again, she didn't just make the team, she won the trials in the 100 and 50 meter freestyle events. My favorite reported stat -- her favorite goggles are older than Michael Phelps.

Her profile in The New York Times before the trials began makes note that she has spent money, time and energy to put herself in the best possible position for success. And while most of us can't afford multiple coaches (including two who work with her just on stretching) her story is a testament that age is merely a number. The best years can pass you by only if you let them.

My swimming continues to improve slowly but surely. Thanks to a calm lake (aside from the wake created by some not-so-cool boaters and jet skiers) and warm water temperatures I got a really good swim workout. In fact, I did the 300 meters of the long wall four different times -- and only on the first one did I stop midway for a breather. The rest I did continuously, slow for sure but smooth and strong.

On to the bike -- today is a time trial stage of the Tour de France where riders are racing against the clock to advance in the standings. The big names -- the guys at the top of the standings -- are still to start but there's nothing like watching these pros fly on their time trial bikes to make my own week of heavy cycling seem a bit easier.

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