Tuesday, December 30, 2008

without a doubt my favorite song right now is

Dream Catch Me - have a listen (youtube embedded is disabled, so you have to click here to go to youtube to check it out)

in my world of swimming...

Yesterday I went to the pool for my workout, and an age group club team from Illinois was at our pool for a few days of training. I was a little early before I could get in, so I watched these high school age kids training. It brought back a lot of memories from my days as an age group swimmer. These kids were working so hard, but also smiling and laughing. That’s what it’s all about – seeing where hard work can take you, but also being able to laugh when the going gets tough. As I watched them swim, I thought back to some of my hardest workouts – those are the ones you remember – 10x400IM (lcm), a 7200m IM set, 5000m for time, the list goes on and on , and marveled that I could have ever done some of them. But I did, and I will always remember how I felt when I accomplished these things I never imagined I could do. Swimming as a kid made me who I am today, and I wouldn’t change a thing about the time I gave up to be the best I could be.

Then it was my turn to get in the water. And I hopped in , and as always, I swim, and I try to be as long as I can be for a 5’4’’ swimmer. I feel generally good until I get to my main set which has me doing some 200’s, on short rest, at a pretty fast pace. I hate 200’s. I don’t know why, I was a sprinter, even though I trained a lot of distance when I was younger. I never got over my dislike of 200’s. So, I did the 200’s, and I’d say on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is a great effort/result, I was about a 6. Why I couldn’t get to the 10, I don’t know. I’ll chalk it up to mental block dating back 25 years ago.

In other swimming news, my alma mater ,Miami University women’s swimming is off to a fantastic start of the collegiate swim season. They are undefeated in the conference, and have already had lots of fast swims for so early in the season. They remain at the top of the D1 midmajor polls. go redhawks!!!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

questions I had on my 10 minute bike ride to work this morning

Why do squirrels jump out in front of cars? I hit my first one at age 42 – on Christmas Day of all days!

Can I count a slice of banana bread as a serving of fruit? I seem to have a problem eating bananas before they get too ripe and end up making banana bread – which I just looovvvvve.

Why do Masters swimming organizers think masters swimmers will be satisfied swimming meets in crappy 30 year old 6 lane pools at the local YMCA, instead of a nice new 8+lane college pool? And why can’t states that are adjacent coordinate their schedules so as not to schedule meets on the same day at the best pools in the area!

Why can’t I eat whatever I want and not gain weight like I did when I was an age group swimmer?

Why are some of my coworkers so annoying? And why do they always have to bring in high calorie foods to the office for everyone to eat!

Why can’t I be as fast a runner as I am a swimmer?

How many calories were in that coldstone ice cream I ate yesterday?

Why does my dog Sam hate riding in the car so much – it would be so fun to take a trip with Todd and the dogs, but Sam won’t get in the darn car!

who came up with the 5 day workweek anyways? I like 3 day workweeks!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

oh man - what a day!

Its the end of december, and its normally in the 30s here, but today we had near record highs. It was 60 degrees when I walked the dogs this morning. I met Randi and Angela for a 3 hour ride, a 3 hour ride. The weather started getting rough, the 3 girls hung tough. the winds knocked us around, the skies spit on us. And the flat tire gods decided we should practice changing a flat (no problem when its 60!). Anyways, despite the high winds, and light rain, I had a blast.

At home, my bike was FILTHY. SO, again, thank you to 60 degrees, I got out the hose and cleaned the road bike. ANd while I was at it, pulled the mtb down and cleaned it too.

Now I'm chillin.

Monday, December 22, 2008

book review - Three Cups of Tea

This book was finally available from my local library. I read it over this past week. This is now one of my favorite nonfiction books (Jimmy Carter's childhood biography being another top of my list nonfiction books). Anywyas, 'Three Cups of Tea' tells the true story of Greg Mortensen's committment to building schools (mainly for girls) in Pakistan and Afghanistan. His belief is that providing education to this impoverished country would do more for improving relations and stopping terrorism than (failing) govt diplomacy. Its an amazing story. The selflessness, all the things and time he gave up in his life for these chidren. You can't read his story and not be moved to want to do more for people less fortunate than you.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A weird morning

I woke up at 5am, normal time, ate Cheerios, fed the dogs, and tried to decide what to wear to walk the dogs in pouring rain and 35 degrees. Yes, they expect and get a walk every morning, regardless of weather. I’ll admit it was a short walk, and I was soaked head to toe when we got home. Dry myself up, dry both dogs, clean up my mess of wet towels and wet clothes. At 6:30 I had to drink 450ml of barium (355ml in a can of coke). It was soooooooo disgusting. Then at 7:30 a second bottle of 250ml of barium. Double ick. This stuff is just plain awful. Then I’m off for my first CT scan. Yep, very exciting. Two days ago, I was in for my annual checkup and my nurse practitioner thought my right ovary was enlarged. Crap. Right in for an ultrasound. Good news – ovaries were normal on the ultrasound. But they thought my iliac arteries were enlarged. What? So, she consulted with a doctor, and they want me to get a CT scan to check out all the pelvic organs. And that got scheduled quickly – this morning! So, I really think this is a waste of time, resources, and health insurance dollars. I googled enlarged iliac artery and found nothing – so if google finds nothing, how can a CT scan! Ok, so, I go ahead and do the CT scan. They shoot the dye into your vein, and you lay there a while until it gets warm in your body (even your bladder and you feel like you are maybe peeing – you aren’t). Then an awful taste in your mouth. But it all passes in a minute. They take the scan, and tell me I can go on my way. Oh and by the way, the barium is a laxative – oh great, I’ve been to the toilet already 4 times since I’ve been in to work. Oh, and by the way, by the way, when I went to the scan, two hours after walking the dogs in 35 degree torrential rain, it was 60 degrees and 30 mph winds! What the heck!

Well, all is back to normal as I’ve had my yogurt/fruit/grapenuts.

One warm day today, tomorrow cold, and Sunday we settle into an artic blast. What a joy.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

Scientist? Magazine junkie?

I'm not a scientist. I'm a magazine junkie. I hate to admit it, because I know it’s a waste of paper to get magazines. But I have cancelled many catalogs, don’t get a newspaper delivered anymore (have not for 5 years), and I have cut back on magazines, and I won’t buy books anymore (I try to use the library or borrow from others who have already plopped $ down to buy a book).

There is one magazine I have a love hate relationship with. Outside Magazine. It’s a subscription I’ve had on and off over the years. Now I have it. And I was excited to receive last months and see Michael Phelps on the cover, and covered inside. I love reading about swimming and swimmers. Phelps is the greatest, so I like to see what makes him tick. Usually when I get a magazine, I flip through the pages, not really reading, just glancing at the articles and ads, looking to see if there will be anything that really jumps out at me. I swear everytime I get Outside, my first flip through is disappointing. I think that all looks like crap (except for the Phelps coverage). Then I wait a day or two and go back. And then I make myself start reading some of the articles. And they are really great! I think it must be the titles and photos that sometimes turn me off initially. But some of these stories are incredible. Last month was about a man named Greg Mortensen and his work to build schools in Afghanistan. He wrote a book, which I have on hold at my library (I’m 14th in line for the book! It could be years before I get to read it! argh!!!!).

This week I got my next issue, and last night I read a fabulous article about a researcher who is working on a way to take solar energy and store it. Apparently that’s the biggest problem with most energies (wind, nuclear…) is not converting it to electricity, but storing it in a form that can be used as fuel. He’s working on a way to store enough solar energy in a gallon of water to fuel a house for one day! How cool is that!!!! I’m sure I have the details a little off, I don’t have the mag in front of me. But if you have a chance, borrow it from someone, wait for it to be posted to their website, or hang out in Borders and read it. The scientists closing quote was something like ‘we put a man on the moon, don’t you think we should be able to do something like this!’. Good point. I’m extremely optimistic about the brilliant scientists of the world, and what they can do for the future of the world. If I were just going to school now, I would be a scientist. I’d want to be working on the next big scientific breakthrough.

I wish I were a scientist.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

my washing machine decided to kill my old ipod

so I just got my new Nano! And now I have to get more music to fill the 8gb ( a sizeable increase over my old 4gb mini).

This morning I had an IM workout. To all you non-swimmers - this is not an ironman workout - I am talking about IM (as in individual medley - fly/back/breast/free). And it was great. I even had the awesome opportunity to do another 400im. And the 100fly was soooooooooooo good. No cheating - no one arm fly, no one handed turns. The whole 100 I was completely legal, and I didn't even die. My swimming is feeling so good. Can't wait for some meets in 2009!

Monday, December 8, 2008

the weekend in review

It was COLD!

Despite that I managed a mountain bike ride in an inch of snow - woohoo - that is fun!

I replaced the brake pads on my commuter bike - no more 100 decibel squealing every time I apply the brakes - 2 pads were exposing metal! oops

It was the anniversary of Pearl Harbor - watched a bit of the History channel - thinking back to high school history class - they really don't teach you much.

I bought a Bosu ball - oi! - I am bad. I thought I was coordinated (swimmer) and had good balance (mountain biker), but I really suck on the Bosu ball. This will be a great learning experience for me.

I also bought some Silk (Soy milk). Thought maybe the lactose in milk is causing my thick dusgusting mucus problem. Even though I have tried eliminating dairy before for a couple days and it didn't help, I thought I'd see if I could handle the taste of soy milk, and if so, I'd make more of an effort to try it again for a longer period of time. I tried it this morning on my Cheerios - ick - don't like soy milk.

Watched some of the events at the US SCY Nationals on swimnetwork.com. Up and coming 16 year old Dagny Knutson (from North Dakota!) will be one to watch in the future. She broke Katie Hoff's american record in the 400im - 4:00.6! She was incredible.

Waiting for my replacement ipod to arrive - last week mine went through the washing machine. So sad. Except that it was 3 years old, and now I get to upgrade.

Friday, December 5, 2008

oh yeah!

I rode my bike to work - it was 13 degrees! If I had to ride my bike to work, I would hate it in this weather. But since I don't have to, its just a challenge to see how long into the winter I can keep on riding. I probably won't be so happy when I'm riding home from the pool tonight in the dark!

Thursday, December 4, 2008