Friday, January 29, 2010

A little walk down memory lane

My parents are in the process of buying a house here in Btown. Last night my dad came over to go to the house inspection this morning. He brought a few things from their current house, one was a little book that recorded my school days. And one was a scrapbook from my days as a young swimmer.

The school days book was so funny. Each year from kindergarten through high school had a page where you recorded things like my teacher, my friends names, my favorite things, and a pocket to store report cards, photos and other miscellaneous items. I was cracking up looking at the grade school photos. In the first grade class photo, I was sitting there with a very pouty look on my face. It looks just like my niece Emi when she does the pouty face! I LOVED seeing my awesome hairstyles change as I grew up. Talk about scary! Once I hit 5th grade and cut off the long hair and tried to do the flip from the 70’s, I just looked like such a dork. Todd was laughing at me in one of my soccer pictures. He found it hard to believe I was a soccer player, and my dad chimed in that I was a great player, super fast. Ok, he may be a LITTLE biased, but somehow back then I did run fast. Much easier to run fast as a kid playing games than as an adult who spent the majority of her formative years in a pool instead of on terra firma. We got lots of chuckles out of the grade reports, and I even came across my acceptance letter for Indiana University, which I did not end up going to, but have now worked at for the past 18 years. Small world.

The swimming scrapbook was even better. I had actually been wondering where these two books were, and was hoping to find them as my parents packed up for the move. My favorite article I’ve ever had written about me was by my grandpa. He worked for Procter&Gamble, and they had a monthly magazine that went to all the employees. One month he brought it home and there was a picture of me and my mom and dad and brother, with me holding a little board that held all the ribbons I had won – all 10 of them! Ha. The title of the article was ‘Swimming’s a cinch for 7 year old Cheryl Lubeck’. I remembered the title even before I saw it last night, and I had not seen it for 20 years. It talks about my swimming prowess as a towering 4ft tall, maybe 50 pound, 7 year old (hee hee), and finishes with a quote of my dad saying ‘my favorite mode of transportation is handstands and cartwheels’. I love that article. Everything that was so great about my childhood. Friends, swimming and gymnastics. I could spend all my days with my friends at the pool and flipping back and forth around the back yard. There were lots of other newspaper clippings from almost every meet I ever swam in, funny to look back and see the times, and see photos from the meets. Everyone looked so young. Well, we were young! And boy, I got to swim with some fast girls (and boys). One photo of myself that caught my attention was of me in a swimsuit walking on the pool deck my sophomore year of high school at the state meet. And I cannot believe how small and scrawny I was! Ok, I had not even hit puberty even then, but still. I had these skinny legs that are a far cry from my now post puberty weight lifting, bike riding legs. Seeing that photo, I can’t believe I could swim like I did with that pathetic little body.

I’m happy my parents saved these things from my childhood. I’ll keep these forever and look back when I need some good laughs and memories.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


TRX Suspension Training

For Christmas, I bought myself the TRX home system to add more variety to my strength/core/balance routine that I do a couple times a week. And I have to say, I absolutely LOVE TRX! It is so challenging. You can do hundreds of different exercises. You can build strength. Felxibility. Balance. It does anything and everything you can ask of it. And you can make it easy or hard just by adjusting your angle or distance from the anchor, or by increasing or descreasing the size of your base for an exercise.

When I watched the dvd that came with the bundle, one of the trainers they had demoing exercises is a woman named Bianca. And Bianca is fit! And strong! And the things should could do put me to shame! And I recently purchased Jessi Stensland’s 30 minute multisport video, and it has awesome exercises in it. And She is also super fit, and strong, and I can’t believe some of the things these women can do! I am so inspired to become a better, stronger, more balanced athlete!

Atomic crunches watch out!

Here is one version of the atomic crunch - you can see how difficult it is:

Jessi does an even harder version!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Getting Older

This year is my last year in 40-44 age group. In general, I don't feel old. I feel pretty good for my age. And the 40's have been pretty good to me.

This weekend, since I had today off work, I had 3 longer days of training, and, WOW, am I feeling old right now. I came back from a longer bike ride today, that started out in 'freezing fog' (whatever that is), and when I got home I was just cold and tired. I got off the bike and my neck and shoulders were so sore and tight from the hours on the bike, in the cold, I felt like the hunchback. I downed a large glass of chocolate milk, stretched, and hopped in the hot tub, then compression tights. Then some ibuprofen (I said I was sore!), and a 30minute nap. I stood up, and my quads and calves cramped up, and OUCH! OUCH! OUCH! I grabbed the nearest bag of chips (salt) and hobbled around trying to get rid of the awful feeling in my muscles.

I think I'll get off this computer and stretch some more. And remind myself everything I'll have to do this spring and summer to keep this body ready to kick some ironman training ass for a few more months.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tragedy in Haiti

Of course, everyone has seen and heard the news about the horrific earthquake in Haiti.

Why aren’t things like this happening?

1) Drop a few C130’s full of military parajumpers with backpacks of medical supplies, especially Medics, and let them wander around the effected areas and give out care as they can.

2) Why doesn’t the UN have an aircraft sized ship with a water desalination plant on board. They could travel to all the hotspots and deliver water from the ocean as drinkable water. The ship could be equipped with some distribution methods. I’m sure there are some bright minds out there that could come up with some basic methods of distribution that could work in an emergency.

3) Why aren’t some cruise ships that are always in the Caribbean down there handing out food and water?

PS. A few hours after I posted my brilliant questions above, I read that the port is damaged and boats and ships cannot dock, and the airport is full and more planes cannot land. So sad for the Haitian people.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Warning: the content of this post might offend you.

When I was a teenager, one of my swim coaches was a very yuppie, proper, kind of guy. He never yelled, he never cursed , never swore. On one out of town trip, we’re on the bus, and one of the boys ripped off the stinkiest fart imaginable. Everyone was yelling and tossing things at him, laughing and covering their noses at the same time. Our coach was not amused, well, I bet inside, he was cracking up. But to us, he stood in front of us, ready to lecture. But it was a surprise when his lecture was not about not farting on the bus. But rather about the fact that we should use a euphemism for the word fart, instead of the word fart itself. He thought we should say fluff, a much kinder, gentler version of the word fart. This cracked us up even more. From then on, it was fluff.

As an adult who runs, bikes and swims, I’ve learned to deal with all kinds of biological functions during workouts.

Last night at the pool, I had a little gas, and I just wanted to fluff a little in the pool, but I kept wondering, if I do, will anyone deck know that those bubbles were coming from my fart, as opposed to just coming from some part of my swim stroke. And since I can’t see myself swim from up on the deck, I don’t know exactly what my bubble trail looks like. So, I held the fart, I mean fluff, until I left the pool. Snot is the second biggest problem in a pool. You really can’t stop it from running out of your nose. Pee is next. For some reason, getting in a pool makes a lot of people have to pee. Often. I fondly remember running into the bathroom for a quick pee break during workouts back in the day. It was the only way to ‘cheat’ a little, but not really cheat!

The bike is interesting. Snot runs most on the bike. I think because you’re usually colder on the bike, at least if you ride outside when its cold. If I could bottle all the snot I blow on bike rides and runs and sell it, I’d be rich! We joke about farting when we ride bikes. We joke about any biological function on bike rides. Randi almost always has to stop within the first 30 minutes for a pit stop. So she sprints ahead, drops trow, and goes where she can. We live where most of our riding is out in the booneys, so potty stops on the side of the road are not uncommon. Farting is also not uncommon. Riding on the trails is always good for jokes, who is riding behind the fartiest person that day? I ate beans for lunch, I better go last, yada yada yada. Plenty of stupid jokes.

Running is the worst for me. The snot runs here too, but I am an expert snot blower. And I’m also an excellent spitter, unless the weather is really cold or really hot, at which time, all the mucus and phlegm in my throat gets all thick and sticky and I spit, and it just sticks to my face. I don’t quite understand that phenomenon. Why is it only when its really cold or really hot when the mucus in my throat is especially annoying? And what is the difference between mucus and phlegm. I know I should look it up, but I don’t feel like it. Farting on the run is pretty common. I mostly run by myself, and I fart at will. When I do, I always glance around in the dark (because its almost always o’dark-thirty when I run). The deep philosophical question comes to mind. If there is no one around to hear the fart, did it really happen? I also have the fart thoughts when I walk my dogs. Whenever one of them farts, I say something like ‘oh Sam you stinky dog, that is so gross’, then I laugh because five minutes later I’m likely to be farting myself! I saved the best, or worst for last. I’m talking about the a$$plosion. I’m sure you’ve all had it. Its without a doubt the worst feeling on a run to feel like you are about to dump at any minute. First you just slow down and think where the nearest bathroom is, and calculate the time to get there. Then the feeling passes. But then its back, and now you have to stop and squeeze the butt cheek muscles tight until the feeling passes. And you get going again, now thinking maybe you might just have to use some poor souls beautiful landscaping as your toilet. Then it really hits, and you stop, squat down and pray that what you just felt in your shorts was just gas, and nothing else. Enough said.

You are supposed to be able to control this stuff by eating low fiber foods, timing your food intake before a workout. But even if you have what you think is a foolproof routine, it is never successful 100% of the time. Sometime your body just wants to remind you that it is in control, and not you.

I’m going to the pool again tonight, and we’ll see who is in control this time!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


No, I’m not talking about drafting on the bike. I’m talking about drafting on the swim. I can remember fondly the first time I really discovered the beauty of drafting in a swim. When I was an age group swimmer, once I made it to the top levels in our program, we rarely had more than 3 swimmers per lane. Swimmers 2 and 3 in each lane always left 10 seconds apart, and if there was a 4th, then they got to go 5 seconds. If you were lucky enough to be in a lane of 4, you owed your lane mates a big thank you when you got to go 4th and get a little draft effect. Now, in summer when we swam long course, you never got to go 5 seconds, because 100m was far enough that no one was going to catch you. So, 10 seconds it was. Always. I was a sprinter. Ok, I also did 200’s and the occasional 400im, but generally I’d consider myself a sprinter. But I swam at a program that was fairly high yardage, so even us sprinters, especially those of us who were IM’ers, did a lot of distance. I can remember one summer workout, we were doing a 1000m for time at the end of a long workout. It was definitely not my idea of fun. And I was in a lane with a gal who had won the 1650 at NCAA division I a couple years earlier. She was a distance star. I was not any kind of star. But we all trained hard, and when I left 10 seconds after her, I did what any smart sprinter does, I sprinted the first 100m until I caught her! Then I hung on for dear life. And I hung pretty close to her until the last 100m or so. And it was the fastest 1000m I ever swam in my whole life. I never could have swum that fast for 1000m without blatantly drafting off her. She was not real happy with me. But I never touched her feet, I just got soooo close, and then stuck like glue. Inside I was tickled, but I knew I only went that fast because I was able to get on her feet and stay in her draft.

Now I swim alone. I never get to draft. I always lead my lane, I’m the only one in my lane! So I never get to enjoy that draft. This past weekend I had to get in a swim, and with campus being on break, only the small pool is open, and I knew going at the noon swim would be crowded, but it was when I could go. The lanes were packed in with the IU masters team, 5 and 6 deep. Except the lane with their ‘fast’ people. They numbered only 2. SO of course I had to butt in and hop in their lane. I told them I’d stay out of their way, as I was just warming up and they were on a main set. Even with two people, the second person shoved off right after the leader. I scoffed at her lack of confidence in swimming on her own, she is a good swimmer, why does she have to push off right on his feet? So, I shoved off on my warmup after her, thinking they’d pull away, and they didn’t. ok, so here I am swimming at what I’d consider a pedestrian effort, and I was actually cruising along at a good pace. And it was all thanks to the draft. Man have I missed the draft.

So, to all you swimmers/triathletes out there, keep drafting! Take advantage of it. Its legal. And it can be a huge benefit to you. Learn to draft. But, please, learn to do it without annoying the person you are drafting off. Because if you try to draft off me in a race and hit my legs more than an acceptable number of times, you will be the recipient of an evinrude-motor-like-tsunami of water. I'm just sayin.

BTW, here is an interesting open water swim website.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Another Year, Another Chance to

1) Adjust my attitude about work. I am so fortunate to have a good, secure job, with flexibility, lots of time off, and I am going to be thankful for that. I know so many people are hurting and needing jobs, and I have got to stop being such a humbug about mine.

2) Learn to love my short hair! Yes, its short, and going shorter. Now I just have to learn how to train and race with it not driving me crazy.

3) Age gracefully. I just bought my first pair of reading glasses, and what do you know, it makes reading easier!

4) Move my parents to Btown! Yes, I’m helping my parents find a house and move to my new hometown. I’ve now lived in Bloomington longer than I’ve lived anywhere else, and I’m hoping to get them here too within the year. I love it here. Except in winter. Someday I’ll move where its warmer. And I’ll take them with me then too.

5) Discover more addicting iphone apps. As sad as it is, I just found hangman (thanks Barb), and it’s a little addicting! I also just discovered that I can listen to the music without headphones! Doh!

6) Volunteer more

7) Read more books. I had a goal of 24 books in 2009, I’m sure I fell short. I didn’t track what I read, but I’m guessing it was more like 15. So, I’ll shoot for 24 again in 2010. One down, I just read ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’. Nice read. A story told from the point of view of a dog, who is almost human like in his observations of humans and life. Not sure what’s next on the stack, but its sitting at home waiting to be opened up.

8) Take a vacation that is completely self indulgent, that has no training or racing involved (after the training and racing is complete, of course!)

9) Design more Splish suits.

10) Become an ironman!

here’s my latest splish design, a little retro,... its on the way: