Friday, December 11, 2009

The geezers were out in force today

How's that song go? "Hope I die before I get old" Yeah, I know where they're coming from.

Back to Thursday.
I'd been hoping to get on my bike early, but somehow it didn't work out that way. I was reading the plan, and thinking it was going to be a tough one. Warmed up, cadence work. About here I realized I wasn't terribly focused. I was wanting to settle in to a pace or cadence, and just keep going. The problem is the plan had things changing up, every minute, or 45 seconds, or 30 seconds. During the first part of the main set I was always a few seconds behind on standing up or sitting down. However it wasn't hard to keep track of the 110 rpm sets, and I finished those on the second. The gear building started taking it out of me but I pushed through. I'm glad I didn't have to go one gear harder though. Then everybody's favourite, one leg drill. 3x1 minute each. Ug. Last one was getting sloppy. Cool down. 1.75 hrs. My legs were like rubber getting off the bike, and I nearly took a spill. This was a surprise, they seemed to be happy pedaling, and I didn't think standing up was going to be a problem.

Tried the core, and the ham curls weren't curling, and I was too unsteady to do the stair steps, so I deferred core until later.

Linda's sister visited in the evening. She lives near Ottawa and comes out on business every once in a while. Duck breast in orange sauce for dinner. mmmmm.

The theory was to run for an hour, then swim. We have to leave the house for yoga at 8:30. The pool opens at 5:30 and I was expecting the horde of high school kids at 7am. My brain is normally pretty good at scheduling this sort of stuff, but it flat out refused to calculate when I had to leave the house to make this all work.

So I'm sorry if I've messed up the plan, but I swam first. I had a lane to myself for most of it, and the girl that joined me actually swam surprisingly quickly given her crappy stroke.  600 m as 50 easy, 50 hard. Then 400 as 25 easy, 75 hard. 200 hard. 100 all out. There was some non-free stuff in between all that, plus some warm up and cool down.

I was in the pool for an hour and had an adventure. I was done the workout, and was doing a few easy lengths to fill out the hour and work on flip turns, when I remembered some advice Cath had given me about coordinating the hips with the recovery and catch. So I tried it. It was faster than I thought it would be. I forgot to tell my lungs about the potential change in timing and ended up inhaling more pool water than I've ever done. I had to stop, stand up, and cough my brains out. I guess I'm lucky the staff didn't think I was vomiting and evacuate the pool. I'll try that again another time, and think about it a little more first.

I've been doing that shoulder stretch that Sara showed us. Between that and the change of stroke my shoulders have been really stiff and tired lately. Today was the first swim in a while where I didn't get into a relaxed stroke right away.

So what do we get at yoga? Downward dog. For the entire 1.25 hours. Or so it seemed. We got through the first sun salute, and that that was all she wrote. There was a bunch of arms over the head stuff, and they simply wouldn't go. There was a twist for the legs that involved the arms being on the floor above the head, and both my shoulders and right elbow let out some alarming cracks when I tried to do it. The instructor told me to stop whatever it was, that those sort of noises aren't allowed in her yoga class. There was a balance pose that surprised me. No idea what it's called. Bend over and put fingers on floor. Shift weight and lift up one foot behind you. Then wrap both hands around the ankle near the floor. Relax. Breath. No problemo.

Then came the attack of the geezers. Yes, it was snowing. Yes, the City of Calgary is probably the worst city in North America at cleaning snow from the streets, and trying to set new records of badness lately. So the streets were slippery. Still, there are limits. When the light turns green I expect people to at least TRY to move forward. In the Coop parking lot a geezer came out of an aisle, didn't look, and turned right in front of me. Good thing I was paying attention. That geezer eased his way out of the parking lot, in the way I wanted to go. Which means a right turn onto 24th St. Then a left onto Southland. Slowly. Bastard. Right onto whatever street that is beside the strip mall, then a left into the mall. Even more slowly. Bastard! Then he cruises through, looking at parking spaces. Maybe he was a parking space inspector, but none of them met his standards. I found one, and watched as he cruised through the parking lot and turned right on Braeside Drive. Slowly, but at least I wasn't behind him anymore. What that did was put me behind another geezer on the way into the barber shop. I will freely admit this barber shop is a geezer magnet, but where else can you get a hair cut for $16?  This guy nodded at me, opened the door, and stood in it. And he stank. Cigarette smoke, body odour, sour food, and well, what food becomes. He says hi to the barber he wanted, then turned around to hang around outside frightening small children and dogs. I'd been trying to figure out which direction was upwind, and didn't think it through fast enough. At least he wasn't stinking up the joint inside till it was his turn. It was bad! But that wasn't all! I'm trying to get out of the lot afterward, and I'm being assaulted by pedestrians. I can't really fault them for walking carefully because it IS slippery and uneven, but I CAN fault them for not walking in a herd for mutual support. Then, at the bank I'm trying to deposit a cheque into the bank machine. A geezer pushes the outside door all the way open, and slowly totters in. They (gender was indeterminate because they had on so many layers) opened the door and decided to lean on it for a while, no doubt pondering if this was a good time and place to drop dead. Meanwhile there are people trying to get in and out, and there's a wicked breeze blowing right through the bank. I could hear paper fluttering. It was like a wind tunnel in there. Then I'm back to coop to pick up Linda. Holy Moly inside is geezer city. If I'd had to be doing the shopping I'd have probably slit my wrists. No, I'd be smarter than that, I'd fling myself under a full shopping cart and try to frame one of them for assault. Just to be clear, not all old people are geezers, and not all geezers are old.

I was so happy to be home again with nothing more difficult than an hour run in fresh snow, and -18 C (0 F) wind chill. Walked a few minutes, started easy, and built slowly to an easyish pace. It was sort of odd. My legs and lungs didn't want to run any faster, but my heart rate was crazy low. It took a long time to find a stride. I was really working on balance, trying to land squarely on my foot, and picking it up again without it slithering around under me. This run was down into Fish Creek, so it's downhill all the way out, and uphill all the way back. I stopped at 60 minutes, and had to walk 4 minutes to get back to my starting point. Once back at the house I stretched for 30 minutes. I looked at yesterday's core workout, honest I did. Maybe later....

Dark now, and it's not even 5pm. Snowing harder. Getting colder. The forecast for tomorrow is -28 C (-18 F) again. I don't want to know about the wind chill. We got more DVDs.


  1. Just be happy you did not have to wash and cut the stinky guy's hair. Now that has gotta suck!!!

  2. I can totally empathize with you about the geezers - today was Geezer-ville for me as well. The highways were PERFECT and yet I got caught behind every fricking geezer in southern Albeta. I even had a geezer try to give me swimming advice....OMG.

    Later on, I was stuck in the Registry Office for 30 minutes -- I wanted to gouge my eyeballs out with a spoon...

  3. Ooooo....that doesn't sound fun! Warming up here - only -5C today, snow forecast for the rest of the week - good news for the holiday time skiers!

    Sorry about the swallowing in a load of water with the hip snap - and I know it's not fair, but I did laugh out loud when you emailed with it earlier, I could just imagine it - sorry, but haha! Does speed things up though, eh??

    And hey, Julie, what were you doing at the Registry Office - have you and Mike got something to tell us all - ????????

  4. What's the registry office? Like, registering mariage status? JULIE!!!!!!! You might have some explaining to do :)

    Keith, hilarious post! loved this line: but I CAN fault them for not walking in a herd for mutual support.

    Nothing worse than slow moving people, especially when you are a point-A-to-point-B-as-fast-as- possible-kind-of-person.

    And could practically smell how bad that guy reeked through reading this. SICK. (and LOL @ "what food becomes" comment.)


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