Monday, January 4, 2010

Shoveling the garage once again

One of the unintended consequences of Calgary not ploughing many of the roads is that a lot of crud builds up on the bottom of your car and in the wheel wells. There are people that have frozen their cars to the driveway. They go out for some reason in the morning, park in the driveway, the afternoon warmth softens things up so that it slides down a bit. It ends up wedged against the tires and the wheel well, and the driveway, and that's the way it freezes overnight. The driver is SOL in the morning.

Similar things happen in the garage, even if it's unheated. Glop falls off and builds up. And up, and up. The first time it happened I had some naive belief that it would melt and I wouldn't have to do anything. This is exactly Calgary's attitude about ploughing roads. I've learned when this happens that you have to stop the car on the drive way, shovel out the garage, shovel off the car tires and wheel wells, then park in the garage, then shovel the driveway again. This is much worse than shoveling snow. Most of the time snow is easy to shovel. This is a messy dark brown slurry.

The swim today was not messy for me. The pool was no worse than usual, but things would be much better if the other swimmers understood what fast, medium, and slow meant, and where they were on the scale. Or had some consideration for other swimmers. Or understood that you can put 8 or 10 really slow swimmers into one lane no problem, but once you get past 4 fast swimmers in a lane there needs to be some pretty careful organization, and perhaps, actual conversation about what's happening. And realized that one slow swimmer with a bunch of fast ones just makes for a lot of unhappiness as everybody has to start keeping track of the other swimmers rather than concentrating on their stroke.  An actual Masters swim session is a different game, they are all doing the same thing, swim like sharks, and like swimming nose to toes. I'm talking about random people (and some are pretty darn random!) showing up at the pool.

I was fortunate enough to be sharing the lane with some pretty good swimmers. The workout was really good, lots of drills, lots of intervals, lots of metres. It was just over an hour, I'm pretty sure. Toward the end I was getting tired enough that I was barely getting 26 second 50's starting on 30. I'm glad there weren't any more in the plan. There were some interesting body balance drills. I did these barefoot, but as suggested I'll try with fins next time. I only figured out where the pool keeps fins after my swim.

Lunch was a good time for a run. Sunny and cool, about -11 C (12 F). Started easy, and ran easy, concentrating mainly on keeping my arms moving. I tend to let them hang, which doesn't help my stride. 5 K, 34 minutes. My feet felt light and happy, with a nice smooth stride. No heart rate monitor, but it would have been low 130's the entire way.


  1. Snow can suck it...especially the wet, heavy, nasty kind. Yuck! Sorry about all of that and thank you for shoveling my portion as well.

    I know Magnus freaks you out...but he's having his EYE removed pictures of him might truly frighten you;)

  2. "Glop" and "slurry." Are those strictly Canadian terms or can USians use them as well?

  3. Ah Keith the hassel of living in paradise, now if you lived in the center of the world (Toronto) you could have a member of the National Guard come shovel out your!

  4. wow. didnt know how good i have it! we have a 50meter pool that mark spitz trained in. sometimes there is another person in it. what a pain... he could be in my favorite lane! well, only once in 8 times, but still... ;-)

    just think when you do the ironman - you can swim with people. you can look WAY to the back where i will be happy to be alone in the water... :-)

  5. oh, and that crud on the bottom of your car is called a Fenderburgh.


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