Friday, December 31, 2010

I did the Butterfly!!

Surprise! I had to use fins.
That was during yesterday's swim, and I forgot to mention it. Can't imagine why. Maybe senility is setting in.
Surprise! You were expecting a year end wrap up.

What I really meant was for this to be a 2010 year end post.
Surprise! I'm not going to talk much about Ironman Canada.
Liar. Maybe. Let's see how this turns out.

I've known all along I didn't want to work full time till I'm old, then do geezery retirement stuff till I die. That's no fun. Part of the plan was to transition to working less than full time, and having more time for things I want to do. Some of you have heard me mention my buddy Alan who "aspires to schedule his work life the way most people schedule their vacations."

In the grand scheme of things it's gone pretty well, for the first year at it. I'd have liked to work a little more during the rest of the year, and a little less during the training peak for IMC, but I'm not at the stage where these things are under my control. In any case my two employers during the summer were everything I could ask for in terms of flexible working hours. Which, given the crappy weather that often moved in during the late afternoon allowed me to get in more rides.

I've no real idea how the work thing is going to go for 2011, but there were a number of inquiries early December, then I think everyone went into year end mode and put off whatever could be put off. Some of them are projects I'd really like to be involved with. If any of you happen to know of someone needing a business analyst please get in touch with me.

Keith's Odyssey to Planet Fitness reached a major milestone with the completion of of IMC in August. However, I gave the blog the title I did because fitness is no longer just a destination for me. One can't "do" fitness, check it off the list, and then forget about it like the naked tandem skydiving with the hottie instructor. Over the last three years my activity levels have gone up to levels I flat out wouldn't have believed 5 years ago. What's more, I want to keep those levels up by continuing to be active. Well, not active at training for IMC levels. That was a bit much.

But I do want to be active doing things I enjoy. I'm still hoping to get out and try snowshoeing this winter. I've been meaning to try for years. I'd also like to rent some cross country skis and see if I can still do that. On good days I'd like to take snowboarding lessons, but I'm under no illusions about that. My ballroom dance instructor took snowboarding lessons in her mid 40's and her teen aged daughter went along to laugh at her mom falling on her ass. It didn't happen. Not once. But then with her dance background one could have expected her to be balanced and coordinated. I'd expect to fall a lot.

About now lots of people set their race goals for the coming year. I haven't done that yet. Firstly I'm enjoying the unstructured activity too much. Second, I have trouble committing to a goal when I'm not healthy. My right knee is a bit wonky these days, though the ART/Chiro and Prolotherapy, to say nothing of regular leg exercises, have been doing good things. I'd like to get some solid bike workouts under my belt before making the assumption it's ready for regular, structured training building towards a goal race.

Speaking about training, I have not the slightest idea in the world how many K I ran or biked this year, or how many hours I swam. Nor have I any interest in doing any of the activities it would take to find an approximate answer. I'm kind of amazed that some bloggers can give their distances to the nearest 10th of a mile or K.

There are some thoughts about race goals, but that's all they are, thoughts. If I'm not ready in 2011 the race will still be there in 2012, or other races will be. I have to live with this knee the rest of what I hope will be a long and active life, so I don't want to bugger it up by trying to push it more than it's ready for. What are those goals, you ask? They revolve around half IM's where I think I have something to prove. It's funny, I'm quite reasonably convinced I could do IMC again, quite a bit faster, but I'm under no compulsion to actually go do it. On the other hand, there are several halfs I need to revisit. Grrrr.

Which reminds me, once upon a time I promised to take a photo of all the medals so far, because one of my readers wanted to enter a race that gave out finisher medallions. So here they are. It's surprisingly difficult to take a photo of shiny objects. What's more these are even in order, top to bottom, left to right, just like reading print.

Just for fun, since I'm posting photos, find the cat in this photo.

The really huge decision for me was to join Facebook. For a long time I thought about the privacy violations, and how much I enjoyed, in a curmudgeonly sort of way, being a technological Luddite. But then I noticed I was losing touch with blog buddies. Their posts became more infrequent. Fewer people were commenting. A couple of them hinted all the action was on Facebook, and they no longer had the time to blog. Too many words, or too slow a typing speed, or something. Later, when I got onto Facebook, all my suspicions were confirmed. Here is the proof. Unlike SOME people I understand that a link to a Facebook page might not be visible to all my readers, so I took a screen shot.


Which leads me to the saddest event of 2010, finding out that Route 40 in Turner Valley had closed their doors. It was quite simply one of the best places to eat within driving distance of home. It took about a half hour to drive there, but the mountain scenery was usually spectacular any time of day or year, and the food was awesome!

One of the things I get a kick out of reading blogs is the bleats of people much younger than me as they get older. I have a niece who was seriously spooked about turning 30. That seems impossibly young to me now, even though in my head I still think of myself somewhere in my early 30's. There are some things I wish I had done differently back then, but there's no crying about it. Those decisions helped make me the me that I am today.

Here I am 2011, happy, reasonably healthy, and good to go for another year. See you there!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Running Niggle-free

Started today with a swim. Short warm up, lots of kick and pull drill. 6 x 100 on 2 minutes, all under 100 seconds. Woohoo! Water feel was great. Chatted briefly with Jarrett. The pool was almost empty today, I almost wish I could have swum more and enjoyed it. 1.5 hrs swimming.

It's sunny out and nice, only -18 C (0F). Did my leg exercises to warm up, then ran 45 minutes. You know when you take your first steps you sometimes know it's going to be a good run? That was today. My legs felt strong, it was a great day to be outside, and I had a super run. Not one single niggly at all. Not fast, even by my standards, but the intent was remind myself of this whole running thing. Toward the end my calves were getting a bit tired so I called it at 45 minutes and walked 10 minutes home, stretched after. Most of the run was on cleared sidewalks, but probably half the run was on uncleared paths. I'm really pleased by this, given how little I've run in the last several months.

I just found our long awaited plans to visit S&K&E have to be put off a week. One of them isn't feeling well. Sigh.

Oh, and I put all my videos onto one blog page for easy reference, because I know you're all dying to see whichever ones you have missed. Look down below my blogroll for the pages. It's called My Videos. Here's a direct link for the lazy.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A lazy swim; it's also not too cold out either

Right now, mid-afternoon, it's not quite -17 C (2 F) so I'd call it just a bit brisk, especially since there's a light wind blowing and a bit of snow coming down. What with an ART/Chiro session and a strong 30 minute core session I'm not really up for a run today, but one is on the books for tomorrow. It should be about the same temperature, but maybe sunny, so it should be a good day for a run. Core included 13 pushups (a new record for me!) 50 squats and 100 crunches. Plus other stuff. Felt pretty good.

News from the ART/Chiro session is good. My doctor says the muscles and stuff around the knee feel stronger, and the whole joint feels more stable. It seems to be responding well to the treatments. Maybe this weekend I'll have another go at the bike and see what happens.

But this morning I was feeling lazy, and didn't want to swim too hard. So I relaxed and thought about my stroke trying for smooth and relaxed and easy. The feel of the water was there big time! Mz Elegant joined my lane so that was encouragement to not lollygag around in the lane or I'd get run over.
1K 18:30
2 K 37:12
I figured that was enough so I started some kick and pull drills, alternating with some faster swim sets to keep up with the two other guys that joined when she finished up. Yeah, I admit it, my inner shark came out to play. It was kind of fun lapping them, especially since one of them at least was trying to keep ahead. I really didn't want to push it too hard so I called it a swim at 1.5 hr mark. The only pauses were to take the fins off or on, so I'm guessing I swam somewhere between 4 and 4.5K.

Chatted after with a couple of the guys that had been in the pool. I'll be seeing one of them at the Mercury Rising Swim Camp, and told another about it, so I might be seeing him too.

I happened to be downtown a little while ago and went through some of the +15 space. They've been doing a bunch of renovations on it, along with still working on the Devonian Garden space. This was THE primo space in downtown Calgary to eat your lunch in winter, since it's a fully enclosed 3.5 acre multi level rooftop garden space. It's supposed to re open soon, and I can't wait. It was amazing before. Here's what the +45 space looks like. One entrance to the Devonian Gardens are just behind me in this shot. It's from the east end of the +45 looking west towards the food court.


Same spot, looking down a bit more.

Looking down even more.

Here's a partial view of a glass bridge that's not yet open. This is looking more east.
 Moving along a bit and looking almost straight down. Those glass panels look down onto a street. All this is a big pedestrian bridge between two buildings, part of the +15 system. This is one of the reasons that people working downtown don't mind winter so much. Once you're inside you can go almost anywhere, if you don't lose your sense of direction, and can get through some of the non-intuitive bits. It's an amazing space. There are at least 57 bridges connecting the buildings downtown, and about 16 K of space connecting them. It's a great place to stroll. I have had dreams of doing a running race through one of the bigger loops, once the Penny Lane section is rebuilt. Here's a map, which includes The Bow, but not the Penny Lane section, even though both are at essentially the same construction stage.


Just to round out the tour of downtown, here's the new tallest building in Western Canada, Encana's Bow building. 58 floors, 236 m (774 feet) high. Looking nice! Just because I love this sort of thing, here's a time lapse video of them working on the first 10 stories or so. I'd love to see the same thing for the whole building.

And now my hair is dry again, so it's time to go shovel snow. We've got it light compared to some, like the US NE area. But Vancouver Island has been getting dumped on as well. The Mount Washington ski resort got nearly 3 m over several days, then in the last 24 hours they got another 2 m of snow. I'm glad I'm not digging that out.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Lotsa swimming, no crunches.

I was a bit of a slacker over Christmas, but I'm getting back on the wagon again here. Monday I met up with Richard at Canyon Meadows. I ended up swimming 2 hours doing lots of different stuff, including a drill where you always have to finish the 50 at the top of the clock, and every time you start one second later. That was fun. Lots of kick drill and other arm drill. After we went for coffee and a great chat.

Tuesday was an hour of swimming. I tried that same 50 m drill but this time looking at my watch to do it on the second. Coming back on the 12th one I didn't make the time. Went into the dive tank for a half hour of water running that felt really good.

Supposedly I was to have an ART/chiro session, but the office was closed. Maybe it's for tomorrow. My knee is feeling pretty good, though it was a bit achey during my walk today.

The slacker period ends tomorrow for core as well. I've been doing the leg exercises, but not the core workout. So much for 300 crunches every day for a month.

The pools have been quiet this week. Too quiet, as they say in the old Western movies. I fully expect a swarm of resolutionistas in the pool next week. Getting in the way. Swimming in the wrong lane. Taking up all the good lockers. Sigh.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas run

We had a wonderful quiet day today. Opened some gifts. Drank coffee. Chatted. I took two wine kits to the next stage. The white clumped together beautifully. It's going to settle out in a nice layer that will make it easy to rack it for the bottling. This photo was taken less than a minute after I stopped stirring, and you can see the dead yeast clumping together and falling like snow. That's the way it should be.




I got in a solid 45 minute core workout, 3x100+1=301 crunches, 50 squats, but only 10 pushups. It's hard to keep the core under control when a huge belch comes out. Then out into a nice day for an easy 35 minute 5 K run. There were some twinges, but the sorest spots was the back of my calves just below my knees. It was about 0C so I only needed to wear tights and a long sleeve tech shirt over a short sleeved shirt. Stretched afterward and showered.

In the meantime Linda had been working on Christmas dinner. Roast goose with orange slices, carrots, potatoes, core, and stuffing. Blackberry gelato for dessert. mmmmmmm. This is what it looked like before we dived in.



Oh, and the chocolate moose box? All gone.

Sunday was some errands and family stuff. 3x100=300 crunches plus leg exercises, 30 minutes.

Normally I'd put a weekly summary here, but I'm not going to bother. There is only about 30 minutes of running cardio, and lots of core stuff.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas tree decorating

The time has arrived. We got our tree decorated. We can even prove it with 5 minutes of video. Pity we didn't figure out where the centre of the camera view was. Nor could I make iMovie do a true time lapse, but this is more fun this way, since you get a close look at some of our ornaments, some commentary, and most important, wine!



In other news, the chocolate box is almost gone. Here's the last little bit remaining. It was very good.



I've done nothing for workouts since yoga on Wednesday. NOTHING! I'm not training for anything, and I've enjoyed sleeping in the last few days, and doing what I like during the day. So I don't need to be working out at this time of year. Nor will I feel guilt for what I eat. Next week I'll be back on the fitness wagon again. That's soon enough.

A quickie question for you all

There is a reason I'm wearing hearing protection in this picture. A real reason, not just some frivolous thing. Now that you're all deeply into the Xmas cheer beverages, I'm curious as to what your imaginations will produce for a reason.

There will be another, more serious post later, perhaps with a video, if I can get it to work like I want. Yes, that's a small part of the wine racks in the background.

I suppose, since I have some Southern readers, that title should have ended with a y'all. If I spelled that right.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tagged by Nicole Haute Runner

What are you most proud of accomplishing in 2010?
Easy. IMC. That was my goal for a bunch of years, and I probably worked hard for that than I've done for anything else. Some days I think I'm still recovering 4 months later.

What are your running goals for 2011?
I haven't set any yet. I'd love to break 2 hours for a half marathon, doubly so if that half is part of a half IM.

What was your favorite race?
I think Wasa actually. It's the first race I ever did where I exceeded my goals, had fun, and felt great after. Plus, I got to watch a buddy get a prize. How cool is that? Now that I think of it, I'm amazed she doesn't pay my way into more races. Clearly, she's podiuming because I'm there, inspiring her or something.

What is your favorite holiday guilty pleasure?
I have no guilty pleasures. At least none that I've indulged in. If twin redheaded depraved hotties happen to come along, with some real whipped cream and a supply of chocolate, then there would be some pleasures I'd probably better feel guilty about if I want to stay married, assuming I lived through the experience. As for the pleasures I've indulged in, I feel no guilt about chocolate, date squares, nanimo bars, good wine, chocolate chip cookies, and, well, I could go on, but I'd blow up all your diets, and while I wouldn't feel guilty about your failings, I would feel bad that I had reduced the supply of those wonderful products.

What is your most embarrassing running moment?
On the scale of what my blog buddies admit to in writing and all, I have had no embarrassing moments. Well, there was the stationary crash at the mount line of Chinook 2009. That was pretty bad. But no transparent bathing suits. No bio incidents (though there have been some close calls.) No clothing ripped off with the wetsuit. No unfortunate zipper incidents. No really bad race photos. (I've always wondered if the guy caught doing the farmer blow planned it that way?)

Lets see, who should I tag? It should be someone I've never tagged before. Someone who will respond. Hmmmmm. All of you are busy guzzling Xmas cheer, snarfing cookies and other holiday goodies, and so busy trying to end up under the mistletoe with some hottie (yes you, you know who are) that you wouldn't be doing the tag thing. On the off chance that I have a reader that isn't doing any of those things, and wants to be tagged, well, consider yourself tagged, and leave a comment here so I know to go look at your blog, especially if you aren't listed on my blogroll.

Beer with my buddy SD after he escaped work today. Fun! Guinness, mmmmmmm. Got home and almost immediately pounded out my 2x150 crunches plus leg exercises, 30 minutes. Then to yoga, last class of the year.

I was thinking about swimming this morning, and if I'd been just a bit better organized I could have got it done. But I slept in instead. Sleep is good.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Feeling better

Monday was total blah. Or maybe it's bleh. I did not feel like doing anything. My nose was running like a tap. The high point of the day was a chicken wrap that Linda made up, with chicken (naturally) jalepeno peppers, refried beans, tomatoes, lettuce, gaucemole, and lots of other goodies. That and watching a bunch of season one SG1 waiting for the eclipse. Which was a disappointment since it clouded over during totality, but before and after was clear. No core, no swimming, no nothing. Just nose blowing. I think the people that were in the pool appreciated my not showing up.

Weekly Summary, which in the eagerness to get the Chocolate Box video up, I forgot to do on Sunday.
Swim 5.0 hrs
Bike .33 hrs (though I didn't even break a sweat, so the aerobic impact is marginal at best.)
Run 0.0 hrs
Walk .75 hrs (this was brisk enough to break a sweat, a little bit)
Water Run .5 hrs
Total Cardio 6.5 hrs
Core 5.0 hrs

Tuesday I'm feeling better, almost back to normal.
I know you all want to know how that chocolate box is working out. All the individual chocolates have been eaten, and now we're starting in on the box. It is surprisingly sturdy. The lid will be last, and the moose antlers the very very last. Though we have been informed that it is actually an elk. As if that makes any difference.

The big question I have for today, and it's still unresolved as I write this, is if I should do 600 crunches today to make up for the 300 I didn't do yesterday. So far today there is the 3x100=300 crunches. 12 pushups, which I think is a record for all at once, or getting close to it. 50 squats. 75 seconds of plank. And other stuff to fill out the 45 minutes. But the afternoon is still early, or sort of early. It is possible for me to go downstairs again later, and power out another 300 crunches. Decisions, decisions.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Only 20 minutes. And Chocolate!

I haven't been on the bike for a while now, letting my knee do it's thing. Hopefully that involves healing up. Today I decided to try an easy easy spin, just to see how it feels. I lasted 20 minutes before I started getting twinges and aching, so I stopped.

Did my core, 3 x 100 crunches and leg exercises, 30 minutes. Iced the knee. Now comes Stargate Univers and munchies.

Oh, and Linda found a great chocolate item at the Kingsland Farmers Market. Check it out.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Those ou Words

Never let it be said I'm not responsive to those few readers I have. I posted a video yesterday of the various clocks in our house. Turns out I missed one; the thermostat has a clock in it too, but we never use it.

Rebekah asked for more ou words. There's a bit of an in-joke there I explain in the vid. Turns out maybe those people looking at a camera and reading a script are earning their money after all. It's surprisingly hard to do.

This is pretty raw. No colour enhancements, no extra lighting beyond a desk lamp. The reflections from what's on the computer screen shows up on my glasses and there's no way I know around that that doesn't have me looking in some other direction entirely, which would look even more dorkish than this does. I've tried using the computer camera during the day, but the light from the window behind me lights up my hair and makes it look like a halo.



My only workout today is core. 3x100=300 crunches. 11 pushups. 50 squats. Plus a bunch of other stuff, including the dreaded plank. Which isn't as bad as it used to be. Even the crunches have improved, since I got through all of them without having to support my head. I guess my neck muscles have improved, even if nothing else has.

Friday, December 17, 2010

First iMovie: The Clock

The workout of the day was sleeping in, dealing with my sore throat, and playing with iMovie. I've never done anything like this. The iPhone makes a perfectly serviceable video camera for my purposes. I've done a few where I just took the whole clip and whatever the mic recorded and used that as a movie. But this time I wanted to put together a bunch of clips, and try some transitions, and titles, and a voiceover. The only main thing I didn't do was put a soundtrack on it. Instead, you get to listen to my husky voice. What do athletes care a lot about? The time on the clock. So I filmed all the clocks in our house, and because there were so few I also filmed stuff where other people have clocks.




Short core session. 3x 100 crunches. Leg exercises. 30 minutes.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

eau d'pool

Only an hour in the pool this morning. More of the same, warmup, lots of kick, pull, arm drill. 5 x 100 on 2 minutes in less than 100 seconds. Happy! Shared the lane with Mz. Backstroke, and we chatted a bit while stretching after. Water ran for 15 minutes, knee feeling pretty good, though tired.

Iced the knee anyways when I got home. It snowed most of the day, making me want to just snuggle in with Amelia the cat and read. And nap too, a little bit. I've got that tickle in my through that makes me wonder if something is coming on. Took a big hit of vitamins and stuff and decided not to go to spin class. I think my knee would have been ok, but lots of people hinder their recovery by starting in on workouts before the healing is complete. I'd rather take a few extra sessions off now, playing it safe, than to stretch out the recovery, or worse, re-injure it again forcing a much longer break.

Then 45 minutes of core in the evening, including 3x100 crunches, 50 squats, and 10 pretty good pushups. Plank as well, plus lots of leg exercises. As I was doing this, all I could smell was swimming pool. Not a bad smell, all things considered. It could be much worse. Even by my standards my hair is getting out of control. It's getting to be time for another chop job. If I didn't have to look presentable for work periodically, I'd probably just buzz the whole works off and be done with it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Getting colder here as the Christmas miasma settles in

Today was a bit slower getting started. Even after the massage my neck and shoulders have been tight, so I put some Tiger Balm on them last night and that seems to have helped.

Slow and easy warm up ending up being 1.5 K in 28:30. Kick and pull and arm drill. Lots of all that. Cool down with back stroke and a really easy front kick with board. That took about 5 minutes to go 50 m, but it's a really good shoulder stretch. No water run, not enough time. No fireworks, no nothing. I had the lane to myself the whole time, 1.25 hrs.

As I was getting out, another couple were getting in. They swim with fins. I saw them one day earlier this week; I was sharing a lane with one of them. Suffice to say that I passed him even though I think he was going all out front crawl. (Is it still front crawl if you're wearing fins? Or is it a kick drill?) At least that's what his breathing at the end of every couple of hundred metres indicates to me.

From there to my ART/chiro. Let's just say there was some discomfort there, and I ended up icing my leg and knee for a while when I got home. Amelia the cat doesn't really know what to think about ice packs.

Later was 3x100 crunches, and 9 mostly pretty good pushups in addtion to my leg exercises. 30 minutes.

Yoga had a brutal pose. I think it's called Monkey pose, or something like that. Balance on one knee, put foot out in front on a sock or something on the smooth floor (not the mat). Then hands to the floor, and slowly straighten that leg out, toes up, pushing it forward. Then (if you aren't screaming) slide even further forward so your groin comes closer to the floor. Hips stay square so the legs are going out fore and aft. Splits is another way to put it. Ouch. Next week is our last class of the session, and we get to pick our pose. I chose feet up the wall or shoulder stand. Those are my happy place.

Richard, send me an email when you get back into town and you deal with whatever fires are on your desk.

GQH, I'd be delighted to talk about this semi-retired lifestyle. One of my co-worker's goal in life was this - "I want to schedule my work life the way most people schedule their vacations." That seems like a noble goal to me. I'm still working out the bugs.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The force of habit

Habits can be a good thing. Several times force of habit has got me going on a workout. But today my habits lead me astray. Either that or I wasn't awake yet.

In some pools they ask people to swim in circles so that people on each side of the lane rope are going the same way. In practical terms it means that one lane swims keep right, while the next one swims keep left. The idea is to reduce the number of chances of rapping knuckles with people swimming in the opposite direction.

It works great as long as you remember which way you're going, and this morning I didn't. I ended up sharing a lane with a sloppy swimmer. He let me pass on the first lap, swimming keep left. As I got back to the end I started from I flipped, and started swimming back keeping RIGHT. Oops. The guy coming and I saw each other in time to avoid bumping which is good. I'm still asleep, and it took me a few seconds to realize what was what, and by then he said he didn't want to talk about it, and wandered off to another lane. About then I figured it out, and I would have apologized but he was going and didn't want to talk to me. I felt kind of bad about that because he was right, and I was wrong. He had every reason to believe that we were all sorted on our swim direction and I goofed. He complained to a lifeguard about it, which puzzled her because by then I was back in the pattern. She talked to me later and I explained.

Even so it turned out to be a pretty good swim. 1.5 hrs with lots of kick drill, some with fins, some without. I really need to work on this. I kick from the hips like they say, nice and tight, but I don't really go anywhere. I see other people kicking and it's like they've got an outboard motor powering them along. After the swim about 15 minutes of water running.

Later in the evening 45 minutes of core. A blog buddy has started a crunch challenge, 300 per day till mid Jan. Another blog buddy recently completed the 200 squats challenge. I suck at push ups and plank, so I want to work on those. So here's tonight's numbers.
Crunches 3x100=300
Squats 50
Pushups 8 (we're talking slow with good form, not whambamthankyoumaam.
Plank 60 seconds. Plank right after crunches probably isn't the best possible order.

And since I've done a couple shout outs, here's one for Neil who's running a Gu contest on his blog.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Shoulder massage. Short rant.

I skipped KBRCC on Sunday, much as it pained me to do so. But when I have to think about my knee and take it easy going upstairs, it's not going to be a good day on the bike. Plus I managed to sleep in a bit, which is a rarity.

Monday was 1.25 hrs in the pool. A nice easy K to warm up, and I needed lots of warmup. Kick and pull. Stroke drills. Some 100 m intervals, though they were a bit on the slow side. Cool down. Then 15 minutes water running in the dive tank.

My massage therapist asked me to move Sunday's appointment to Monday, so after shuffling around some stuff I finally got my shoulders worked on. Last week was the biggest swim week ever for me and I was feeling it a bit.

I suppose I should count the walk in Chinook Mall today. No, not Christmas shopping. Bah! There was a catastrophic failure of swim shorts as I was putting them on. I'm just glad I noticed. I used a backup pair, and added that to my list. About 45 minutes from one end to the other and back.

The dangerous part was walking past the Apple store. It's easily the most crowded store in the mall, except for maybe the Chapters.

The scary part was the walking in general. People texting while they walk; I was tempted to hip check one person. People stopping to chat in the walking lanes, rather than moving over a few feet into the space between the chairs. One of these years I'm just going to push those people over and trample them. And I have zero patience for ditherers that don't know where they are going. It's like they just woke up and are trying to process the idea they are in a mall. And the other people that get my goat are the ones that don't signal their turns. There are all sorts of subtle ways to indicate where you're going so that those about to overtake you can make the appropriate plans. Till they do something unexpected. Grrr. Lastly, don't get me started on double wide strollers.

Weekly Summary
Swim 4.75 hrs
Bike de nada
Water run .5 hrs
Run .5 hrs
Total cardio 5.75 hrs
Core 2.0 hrs

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Flexibility

First, I must disappoint some of my readers, who are thinking I'm going to be talking about some position for having sex that I've discovered during long years of research and meditation during workouts. Sorry.

Nor have I made any breakthroughs in my own flexibility. My yoga teacher has been very kind not to describe me as a heap of animated semi-articulated bricks, but it would be the truth. Touching my toes happens more often now, but it still makes makes my day. I forget the name of a pose we were supposed to do on Wed at yoga, but I took one look and bailed. I even did a variation of pigeon, normally one of my fave poses, to take it easier on my knee.

I refer to my flexibility in adapting the workout plan depending on how I'm feeling at the moment. Except there isn't a plan these days, other than what comes to me as I get into the pool, or put my running shoes on. And really, it's not quite as loose as "how I'm feeling" which with many people is an excuse to blow off the workout and raid the stash of chocolate bars. So I suppose I should change the title to something but I'm not going to. It's all the way up there, and I'm working on down here now. So much for flexibility.

Normally Saturdays are my rest days. We like to get a slow start to the day with coffee and the papers. But it turns out some snow blew in late Thursday night and Friday morning. The roads were a mess. As well, I'd had a prolo shot on Thursday, and my knee wasn't very happy about it all day. So much for Thursday spin class. Even Friday it wasn't feeling up to coping with the world, so I took it easy and hung out at home. Some days there are real advantages to a semi-retired lifestyle.

I've been trying to work on my core strength and have been doing pretty good. Tuesday was the day on the agenda for that, but when a sweet young cutie invites you to come swimming and give her tips, it's hard to say no. And I didn't. But when I got home and ate, I didn't much feel like doing anything. Thursday after the shots I sure didn't feel like doing anything that involved making my knee work hard. Friday I was just lazy.

So, I can hear the chorus, what did you do on Saturday to banish the laziness? Lots of driving for one thing, dropping Linda off at yoga in the deep south east, then driving all the way to Crowfoot in the far north west to pick up something, then back to get Linda, then to the library to drop off and pick up stuff.

Shortly after that I held in my gut, clenched the butt, and started the core workout. Grrrrr. It went pretty well. Plank and push ups included. No side plank yet. Then running. It's only -5 C (23 F) and sunny, so pretty nice. Started easy, since I haven't run for about a week. The first K was a lot of bodily complaints. This is normal and the only ones I'm paying attention to is my knee. It took about a K to warm up and find a stride, and things went really well. For a while I had a knee issue, sort of on the inside, underneath the bottom of the knee cap. Not painful, but enough to notice. Yeah, I know, how accurate and scientific. A few steps walking and shaking it a bit, and a stretch seemed to help. I changed my stride a bit, and it was fine for the rest of the run. I suppose if someone had a gun to my head I could have gone longer, but I didn't really want to.

This was an easy 30 minutes, mainly so my legs don't forget what few running skills I already have. The pace was easy enough I could have breathed through my nose for the whole thing. The actual cardio is coming from swimming these days. After a bit of stretching afterward, I was snoreonerated by Amelia the cat. Naps are nice.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Abuse of authority

Long-time blog readers will have noted here several discourses about people seemingly unable to participate in activities using shared facilities. Lane swimming is an example that frequently comes to mind. Yesterday I was sharing a lane with Mz. Backstroke. She isn't the fastest swimmer in the pool by a long shot, but I love sharing a lane with her. Why? She keeps track of where the other swimmers are, and will let them by at the turn. She has never once been in my way, and I've shared a lane with her probably once a week at least for several years. In addition, she swims neatly and predictably. No flailing limbs, no zig zagging down the lane, no big splash.

Many of the other swimmers at FOMC, (more commonly known as Renfrew) are equally considerate about letting faster people swim through. While I'm often one of the fastest people in the pool, I'm acutely aware there are several people that make me look like I need remedial lessons. I recognize their swim suits and stroke, to say nothing of the steam rising from the water in their wake, and I stay out of their way. I also try to watch to see exactly what they're doing, which is a bit of a problem given how shortsighted I am. There is a firm line between the looking at each other we need to do to avoid running into each other, or to make conversation, or to watch someone's stroke to see what they're doing, and being a pervert about it.

So yesterday me and Mz. Backstroke are coming to the lane end. She knows I'm behind her and is neatly tucked over to her side. I'm swimming down the centre of the lane just coming up beside her feet knowing she will pause while I turn. As far as we know there is nobody else in our lane. Except for the jerk that climbed down the ladder as she was moving toward that space. She stopped abruptly. I see her feet touch bottom about 6 feet before I expected it, just as I'm breathing and getting set up for a flip turn. At about the last second I realized someone had gotten in Mz. Backstroke's way, and was now standing right at flip turn central.

You don't have much time to think. Anybody that rude is likely to push off just then. At the last second I converted to an open turn just to keep an eye on him. Told him "wrong place to be, pal", and pushed off. Mz. Backstroke pushed off right on my feet, and I was happy to see him swimming in the next lane over.

There's been a few incidents at the pool where there has been a confrontation between people. I remember one guy looking at the lane with two people swimming circles, keeping left, per the board right there so the two lanes are going the same way right along the lane rope. So he gets in and starts swimming keeping right (which often happens in violation of the sign), and deliberately ran over one of the nicest people swimming there, then got in her face and tried to bully her into admitting she was wrong and should have been watching for him. He even dragged in the pool supervisor, since a "mere deck lifeguard" (his words) clearly wasn't important enough to resolve the dispute. All involved told him he was being a jerk, though in nicer language than that. He didn't like that much and got huffy. In the change room after considerably stronger language was used.

Also yesterday, just as I was leaving the pool, the news was talking about an incident where an "11-year veteran was charged with one count each of assault and uttering threats". They made contact and there was a "verbal altercation". Here's the story as reported by CBC. The radio said the cop threatened and bullied the other patron. I know nothing more about it.

Every swimmer has rapped knuckles with another swimmer. We've all been touched by someone else who is swimming a bit wider, or has had a turn go wrong, or something. It's no big deal. We've all had to cope with having a slow swimmer in our lane that doesn't get out of the way, and doesn't seem to realize they are in the wrong place. It happens and we cope. I'll apologize even if I'm pretty sure it's the other guy's fault. We're all there to swim, and we all helped pay for the facility.

I freely admit there is a bit of a swim lane Nazi in me that would like to see people swimming together, like with like. Mainly that's sorted by speed. Or those doing intervals and are watching the clock to the second. All the breaststrokers should have their own little ghetto lane. Except for the ones who swam it competitively and can keep up, and keep it narrow. I'd rather swim in a lane with 4 other swimmers going my speed, than a lane with 2 swimmers going different speeds.

Earlier this year there was a G20 meeting in Toronto and a similar meeting at a resort north of Toronto. It was a massive exercise in denial of civil liberties. The cops over reacted in closing off public areas, and dealing with peaceful protesters. There is video of Mr. Nobody (that is really his name) being beaten by cops who have concealed their identities. They essentially behaved like a gang of organized thugs.

There are other cases. Perhaps the most famous one is where 4 cops tasered a man to death in the Vancouver airport, then lied about it. A video was released catching them in the lies. They changed their story slightly, and lied some more in court about it.

In some places cops charge people with obstruction of justice when they use cell phones to tape police activies. I don't know if that has happened here, but it's outrageous. Cops acting in the line of duty in public have no expectation of privacy. Filming them, providing restrictions about access to the scene are obeyed, doesn't restrict them from working. What it does is inhibit them from is abusing their powers. I fully recognize cops have to go into charged situations and deal with it. They don't get much time to think about it. The consequences of a mistake can be very serious. I'm inclined to cut the cops some slack on this.

Some slack. If there are x many complaints about excessive police force in a year, filed against x (or near x) many cops, and all are investigated, and all cops are cleared, then I'm not likely to be too fussed. But when the same cop, or cops are alleged to have engaged in excessive force again and again, then something is fishy. These are the cases where cops can't be investigating themselves, although it shouldn't happen at all. This is where civilian oversight is needed. Civilian oversight with huge sharp fangs. They need to be able to go in with enough authority to break up a cop clique.

Our society gives some people extra rights and responsibilities. We let firemen and ambulance drivers violate the rules of the road to deal with an emergency. (Though I still think a front facing camera should be mounted on each emergency vehicle, and every single time the lights and siren are on, someone ought to review the tape looking for drivers that didn't get out of the way. Those drivers should be spanked hard. I saw it today. I digress.) We give cops guns and tasers, with guidelines on how and when they should be used. We let judges make decisions about who goes to jail. They all know stuff about us we don't want our friends to know. They can look up stuff about us. Some of them can add things to our database files. That power is scary.

We expect all of these people to exercise good judgement in the execution of their duties. Quite frankly, we expect them to be better people in general than most of us. Our society is so complex that it simply isn't possible to write a rule for every circumstance. We rely on people having good judgement about what an appropriate response is. We rap knuckles in the pool, exchange sorries, and carry on without a further thought. Someone gets in the lane without consideration for what's already happening there, someone politely but firmly tunes them in. Most of the time it's ignorance as in not knowing, as opposed to ignorance as in being a jerk.

Then we get into that cop having an altercation in a swim lane. Again, I don't know what caused it. I don't know the circumstances. But it sure sounds like abuse of authority, since a threat from a cop carries considerably more weight than from a random member of the public. People say, he's off duty, cut him some slack. Well, if an off duty cop can arrest someone and write up the report as if he was on duty, then, in fact, he's never off duty. And what else has he been up to? Any other accusations of excessive force, or other un-cop-like behaviour? We need to look at these situations very carefully. Anyone can have a bad day and lose it, even a cop or a judge. But once we start to see a history of it, then that person has to go. End of story. They aren't the right kind of person to be a cop, to be trusted with that sort of power.

Many years ago I had a job interview that in terms of getting the job didn't go well for me. The guy was an old pro and quickly determined I was the wrong kind of person for that job. In hindsight he was totally correct. We ended up having a nice chat. It turned out he almost didn't care about the technical skills involved. He said he could teach the skills to almost anyone, but what he couldn't teach was attitude and the minute to minute social skills involved. (It was a sales job and I was a callow youth.) He said lots of people can fake it, for a while, but eventually their true stripes will show.

Same with cops. A cop can make a mistake, even a serious one, and it can be treated as a learning experience. But a cop that's a bully at heart, or holds the homeless in contempt, or thinks that drug addicts aren't human, or that legitimate protesters are terrorists, or has bought into the "if you aren't a cop you're the enemy" mindset, is going to show those stripes eventually, and the only solution is to remove them from the force before they infect other cops.

Even more importantly, they need to be removed to protect other cops. The RCMP has been badly wounded over the DziekaƄski incident at the Vancouver airport. By trying to cover up it and other cases they have lessened the respect in which the organization is held. People are more suspicious of them, more likely to be uncooperative in encounters with them, all of which makes it more difficult to solve crimes. People wonder if the cop they are talking to is going to go postal on them. We teach kids that cops are where to go when they are in trouble. Well, in at least some cases, especially if you're Native, or black, or can't speak English well, cops ARE the trouble. And that is a very sad thing for our society.

Swam an hour this morning, a mixed bag. Felt tired and slow beside several other faster swimmers. Water ran 15 minutes in the dive tank. My knee is feeling a bit cranky today.

Prolotherapy shots after the swim, and now it's feeling really cranky. It feels full, and stiff. The spin class tonight is looking like a definite maybe.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The old pool

Easy swim today, just an hour. Long warm up. Kick, pull, lots of backstroke, which seems to be getting better too. Worked hard on technique. Nearly flip turned into some jerk who got into the pool and was standing around with his thumb where the sun don't shine. I had really nowhere else to go, since my lane mate was there too. I surfaced, glared at him during my open turn and said "wrong place to be, pal" and pushed off again. Fortunately he was smart enough to swim in the next lane over. Don't these people look at at what's happening in a lane before getting in the water?

Then into the dive tank for 15 minutes water running. That felt pretty good on my knee.

Yoga. Took it easy on the knee. At least when the knee cap is moving around it doesn't feel like it's catching on something, like it was last week.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A new pool

Julie broke me out of my shell today. We were chatting on Facebook about swim stuff, and she suggested I meet her down in Pincher Creek and SHOW her some of the stuff I was talking about. It's only a 2 hour drive, and the weather is nice, so I didn't have to think about it too much.

The drive down was one of those clear and sharp Alberta days. I needed sunglasses. There is some weather coming in over the mountains, but it's still so clear. I took this shot on highway 3, just before 785 south. Obviously I'm facing west.

The pool is quite nice! Surprisingly nice. If it was closer I'd swim there more often. We did a bit of warmup, then started trying different stuff. We actually had a blast! Lots of one arm drill for me. Lots and lots. More than I've ever done. Julie would try something while I watched. I was trying to yell when she was doing it right, but that doesn't work so well, what with stroking along one armed to keep up, trying to watch what is going in, and working in the occasional breath. We did a bunch of different drill. At one point I was holding on to her good foot, while she was powering away with her arms, then I made her tow me the whole pool length.

We were in the water 1.5 hrs, and swimming most of it, but Julie was doing all the work, trying new things to fix habits she's trying to break. She has improved, even though she doesn't think so. I've no idea how far we went.

I even used the iPhone to take some video of her swim. She has the Youtube link so if you want to see it, you'll have to go to her blog. She said she didn't mind, but really, it's hers and should at least get first dibs for her blog. It's not the smoothest video since I had to dodge a bunch of crap on the pool deck. Last thing I wanted to do was fall into the pool while holding the iPhone.

Afterward we went out for coffee and snacks, and of course we chatted up a storm. Lots of people would be down about breaking a bone in their foot and DNS a big race, but she is so good about seeing the bright side. I love all that positive energy that just washes off her.

The drive back went by in the blink of an eye. I had good tunes on, singing along. The sky and landscape were going all pastel in an peculiarly Alberta way as the sun set. It's so nice to get up above 120 Kph (75mph) for a couple of hours with your brain turned off. There's two small towns where you have to slow down, but that's it. It's been a while since I've driven that far by myself. I've had lots of long drives on business (Hello Consort and Richmound), but the big daddy of trips was when I moved out west in July 1980. Everything I owned was stuffed into a 75 Pontiac Lemans for the drive from Toronto to Calgary. I loved it. The weather was beautiful, and it was nice to have time to think and look at the world. It was the first time I'd done the drive. Northern Ontario is massively brain numbingly boring and it goes on forever. It's nearly two whole days. There's one section between Hearst and Longlac where there is nothing but muskeg to look at and the road is essentially surveyor straight for a little over 200 Km. But quite a while later you escape and you get out onto the prairies and it's wonderful. I loved it. There is something liberating about the huge blue sky and the horizon that is forever away.

Today reminded me of that, and I spent a bit of time thinking about what's happened since that drive 30 years ago. 30 years!! Some of my readers hadn't even been born then. Somewhere along the line Calgary became home. Back then it was a small city of 640,000 and it's grown to well over a million. Some days I lose track of all the changes. But it goes along with the changes in my life. In 1980 I was just a confused kid with big dreams. I still don't know what I want to be when (if) I grow up, but I've come to accept that about me, and I'm more committed to enjoying the journey.

I've never been fussed about "a career" like some people are. A job is just a tool to earn money. It's something you do. It's not, or shouldn't be what you are. There are a million ways to earn a living, but only one way to earn a life, and it's between your ears. I've had a ton of jobs here - industrial truck tire repairman, power engineer, plant operator, maintenance man, data entry clerk, technical database support, software tester, data integrity analyst, technical writer, software admin, and these days I'm mostly a business analyst of various stripes.

My hobbies and leisure activities have changed too. For a while I was active in science fiction fandom, then sort of morphed into the Society for Creative Anachronism. There's actually an interesting story about that. I was living in apartment 807 at the time. At the second SF club meeting that I showed up to I was given a print out of the club's members along with their addresses and phone numbers. This was a computer print out, which was a big deal in 1980. The first thing I noticed was that they had my address wrong, since the apartment was given as 708. An easy mistake. Whoops, the name is wrong too. Found the guy and started chatting with him. We started carpooling. Then one day he's hauling this duffel bag and a bunch of odds and ends to the car and I'm helping him carry it. Armour. Real metal and leather armour. He explained it was something a bunch of the science fiction people were involved in. He had me with "we dress in leather and beat our friends with sticks."

I started doing that, and got pretty good. Later I injured my back and couldn't do that anymore, but jumped tracks into administration. Being organized and literate, a pair of qualities in short supply in the general membership, I was given more and more responsibility, and ended up at the very top of the admin pyramid. The big learning out of that was that I no longer wanted to become a professional politician, which had been something I'd considered as a career path.

For a bunch of years Linda and I took ballroom dance lessons. Waltz, cha-cha-cha, two step, ballroom tango, foxtrot, East coast swing, and rhumba. Later we added some west coast swing, and Argentine tango, both of which I love. I just can't do west coast swing very well, but love the music. Here's Etta James "I just want to make love to you". That's a fabulous West coast swing. Argentine tango is quite different than ballroom tango, and is electrifying to watch. Try this for technical brilliance, though it doesn't really capture the spirit. This one shows a bit more of the spirit of tango, though it's staged a bit. It takes a minute to get going, and makes more sense when you understand tango is best dance by a couple deeply in love that happen to be completely angry with one another at the moment.

Then there was triathlon, but you guys know the story from there. It's been a long, interesting trip, and there isn't much that I'd change.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Toenails, but no icky photos

I know that will disappoint some of you. With any luck this is the last bit of fall out, or fall off from IMC. While trimming my toenails yesterday, two of them essentially came right off. The one on the left foot was the one that went black. Not sure what the issue with the one on the right foot was.

Swam today 1.25 hrs, a general mix of stuff. The high point was 4 x 100 m on 2 minutes, each done under 100 seconds. I was pretty pleased with that. Otherwise there was lots of kick, lots of drill, which isn't the most exciting thing in the world, but needs to be done. As a reference, doing front kick with the board for 50 m is 82 seconds. The length of the pool seems to take FOREVER going that slow. I should ask to get my kick only video taped at the Mercury Rising swim camp in Jan, even though I'm sure I'll want to cover my eyes. But that's the best way to improve. Seeing what you're doing wrong is enormous incentive to stop doing it and learn something better.

Lots of puttering in the basement trying to bring some organization to the shop area. What a mess! No wonder I can't ever find anything. I admit to being a bit of a pack rat when it comes to bits of stuff that just might be useful for something, someday. I come by it honestly, both my dad and his dad were like that. On a farm you never know when something is going to come in handy. If you can find it. I'm trying to decide what I'm going to do with that area, and all the stuff. I'm taking photos as I go so I can show you before and after. Maybe.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Bailed on the KBRCC today

That's Katie's Bike Run Core Cupcakes. Something has really taken it out of my knee lately. Not sure if it's the extra emphasis on core, or trying to maintain bike time, or what. Up till very recently it's been more of an ache, but I've had a few spasms of actual almost pain. So, much as it crushed me to do so, I skipped out on todays session. After reading Elizabeth's blog about health and fitness, I feel no guilt.

It ended up being a very busy day anyways, out and about. I'd been thinking of running, but it didn't happen. The 45 minute core did happen, though I was feeling sluggish about it at first. It ended up being pretty good. The pushups are beginning to work again. Yay!

Weekly Summary
swim 3.25 hrs
bike 1.25 hrs (and a pretty feeble effort, if I do say so myself)
run .5 hr
Total cardio 5.0 (which is being a bit optimistic given the bike)
Core 3.75

Friday, December 3, 2010

A nice longish swim

Friday is often a day I can sleep in, sort of. Today I made it to about 7 am, which is late for me. I figured give the legs all the rest they will take.

Canyon Meadows sometimes has lane swim all afternoon and I got lucky today, with a lane all to myself. The sun shines in the end of the pool and brightens things up. I got into a groove pretty promptly, whooshing past a guy in the next lane taking a zillion strokes per length. Then he went away and I had nearly the whole pool to myself. Into the sunlight, flip, dark end of the pool, flip. My whole arm was sliding down from the catch, getting propulsion right away, feeling solid in the water.

I didn't have a plan, just went back and forth, relaxed and smooth. It was easier to keep going than to stop. 1K 18:50. Then 1.5 K 28:15. Moving easily in the water, not working hard. Just sliding back and forth. Then I started noticing a bit of a pull in my left ham during the turn. While the swim had been nice and easy, I'd been working the flip turns, trying to be tight and fast. Maybe went a bit too hard there. Stopped to stretch and massage it a tiny bit, once it actually cramped up. That was a first. I stopped with 2K ending up being 38:15, so I fell off the pace a bit. But I didn't mind particularly. This had been a very relaxing swim.

Then into some kick drill, and lots of pull. I think I'm getting the roll better coordinated with the catch and pull. Stopped swimming at 1.25 hrs. A couple people had joined the next lane. I got a chuckle out of the one guy trying to keep up with fins. That didn't last even one length. Stretched out the leg, the left especially. Not sure why it cramped up, but I suspect the extra core I'm doing has it working a bit harder, plus compensating for the right knee.

Then 45 minutes of core and leg exercise at home. Even did two sets of 4 pushups, really slow. Plus some plank.  I discovered an interesting thing a couple weeks ago, and have been checking on it. Lie on your back, hands at your sides, palm down. Nice and relaxed. Now lift up your hand over your head in a big vertical arc, just as if you're doing the back stroke. My right hand lands with a thump on the mat. My arm is straight out, close to my ear. Doing that with my left arm leave my knuckles some small amount off the mat. My arm just stops. I think there's a really tight pec muscle in there, or something in the back is all locked up. Been working on it, but it seems to be a one step forward two steps sideways sort of thing.

I'm still musing about what races to do next season. For me it's really hard to mentally commit to a race when I'm injured or not doing well at something (like the bike, lately). Lots of people worry about being unfit or not trained for a  race, but that's never bothered me. My currently level of fitness is so far beyond where I was a few years ago that I still haven't adjusted, so I don't know what normal is.

Part of recovery and resting is to do so until you don't need to anymore. My feelings are that as soon as you put a deadline in there, you make it much more difficult to rest. That race date starts getting bigger and bigger. You start wondering if you will be recovered in time to start training. You wonder if your nagging injury will heal. Which of course just makes things worse.

The Chinook IM is calling me. I ride at least part of the bike course almost every ride I do. The run course is a very short drive from here. It's a well run race, and I want to do it much faster than last time. Much faster. But I also don't want to do it injured. I want to be fully recovered, so I don't think I'm going to sign up for anything for a while.

Well, there's a swim camp in a few weeks that I'm looking forward to. Trying to keep up with Julie and Tisha will be a bit of a race.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A hurt'n knee

The knee has been a bit weird recently; I'm not sure how to describe it. Weak. Feeble. Hollow. Aching. Sore. Tired. Just walking around the house today it felt wonky, and I was careful how I was moving. I wasn't looking forward to spin class.

Lots of good stuff in class, but I couldn't do any of it. My left leg started to hurt and I realized it was doing all the work, what little work was being done. It's like I had no strength to put into the pedals. Max rpm before things started squeaking was 110 rpm. One leg drill got actively painful very quickly so I stopped. It hurt where the knee cap meets up with the quads. Needless to say, not a lot of fun tonight. I was on the bike for 1.25 hrs, but it barely counts as aerobic exercise.

I'm glad all this is happening now, on the off season. I've got to believe the various therapies will make a difference and things will start getting better.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Swimming with Mr. Cantdrafthim

The pool was a zoo for the first time since it's got really cold a couple weeks ago. Then again, I got there a bit earlier than recently, so that might be it. I made 5 joining a lane, but they all swam about my speed so it was good.

During my my first 1000 m people sorted themselves out and most left the lane. By the time
18:45 rolled around there was only a couple other people left. I did some kick drill and that drove everybody else out of the lane, except for one guy. I started some 100 m on 2 minute drills. By then I figured out who he was, since I hadn't seen him for a while. It was Mr. Cantdrafthim. Here I am, swimming my 100 m in a 1:45 pace or so. We come to the wall and do side by side flip turns. His is very nice. I'm working hard trying to stay with him, but by mid pool I'm falling out of his draft, and by the time he reaches the wall I'm well out of it. Holy crap. I've no idea what pace he's swimming at, but it's way faster than me. I ended up doing 10 x 100, then started to get sloppy. More kick drill and cool down.

Ended up swimming a little over an hour, and chatted with him a bit at the end. He's been out of it a while, and is trying to get back into his swim stroke again. I'd love it if my swim stroke ever got it together as much as his has "fallen apart". Sheesh. Then into the dive tank for another 15 minutes of core.

Yoga was good, though I was getting some odd clicks out of my knee. I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing. Soft, quiet clicks. They did something called three limbed pose. I tried very briefly then did something else, very quickly. Three different people snored in Savasana. None of them were me, but they kept me awake.

I'm well over 3000 comments now, and that's in base 10, GQH. Thanks again to my readers, and commenters! Keep those cards and letters coming, folks.

 So it looks like Darryl is the big winner! Couldn't happen to a nicer guy. I met him fairly shortly after getting started at this, pretty sure it was at spin class. He can run circles around me, literally. We were doing a brick after a ride down RtN, and he didn't want to get lost in my neighbourhood. So he'd run ahead, come back, run behind me, then catchup, go ahead, and do it all again. Most recently he's posted pics of him and his wife dancing in front of their Christmas tree. Hi Lisa, long time no chat! Linda says hi.

He also said that since he had done multiple entries I could count the next person as the "real" winner. Well, that turns out to be Neil Z, he of the barefoot running and kind offer of some Gu for the winner. So I said to have some Gu on me. He's got lots of neat stuff on his page, so it's worth visiting. Wait till he runs a contest to follow him though since that's how you enter. That should be, oh, any minute now.

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