Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Does Chlorine Clear The Gunk From Your Lungs?

Good news! I am no longer the newbie on the swim team! Yay! There’s a new guy working out with us who is training for a triathlon (we’ll call him Tri Guy, since I’m so creative). It is nice to not be the new person. I even know 5 or 6 people’s names, which is quite an accomplishment for me. I’m horrible with names.

It was my first day back at workout after being sick – or I should say, while being sick. I dragged myself there knowing that one of two things would happen. Either I’d feel a) better or b) worse. So far I’m going with a. I am exhausted though. I even made it through part of the main set, too! Yay! I was pretty excited. We were supposed to do 4x(3x50, 2x100, 1x150) swimming our mile pace. Which, by the way, still cracks me up. I have one “pace”, as I’ve already explained to you. And it is the same for the mile as it is the 50. Anyway, I humored the poor coach and attempted what one might call a mile pace. And I did it! I completed one full cycle (3x50, 2x100, and 1x150) at the pace I was supposed to do.

Man…. How I have missed that sense of accomplishment – of doing something I didn’t think I could do! I had forgotten what that rush was like. Feeling it again takes me back to some very specific moments in my swimming career (which, interestingly enough, typically happened at workout and not at meets. I was a fabulous workout swimmer who sucked when it counted!). One of these moments was a time that we were doing 3x400m free on an interval that was not much off of my best 400m time. (It’s times like this that I REALLY wish I remember my best times.) Anyway, the interval was maybe 5 seconds off my best time. And I made each one. I didn’t think I could do it, but I did.

Anyway, my accomplishment today was not nearly as great but felt just as good. I have decided to mentally draw a line in the sand between the past, present, and future. What I did before, while not that great by many people’s standards, was great for me. And what I’m doing now – as pathetic as it might feel to me – is the best I can do for today. Who knows what the future holds.

And no, chlorine does not clear the gunk out of your lungs. You just forget about it, temporarily.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Measurement Monday

I’m still under the weather and decided not to go to workout today.  I’ve graduated from sleeping 24/7 to coughing up a lung.  I’m quite pissy, actually, about not going to practice.  I’m sure Bikini Girl could have lost a limb and SHE would go to practice.  Ugh.  I am such a wimp sometimes.

Anyway, since I had nothing more exciting to talk about today I decided to do my measurements a day early to see if I had lost any inches.  Holy cow.  Time for a new obsession!  Who needs a scale?!  Not me.  Which works just fine since mine was taken away.  Don’t tell or they will take away my measuring tape, too.  In one week, I’ve lost:

Waist 1 3/4”
Hips 1”
Chest 1/2”
Arms 1/2”
Thighs 1/2”

Craziness!  This swimming stuff really works wonders, doesn’t it?!  Now, I will confess my true feelings.  One of those areas is the least desirable area for women to lose inches, but I am proudly willing to give that up for the sake of scientific data.  Plus, I’ll be more streamline.              

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Weight Loss Wednesday (Well, Sunday)

Since I’m sick and feeling sorry for myself, I thought I’d update my weight loss progress.  I didn’t do it earlier this week because I was banned from the scale after over focusing on it for several weeks.  :o)  I have started to do weekly measurements, also, so I will report back on that one of these days.  Anyway, here is how things are looking as far as weight goes:

9-27-2009 5-27-50 PM

There are no numbers on purpose, thank you.  I do have some dignity to spare!  The chart represents a 17.4 lb loss!  Wowza!  I’m pretty proud of myself!  I want to lose 3 more lbs. before October 8th – which is when I leave for Hawaii. 

Out of Commission

The h2ochik is sick. Boooooooooooo.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Why Am I The Last Person To Know How Awesome Zoomers Are?

You people have been keeping a HUGE secret from me!  Come on now, I thought we were friends!  Today I wore Zoomers during practice.  Good lord!  Those babies are a flippin’ miracle!  (I just realized I made a punny!!!  HA!).  I am going to start wearing them during workouts for awhile.  They definitely allow me to go further and for a longer period of time than without them.  And since I’m still in the “get in shape” mode, I think longer and further will help.  Coach agreed.  I seriously felt like my “old” swimming self.  I felt FAST!  Yay!

In other not-related-to-Zoomers swimming news, Bikini Girl is injured and just not up to par.  Too bad she is so incredibly nice because I’m really starting to feel a tremendous amount of guilt for talking smack about her!  Just wait until she discovers my blog!  LOL!  You know it is bound to happen.  How embarrassing!  I live in a small town, and well, the swimming community is a pretty small world.  So I’m issuing my heartfelt apology now, because you know as soon as she sees this she will read it ALL (I would anyway…):

C (Bikini Girl), I really like you a lot.  Not only do I like you as a person, but you also make my stories so much more entertaining!  Thank you for relighting my competitive fire.  Forgive me?  Maybe?  Think about it?  XOXO

Alright.  Maybe the XOXO’s are a tad bit much, but I really do feel bad. 

But here’s the thing.  We are about to start an IM set today at workout and Coach says “It’s too bad <Bikini Girl> is injured, I’d like to see if you could keep up with her during this set.”  Whoa.  Stop right there.  KEEP UP WITH HER??? 

I started the set (it started with a 300m IM.  What’s that you say?  Yeah I did, too.  75m of each stroke.  DUH!  I had a huge red L on my forehead after asking THAT question).  Prior to today, I hadn’t swam more than about 20m of butterfly in 18 years.  I swam 75m of fly after his “keep UP with her” comment.  Heh!  I am SO going to show him.  Keep up with her… sheesh!  (This is all prior to me putting on the Zoomers, by the way).  That comment stuck with me for the rest of the workout.  Thus the Zoomers.  Swim longer, swim further.  It is time to up my game, peeps.  I am not going to workout each day to keep up with people.  I’m going to workout to be faster than them at meets!  

I think I need to go to yoga now to recover from today’s madness.  Ommmmmmmm….. 

How much you wanna bet that he made that comment to me on purpose?


Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Week Without Swimming Makes Me... Well, Nutty

My house is FULL of sickies this week! It all started last Saturday morning when The Trooper woke up and promptly puked ~ in the toilet, thank God. The rest of the day was kind of iffy... feeling bad, not feeling bad, feeling bad.... and ultimately ended with The Trooper puking *ALL OVER* our entry way, including a wall (insert image of puke dripping down the wall). Um, yeah. That's what I said. Sunday was better (no puke but a high fever). Monday rolled in and both The Trooper and The Tween were sick so both were home from school. The Tween was well enough (I think he was faking on Monday) to go back Tuesday, and by Wednesday The Husband was coming down with it. Thursday The Husband and The Tween (legitimately sick this time!) were home, with The Trooper back at school. Shheeessh!

I told you all of that to tell you this. A week without swimming makes me, well, nutty! I haven't been able to hit the pool since last Friday. I'll be able to go tomorrow on my lunch hour, since both The Trooper and The Tween should be at school. I'm sure the coach thinks I threw in the towel already or something. Yeah, not so much. I've been itching to get in the pool all week! Hopefully these days of rest for my poor, pathetic muscles have been a good thing. I probably needed it anyway! So here's hoping that **I** don't get sick now!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My New Goggles ROCK!

I bought a pair of goggles last week from the vendor I purchased my suit from (I am still wounded over that, by the way).   I LOVE these goggles!  I’ve never heard of the brand before (The View?  I thought that was an ultra-liberal talk show??).   Anyway, these goggles were worth every penny.  Not that they were spendy, but I just mean they weren’t a waste of money.  They are quite a bit like the ever-popular Swedish goggles, however they have a rubber seal around the plastic so they are actually comfy!  Another bonus is that they have an actual nosepiece, so you don’t have to put the thread through the thing that attaches to the… whatever.  You know what I mean.

What are your favorite goggles?  Do you have a brand/model that you swear by?  Fill a girl in!  

Saturday, September 19, 2009

What The Heck?

I was only going to show this on Wednesdays, but what in the heck is going on here?  Why am I jumping all over the place?  Should I not be weighing myself everyday?  Or should I just stop worrying about it?

9-19-2009 6-22-15 PM

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Honeymoon Is Over, Baby

The swimming honeymoon, that is.  You know what I mean.  The euphoria of finding a great new hobby (don’t you dare ask me about my knitting), or going to the mall and finding that everything you love is on sale?  That honeymoon.  Well, today I decided that I’m over my swimming honeymoon.  Do I love to swim?  Yes.  Do I look forward to it?  Yes.  Am I going to continue swimming?  Yes.  Does it hurt?  Hello!!!  Does it ever!

I am guilty of setting unrealistic goals for myself.  Yes, it’s just shocking, isn’t it?  (Those who know me are laughing right now).  Why can I not get it through my thick skull that I should not expect myself to be in the same place that I was when I stopped swimming?  Why is that?  I am not a stupid person.  I think I am quite well schooled in common sense and logic.  I’m even pretty book smart.  But this concept of starting over is just beyond me. 

It was 18 years ago (this month, in fact) that I walked away from swim practice and vowed to never look back.  I was 17 years old and it was my senior year of high school.  It was a huge deal.  I had spent the previous 6 years of my life swimming year round with no more than a 2-week break at the end of the summer.  I had dedicated many years to swimming and I simply walked away.  Walking away was the best thing for me at the time, however, I do regret not swimming for my high school team that year.

In hindsight, the plan to “never look back” was not such a great idea.  Here I am at age 35 and swimming again.  I hop in the pool and expect that I can whip out a 200m fly.  I used to do 10x200m fly and LOVE it.  Today, I swam about 20m fly.  It is just plain depressing.  Our main set today consisted of 4x 5x100, descending 1-5.  Uh-huh, right.  I don’t “descend”.  I have ONE speed and it is called SLOW.

Coach tried to remind me today that I need to hold myself to different standards right now.  (I’m quite sure that he thinks I am nuts!).  There are certain times in life that being uber-competitive does not serve you well, and this is clearly one of them.  Instead of just “doing my thing” I find myself racing bikini girl and the guys in lane 3.  For God’s sake, one of the guys holds a masters national record!  What the heck am I thinking?!

Ugh.  Yes, friends, the honeymoon is most certainly over.  The reality of just how much work I have to do has hit me.  And as depressing as it may be, there is nothing to do but keep on going and put my competitiveness aside. 

The good news is that I’m already going faster than bikini girl, so I don’t have to worry about that anymore.  I *so* did not just say that….   

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

When Did They Start Making Suits So Much Smaller?

Someone fill me in on this.  FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.  When did Speedo start making suits for tiny people?  I bought a suit today from a vendor who was spending the day at our pool.  I thought, “Oh GOODY!  I get to shop before workout!!!”  So I did.  I needed new goggles badly (the ones I had leaked all the time) and I thought it would be FUN to get a new racing suit (I mean, who wears the same racing suit twice at a meet?  You need multiple!).  I looked through the racks, and glanced at all the cool suits and ended up buying, what I thought, was a quite generous size 30.  My workout suit is a 36 (and is big, I might add).  I thought a 30 would be just peachy.  When I was 16 and 17, I raced in 22’s and 24’s.  I went to workout in 26’s.  30’s were for fat people!

Fast forward to me, standing in my bathroom tonight with the door shut.  Shut and locked.  Trying to squeeeezzzeeeee into this #%$#)^%_ size 30 suit.  And when I say squeeze, I mean SQUEEZE!  They same kind of squeeze that used to get me into a 22 got me into a 30.  T-H-I-R-T-Y.  I stood there for at least 10 minutes trying to figure out how I would get it off.  (OMG!  What if it was WET?)  Alas, I was able to.  Quite frankly, my ego is never going to recover.

Oh, and one other thing.  Squeezing your fat butt into a suit is not *nearly* as cute at age 35 as at age 15.  The affect it has on your body is just not the same.  You DON’T look cute.  You look HUGE.

Here are some pictures of the culprit.  God, I love this suit.  Make me able to fit it someday.  Because I have no freaking clue how I can return or exchange it!!!  The 2nd picture is the style of the back, but not the same suit.

 8199018_5675 axcelback

Yes.  I SWEAR they make them smaller now.  Me, bigger?  Nah.  Thank goodness the goggles worked out. 

Weight Loss Wednesday?

What the heck???  Is this “muscle weighs more than fat”?  I have been eating well, exercising, quit drinking the grape juice…. What the HECK??  :( 

9-16-2009 2-50-06 PM

Monday, September 14, 2009

Snorting Water = Brain Burn

I’m starting this story with the ending: When you are so tired at practice that you start snorting water up your nose like a 6&U swimming their first summer league race ever, it’s time to get out and go home. Take note of that one, friends. Know when to say when before you have brain burn.

Monday’s workout was being run by the twenty-something coach who shares a name with the Trooper. Oh yay. I was my normal cheerful self, however, and didn’t even comment on the fact that he looked like he had spent the last 8 weeks in a tanning bed.

I shared a lane with bikini girl and got started with the workout. It felt a little more comfortable than last week, but still painful. The good news is that I swam a total of 1,500 meters and didn’t feel like I was going to cough up a lung.

I was getting ready to do the last set (6x100’s) which back in the day, wouldn’t even make me breathe hard. I swam the first one and I was thinking, wow, I’m getting pretty tired. Part way through the first lap of the 2nd one, I decided to change it to 50’s instead of 100’s. On the next 50 I snorted more water up my nose by accident than was left in my 1/2 full water bottle and decided it was time to call it a day. I can’t remember the last time I had that whole brain burn sensation going on. I can tell you it has been at least 18 years, but probably more like 28 years!

On to the next practice… Wednesday. I just hope I can get out of bed tomorrow.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Swimming & Weight Loss

There is always much discussion about how effective swimming for losing weight.  I decided to do my own study on the topic since I am A- starting swimming again and B- trying to lose weight.  I’ll share my chart with you weekly but here’s where I am right now.

9-12-2009 9-44-27 AM

I’m going to spare some of my dignity by not showing you the corresponding “Weight” that I have on the left side of the chart, but I will tell you that this represents an 11.2 lb weight loss to date!  :-)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Oops, I Did it Again!

Week one is behind me and my goal was met.  Not only did I get myself to the pool on Wednesday and today, but I really swam both times!  Pretty cool, eh?  Not sure how many meters I swam today but it was as least as much as Wednesday, and still hurt like hell.  I do not recommend a 18 year vacation to anyone, by the way.  Definitely not a wise idea.

This team does a lot more IM sets and drill work than I was ever used to doing.  It’s been interesting and fun to learn new things, and wow, has the sport ever changed!  I have to re-learn legal flip turns and underwater stuff for my first meet!  LOL!  It is not as simple as swimming from one end of the pool to the other. 

Rock hard body bikini girl was back in action today, too.  Damn.  I was hoping to get one workout ahead of her!  I’m going to be proudly wearing one of those suits before you know it.  Bikini girl probably has like six kids and still has a rockin’ body.  Oh well.  I’m still losing the baby weight.  I have an excuse. <ahem, it’s almost been 8 years since the Trooper was born, who’s counting?>

Another interesting thing from today’s workout – mirrors on the bottom of the pool.  Let me first say that I’ve seen “The Girls Next Door” episode with mirrors on the ceiling, but NEVER have I seen mirrors on the bottom of the pool.  Coach says they are there so you can see yourself and correct technique problems.  I said, okay.  I’ll do backstroke when it is MY turn for the mirrors, thank you very much.  I just returned from a 18 year swim-cation and I most DEFINTELY do NOT want to look at myself in the mirror! 

So… on to Monday’s practice.  I am sure that I’ll be sore as all get out tomorrow.  And guess who is coaching on Monday?  The sweet little punk who shares a name with the Trooper.  Oh joy.  Maybe I’ll give him a little hell just because I can.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I Did It!!

I went to my first “official” Masters practice today.  I say “official” because I’ve gone before but the head coach was always traveling with the age-groupers.   I had to deal with his assistant, previously,  who I swear is 1/2 my age.  Hard to listen to a kid who is 1/2 my age and comes across like a total punk.  And, he has the same name as my younger son.  It just wasn’t working for me.  Then the kids were out of school for the summer and time got away from me… Which, by the way, THANK GOD they go back to school tomorrow.  Sorry, I digressed for a moment. 

Anyway, the Tween (my oldest son) and the Trooper (my younger son) both came along to watch me swim, which I actually really loved.  [I am not going to use their real names on this blog to prevent them from any further online embarrassment than I have already bestowed upon them].  After getting them settled in the bleachers I introduced myself to the coach. 

Coach explained to me how the workouts are run and which speeds swim in which lanes.  He said to hop into whichever lane I felt most comfortable in (as if any of them would be “comfortable”!).  Since it has been, oh, 18 years I said “I am going in the slow lane!” and hopped in.  Apparently I only swam half a lap before he told my lane buddies “Um, she is not slow!”.  When I touched the wall at my first 50m I got promoted to the fast lane, but I objected and we agreed on the medium lane.  First lesson learned:  I am not 16 anymore and what I say, matters.  Not a concept I was used to.

I swam and enjoyed the two people I shared a lane with.  One older gentleman (70+ years old?) and a “younger” gal (about my age!) who was in awesome shape wearing a 2-piece Speedo training suit, who I was immediately jealous of.  We did our workout, based upon what Coach wrote up on the white board.  Tween and Trooper sat patiently in the bleachers, shocked I think, that mom could really swim laps.  The look on their faces was quite priceless, actually.  At one point the two got up, hand in hand, and started walking around the deck and I thought “Oh great.  They’re bored already.”.  But, they were just heading to the bathroom.  No biggie.  So I kept swimming.

After awhile I needed to get back to work, so I told Coach I was calling it a day (another luxury of being an adult ~ Who knew there were so many benefits?).  He asked me how I felt about my swim and I said “Really, really slow”.  He gave me a great piece of advice.  At least, *I* think it is great advice.  He told me to concentrate on getting slow slowly, instead of getting fast faster.  To my little pea-sized brain, that made a whole ton of sense.  Especially since I’m quite impatient and tend to set unrealistic goals for myself.  Both of which lead to their cousins “frustration” and “disappointment”.

I’ll be back on Friday.  And guess what?  For the first time in several weeks, my headache is gone.  Coincidence?

Monday, September 7, 2009

What Does a Masters Swimmer Wear to Race These Days?

In the midst of all the tech suit drama and debate, I need to figure out what suit to wear for my masters meet debut.  Sounds like a good reason to do some online shopping, eh?!  The only reason I’d be needing a tech suit right now is to hold in all my “excess baggage” that I have, thanks to two kids and too many bottles of vino. 

Anyway, I found a few cute options.  What do you think?  Which one should I get?  All the suits are, of course, found on

1. The cute Hawaii-ish Suit

2. The Queen of the Pool Suit

3. The Love Life Suit

4. The Funky Suit

5. The Mosaic Suit

6. The Tattoo Suit

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

New Beginnings

It all starts with a goal, right?  Sounds simple enough.  Deciding on my first goal was not simple at all, actually.  First I had to figure out why I’m doing it.  I’ve spent a few days pondering this – Why do I want to swim again?  Is it to improve my fitness?  Have fun?  Prove something to myself?  Prove something to someone else?  Face old demons?  Meet people who share a common love for the sport?

I know it is a combination of all these things.  Determining my first goal has forced me to sort through each of these reasons, and to put the “right” reasons on top of the list and put the secondary reasons ~the ones that can never really be fulfilled~ aside.  I know I can’t do this for anyone other than myself.  Swimming at age 35 will not change my age group swimming experience.  It won’t change the fact that I wasn’t the successful swimmer I had once thought I would be. 

All of that said, this is truly a new beginning.  My first goal is simple ~ go to two practices this week (Wednesday and Friday).  I’m not putting any distance requirements in there or amount of swimming time.  I just have to get myself there.  If I get in the pool, great!  If I swim five minutes, even better!  A half hour, WOW, fantastic!  I’m setting myself up for success, obviously.  Wish me luck!    

Friday, September 4, 2009

The truth of the matter

So here’s the deal.  I am signed up to swim at my first Master’s meet.  It’s on November 22nd in Oak Harbor, WA.  And I’m not just swimming one event, but three events since I don’t know how to ease into anything.  It isn’t enough for me to just swim the 50 free and call it good. 

And here lays the problem.  The truth of the matter is that I am not in that great of shape.  SURPRISE!  I’m sure you all came to that realization before I did.  I have just over 2 months to get into fighting form.  Um, that doesn’t sound like enough time, does it?!

So suffer along with me, friends, while I prepare for this meet.  With the kids starting school I can begin going to the Master’s workout next week.  Cross your fingers.  Hold me to it.  I do NOT want to look like an idiot at the meet in November.  Hey!  Sounds like I just set my first meet goal!  AND this sounds like a ridiculously good reason to get a new swimsuit!  Who knew this Master’s swimming gig could be so fulfilling?