Thursday, November 30, 2006
Poor Comm’s is freezing in AZ, while here … it’s 15 C this morning with 82% humidity (that’s 59 F).
And you know how it’s supposed to be invigorating to go from a hot sauna to rolling about in the snow? Well, there’s 5-10 cm of snow in the forecast for tomorrow! (I guess I’ll have to get the shovel out of the basement …)
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
When first learning to use the clock in a lane swimming situation, leave when the sweep second hand hits sixty (also known as “on the sixty” or “on the top”). Swim an easy 50, take your time. Then do the same thing on the :30 (or “at the bottom”), the :15 and the :45. In an ideal world, the times will be awfully similar. The average of those 4 times is your holding time. If you are using a multi-hand clock, begin by picking a coloured hand ("on the red", I've also heard people say "red top"), then leave on different colours.
Now try it leaving at different 5 second intervals around the clock (not necessarily consecutive 5 second intervals). Leaving on the :05, finishing on the :48 is easy subtraction to a :43. Leaving on the :35, finishing on the :19 it is easier for me to say 19 to make 35 is 16, 60-16=44. Those using a colorful clock should now be sticking with the colour they left on for the first 50.
The simplest set to swim is a set that always leaves on the top. So a relaxed set of 5 x 50 on 1:00 will have you leaving on the :60, and will take 5 minutes. And taking your time is easy. (If that happens to be too fast, it is easy to modify to going on 1:30, so you leave at the top and the bottom. Going on 1:15 will have you leaving :15, :30, :45 and :60.)
You can follow up that set by a set of 5 x 50 descending on 1:00 (or whatever interval is comfortable for you). In this case you want your first 50 to be the slowest, the final 50 to be fastest. So you must build into your set pacing and at least a 5 second difference between the first 50 and the last. The obvious extension of this is the reverse 5 x 50 ascending on 1:00. Swimming the three groups of 50's without a break is a set of 15 x 50 and 15 minutes of your workout. A nice thing about two hand clocks is that the minute hand always clicks over at the top of the clock, so you are less likely to be confused about how long your set has taken.
In a lane swim I go in knowing that I may have to forfeit my repeat time (1:00 in the example above) because of where other swimmers are. If I leave 5 seconds early, I may try to leave 5 seconds late the next time. I may just accommodate interruptions and finish the total number of repeats in the set. Or, like Monday night, I may change my repeat time entirely. I had planned 4 x 25 fly on :45. Because of the way traffic was flowing I changed them to on 1:00, and upped the intensity level a bit.
And just in case I have confused the issue for you instead of simplifying it, here's a link to a fine article from WSU Masters Swimming.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Somehow, it just seems a little off …
Monday, November 27, 2006
Thursday I had lunch with Mom and Dad and Tyler (the cat who owns them but really lives next door). It was a most enjoyable late birthday celebration for Mom. Mom and I also poked through some of the old Christmas ornaments, and a few migrated over here.
Friday night I had dinner with Miss Emma, Miss Margaret and their folks. Emma presented me with another lovely card, and Margaret and I did manage to get some high quality Play-Doh time in! (There is now a stunning array of Play-Doh variants and tools, but I’m pleased to report rolling pins and cookie cutters still work great!) As a result, instead of swimming, I did pulleys!
Saturday morning was good fun, too. Miss M and her dad and I watched Miss E’s skating lesson. There’s nothing quite like an early morning at the rink, especially when they don’t seem to have the heaters turned on and you rush out the door in your runners! Emma’s class played games while learning their skills, and it was great fun to watch. I love that the instructors now draw on the ice with markers. The kick of the morning may have been the bunch of us waving at the Zamboni driver, though! (He waved back, making it all the more fun. But it wasn't as swanky as the one pictured.)
Saturday night I put on a dress, heels and pearls and celebrated the season. Sunday was significantly more mundane involving grocery shopping and a swim. And somewhere in there I managed to stuff 10 lawn and garden waste bags full ready for the last pickup of the season.
Now, back to my regularly scheduled routine!
Sunday, November 26, 2006
The Snowsuit Fund is a local charity that helps to ensure that young people under the age of fifteen have clothing enough to keep them warm during our coldest months. It costs about $35.00 to dress a child warmly. They also accept gently used snowsuits, mittens, hats, scarves and boots.
There was warmth radiating from our hostess (ably assisted in her duties by her lovely mother) and her home, warmth in the company of friends new and not so new – warmth enough to go the winter long.
P.S. The party raised $700, enough to buy 20 new snowsuits. In addition 10 snowsuits, 1 pair of boots, 3 coats, 1 hat, 1 pair of mittens and 1 scarf will find new homes this season.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
In some pools they are mounted on the wall, but many have them on rolling stands (left). There are also smaller battery operated versions.
Pace clocks are essential to swimming repeats, but they serve a number of other functions:
- You can easily slot yourself in a lane according to speed by taking the times of people already swimming.
- They tell you when to go – the usual spacing between swimmers is 5 seconds, sometimes 10, if you are all swimming the same set. Even if you aren’t all swimming the same set, it’s good etiquette to leave at least 5 seconds after someone has pushed off the wall.
- They tell you your elapsed time, and help you out if you lose count of repeats or distance
- They let you do broken distance sets with ease.
- They allow you to judge your progress, do ascending or descending effort sets.
- They make it easy to take your pulse so you can manage your heart rate.
If my set is 10 x 100 on 2:00 minutes, I have two minutes to both swim and rest, and the set will take 20 minutes. I still count my repeats, but if I were to lose track, simply knowing what minute I left on to start the set will quickly tell me how many I’ve done. If my set is on 1:50 (18:20/set) or 1:45 (17:30/set), I can also tell how many I’ve done by the position of the second hand(s) when I left last.
If I’m swimming sets of 400 metres, I can check my pace doing an open turn to see the clock. So I might check my split time at 100, 200, and 300 metres, as well as taking my time at the finish. This will give me an accurate picture of my pacing. A 1:45/100 pace will give me 3:30, 5:15, 7:00.
Now, if you seek out the young woman who crafted these, perhaps you can sport pace clock goggles instead of SwiMP3 players.
Friday, November 24, 2006
Counting laps. Counting repeats. Or, often as not, it’s losing count that is the issue. It’s easy to lose track. That’s why there’s a “gun lap” in distance freestyle events. In a race situation the starter signals when the lead swimmer has 2 laps and 5 metres remaining in the race. When the lead swimmer gets it right, usually everyone else does, too!
I don’t count lengths, or laps. I count yards or metres. Every hundred I mentally repeat to myself the distance covered three or four times as I push off the wall. I repeat the number twice: one one hundred, one one hundred, one one hundred. It’s a simple rehearsal technique to get the information out of short term memory and into long term storage.
The backup plan, however, is right there on the pace clock! And the pace clock is your friend, for many reasons.
Lots of the fitness swimmers and some of the triathletes I see in lane swims don’t use the clock. Many of them do open turns, so are in a perfect position to use it. If the clock is not set up for lane swims where you train, ask the staff they if can set it up (or if you can do it for them). In coming posts I’m going to wax poetic about pace clocks.
Clearly the people at Finis are trying to accommodate swimmers whose minds go off in another direction by developing a “personal pace clock” in their extensive line of pool accoutrements, but I’m not convinced, for a variety of reasons, that this is a particularly good thing. They market it in particular for use with the SwiMP3 players (see my post on pool toys or Nancy Toby’s November 22 review).
In truth, I find the real meditative aspect of swimming to be the focus – being in the moment. It is the time of the day when I don’t allow other things to cloud my thinking or my brain to wander off (which it often does). There is a great deal to swimming technique, and the very best swimmers are always refining technique. When I was coaching, I always wanted my swimmers to concentrate on what they were doing – therein lies improvement. While people may not initially like the aspect of focus, they may come to the point where they find it a happy thing after all.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
The answer to yesterday’s burning question was: pulleys. I stayed home and played indoors. Part of my training plan in the immediate future will be to use the pulleys more. The reasons are twofold.
First, my “home pool” closes December 5 to 25 for annual maintenance. It is right around the corner. And as I don’t have a car, pool workouts will mean bus rides there and back, and will add a good chunk of time to the process. So … invoke pulleys.
Second, my meet splits suggest that I could use more strength/distance work. But my body doesn’t cope well with increased distance in the pool. Last fall I was swimming longer more intense workouts and ended up out of the water for way too long when I exacerbated back problems. (It’s heartbreaking to hear your physiotherapist tell you to stay away from the pool because “you’re not doing yourself any favours”. I certainly don’t want to hear it again anytime soon.) So invoke pulleys!
The layoff will mean interesting things for the next meet, scheduled for January 13th. It may not be the best time to add the 200 breast or 100 fly to my repertoire ...
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
I live a life of routine. It works for me. But when it comes off the rails, all bets are off! Usually my current physiotherapist and I swim after my physio session on Wednesdays. This would have been our last post-physio swim, as she's pregnant enough to be stopping the work thing as of today. But as it happens she had other plans. So instead of getting a car ride to the pool, I walked to get the bus via the Rideau Centre.
On the way to the Rideau Centre I thought, "Oh, I can just pop into Sears and see about over the range microwaves." I need to replace one. And it seemed like such a good idea at the time. I wandered aimlessly through the appliance section, and nobody ventured forth to help me. Finally, I found a sales associate behind the fridges, reading a paperback. I really should have left him there. He couldn't tell me/sell me anything, possibly if his life depended on it. I finally told him I would go to the web site and do some research. I should have told him to go back to his book and called the manager. But I was not in the mood for wave making.
Then I walked by a jewellery store where a friend works, so I stopped in to discuss life and sparkly things and send him to The Bling Blog to see the interview with Geoff Thomas. Incidentally, he also gave the big thumbs up to my brother's choice of new timepiece! In fact, he assured me that Brent will see it very well underwater.
Took the bus home, catered to the whims of the four legged critters and then just didn't have it to get to the pool. At least I got a kilometre walk in! So we'll see if it is an Everyman Tri code 45 night, or if I manage either a swim or pulleys tonight. For the time being I'm blogging by the light of the electric fire ... it probably uses less energy than the television anyway!
Back to Happy Feet. One of the movie houses is offering a new Tuesday night deal. Admission to the show, a popcorn, and a fountain drink for $8.95. And it seems to be bringing people out in droves. Lineups galore! And for some reason they took the carpet out of the main entrance and concession area, so the lineups are on cement floors. But I digress. It was a fine little musical. And I do enjoy musicals. The animation was wonderful. And I do enjoy animation. So why I'm off my rhthym today is a bit of a mystery!
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
The FINA World Masters Championships are in Perth, Australia in April of 2008. The local organizing committee had expected the official schedule of events to be ratified by FINA (Fédération Internationale de Natation) committee in September. As yet, there is no word posted on the web site. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose when it comes to international governing bodies. Of course what I (and doubtless many others) really want to see is the qualifying times.
At this point Masters swimmers the world over are using the 2006 qualifying times as a benchmark. The 2004 qualifying times in my age group were a bit quicker, so for the time being I'll use both as my yardsticks.
Results were posted on the Technosport web site this week for the little short course metres meet I swam in earlier this month. This was my first chance to see my splits. (I could pace better, but for my first go in lo! these many years, I’m good with it.)
There are various conversion formulae/conversion factors available for calculating what your time would have been in a different length pool. Meets are swum in short course yards (SCY, 25 yard pool), short course metres (SCM, 25 metre pool) and long course metres (LCM, 50 metre pool). Worlds is swum long course metres.
Both my 50 metre breast split (46.17) and 100 metre time (1:37.72) would qualify by both standards converted by several formulae with time to spare. In a bizarre twist of fate (because I am sooo not a freestyler) my 100 freestyle (1:19.84) qualifies easily by both standards, and my 50 split (38.08) qualifies by 2006 standards, and is .68 off the 2004 standard.
So … this pretty much brings us to, “Where do we go from here?” Definitely a question I'll examine in the days ahead!
Monday, November 20, 2006
Monday afternoons (except for the winter session) you can usually find me at The Good Companions Seniors Centre teaching calligraphy. Learning is important in life, no matter what your age. I hope to still be learning when I reach the golden years my students have attained.
At The Good Companions it’s not just about the skills, or about the projects completed, it’s also about being together, sharing and helping. I believe each student has important lessons to teach me, and I hope that I can give them something.
One of my students paid me a compliment today, and although I laughed and told her I thought it was kind of scary, it was high praise – she said she can sometimes hear my voice in her head! She then said that some of the things I am teaching she can apply to other aspects of her life. This particular student is legally blind, so I’ve had to come at calligraphy from a less visual standpoint. For her it is more about the feel of the pen and trying to develop a body memory of the strokes and the order in which they are laid down more than focusing on the nuances of letterforms in a visual way.
So just what was I saying in her head? Don’t push too hard, let the tool do the work. All you have to do is guide it. And what was I helping her do? Sweep up something she had spilled into a dustpan. Just goes to show … you never know!
Sunday, November 19, 2006
This particular Detail is partly about my fear of commitment, partly a back-up plan, and partly an item of decor. And like many of my purchases, I’d been thinking about it for quite awhile before finally taking action. It's an electric fireplace.
After having my elderly furnace get all persnickity this fall, I decided I wanted a main floor back-up plan so I don't freeze to death if I am waiting for a service call on the coldest day of the year. In the longer term, I'd like that to be a gas fireplace. But I need to decide where to put it. Not to mention the fact that there are other priorities! So for the short term, I have something that will heat 400 square feet and I can move around before making a final decision.
When I decide where I really want to put a fireplace, this one will move up to the bedroom. I live in a 100 year old house, and it can be a bit on the cool side on the coldest of winter days, although I have baseboard heat in the upstairs bedrooms – I don't use it, nor do I want it on all night. This could take the chill out of the room when necessary, look good the rest of the time, but not take up too much space!
You know, I don’t mind assembling things. I put it together before heading off to the pool. But it would be really nice if manufacturers would drill the pilot holes for the heavy stuff like the fireplace insert too …
Saturday, November 18, 2006
“Do you think we have too much crap?”
“No, I think we have a lot of crap. But it’s necessary crap.”
“An elegant sufficiency.”
Mmmm … kay. But if you’re askin’ the question …
Friday, November 17, 2006
The temperature is going to plummet today, from an unseasonably balmy 15.4 yesterday down to about 1 overnight tonight. We had 24.6mm of rain yesterday, and people are being advised to stay away from rivers and streams. In November!!! On the up side, my seasonal fashion splurge is doing yeoman’s service because it resists rain and has a zip in wool lining. I was wearing it in Toronto for Breakfast with Bolder. In fact, I had to describe it to the nice Four Seasons employee, because I misplaced my coat check ticket in an instant. (I found it on the plane though.)
The ladies at the NAC coat check may have thought I was a little odd when I took my claim ticket and said aloud, “My ticket is in my wallet.” So I told them that story. They laughed and assured me they’d remember where I put it. Naturally Tuesday night, I remembered where I'd put it. But they’re clearly attentive. One said to me on the way out, “Are those the same glasses you had on before?” (Nope, they weren’t. Progressive bifocals to read the program, distance glasses to watch the performance.)
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Tuesday night was a lovely one act play at the National Arts Centre (NAC) as part of the English Theatre series. A tale of unfulfilled potential, The Little Years also examines the nature of both success and inspiration. This second play of the season by Canadian John Mighton charmed me (unlike the first offering which definitely did not) with talk of poetry, mathematics, art and time – spanning a lifetime in apt vignettes. I highly recommend it.
Today is for much more mundane things: George’s chicken broth will soon start to simmer, the grill may finally migrate in from the deck, and maybe I’ll get a head start on a little Christmas stuff … quiet around the house rainy day stuff. And I’m looking forward to it, although we are starting to feel like we live in Vancouver. A newscaster last night said it has been 70% more rainy and gray than an average fall. When it hasn't been raining, it has been looking like it will rain. While it's nice that it doesn't need to be shovelled, people seem to be getting SAD! There may be a sunny day coming up ... on Tuesday!!!!!
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
How to top off a great meal? Slip downstairs to Godiva Chocolates where they happen to be giving out samples (and also pick up something for the gal looking after George, and for my folks)! Then off to Cartier. I feel doomed to never actually see in person the impressive baiser du dragon pieces. When I was last in Vancouver they had sold out, and there were none of note in Toronto yesterday either. However, we did review the Love collection, and I did try on the charity Love bracelet. The Cartier staff person said that most people buy the pink breast cancer bracelet knowing that they have the option to change the silk cord later.
Then it was the Cole Haan boutique, to see the new high heel technology that is based on Nike Air running technology. Sadly, they only had heels in 3 1/3 - 4”, and I would face the wrath of (a) the orthopaedist (b) the physiotherapist (c) the chiropodist (d) the general practitioner (e) all of the above if I even just tried any of the four 4" styles they had available in the store. But this shoe with the patent leather grosgrain ribbon combination broke both our hearts, let me tell you! Gorgeous!
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
In Holts we basically did handbags and shoes, as well as the Chanel collection in lieu of doing the Chanel boutique. We browsed their St. John selections, and also the vintage fashion pieces – if only a size 6 now were the same as a 1960 size 6, I would have had the Oleg Cassini car wash dress on so fast your head would have spun!
Downstairs there was this bright poppy red patent leather Miu Miu bag that dropped my jaw! The associates told us there were matching shoes upstairs, but when we got up there we were told they'd sold out the previous night. We saw them in blue patent, though. And as we were there it was only right we examine the Manolo Blahniks and Christian Louboutins very, very carefully! (Especially as I was wearing a shirt that reads: Manolo Loves The Shoes! The other Manolo, of course.)
On the up side I was assured on more than one occasion that red is a strong colour going forward, so I can keep looking for just the right shoe/bag for some time!
We did also stop in to H&M (as predicted the Victor & Rolf stuff was almost all gone). We also got to Aldos and the shoe department of The Bay. We dropped into the Swarovski store where the lighting was so very bad we literally couldn't see the bling! But a helpful sales person did walk this watch outside with us so we could see it ... then we just kept going.
It was about that time we felt the need to have lunch ….
Monday, November 13, 2006
Conveniently, many of the pieces from the estate show were now on display at Birks Bloor! So, among other things, Rachel was able to see the art deco Cartier clips pictured here last month, as well as the four leaf clover pin I used to wish the TBC crew luck at SOMA and IM Flipper. While the atmosphere was inviting, I must say that the gentleman staffing the estate collection was not the most engaging nor the most amicable of fellows. In fact, had I been keenly interested in buying something, I would have gone home and had it brought in to “my” store here at the Rideau Centre.
But the Christmas Catalogue is out, and we were able to see and examine many of the items in it, including the biker chic line we were quite taken with. I showed Rachel the "twisted" ring I've been eyeing (18 KY&W, .20 ctw, SI1, GH, $1300). I sent an email inquiry to find out what is the smallest size available in this ring last night, and the response was in my mailbox at 9:06 this morning. They say they can make it in a 4 for my teensy fingers. (I have teensy fingers!) So, I'd like to hear from the "crow section" on this one. Not that I'm absolutely going to get either. But ... if you were me: the Tiffany & Co. square, or the Birks twist? (An advantage to being a Birks card holder is purchases over $500 may be spread equally over 10 months with no interest or fees. Purchases over $4000 may be spread over 20 months.)
Sunday, November 12, 2006
We probably spent the most time in Tiffany’s. I particularly wanted to see the Frank Gehry collection, which was conveniently located in the cases closest to the front door. Wonderful! Of the Fish collection, the rutilated quartz pendant was definitely my favorite. Torque is great, too, bold and simple. Of that collection my preference is for the stacking rings. The brushed sterling in the Torque and Axis lines is quite appealing. The out and out strength of the origami inspired Fold grouping is wonderful, too. Oddly, for a horticulture student, Orchid was my least favorite.
I asked our sales associate and gemmologist Vincent Leung which line in the Gehry collection is moving most quickly, and he felt that they are all selling pretty much equally.
As we moved through the main floor, another associate, Iverine Colin-Thome (G.J.), helped us work our way through the other cases. She helped make the experience extraordinary. This ring in platinum (.22ctw, G, VS, $1950) was my absolute favorite. The other item of particular interest was a pair of Tahitian pearl omega back frog earrings. One had a pearl from a black lipped oyster, the other from a silver lipped. Both were accented with pave diamonds and emerald cabochon eyes. They were not only charming, but remarkably similar to the frog brooch I already own!
Upstairs, Rachel fell for the large Elsa Peretti starfish pendant on a silk cord.
Whoosh!!!! Rachel picked me up at the airport Friday afternoon, and we pretty much started yakking uncontrollably at that point! Dropped the carry on bag at her place, chatted some more, tried to minimize the Hallowe’en candy snacking, and then picked up Patrick from daycare. Then on to Swiss Chalet for dinner, and back to the Doyle’s for play, still more chatter and What Not To Wear! When Hugh got home from work he joined in the chatter and even the fashion talk!
They installed me in the guest bedroom – with the computer. That was very handy as it meant when I was busy not sleeping … I was blogging or catching up on my blog reading. (First time, evah, I have blogged in the wee small hours!)
Morning. Coffee. And lots of it!! Hugh and Patrick started their Boy Time by heading off to swimming lessons. Wendy and Rachel started their Girl Time by hopping into the van and heading to Yorkville!!
There, in the Four Seasons, just before 10:00, in front of the elevators, we happened to run into … Bolder from Boulder!!! (Okay, it was actually part of our finely crafted plan to find out just what it is like to be a newly minted Ironman.) It was too bad Cliff couldn’t join us as well, but luckily the two Tri Guys got together for a fine dinner Friday night, and didn’t have to put up with groupies in the process.
Breakfast – well, it was wonderful for Rachel and I to spend some real (non-blog) time with Greg. We had a lovely breakfast in the Studio Cafe, and fueled up on carbs. Too soon it was over, and Greg headed off to find his folks and get ready for his sister’s wedding (but not without providing us with some shopping tips), and Rachel and I began the Shopping Adventure! Here’s a little inside info for you: the Coke Blak folks know their market so well they appear to have been stalking Bolder through the streets of downtown Toronto!
Friday, November 10, 2006
Tonight – “family time” in Mississauga with the Doyles. Tomorrow – a pilgrimage to the real centre of the universe. Downtown! On the books: breakfast with Bolder (who loves the very well deserved off season!), followed by (wait for it) shopping!!! Will it be Hazelton Lanes? Holt Renfrew on Bloor? Continue on Bloor to Cartier? Over to the Eaton Centre for H&M (not that there will be a stitch of Viktor and Ralph merchandise left? Sephora?
As (Iron) Tri-Boomer would say, stay tuned …
And kudos to my brother, who just two days ago, bought a shiny thing!!! I’m living vicariously …
Thursday, November 09, 2006
I completely lost track of distance swum yesterday. And it wasn’t even a lot of distance! But I was distracted …
Two days a week I swim with my physiotherapist, France. I do some stroke analysis/coaching with her. I make sure I see what is going on with her stroke above and below the surface of the water (we swim in adjacent lanes). France is swimming for two right now. She has just a month left till her due date. Yesterday, I was watching the baby as much as the mom!
Swimming lets pregnant gals spend some time on their bellies, supported by the water. In essence, gravity has less pull. It does for all of us, but when you are bulkier than usual, it is more noticeable.
So I’m watching France’s rotation along the long axis in freestyle (an imaginary line through the centre of your body tip to stern), and at first I thought my goggles were distorting her shape. But no! Instead of being quite round, the baby bump was kind of pointy – downward pointy towards the bottom of the pool! This was especially noticeable as her body rotated through the stroke. And I was captivated …
Then, one of the lifeguards (one of my pool heroes) was doing a fly drill. So then I was distracted by helping her and discussing the dynamics of butterfly …
So I’m just gonna say 600 metres, a good percentage of which was fly and fly drills, and leave it at that!
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Now, I’m certainly not the final arbiter of taste … but go ahead and ask yourself, “What would Stacy & Clinton say?”
Besides, once you’ve hit the Bifocal Era, do you really need your watch to remind you that details are hard to see?
Hat tip to the good folks over at Shiny Shiny!!
And now, back to your regularly scheduled blog ...
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
I mentioned yesterday that for me stress = toys or stress = shiny things. So today, as my furnace cycles at an intriguing pace (but continues to blow), I bring you a shiny thing.
According to the folks over at Luxist, this Timex Ironman watch plays an integral role in the upcoming Will Ferrell film. Among its selling points are a stainless case, both digital and analog, two time zones (and alarms to go with), water resistant to 100 metres, indiglo, stopwatch function – and all this for $90 USD.
An excellent choice for those with larger wrists (especially those who, unlike the Kahuna aren’t all that fussy on M dot tattoos). For those who are more petite – no worries, I’ll keep a lookout for something more suitable.
Monday, November 06, 2006
The furnace technician left here last night assuring me that the problem was the contact he replaced, and it would now blow. Today it blows – for about a minute at a time. Do I have time for this? Nope! I skipped going to the pool yesterday for a hot date with the furnace technician. Today I teach. Tomorrow is Mom’s birthday … and the list goes on! (On the up side, at least the weather is warmer this week!)
The coffee maker, evidently egged on by the furnace, decided to try to blow. The best it could manage was to spit hot water all over the counter. (On the up side, the counter is now very clean.)
When I’m stressed, I gravitate either towards sparkly things … or toys. I think these cubes are a hoot – and although I really don’t want one, today I seem to have a craving! (Better than stress eating, I guess!)
* Fred, Season 5, Angel
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Sometimes when our dreams elude us we learn more than when success comes easily. So hats off to all competitors with the courage to chase their dreams, especially those who hunted iron yesterday in Florida. It's all about learning.
Getting to the starting line may, in fact, define a win more enormous than we could have thought. Taking on something we may not long ago have thought impossible, persevering as long as we possibly can in spite of obstacles may mean winning. Or achieving specific time goals we’ve set for ourselves on race day. Whether we know that we will try again and try to do it better or that this was our pinnacle and it may never come again, the most important thing, real winning, may well be how we handle whatever we've achieved.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
I executed The Plan.
I swam the 400 metre warm-up I practiced. I dove in, started to swim, and realized I was breathing way too fast and way too shallow. I was nervous, or excited, or both. But I managed to slow it down throughout the warm-up. Then I worked a bit on turns. Because turns at Ottawa U are different than they are at Plant. I can just hear you asking, “Why?” On account of the bulkhead!! Touch and turn – no wall to grab!
I swam sans goggles. It was The Plan, because I need to wear a seal mask type to accommodate the plate in my face. Not particularly good for diving! I really wanted to do block starts.
First event: 100 metre free (short course). It went better than expected. It was to be my “throwaway” event. First dive start. Goggleless flip turns. All of the turns were a bit far from the wall, but I didn’t miss any! Yay for not missing any turns!! No electronic timing, but one of the timers said: 1:19! (I entered myself at 1:25.) Then there was a moment of terror – what if I had just left it all in the pool? (Qualifying time for Worlds 2006, Women 45-49, long course: 1:29.5.)
Second event: 100 breaststroke. According to the timer: 1:37.76 – I had entered myself at 1:42. (Qualifying time for Worlds 2006, Women 45-49, long course: 1:54.0.) Apparently I didn’t leave it all in the pool!
Final event: 100 individual medley (1 length each in the following order: fly, back, breast, free). Standing behind the blocks I realized that I was having some sciatica, and my hamstring was seizing. Came off the wall weird after the butterfly leg, sooo not straight. Oh well. According to the chief timer: 1:31.12. (Entry time: 1:37.)
Whew!!!! First meet in 30 odd years. Under my belt. Many thanks to the volunteers who officiated and made it possible! And to my friend Jeanne who insisted upon coming along to see how it all panned out.
Now I’m sitting on a hot pack, heading back to the Ironman Florida athlete tracker, but for those of you who need to ask, yes I did unpack my swim bag!!!
My camera's packed in its fancy waterproof casing, so hopefully I can take some meet pictures. Maybe it will help me focus!!!! My mind will be with all the tri-bloggers, their friends and families ... racers, sherpas, and volunteers alike, in Panama City, Florida for IronMan Flipper. I hope the weather does them a favour!
Warm-up is 7:45, the cab's coming at 7:30 ... done by 11:00, with a breakfast afterwards. Perhaps I'll get a full report in later between frantic visits to the athlete tracker!
Friday, November 03, 2006
Welcome to a Virtual Surprise Party for my brother!
Feel free to hoist the beverage of your choice in his honour and wish him the best right here. (It’s the best I could manage. But I sent a gift. When it might complete its duathlon of running across the continent and swimming over to Grand Cayman is anybody’s guess though.)
Thursday, November 02, 2006
On the books for today:
- Start inhaling decongestant!!!!!!
- Nice easy swim.
- 2:15 hair appointment with Chelaine at Rinaldo’s (hey, maybe I should have a schwarma for lunch downtown ...)
- On the way downtown, buy November bus pass. I took the cash out of the bank on Tuesday to do this, and completely forgot to follow through! Good thing I had my regular bus driver yesterday!
- Take polystyrene recycling to the office building downtown that has bins in the food court.
- Stop at drug store, pick up odds and sods.
- Check out sale racks at Holt Renfrew. Look longingly at Stuart Weitman shoes.
- Make oatmeal cranberry-banana muffins with the secret ingredient (ground flax seed)
- And the big one – I have to start wrapping my head around … Christmas!!! Three cheers for online shopping!!! (I ordered Greater Good bears yesterday for most of the children on my list.)
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Yesterday, there was only one real distraction – the nice quiet fellow standing behind me had taken a cologne bath. Amazing how a scent can actually stab you in the sinuses, isn’t it??? But after rushing about on errands with a friend all morning, waiting on the way to the doctor’s was kind of welcome.
I grinned when I told her yesterday that standing in the bus shelter I was trying to figure out what I was feeling. I was … a little bit excited! I have a meet in a few days. I didn’t tell her that the Dreaded Question Mark of just a few weeks ago has somehow morphed into The Tentative Exclamation Mark. I think it helps that, in my youth, I swam meets in that pool. Enough familiarity, I hope, to keep me relaxed. That and preparation. I’m as ready as I can be. And I've started packing my meet bag so I don't make a crucial mistake. (My suit is in the bag!!!)
Dr. Susan laughed, and told me to have fun. And, that, of course is my Brilliant Plan!!!! Now, she mentioned the fun bit after I had backed my right end into a needle. The left end was already in spasm so I figured I’d even them out! After we had discussed an test I’m pretty sure I don’t want to have done! After I had picked up a completed form. And after I got an official note so that the nice folks at airport security don’t get all weirded out over my TENS machine. (It’s a good thing I had a list.) I’m making a fast trip to Toronto on the 10th & 11th, and you can just never tell what piece of equipment will confound security.
I’m not as congested as TriBoomer, poor guy. Fingers crossed for him! But I’m still stuffed up. Luckily it's mostly in my head! Either way, I’m not allowed oral decongestants. So I bought some nasal spray (that I can use, but only for three consecutive days). I’ll start that tomorrow and see if that improves things. That would be grand!