Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My arms won't move anymore

I swear, my swim coaches are trying to kill me.....

Tues night swim practice...
  • 200 warm-up
  • 4 x 50 breastroke (25 drill, 25 swim)
  • 4 x 50 butterfly (25 drill, 25 swim)
  • "December to remember set" (she makes us swim one of the more er, challenging events) = 200 butterfly swim (no drill or kick). [this is what killed me. but we have a 66 yr old woman on the team who swims this at meets, so if she can do it, then I should to)
  • 400 free, 80% pace
  • 2 x 200 choice stroke, 80% pace
  • 4 x 100 free, decend slow to fast (my lane crashed and burned at the third one - we weren't any where close to making time)
  • 4 x 50 free sprint
  • 300 pull cool down
And then 10 hrs later, Wed AM workout:
  • warm-up (400 swim, 200 kick)
  • 200 IM (25 drill, 25 swim)
  • "recovery set" (I begged Jason to give me an easy set since my arms were toast. He said this was a recovery set just for me. But really, this was the set everyone did, and it wasn't easy).
  • 8 x 250 free - 100 moderate, 50 sprint, 100 moderate (no rest during the 250)
  • cool down

My arms are completely worthless right now. Today should be entertaining.

Monday, December 10, 2007

playing tag

Thanks KT....

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

So, here goes....

Factoid Numero Uno - I was suspended in the 7th grade for a week for drinking whiskey in school. I avoided death at my mom's hand by playing the "I just wanted attention from my divorced parents" card. Really, I just wanted to drink during school. I was a dumbass, though, and stored it in a glass jelly jar that must not have sealed so well, because well, you could smell the whiskey from 100 feet away.

Factoid Numbero Duo - the first guy I ever slept with is now an ob/gyn. That creeps me out. A lot.

Factoid Numero Tres - I took 4 years of latin in high school and was even JCL president my senior year. I don't remember any of it now. Really, I just signed up b/c it looked good on a resume and we spent a week in Estes Park for the Colorado latin convention. Which sounds like a complete geek fest (and for the most part is was) but I always managed to find some of the less geeky guys and ditch the convention events to go hiking.

Factoid Numero Quatro - I love asian food and could probably eat it at least 4x a week. Vietnamese, japanese, sushi, chinese, thai. I love it all.

Factoid Numero Cinco - ummmm...... why am I having problems coming up with 5 random facts? Weird facts.... um.... Oh, I guess this counts as weird. For the past 2.5 years I've been getting electrolysis for my underarms. Its actually working but really isn't the most comfortable thing to do. Still, beats shaving.

So, there it is!

And now tag - to these people:

Jess (who needs to post more)
Jodi (just because she commented to my post last week)
Paula (hi Paula!, um you haven't updated your blog for a while either....)

And sadly, I can't even tag 5 bloggers, because they either don't post very often, they've already been tagged, or their too big to tag. *sigh*

Why training during December is no fun

Because I now have internal debates on when to work out, due to my social schedule getting in the way.

Friday night we went to a pub crawl - stayed out until 12 AM. Woke up at 11 AM Saturday. It was hot again (whyyy? December in shorts and sweating your ass off is NO FUN. Seriously, just try to be festive while sweating and hanging lights. Its not easy.) It was hot and we had a party Sat night, so I decided my day would be best spent on the couch watching all my TiVo'd shows before the DirecTV guys showed up to switch out our receivers.

We got a HD DVR b/c our 2nd TiVo unit is slowly dying. We got a good deal on it, so hey, why not. Guys were supposed to show up btwn noon - 4. We had the party at 7. Guys called at 2:30 asking if they could show up at 5 since we were last on their list. I told them we had to leave at 6 for the party and they said that they could be done by 6 no problem. Which really wasn't helpful, since I still had to shower and get ready for the party - and that simply wasn't going to happen with random repair guys in my house. They did actually show at 4, but left at 6. They did something to mess up our TV. Its a projection TV, but its one the last projection TVs that were made before flat screens became affordable, so really, its still a pretty nice TV. I still don't know what they did, but I encouraged them to leave by nearly growling and throwing my new remote at them.

Went to the party - it wasn't that exciting. Combined office party with the boss's friends and family. it was um, odd at best, especially since we didn't really know anyone. Got home at 1 AM. Woke up at 11:30.

And since I still had my long run to do, that left Sunday afternoon. My hip is still really tweaky - I think some scar tissue from my 2001 bout of ITBS popped on tuesday and the tendon is really angry at me right now. Seeing as how it was hot out and my hip hurt, I headed to the gym for some quality time on the dreadmill. There were no freaky people there (bummer) and the TV shows that were on were horrible. I had to spend an hour watching DinoLab on Discovery Science (It was either this or ice skating). I cannot imagine having to be an "actor" on this program - it was soooo horrible. Its like they were doing a Jurassic Park experiment but combining it with educational properties instead of slash and gore.
In a futuristic stadium-sized state-of-the-art laboratory/gym, scientists study a remarkably realistic cast of digital dinosaurs and put them to the test - from running on a treadmill and pulling weights to navigating an obstacle course. Outfitted with a 50-metre long motorized treadmill, a massive water tank and a wind tunnel; plus pulleys, cranes and levers for hoisting and manoevering the unwieldy creatures, this environment is the perfect testing ground for paleontologists' latest insights into the lives of dinosaurs. How fast could the T-Rex run? Long considered the biggest, meanest, fastest, strongest killing machine, the T-Rex is pushed to its limits on the giant treadmill. But just what happens when the T-Rex falls at more than 40kph? Also, watch a flying Pterosaur - with a wingspan of eight-to-nine metres - hang-glide in a wind tunnel; and in a glass-walled tank, see how the prehistoric king of the sea, the Plesiosaurus, thrashed its three-metre neck to stun its fishy prey. In addition to testing the mettle of these mythic dino monsters, Dinolab also reveals the surprising connections between some prehistoric creatures and modern-day animals. Consider the Triceratops: How could an herbivorous animal with a thick hide, long horns and large, low-slung belly not be the Cretaceous counterpart to the modern rhinoceros? The analogy is obvious to the most casual observer - but it's also wrong. Experts reveal that the real Triceratops is closer to a cross between a crab and a bull, demonstrating that its quick rotations and lunges made it a fierce match for the T-Rex in battle.

So they have real actors with cattle prods who "encorage" an animated T-Rex into this sub-level box with an open top and a treadmill. Then they turn the treadmill and watch him "run". And a "scientist" scans the T-Rex with some sort of thermal scan. And then they crank up the treadmill speed and T-Rex crashes, gets pissed, and eats an electrical transformer. And at no time does the pissed off T-Rex jump out of the research hold (which appeared to have an open top with open access) and get all slashy with the "scientists". Oh, and they were doing something weird with a velociraptor - backing it into a corner and tossing basketballs and raw hamburger. I wasn't listening to the show to figure out what the hell this "research" was for.

So, um yeah. Good entertainment while spending an hour on the dreadmill!

Hoping that my hip is better and the air temps are back to "cool" for next weekend.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Bad kitty mommy, heat, knees, and possums

Took Swift to the vet Friday afternoon for her annual appointment. She checked out fine, except she has worms, which apparently, come from fleas. I was floored. I’ve had the cats 12.5 years and this has never, ever happened. I don’t know which I feel worse about: The fact that I didn’t notice that my cats had this issue – or the fact that this happened in the first place. Will and I were both surprised, as neither cats have shown any signs of fleas. Sigh

So, my Friday night started with bathing both cats. Which is never a good time. Ernie managed to latch on to my wrist with his teeth and drew blood. But they both got wet and sudsed – while Will was at happy hour. Then the spent the rest of the night pouting.

Saturday consisted of disinfecting / laundering nearly every surface in the house. And putting that horrible flea oil stuff on the cats. Oh, and forcing huge pills down their throats. I should have done my long run on Saturday, but I was so squicked out by the cat situation that I decided my time was better spent cleaning.

Sunday Will raced his car, so I decided to get off the couch and do my long “run”. Pretty much, all signs pointed to “do not pass go”. My digital watch is dead. I need to buy a new one, since the wristband is shot as well. All our AA rechargeable batteries were nearly dead. So I grabbed 3 and hoped that 3 nearly dead batteries would last 2 hrs in my MP3 player. Headed to the trail and it started raining as soon as I got out of my truck. Fortunately, the rain didn’t last very long, but it was 80 degrees out, so the rain just made things miserable and sticky.

My knees ended up being very tweaky after my last long run. They’re very tight on the inside – not sure if its just that I need to stretch more or if its connective tissue is rubbing on something. My 3 mile on Tues was more of a walk, and not a fun one either, due to my knees rebelling. So this time, I decided to walk the first mile to warm up then do slow bits of jogging. My knees still were tight, despite the rest and warming up. At mile 4, I could jog a bit longer but they were still very tight, so I just decided to walk the whole 7 miles. At mile 5, my hips then started to get sore, so I hit the dirt trail for the last 2 miles. It went ok – and as a bonus, I saw a possum.

Got home, stretched, showered. Then went grocery shopping. I do not recommend grocery shopping after a distance set. It really wasn’t fun. But neither is going without dinner or lunch for the week, so I just shopped very slowly…..

I did pick up a bottle of Accelerade – I’m curious to try it out. I can’t really have Gatorade b/c of my hypoglycemia. I appreciate the fact that I’ll need a boost at mile 10 of my half marathon, but I really worry about the sugar and if I’ll crash and burn if I have Gatorade. So, I think on my next long workout I’ll try 8 oz of Accelerade and see how I feel.

The other thing I’m curious to try are the new Cliff Shot Blocks. I think they’ve got goo that’s recovery with protein, which I think would be good during my race. They didn’t have any at the store, though, so I’ll have to hunt around for them.

Swimming today wasn’t bad – it was 50 degrees. I warmed up inside (ugh – bath water temperature) then made the bold leap to the outdoor pool. Workout was another “its cold and Jason doesn’t want to go outside” set. Meaning, he just gives us a very long main set so he doesn’t actually have to go out in the cold and talk to us. Workout consisted of warmup (400 + 200 kick), then 10 x 200 (broken) – sprint the first 50, moderate w/good form for the remainder. Odds free, evens choice. I was pretty proud of myself – I did breast-stroke for my choice. I figure if I’m going to try to swim this at nationals, I need to do more than 50 yards at a time. The air temperature wasn’t too cold, and overall, the workout was pretty good.

Hopefully my knees will be feeling better for my 3 miler tomorrow…..

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


While I'm happy for more seasonal weather (ie lows less than 65) I'm not too happy working out when its cold.

I really like my new swim team. I like the coaches, the workouts, the facility, the locker rooms. The one thing I really don't like is the climate control. We have 2 pools - an indoor and an outdoor, both heated. The indoor pool is a constant 85-86 degrees, for the little old ladies and their water aerobics class. That is really too hot for lap swimmers. The outdoor pool is a constant 80 degrees, which is fine and dandy for lap swimming. However, the air above and around the outdoor pool is subject to "nature".

I'm not sure how I'm going to handle this. On the one hand, I really can't do any sort of speed workouts in the indoor pool, b/c of the heat. On the other hand, the idea of sprinting in and out of the outdoor pool and attempting to keep every last inch of my body submerged so I don't freeze to death isn't very appealing. Morning practices are held either in or outside. Night practices have to be held outside, since they have swimming lessons going on inside.

Yesterday morning it was 41 degrees out - so I swam inside. I have no idea what the air temperature will be tonight, but something tells me I'll be doing quite a bit of cursing and grumbling about the cold.

(and I walked 3 miles this morning - I never did really warm up, despite wearing a sweatshirt....)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

from the jogging trail yesterday

Managed to do 8 miles in 1 hr 50 minutes yesterday. Random thoughts from the workout:

I have serious temperature regulation control. It was about 50 degrees yesterday - our coldest day of the season so far. I had on lightweight capris, a long sleeved shirt and a short sleeved shirt. I got seriously hot before mile 2 and had to take off the long sleeved shirt. My hands were freezing for 2.5 miles. I was really wishing I'd brought shorts for miles 2-6. Then I was freezing cold for the last mile.

I need to remember kleenex next time I jog when its cool.

I made myself jog any of the flat parts during my run. I had serious tendonitis knee issues several years back, so I'm very cautious. My knees were a bit tweaky towards the end, but were overall ok. The jogging (while slow) actually felt ok and saved me 10 minutes overall, which was sooo cool!

I only planned on 7 miles, but I ended up doing an even 8. I've been trying to get up early once or twice a week to do a quick 2 mile loop, to help with the hip pain I had a few weeks back. Seems to be doing the trick - feet and hips felt fine!

Random sight on the trail - 6 guys riding mountain tread unicycles. I saw them dismount, but never saw how they got on the uni's. You don't see that every day. Between that and parrot-lady, I think my freak magnet action is back.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Chloe Fasion Show

sooooo, Pictures and details on Chloe Dao's show.

The show was Friday night at a swanky botique hotel in Houston. The show itself was held poolside - the runway actually went over the pool. The show started at about 9:30 or so, and it was exclusively Chloe's work. My camera was *very* low on batteries, so I only took pics of the looks that I really liked. The models were all local. Some were really good, some looked really busted and awful. But the clothes were really nice. One thing I like about Chloe's work is that she has several pieces that could really work for just about anyone, despite your body size. She did have several pieces that were reminiscent of her PR work. She had a black flowy top that was very similar to the ice skating costume; she had several dresses with "pockets" (although this seems to be trendy in general right now); and she had several with either a T-back or cutouts at the waist-line.

After the show, there was an after party with dancing. Most (but not all) of the models joined in on the fun as well.

And now pictures! The quality is only so-so, mainly b/c it was sooo dark, I had low batteries, and I had to super-zoom while holding the camera as high as I could. But, you can see the detail on several pieces.

My friend and I at the hotel, pre-show
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Several looks during the show:

Cool dress - sucky model

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My favorite one:
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View from the back:
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My friend and her favorite dress at the after party

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Obligatory "we are soooooo cool" after party picture:
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Sunday, November 11, 2007

On the trail last Saturday

So, I've got 2 months until this half marathon and really, I haven't been doing much to get ready for it. Bought new shoes and some training clothes, but have only spent 3 hour long sessions on the treadmill, and did 3.5 miles at the park. Then I got sick and decided to "recover" for 2 weeks.

So Saturday I decided that I'd hit the trail and get some miles in. I intended to do 4-5 miles. Right after I started, it began to rain. I waited 5 minutes for the rain to die down, walked 2 miles, then "boom" pouring rain. I almost called my husband to come pick me up, but I decided to just accept the fact that I was already wet, and getting a bit more soggy wouldn't be the end of the world. I stowed my MP3 player away in my camelback pack so it wouldn't get wet and plodded on.

The only bad part was that the concrete trail gets a bit slippery when its wet. Otherwise it was kinda fun. I even jogged for the flat bits. Until mile 6 when my very slow jog was even slower than my fast walk.

All in all, I did 7 miles and returned home soaking wet. It took 2 hours, due to me screwing around with various things. Like forgetting that my cell phone was in the mesh pocket of my camelback, exposed to rain, and re-adjusting my shoelaces.

My legs are still sore.

And random sighting of the day. Before it was pouring rain, I saw a woman cyclist with a green parrot on her shoulder. Definitely not something you'd expect to see at the park. And the woman was booking it on her bike.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Athletic persuits

After sitting on my ass for most of the year, I'm finally getting back to being active. I basically sat around so long because of excuses (and foot surgery). The foot surgery put me out for 1 month, but if I'm being totally honest, I should have been back doing something by mid-July.

Part of my excuse was how much I wanted to rejoin my old swim team. I kept hearing rumors that we'd be getting our old pool back, and my fear was that I'd join a new team and then within weeks my old team would be back at the old pool. Which meant that I just didn't do anything except wait. Also, the other team I was considering is at a private health club, and for some silly reason, I thought that it was mega-expensive. I finally called at the end of July to get costs - turns out this place is only $7/month more than the old club. And its only 5 min away from my house instead of 25, so I figure with the gas savings, this place may be even cheaper. So, I told myself that no ifs ands or buts, I'd be joining this new team at the end of August.

So, my first day of practice, one of my former teammates is there - which absolutely made my day. She had great things to say about the coaches, which also helped. We have 2 different coaches. We've got morning practice on M and W, coached by Jason. Jason is pretty much a slacker (he's never at practice on time), but since there's so few people at the AM practice, I get a *lot* of personal attention. He's already fixed several things which I knew my old coach had tried to fix, but I just never understood. Old coach was more esoteric ("try these 3 things and tell me which feels better). Jason is very straight foward ("you're doing this wrong - try moving your arm this way"). So that right there is great. We have night practice on Tues and Thurs, coached by Stacy. Stacy is really trying to grow the team and have high participation at meets. She's also trying to kill all of us. And the facility is really nice - makes me feel really dumb for not signing up earlier.

So, starting up after not swimming for a year, and not doing anything cardio-related since January was rough. My third week back, Stacy had us swim 10x 100 yd free sprints for time. I just wanted to survive. I swam an average of 1:35 and kept my time +/- 1 second, and my stroke count was consistent through out the set.

Flash foward to last night - another 10x 100 free sprints. I averaged 1:23, with a low time of 1:20. Of course, I'm convinced the pool is short - not that I'm actually improving.

I still need to sign up for a meet that's in 2 weekends. I just wish it wasn't a 1.5 hr drive to the meet.

All in all - swimming is going quite well. The only kicker is that the pool is outside, but heated. the water - not the air. It was 47 degrees this morning - that was a wee bit chilly. We'll see how this winter goes. However, with the old team, there were times the pool wasn't working or we didn't have hot water. This new place has hot water and 2 pools, so I think I'm better off where I am now.


My other athletic persuit is that I signed up do WALK a half marathon in January. Which was why I needed the foot surgery. For the past year, I couldn't walk more than 3 miles without a lot of pain and funky blisters.

So now my toes are fine and I'm having to train. I honestly thought that with my swimming and cardio base, I really only had to spend 1 day a week walking. Yeah..... not really. Apparently since swimming is a non weight bearing activity, I need to walk more like 2-3 times a week. Good in theory, hard in practice. So far, I'm lucky to spend an hour walking once a week. I need to figure out a way to balance out the swimming and walking. Which probably means I'll have to sacrifice one swim workout (out of 4).

So, that's what's up with me and trying to whip myself into shape. Hopefully regular workouts means that I'll also be doing regular blog entries. Or one can hope.

struck out

Despite an add'l 3 hrs of trying on 6 computers - no World Series tickets for us.


Monday, October 22, 2007

World Series Server Explosion

So I spent 2 hrs today looking at this:

And still don't have anything to show for it. Hopefully today's effort was "practice" and they'll actually open up the ticket sales with capable servers soon.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Because really, I just suck

So yeah, I forgot my Blogger ID and genenerally have been very blahhhhh about blogging for oh, the past 6 months.

I suppose blogging was very useful and theraputic when I was having a shit time at work. But now that I've switched jobs and am kicking ass (and no longer have any major travel plans)- I've left my blog behind.

Which is pretty pathetic really.

So, here's a short summary of what I'm up to (or not up to) lately.

  • not swimming. at all. not even working out really. and not really feeling guilty about it (or gaining weight as a result of not working out, so see, why should I motivate myself?)
  • managed to give myself a $10k pay raise just by switching jobs. color me impressed.
  • am a project manager for a large project - tracked to be "program manager" in a few years. assuming everything works according to plan.
  • travel plans for 2007 - cozumel in May for a wedding. Colo in August for a wedding (side trip will be camping in the Rockies). Buffalo, NY in Oct (?) for a wedding (sense a theme?).
  • potental international adventure for 2008 - Chile with a side trip to Antarctica. just so I can say I've been there, done that.
  • ummmm, working. lots. but I'm cool with that.
  • buying way too many bath products. Lush and Isle of Eden are leading the expenditures. but my skin is soft and I smell good.

And that, IFFs is pretty much the sum of what's been going on. See, nothing extremely blog-worthy.

I will try to do better now, especially now that I reset my Blogger password and everything.