Thursday, June 30, 2011


Check out these bad boys
They're called Techpaddles apparently and my coach whipped them out on Tuesday morning for us to try out. We were all stumped.

Here's how you wear them.

This means you enter the water fist-first. This is HARD. However, after swimming a 100 wearing the techpaddles, I definitely felt my stroke in my biceps, which I usually don't at all. My triceps generally do most of the work. So effective tool? Yes. Do I ever want to use them again if given the choice? Not really.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rest Day

I actually woke up early enough to go swimming this morning and could have gone, but I made myself roll over and doze for another 45 minutes or so because I know if I swim too much too soon, I'll injure myself. The last time I ramped up the swimming too fast, I injured my arm and couldn't do anything more than kick for a month or so.

Yesterday was Masters swimming and we had a good workout. The middle set was 3 100s, 3 200s and 3 300s. I thought I would be dead by those 300s (12 laps for the non-swimmers), but I actually felt really energized. We had a new guy in our lane and I noticed that when I went first, he was on my feet for the first few laps. So I let him go first, and realized that he's fast when he starts, but then he loses his steam and I am right on his feet for the last several laps. It's good to know I can keep an even pace. That will be a good skill for the swim in September.

One thing I forgot about swimming - by 10:30 or 11 PM, I am OUT. I get up at 5:45 or so, swim, then feel pretty energized all day. But after 10:30, I am absolutely useless and can't keep my eyes open. It's pretty sudden and really annoys Jason when I drift off right in the middle of a conversation with him (which has happened before).

Monday, June 27, 2011

Swim Challenge: Week 1

Today was Day 1 of my new challenge. We're thinking about going out of town this weekend, so I knew I HAD to swim this morning or else I would be swimming the next 4 days in a row with no break. I think a goal to swim 4 times a week is perfect for me because it's enough that it pushes me, but not so much that I'll injure myself like I have in the past when I've ramped up the swimming too quickly.

I also want to work in a couple of days of strength training, but since Swim Across America is my ultimate goal at the end of thee 12 weeks, I'm officially just trying to get in the 4 swims per week.

Being an overachiever, I tried to get in 4 swims last week even though my challenge hadn't started. I left work a little early on Friday and went to the pool. I was only 8 laps into my swim when the lifeguard pulled everyone out because someone threw up IN the pool.


So that was a bust. But I figured they would have shocked the pool by Saturday morning and I could go then.

Only I had to pick up Jason at the Boston airport Friday night and his flight was almost 3 hours late. So what was supposed to be a midnight pick up, wound up being closer to 3 AM. We dropped off his colleague in Needham, got home a little after 4 AM and didn't wake up until 11:20.

Oh well. I got in 2 swims last week at least. This week, though, I will swim 4 times!

Friday, June 24, 2011

New Challenge: SWIM!

Yesterday I swam a mile in 30 minutes. I met up with C, a lady from my Masters group, and we swam this week's workout from our coach, which included a mile swim broken down this way:

Rest :10 between each distance above.
Time yourself and at the end subtract 1:40 and you have your time for a swimming mile (1650 yards)

The thing is, I felt terrible. I was exhausted getting into the pool and my head started pounding about midway through the 1650 yards. C was tired too and we both acknowledged that our pace was slower than the last time we swam together.

So I think 30 minutes when I feel like poo isn't too bad. We agreed to do the mile again on a day when we were both feeling better. I think I would prefer to just swim the 1650 straight, but doing the distance intervals is a good way to get in a mile if the idea of swimming 1650 seems a little overwhelming.

But back to the point of this post. I've decided to do a swim fundraiser in September called Swim Across America. It's a mile of open water swimming with a bunch of people, which I've never done before, so that's a challenge in and of itself. I want to make sure I'm ready for this and that I train enough. Maybe I can even swim the mile under a half hour.

So my new challenge is to swim 4 times a week for at least 45 minutes, but preferably an hour. As the lakes and ocean around here get warmer in July and August, I'm going to try to swim 1 time per week in open water to get used to it. My Y just started a Swim Across America team, so hopefully we'll do some training together too.

Challenge starts Monday!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Back in the Water - And It Feels So Good

After almost 3 weeks, I went for a swim this morning. My Masters group was canceled last week, so I haven't been in the pool since just before we went to England. It was lovely! (And hard. Our coach is doing distance swims for everyone who is swimming Save the Bay and distance on top of distance after being out of the pool for a few weeks is no joke.)

I also made a date to meet up with another lady in the group on Thursday morning so we can swim together. So at least I know I'll get in one more swim this week - hopefully more.

On Sunday we went out to Cape Cod to hang out with Jason's brother and family. Our sister-in-law, Sarah, has a longtime family connection to the Cape and was there for a family wedding. We spent time with her parents and her sister's family as well. Sarah's dad owns a running store and is a big-time runner. He's the one who fitted me for my current sneakers, which fit great, but still didn't prevent my heel injury.

He asked Jason and me if we were still running. Jason said he was going to start again. I said, "I've been swimming." I explained that I'm pretty positive I have some plantar fasciitis going on, and Sarah's dad was about as unsurprised as they come because he saw for himself that I have the flattest feet in the world.

Jason then asked him if he had any tips for me in dealing with the injury. He nodded wisely and said, "Keep swimming."

Okay then. I've said it before, but I think it's pretty clear that I am NOT meant to be a runner.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hung Over

Jason is out of town and I took the opportunity to do some extensive house cleaning this weekend, including unpacking my last box from our move 11 months ago. The office has been our continual work in progress, and instead of organizing as I go, I have taken to stacking papers and other officey-type things on an increasingly taller and more precarious pile on top of this cabinet in my corner of the office. As of Saturday evening, I can say that my part of the office is unpacked and organized. Jason's part is another story, but he's been working on it.

I can't tell you how satisfying it is to finally have this project over and done. It has been looming over me for months, and it was only getting worse as time went on. I filled up 3 garbage bags full of trash and two smaller bags full of shredables and recyclables. So satisfying.

During my cleaning, I gathered up a couple of pans and tupperwares that I've acquired over the last several months, but that actually belong to ladies at church. There's an old-fashioned idea that someone (probably my Southern relatives) hammered into my head at some point that you don't return a container empty. So I decided to make some brownies.

Only we only had one package of brownie mix (Ghiradelli!), which wasn't enough for a big pan. However, we did have a decadent triple-chocolate cake mix, so I combined them. It occurred to me as I was putting the pan into the oven that I probably should have only used one egg instead of the 3 that the cake mix called for. Sure enough, the batter puffed up and became a dark chocolate cake, rather than brownies. It's not really convenient to give someone a third of a cake (uniced), so I had nothing.

Didn't really matter since none of the 3 ladies I needed to return things to were at church yesterday. I suppose I could look at this as an opportunity for a brownie do-over.

The point is, I have had a big chocolate cake sitting on my kitchen island since Saturday afternoon. As I've been running around, up and down stairs, throwing away trash, gardening, etc., I've stopped periodically and grabbed a couple bites of cake.

Today I have a total chocolate cake hangover. I feel exhausted and headachey. I felt it yesterday when I had a piece of cake after lunch. First, I felt that buzz (literally, feels like something under my skin is buzzing) from the sugar. Then about a half hour later I completely crashed and fell asleep right there on the couch while watching TV. I wasn't tired at all when I originally sat down with my lunch.

Tonight when I get home from work the rest of that chocolate cake is going in the trash.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

English Breakfast... great for low-carbing.

So long as you don't overindulge in the Continental Breakfast options around the corner.

Or the readily available English chocolate.

Monday, June 06, 2011


I wrote a bit about last week's choir tour in England on my other blog. It was pretty amazing actually. Here are a few pictures: