Category: humor

Random Thoughts from the Swim

If you didn’t start swimming until you were an adult, you may already know that swimming is an incredibly mysterious thing. There are so many questions in a 35 minute “form-focused” workout…


  • Why does my swim cap sometimes fill up with air and start floating off my head?
  • How come I can do a bunch of turns and then just can’t even reach the wall with my tipsiest toes? Did the wall move?
  • What the hell did my right hand just do?!
  • Is this pool hot? I think this pool is hot.
  • Ouch. Why can’t I make it through one swim in this pool without whacking my hand on the lane line?
  • What is that guy doing? Is there such thing as a backward butterfly? I think he’s making that up.
  • Why does water burn when you forget to exhale out your nose during a flipturn?
  • I wonder if foggy goggles can just keep getting foggier.  Or is there is a fog maximum saturation point?…do I really need to see anything?
  • Ouch! Foot cramp! When was the last time I ate a banana? Should I be eating more bananas?
  • Why didn’t I start swimming as a kid?
  • When did I start? I wonder if I’m done. I can’t see my damn watch.
  • Will there ever be a day when I don’t have to think so much?

Perfectly Imperfect

I had a hint of how things were going to go, the night before, when I was copying my morning swim workout on to paper: 50 breaststroke no rest.
Text to coach: Hey, coach. I don’t know how to swim breaststroke…

The day didn’t start for me until well after 6:00 thanks to a crazy night of hot flashes that decimated sleep. (hot flashes are stupid) So no swimming until after the kids were on the bus and even then I was so damn tired that swimming was questionable from moment to moment.

I finally made it to the pool just before 9am. Not to my regular pool which is closed for repair, but the local Y which so graciously lets me swim during the repair. The “fast” lane had 2 others during my warm up and I could feel the stress of the sleepless night start to fade away (it always does in the pool).

And then, promptly at 9:00, swim lessons started, a swim lane was removed, and then there were 7 of us in the “fast” lane. I’m not sure what the definition of “fast” is, but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have included what was happening in that lane. I was right back to tired and cranky and now in a traffic jam of leisurely breaststrokers. I started to wonder if this is the universe’s way of getting my to finally learn the breaststroke. Or maybe it was sign that I should just get out of the pool, go home, and get some sleep?  In my sleepy, soggy haze, I tried to figure out what I should do with this time.

I optimistically tried to complete the first fast 25 yards – nope! Drills! Lots of drills. One arm, side drills, catch-ups, drills, drills, drills.

And then two finished…there were just 5 of us…oh maybe I could figure out how to do my planned workout, imperfectly, between my lane mates. I have no idea how, but it started to work. I’ve never had to pass people or weave through a lane or turn with more than one person resting at the end – it was sort of mayhem, but is was sort of fun to focus on something other than swimming back and forth.

I was happy with myself for getting the workout done. And in the end, the drills had been perfect as I had a mini breakthrough on my rotation (or lack there of , when breathing to the right).

As I was leaving, I passed by the pool, where all the swim lanes had been removed to accommodate a very large aqua aerobics class – I guess my timing could have been even more interesting than it was!

The day’s imperfection was highlighted when I uploaded the session and realized I’d missed 2x100s when writing out the workout and when there was just no way to fit in yoga with work and life. And twice again when I caught myself opening deodorant to put on my toothbrush only to correct it by grabbing my curly hair product, instead. It was all perfectly imperfect.

Rogue One, Too

Will and I saw Rogue One on opening weekend. (This has nothing to do with the plot.)

I’ve been thinking how nice it is to have a strong female hero that I can relate to. My life in no way parallels Jyn Erso’s. I certainly don’t posses her galactic talents or survival skills, but still.

Growing up, I was a huge fan of Wonder Woman and Lynda Carter. I loved her, but there were so many things about her that were just so unattainable for me. Seriously, there was no way in hell I could’ve run after any bad guys in high-heeled boots.  I would’ve been constantly picking gravel out of my amazonian knees.  And a wonder bustiere?  How was this ever useful? My boobs would have been flying out all over the place! Every scene of me in the invisible jet would’ve been tucking things back into their holders , picking gravel, and searching for a pony tail holder.

It’s just fantastic to have a female hero in pants.  Oh, and a jacket and a scarf when the temperature of a given planet’s atmosphere necessitates.  And footwear, practical footwear. I imagine she even had some great warm socks. I love this Jyn!

Other People’s Shoes – A Triathlon PSA

The following is a special triathlon public service announcement:
“Put yourself in the other person’s shoes” is an idiom.*
It is not a directive nor a suggestion. It is most certainly not a good idea to do at a triathlon.

This past weekend, when I came back to collect my things after a local sprint, I was happy to find my first-timer neighbor cleaning up his transition area. I asked him how he did, did he enjoy his first race?

He looked at me (he was upset).  “I couldn’t find my shoes.”

I kept looking at him, not understanding his words. “What do you mean? They got moved?”

Him – “No this guy…took them!”

Me – “Wait, what? Someone took your sneakers?”

Him – “Yes. This guy. The guy who put his bike in my spot.”

Me – “Wait what? Someone took your sneakers?

Him – “Yes.” His wife – “And he was in second place.” Him – “Looking for sneakers cost me 5 minutes!”

Me – “ Wait. You found sneakers and ran in someone else’s sneakers? And finished?”

Him – “Yea. I found his sneakers by looking at his number and finding the same brand in an open space on his rack. They’re older than mine. Mine were brand new.”

Me- “Wait. You guys had the same brand and the same size? And wait, you were going to race in brand new shoes? Maybe he has blisters?!”

Him – “He had to move all my stuff off of my sneakers to put them on. How do you not realize that these aren’t your sneakers?”

Me- “I just don’t know; I’ve never heard of such a thing.”

So, as a point of clarification, no one comes around and cleans sneakers while you’re out riding your bike. Your worn, dirty sneakers will stay worn and dirty. If you come back and they’re clean – they’re not yours. If they’re clean and someone else’s stuff is on top of them, they’re definitely not yours. If they’re clean, have someone else’s stuff on them and are on a towel that you don’t recognize, they’re really, really not yours. Please do not put them on and definitely do not put them on sockless and then go run several miles in them. It’s terribly uncool.

However, if you do take someone else’s clean sneakers from under the stuff you don’t recognize and off the towel you’ve never seen…when you get back to transition and meet the man who’s shoes you are in…please try to put yourself in his shoes and do make a sincere effort with your apology.

*An idiom is a word or phrase which means something different from its literal meaning. Idioms are common phrases or terms whose meaning is not real, but can be understood by their popular use.

It’s a half ironman, but a whole race, I swear!

race trinketsI admit to enjoying a post race high – for several days.
Oh yes, I’ve been conspicuously wearing my Patriot t-shirt and socks and drinking from my steel pint glass. I’ve been more than stoked to share my happily surprising time for the half ironman. I have, indeed. But the buzz is a little more difficult to maintain than I imagined.

“Are you going to do a full one?”

Wait, what?!

…am I gonna do a full one?!
Ya know…a half iron is pretty far…and it takes a pretty long time…and an awful lot of effort to complete.
It is a whole entire race, I swear.

It’s not like eating half a cookie and leaving the other half sitting on a plate. It’s not like running Boston and just hanging out in Wellesley for the afternoon. There wasn’t any more to do when I stopped – I did the whole thing. And it was far – 70.3 miles to be precise and it was long – over 5 1/2 hours. Sure a 10k is double the 5k – but we’re talking about racing for half of a 24 hour day. Whoa! This is an entirely different animal.

Ok yes – I intend to do a full one, someday –  provided I stay healthy and when my kids are older and I can train without wishing I could be two places at once. But in the meantime, I’d like to bask in the glow of completing a half ironman without discussing the missing half.

Maybe I should just stick to calling it a 70.3 –  it just doesn’t sound as cool, though.

my husband’s a cyclist

He’s not a triathlete. He believes in Big Foot more than the possibility of a good ride being preceded by a swim and/or followed by a run.

This is cool. We share a lot of time and discussion with cycling. He’s great with details and mechanics and makes living with 7 or 8 bikes feel pretty reasonable. He’s also incredibly supportive of my triathlon training, though the finer details of swimming and running don’t interest him. (This I forget.)

He recently had the great idea for adding some fun to the kids’ February vacation. We’d head down to the Cape Codder in Hynannis for a couple of days in a family hotel / indoor water park. The kids would love it and he highlighted an added benefit – “You’ll be able to get in a couple of swim workouts over vacation while your pool is closed.”

I love his plan, but every once in a while one doesn’t quite come together 100% as we imagine.

When I asked the woman at the front desk if there were specific times for lap swimming, she hesitated, as if waiting for a punch line.  “So, you haven’t been here before…?”

best laid plans

A trip to the pool provided a more enlightened view of just how silly my question was. Oh, sure, lap swimming. You go for it, buttercup! ♥

Triathalife Plan B – water displacement, potato chip eating, and hedgehog appreciation.


splash down #428

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