Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Seven Lists of Seven, Third Amendment

See my previous posts

Seven things that attract me to [my spouse or significant other or best friend]:

5. He answers my emails right away. It drives me out of my mind when I have to wait for someone to email me back. I hate all you people who take more than 3 days to get back to me. OK, I really don't hate you. But it does get on my nerves.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Warrior of Fry's

My P.T. told me that there are two secrets to successful male-female relationships. One (which I already knew) is that the woman always gets her way. There have been studies done to prove this. The other is that the woman needs to bear in mind that, for a man, to be in competition is to be "in relationship." This can be hard for women to understand, because for women, to be in competition is to be "out of relationship." He said a way of making a relationship with a man work is to give him "Warrior of Valhalla Points" for every good thing that he does. Since everything to a man is a competition, he will understand he's doing something right when he gets points. You don't get anything with the points, it just gives you honor, just like the Vikings were warriors for the honor of going to Valhalla, and not because they knew they would win the battle or receive anything for it. I've been trying this out on Raybon to see if it works.

My sister dropped my brother and I off at the Airport in Burbank. We passed a Fry's Electronics, and I noticed that it was on Valhalla Drive. It's a good thing we don't live around there, or else Raybon would think when he gets Warrior of Valhalla points it means he gets to buy something at Fry's.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Going Postal

Sorry about the totally lame title. Also, apologies to all of my readers who have told me they basically gloss over any of my posts that have to do with swimming.
Just ignore the italicized part if you think swimming is boring. It might even be boring for those of you who don't think swimming is boring.

I did my Hour Postal on Friday at the Mellow Masters Pool. (For those of you not in the know, the Hour Postal is a swim where you basically swim at your own pool and try to swim as far as you can in an hour, then mail in the results.) I couldn't swim it with the group this weekend, so I did it all by myself on Friday afternoon. Raybon was kind enough to time for me. This is something he likes to do every year.

As we drove over to the pool, I decided I should try for 4000 yards. I haven't been swimming very fast at workout lately. To do 4000 yards, you have to average 1 minute 30 seconds per 100 yards. Lately, when I've been swimming "hard", I come in at 1:30, and I come in slower if I take it easy. This is the pace I've maintained with a lot less yardage and a lot more rest. I wondered if I might do better to pace myself, try for something like a 1:35 average and hit 3800 yards, which is about what I've done in the past. But on my way over, I told myself I shouldn't be afraid to try for 4000. If I failed, and end up going much slower than even a 1:35 base in the end, I shouldn't worry about feeling like a failure.

I got to the pool, and got in a lane close to the clock, so I could try to pace myself at 1:30. As I swam, I told myself I needed to at least do 2000 yards in half an hour, and after that, I'd throw in 100 yards of backstroke at the half hour and 45 minutes marks, and then count down 9 100's of freestyle after each 100 of backstroke. I thought the backstroke would be refreshing, and allow me to swim freestyle faster.

I did my first 2000 yards in almost exactly half an hour, like 29:58 or something. Funny, this is the only goal I strongly visualized, and it was the one I made. Looking down at the splits Raybon wrote down for me, the backstroke didn't really refresh me. I just swam slower for the backstroke, and then swam the same speed of freestyle that I did before I did the 100's of backstroke. So I'll forget about that strategy next year. I did gradually slow down over the course of the hour, but I guess that's to be expected. My fastest 50 was my first, at 43 seconds, and my slowest ones were around 47 (not counting the backstroke.)

So to cut to the chase I did 3920 yards. I guess that's not bad for feeling a little out of shape. Maybe the only thing out of shape was my head. It's more than I've done in years past, although in past years I've had equipment malfunctions (caps falling off, goggles filling with water.) This swim went really smoothly. I did 3845 two years ago (although I was out for about a minutes because of my goggles.) I did 3780 last year (when I had problems with my cap.) If you figure in the time that I spent fixing my equipment, my results have been pretty much dead on consistent for the past 3 years. I guess I could have gone a little farther if I hadn't done backstroke this year.

Not sure how I feel about the consistency thing. Last year I had my worst results of the 3 years (even figuring in the time fixing my equipment), but I thought I was swimming pretty well, at a 1:30 base, where this year and 2 years ago I've been doing more like a 1:40 or slower in the weeks prior to the swim. I kind of wonder how much trying to swim faster at workout really helps race performance all that much. It's almost like you can use up all your adrenaline in workout, and then just not have enough left for when you race if you push yourself all the time. I should be happy that I was able to keep myself focused, even though I was swimming by myself. It's kind of funny. I worry about my diet, my sore body, my surgery, my accidents, my stroke changing, my fatigue, my taking time off, and despite all those factors, I perform about the same.

I'd really like to be hitting more like 4200 yards, I think. People who I've occasionally been able to keep up with do about this, so it's not unthinkable. I'm not sure how to get there exactly. I really hope I haven't reach a plateau.


Thanks, Raybon for timing for me. It was very kind of you to show me support.

Anyways I talked my mom and sister in to doing an hour swim today. I was so happy they did it. They swam about the same pace. They were both unsure they'd even be able to swim for a whole hour, so I hope they are proud of themselves. They're not members of Masters, so I'm not sure they'll even send their results in. I got excited about it, because I like to think they'll get as much out of setting goals for themselves as I do. I hope they'll work hard this year, and get a lot of satisfaction out of improvement next year. I know my sister has the potential to go at least 1300 yards father than she did this year. It would be pretty cool if I could see her do that.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Dating By Proxy

I had an appointment with my physical therapist this morning. He's talked a lot about his son in the past. His son invented a little gizmo that Raybon got me for Christmas. I told my friend Anony about it. She is single, and asked me to ask my P.T. if his son was cute and available. I think I remember my P.T. saying that he was single last time I talked to him. My P.T. wants grandkids, and was complaining about his son's lack or direction in that department.

At the end of our session today, I asked my P.T. for Anony. As soon as I said it I felt how awkward a question it was. I realized that the only thing I knew about his son was that he was rich and smart. I wondered if he thought I was a gold digger. I also realized that the only thing he knew about Anony was that she was friends with me. He was manipulating my knee at the time, and I stared down at my legs which were 2 days unshaven, and badly in need of moisturizer. I thought about my nerdy flower print underpants that he'd probably seen earlier when he did ultrasound on my hip, my stretchmarks, and my general overall dorkiness. While I, of course, as a married woman (which he knows about) have no interest in his son, I am Anony's proxy. His only basis for rejecting or accepting Anony is based on me, so I instantly felt exposed for rejection.

He told me that his son is attractive, and that he is a very high energy person. Anyone who he was with would have to be up for anything at any time. He also told me that just this weekend he became involved with someone else, and that he was only interested in one person at a time.

I thought it was interesting that what he told me about his son was that he was a high energy person, which is clearly something you could not say about me. I felt like he was rejecting me/Anony based on this. I thought it was a little fishy that just this weekend he got involved with someone else, but I guess it could actually be true. I feel like a dork, but I guess this is a growing experience for me. I shouldn't care about what my P.T. thinks about me personally, but I hope that I haven't made things awkward between us. Anyways... I just found it a little comical that someone who was talking to someone else about two other people could find herself feeling a bit of the awkwardness of dating.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Gimp

There's not enough ice cream in the whole world.

I had an appointment with my Physical Therapist today. He told me all sorts of things about my body that I didn't really understand. It's like the Far Side cartoon to the left. "Blah blah blah tibia, blah blah blah 30 degrees instead of 0 degrees, blah blah blah psoas and hip flexors." I feel kind of stupid being 31 years old and learning that I've been walking completely wrong all these years. The instructions he gave me to follow were simple enough, thankfully.

However:

He suggested that I probably would not ever be able to run more than a 10K. He said, with some hesitation, that a 10K would be doable, but not a marathon. "Never?" I asked. He answered, "Well, I don't want to say never. But not under my guidance." My right leg is basically all twisted up. I'm not even sure how to explain it exactly, but he seems to think it would mess my leg up pretty badly if I tried to run too much. He said he’s seen people as messed up as me who are able to surprise him, though.

*Sigh.* My previous athletic goals were all related to swimming, specifically swimming the English Channel as my major lifetime goal. The English Channel would be so expensive though, and I thought there were more modest goals I could accomplish, like running a marathon or finishing a triathlon. If I can never run a marathon, I can never do an Ironman. What makes it a little harder, is that my swimming club (Mellow Masters) has a coach and members who are very focused on Triathlon and MultiSport.

When I got in my car after my appointment, I burst into tears. I know, I know, big crybaby. I felt terrible. I was really feeling sorry for myself. I felt like a freak. Like maybe I shouldn't reproduce, because maybe my kids would be cursed with lack of athletic ability like their mother. I wasn't interested in athletics for most of my life, but it has come a big part of my identity in the past few years.

When I was in 8th grade, I was the fastest female distance runner at my school. I ran a 10K (which was really more a charity walk than a race), and finished it before anyone else, male or female, whatever age. I've never spent much time training in running, but I always thought I'd missed my calling because of those past successes. A couple of years ago I did a 10K averaging 9-minute miles after a few months of training, with very little pain. I really am a mediocre swimmer, despite having spent a lot of time swimming, but I sort of hoped I might have more natural talent in the running area.

I had an appointment with my doctor afterwards. I told her about what the P.T. said. She said that she couldn't run either, but didn't really enjoy running anyways. I guess I've met a lot of people who have told me that they just can't run. I'm not alone. There should be a support group. People who love running, but can't. Pretty silly, huh? There’s so much else in life that could be fulfilling. Even if I couldn’t do anything athletic, there’s just a lot more to life. Like… Um…. Hmm… Music? Crafts? Literature? Languages? Art? People? Volunteer Work? Pbbbt….

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

New Year's Resolutions

1. Be More Selfish.

When I tell people this one, they are a little taken aback. I guess I should elaborate. I go out of my way for people. Mostly, all anyone has to do is ask, and I'll do them a favor. Sometimes I do this even if I don't want to. Then when the time comes around for me to ask a similar favor, and they say no, or I've gone out of my way to keep a commitment, and they don't hold up their end, I get upset. I guess it isn't so much that I want to be more selfish, I want to learn to say "Let me think about it."

2. Learn to Keep My Big Mouth Shut

My big mouth has gotten me into sooooo much trouble. I'll say something to someone, and someone else will overhear it, take it out of context, and tragic unintended consequences ensue. Or, I'll say it to someone in total privacy and what I would assume to be total confidence, and the wrong person will hear about it. Basically, everyone is the wrong person to tell a secret to. If you tell one person one thing, you may as well have told the whole freaking planet.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Anti-Climax

I swam 100 x 100's yesterday. I had on my list of Seven Things to Do Before I die "Do some sort of significant long distance swim (10K or greater)." Well, I swam 10,000 yards yesterday. Is this close enough to cross it off my list? I don't know. I mean, it I just swam an extra 10 x 100's (which for some reason didn't occur to me), I would have made it. I'm a little sore today, but not in tremendous pain or anything.

I don't feel like it was all that big of a deal, but is a confidence booster. My main fear of doing a 10K swim was the distance, not the cold or the open water environment. Now that I've proven to myself I can do the distance, I feel like I can plan to do the distance in the open water.