Sunday, February 25, 2007

Clipless Pedals

Raybon got me a road bike for Christmas, and some clipless pedals for Valentine's Day. I hadn't gotten much of a chance of trying them out before today.

Every weekend I've been taking Willow out with me to a parking lot somewhere to run her out. The first weekend I did this, she had a lot of fun, but when we got home, she started acting really funny. She'd hide under the house every chance she got, and would hide places in the house and not come out. I realized that she had a flash of what her life as an Australian Shepherd/Australian Cattle Dog mix was supposed to be like. I promised her I'd take her once a week, and she seemed to understand, because she stopped acting depressed.

Last night she seemed a little down, so I told her I'd take her for a ride today. She usually sleeps on Raybon's side of the bed, but last night she slept on my side some, and nuzzled my hand this morning. She was very very excited. She knew this was supposed to be her day. Unfortunately, it was raining this morning, but I figured a promise is a promise. I decided to try out my new bike shoes, too. Willow and I drove to an abandoned Elementary school near by.

As I clipped into my bike, I felt like I was 7 years old again, when I first learned to ride a bike. This time, unfortunately, I didn't have my old sister Taeko there to help me balance. I remembered how when I was 7 how careful I was to always start pedaling with my left foot, and to always but the same foot down when I stopped. I felt this awkward self-consciousness of being afraid to fall and doing something different physically.

I fell the moment I started trying to clip in my second foot. Ouch. At least when I was 7, the ground wasn't so far away, and I wasn't as heavy. It also hadn't been quite so many years that I had learned how to walk, so falling was more second nature to me then. This time, I was very shaken up, and a little banged up, but I got back on the horse. I fell one more time. This time when Willow ran up to me and I breaked suddenly. I still can't say I have the hang of it, but I guess trying new things keeps us young. When I got in the car, I was still shaken up. I was afraid my feet would get clipped to the brakes or gas, and I would crash my car.

Monday, February 12, 2007

200 Valhalla Points for Raybon!

Raybon got 21st out of 128 in his 3K, and 1st in his age group. Yeah!!!

Is it OK for me to brag for my husband?

I've never placed that high in any of the swims I've done with that many people. I generally finish about dead center. Of course, I don't race against 8 year olds either. :P (The 10 year old I blogged about earlier turned about to be 8.) He averaged 7 minutes 31 second miles, though, which to my mind is pretty good. I asked him if he ran much faster in high school. He said, yeah, he would have come in first if he was the speed he was in high school.

Go Raybon, go, go!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Swimming Nerd

I must be really bored. I just put a bunch of statistics from the 2006 Postal Swim into Excel. I thought I might find something interesting out. If you look at the results below, there isn't much to glean from it, other than that people generally get slower as they get older. I thought there might be some age where people just suddenly drop off, but there doesn't seem to be. Well, at age 85, something seems to happen, but there really isn't enough data to show that (not enough people swim the Postal at that age.)

Maybe the one interesting thing (if you could call it that) is there isn't much drop between the 35-39 age group and the 40-44 age group. The 40-44 age group had the most swimmers, too (189 versus 115 for the 35-39 age group.) Wonder why... Do women in their early 40’s suddenly have more time on their hands? Did their kids get older, and don't need them as much anymore? Did they kick their husbands out of the house? Does turning 40 give women an interest in athletics? I don't know. This is all much more interesting, but I don't have the data to answer those questions.

I think the most interesting conclusion to be drawn from all this is that I'm a huge nerd.

I ♥ Swimming

You mean it wasn't obvious before? I briefly fell out of love with swimming, but now I love it again. I was tired of it taking up too much of my identity, and wanted to back off it. Consequently, I started dreaming about swimming much more often. I think my dreams show my repressed desire.

I cried when my P.T. said I could never run a marathon, but I really don't care anymore. I have a good excuse now to concentrate on what I like doing better anyways.

Swimming Goals For February:
  • Swim 100,000 yards. Mellow Masters is having a "Can-Do February." For every 2000 yards I swim, I donate a can of food, which Mellow Masters will match. Coach has set 100,000 yards as the goal for individuals to meet. I love to swim, so I figure, what the heck? More time in the water = more fun.

  • Learn to bend my elbows under water, and cross my hand in front of the center line of my body. I tried this in practice today, and though I was slower, I decreased my stroke count per 25 yards by 2! I have great hopes that this will make me faster. Plus I don't have to look embarrassed every time Coach tells me I'm still doing it wrong. (Nice of him not to give up on me.) Maybe my ultimate goal for swimming should be to have a freestyle that is beyond reproach.

That's it! Notice, no goals about speed.

This is an unapologetically swimming-centered blog.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Seven Lists of Seven, Amendment IV

See my previous posts

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

6. He doesn't have a bad temper. I just put a dent in his Prius. My fault. I backed into a parked car. He didn't yell at me.


I've resolved to be boring. I've decided this is better than being a gossip, and better than being a drama queen. I am going to follow the old "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" adage. Sometimes I think I treat my personal life as if I were a guest on a daytime talk show. No more.

I'll try instead to be less boring by having broader interests. I'll try to be well read, and talk about my hobbies instead of my personal life. My personal life is pretty boring anyways. Yes, I still have the same job. Yes, I'm still married. Yes, I still have a dog.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Coach Seaweed, Part II

This morning Raybon ran a 3K in Flip Flop. This is his first race in almost a year, I think. I'm proud of him. He's been very diligent about sticking to his training plan: getting up very early and sticking with the mileage and intensity recommended by his heart rate monitor. I showed up and was the supportive spouse, like he usually is with my swims, holding his stuff and cheering for him. I saw him start and finish. When he finished, he had a 10 year old chasing after him. I could tell Raybon was running his ass off. I yelled "Go Raybon!" I thought he did pretty well, but I guess the point is he did it, and is training in a safe way. I asked him about the little kid later, and he said he passed him around the last corner before the finish, and even though he was very tired, hearing the kid's feet in back of him pushed him to run as fast as he could towards the finish. I'm sure there are plenty of 10 years olds who could kick my ass in the pool, too.

I did weights and core with Camille today, and then we headed towards the pool so I could give her as much help as I could with her stroke. I told her, "Sooo... I'm going to act like I know what I'm doing, and you can act like I know what I'm doing, but if anyone tells you anything that contradicts what I to him." I gave her some specific pointers about her head and body position, and vaguer ones like "staying smooth" and trying to decrease her stroke count. I hope I helped, and I figured it couldn't hurt.