Monday, February 25, 2013

Catching up

Every time I think "Oh, I'm going to blog about that" and then it just never happens. Needless to say, we've been busy over here trying to fit it all in.

Over the long weekend we went to Pismo Beach and had an AMAZING time. Seriously, the California weather was perfect for a long weekend at the beach. It was such a great time that we booked a return trip.

Many beautiful sunsets were enjoyed

We'd spend all day at the pool, then the girls would take showers and put pj's on to catch the sunset

Lots of scootering along the path

We visited the beach and tide pools every morning before heading to the pool

We even all got some running in

After that it was home and business as usual. It also meant that I was going to see an increase in training with some double workout days. Which seem so much harder than if I just did the two workouts as one, but I guess that'st he idea. Finding the time to get afternoon workouts in with kids, homework, tutoring and getting dinner ready is really difficult, but I did pretty well managing it all. Not to say that I can do that all of the time. I got lucky with my husband taking Thursday off which allowed me to get a second swim in Thursday early evening. By the time Sunday rolled around I was exhausted and I do believe my family was exhausted of me and my double workouts, and I was out of sports bras.

While I'm not exactly where I had hoped to be fitness wise, I do feel like I will survive my first race of the season in two weeks. I've run the run course, so I know what to expect there. The bike course is a 5 mile loop and is unfamiliar to me, but I figure I should be able to fake it, I think.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Swim etiquette and hot tub conversations

I'm sure we could write a billion books with all of our swim related stories and funnies. I have been swimming less than a year so I am certainly no expert when it comes to swim etiquette, but I do think of myself as a courteous person in general. If presented in a situation when I have to share a lane, I always ask the person occupying the lane if it's okay to share and what they would like to do; circle swim or split the lane. If I'm swimming and I notice the lanes are getting crowded, I pick a side and swim on the side to make it easy for someone to jump in and share the lane.

Based on the three outdoor pools that I swim at the most, this is generally never an issue as most of the folks there are lap swimmers and with so many lanes to choose from I very rarely had to share a lane and I never had to circle swim.

Recently 24 Hour Fitness opened a new facility in Walnut Creek with an indoor pool and childcare. I've been sucking it up all winter with my outdoor pools, I swam in torrential downpours and freezing temperatures. The only real issue is that I have a four year old who goes to pre-school 3 days a week for 3 hours a day. In order to get my swims in I would have to drive to Walnut Creek to Clarke Memorial Pool right after her drop off to get my swim in. This would leave me just enough time to come home, shower and eat before I had to run and pick her up. This also meant that it left no time to run errands, grocery shop or go to doctor's appointments without her. The other downside was that on days that I needed to run (non school days for her) I would have to bring her to the gym and run on the treadmill, which we all know is uninspiring and boring. When this new gym opened up, I was thrilled. This meant I could swim on days she didn't have school, bring her with me and she could play at the childcare while I swam laps, sat in the hot tub and took a shower. This is also meant I could run outside on days she was at school. I became a seriously happy camper and not a mopey athlete not thrilled with her schedule or training.

This is where the fun starts. While there are some folks at the gym who lap swim like myself (like the guy who swam in his tri kit) there are way more recreational swimmers. I'm not even sure if they qualify as recreational swimmers, lets call them "plungers". The lap pool, hot tub and steam rooms are all together and co-ed. This makes for lots of good people watching during sets. Lots of folks work out (I think) and then come to use the hot tub or steam rooms. Most of these folks are older men, who I'm guessing are retired based on the time of the day they are there.

I've seen lots of fun things. A woman swimming with a shower cap on. Not a swim cap, but a shower cap. She was swimming with her head above water so I guess she really didn't want to get her hair wet. Earlier this week I was sharing a lane with a gentleman who simulated a very nice open water swim for me. Every time we passed each other I would get a nice mouth full of water instead of air. I'm not going to complain, because I really need practice with this. It was a great exercise in spitting out the water and coming back for another breath. With six of us in the three lane pool there was lots of chop to simulate an open water start, again more great practice. In the lane next to me was one lap swimmer and one lane walker. Interesting, my outdoor pools are too deep for lane walkers so this was a new one for me.

Today, I was happy to have a lane to myself, sort of. I was done with my main set and getting ready to do my cool down when I turned around to notice a woman getting into my lane. The other two lanes were open, but she was getting in my lane. Okay, I swam past her as I started my cool down hoping she would just swim under the lane line to another lane. She didn't. She was a plunger! She had come from the hot tub and was looking for a cold plunge in my lane. Okay, I won't give you the stink eye over a plunge, but it seemed to be more than just a plunge, it was more like a soak. As I headed out on my next 50 I made sure to kick really hard and splash her. Let's be honest, I'm a puller and not a kicker, so I may have exerted myself a wee bit much on that but I was trying to get my point across that there was a better place to lounge than the side wall of my lane. She sat there for my entire cool down, in my lane with an empty pool. I'm sure that was good practice for something.

After that I got in the hot tub, ah the best part of a swim. Unless you are in a gym filled with old men who like to talk, a lot. One was a skydiver, the other a former B-52 pilot and the third was a wannabe who liked asking lots of questions so the other two could talk on and on about about skydiving and free-falling and packing parachutes. I tried really hard to close my eyes and tune them out. I'm not sure what it is about the hot tub that drives people to talk endlessly. The first few times it was about the new gym and how all the other ones suck. For the most part, I close my eyes to avoid eye contact so that I don't have to engage in any conversations, this is my quiet time damn-it!

Don't get me wrong, I love my new schedule and that I can bring my youngest with me, I just need to get used to the new "etiquette" with the plungers. Maybe some ear plugs for the hot tub.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

2013 Champion

I am super excited to be representing for 2013 as a TriSports Champion! This means another year of great discounts for you! I have a new referral code for 2013, MYOX (easy to remember) and this year my referral code earns you a 15% discount, so use it lots! It's always listed in the right side of my blog if you forget what it is.

I had started my training for 2013 in late November only to be plagued with one illness after the next. Needless to say I am just picking back up on my training for the year. I may have to rethink some of my early year goals based on this (as I recover from a sinus infection) but I am confident that I can get back on track for the rest of the year.

First up is the South Bay Sprint Duathlon in Morgan Hill. I had a great time volunteering at this race last year so I thought I would give it a try this year. This will only be my second duathlon and there are a lot of super speedy folks who compete at this race. For me, this will be a race to gain experience and work on transitions and nutrition. I'm also very excited because so many friends will be there, and one of the big aspects of the sport for me is the social part!

Right after that I will be running in the Oakland Running Festival's 5k. I was so impressed with how well run the event was that I really wanted to do it again this year, and maybe next year I'll do the 1/2 marathon to get one done early in the year. In addition to that I have signed on to help the race director this year. That means you may see me at some other race expo's promoting the Oakland Running Festival! In addition to that I am looking for high school or college sports teams and clubs who would like to volunteer the day of the race as course marshal's. With three distances we need about 100 marshals out on the course. All volunteers receive t-shirts and community service credits if you need those. The race is on March 24th, please let me know if you or someone you know would be interested in volunteering.