Friday, April 30, 2010

No Such Thing As An Ugly Day

On Thursdays I take my daughter to her Mime class (my son's running gag to her is "you need to practice your Mime!", on account of that she's our noisy child and he's our silence-craving introvert, LOL) and usually I head out the door with a fellow mom for what we've come to call the Thursday Mime Run. Yesterday though she didn't appear so after heading inside for a drink of water, I paused in the doorway to survey the thunderous black clouds and an impressive amount of water falling from the sky. A mom scuttling out the door to her minivan said "Isn't it a shame it's such an ugly day?"

I thought about that as I began to run. At first it seemed as if she might be right. It hasn't been very warm lately, and there's nothing like getting instantly soaked to the skin to put a damper on one's happy running feelings. Often when I'm confronted with a situation that is less than ideal however, I search for a phrase that I can dwell on that will change my attitude toward those circumstances. This time it was "the rain is washing all of my stress away and leaving me refreshed."

You know what? What you tell yourself is what you live. Misery evaporated and the rain became a beautiful and invigorating thing. I began to notice things, like how fresh everything smelled, how the air near the ground was still warm from reflected heat and the rain was turning to steam all around me, how some birds were still singing even in the downpour. I began to not just endure the rain but to revel in it, even to enjoy it. My pace quickened, I spread my arms in an embrace of the day and a smile broke out on my face. Ten minutes into the run, the clouds above me parted and rays of sunshine streamed down in place of the rain. A heron swooped overhead, fields of wildflowers looked spectacular in the stormlight, and a flicker alighted in the tree next to me, flashing his orangey wings. My feet were now virtually flying along the path by the river, my eyes taking in the water spilling over the banks, swollen from days and days of stormy weather, with the roar of the rapids blocking out all other sound.

By the time I was done, the sunny hole in the clouds was closing up, my clothes were almost dry, and the rain was sweeping back towards me from the clouds to the North, but I made it back to the studio before it could douse me again. Rather than run in an ugly day, I chose to see the beauty and had one of the best runs I can remember in a long time. It was a great reminder that we are what we choose to see and do.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

All's Well That Heals Well

My 3rd and final X-ray today showed my arm to be (finally) totally healed up! I have the green light to do anything that feels comfortable with it, and now I don't have to worry that if I crashed my bike or (heaven forbid) tripped again while running I would require surgery and pins, metal plates and all sorts of nastiness like that.

I've never split a bone like this before, I've only cracked them across the center. And I've never broken the bone at the joint either, so this is all new for me healing-wise.

The Report Card:

Running: 95%
You'd think a broken arm wouldn't affect running at all, but I was watching some video of myself running from today and guess what, my left arm swings out and away from my body instead of tracking straight backwards. It's not huge, but it's there, and it makes my torso twist more than it should when I run.

I haven't really started climbing hills yet where I'll have to stand on the pedals and put a lot of stress on my arms and elbows but I can bike the flats to rolling hills with no problems now. Thinking of doing some flat time trials in May. Wheee!

Swimming: 70%
My arm straightens almost all the way out to a full glide, but I still can't keep my left elbow high to catch and pull much water, so my right arm starts to really fatigue about 2500 yards into my workouts as it's taking the lion's share of the workload.

Karate: 25%
I haven't done any contact at all since the accident, but that can start to change this week. Yeah!

Crossfit: 35%
I've had to substitute so many of the exercises in Crossfit, but I'm starting to work them back in with lighter weights now.

All in all, I'm on track to get myself all back in action. My doctor said that by 8- 10 months, I'll have all of the mobility back out of this arm that I'll ever have, so that's good incentive to listen to my physical therapist and be good about doing my exercises!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Swim Coach: Out of the Brain Rut

When you go to the pool, do you swim the same workouts? How about the same intervals? Do you always start at the same end of the pool, use the same kickboard and pull buoy, bring the same water bottle? Is your workout in a brain rut? Remember that exercise is a mind-body connection and if you're only exercising the body half of the equation, you're missing half of the workout. Just like your body, parts of your brain can become lazy with inactivity. We know that exercise helps improve brain function and actually protects against cognitive decline, and so does changing up your mental stimuli on a regular basis, forcing the old gray matter to forge new neural paths.

When I plan workouts for myself or my swimmers, I like to throw in the occasional curve ball, change things up a bit. I don't always include intervals that end in :00, :15, :30, etc. We don't always end up on the same end of the pool, do the same drills, or use the same pool toys. Today some of my swimmers complained about the odd intervals, I am forcing them to do mental math at the end of each set to determine the next send off, plus every other set ends up at the other end of the pool. But I guess I figure if my swimmers aren't complaining about something, I'm not writing good enough workouts up.

So here's today's Saturday Master's workout.
You can see the drill here . This is one of my favorites, and if done correctly can halt the lazy drift into the catch that many swimmers unconsciously perform.

SKILL: Catch on surface, high elbow
DRILL: S2CC  (Shoulder to Cheek Catch)

Warm Up
300 Swim
4 x 50 S2C Drill
4 x 50: S2CC Drill
2 x 100 Kick IM Order

Main Set

200 – Moderate @ 3:10
2 x 175 – Neg. Split @ 2:55
3 x 150 Descend @ 2:20
4 x 125 Descend @ 2:00

5 x 100 Drill S2CC on EZ interval 1:45

6 x 75 @ 1:10  Descend x 3’s
7 x 50 @ 50     Descend x 3’s and hold last fast
8 x 25  @ :30 Descend x 4’s, last 4 EZ

Total: 3900

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Vibram Five Fingers Success Story

Here's a great little story about a runner who overcame an IT Band injury and completed the Boston Marathon in Vibram Five Finger shoes, which he has only been running in since February! I think this is really interesting because my hubby was unable to run due to knee problems until he recently got some Vibram KSOs. Now he can run without knee pain where he couldn't before.

Here's  a quote from this article, the guy had a terrific time of 3:25:15 and an almost even split (hard to accomplish).

I felt so great; my split between the 40K and the finish was 10 minutes, close to a 7:25 pace! I felt like I could have just kept running a few more miles after the finish and had never felt so strong at the end of a marathon (which I attribute to the efficiency of running in VFFs). I ran the last five miles with a huge smile on my face. I had forgotten how fun it was to run naturally and pain free! Two days later, my legs feel great, and my IT Band has not acted up at all. While this race was far from a personal best, it was the most fun I have EVER had running.

Now that's impressive! If I ever run another stand-alone marathon, I think it will have to be in my VFFs!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Wow, it's been awhile since I did a workout intense enough to bring on an attack of the almost-pukies. In triathlon training, almost nothing comes close to approximating the intensity of an erg (rowing machine) workout. Probably the closest thing would be doing crazy sets of killer 200s in the pool. When you're biking or running, half of your body is more or less resting, and while the intervals can definitely be tough, they are not the all-encompassing pain of a total body interval that you get in the pool or on the erg. I've heard it said that competitive swimmers have to have a higher pain tolerance than the general public, and I'm willing to bet that competitive rowers are right up there with them.

With the arm out of commission, almost anything you can do in Crossfit that's puke-inducing (burpees, wallballs, thrusters, etc.) were out of the picture for me for a long while. Today's workout was 5 x 500m on the C2 Rowing machine, with a 3 minute rest interval. Crap that was hard! Well, first of all I wrote down the workout wrong, it was only supposed to be 4 x 500, so we did  a little extra. But I'm glad we did because mentally, you can do four of almost anything, but that fifth one is a killer. 

So two weeks ago, the arm wasn't to a place where I could row under 2:00 for a 500 meters. I had to take it slow and deliberate. While I still don't have my full range of motion and extension so my pull stroke is still pretty short and choppy, I was able to go 154.7, 152.7, 151.7, 153.3, 153.0 for my five intervals. That's a big improvement in just a couple of weeks, and I should see those times drop a bit more as I get my arm mobility back.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Allez Allez, It's the Finish Line!

Just a fun reminder to always finish like a winner...
Warning: brief nudity in the final moments (3rd cyclist)

Friday, April 16, 2010

G'day From Iron Mum

I got the biggest grin when I was looking at which sites link back to this one and found that in Australia my site is referred to as "Iron Mum". So hi to all of you reading Down Under.Our family has big plans to visit there for my son's 18th birthday in about five years and have started saving our nickels toward that trip. One thing I love about the internet is how it connects so many of us from around the globe, and we get to learn a little bit about each other's cultures, speech, and ways of life.

I'm heading off for the weekend to my mom's house (read: dial-up internet only) so until Monday, g'day from Iron Mum!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Taking the Starch Out Of Our Easter Crepes

Traditions are important in our family, and special occasions often have special foods associated with them. For as long as I can remember, I've cooked crepes for Easter Brunch. I used to make Key Lime Crepes, which in my opinion are just heavenly, but my kids can't stand the key lime filling, go figure! So I switched to berry crepes. This year, eating in a more Paleo manner (and now hubby and daughter are doing the same), I had to revamp the old recipe. Betty Crocker, meet Grok the caveman!

I was a little worried about my no-wheat-flour version of the crepes since often using coconut flour and almond meal creates a grainier texture that doesn't hold together well. So I subbed 1/4 C. tapioca flour for some of the flour and that made a huge difference. The kids and the hubby all declared that these crepes are way better than the original recipe and that I should always make them this way. A new tradition has been born!

Although they are heaven with strawberries or blueberries, these are actually so yummy that you can eat them plain, and I'm thinking they would make a great biking power food, you could wrap up a banana, some almond butter, or something else yummy inside them as well.

Nutty Almond-Coconut Crepes

1/2 C. Almond Meal
3/4 C. Coconut Flour
1/4 C. Tapioca Flour
1 T. Maple syrup or honey
1/2 t. Baking Powder
1/2 t. salt
2 C. Milk
2 T. Coconut oil
1/2 t. vanilla
3 large eggs

Combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whip eggs and add wet ingredients (tip: when using coconut oil, I make sure to warm it to melting temperature first, and I also slightly warm the milk so that the coconut oil doesn't re-solidify when it hits the batter). Adjust milk content to create a slightly runny batter. Pour 1/3 a time in hot cast-iron skillet and rotate skillet to coat a thin layer of batter in a large area. Flip when golden-brown.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Nope, Not Today

Went to the pool. Looked at the water. Didn't even look appealing, that's so rare for me. I almost always always always love to swim. Got out, went to the hot tub, then the steam room, then the shower.

I guess there IS such a thing as too much swimming. Who knew???

Sunday, April 11, 2010

State Meet Day Three: Lessons Learned

Wow, I learned a lot this weekend about swimming in multi-event, multi-day meets. Namely, that lactic acid accumulation sucks, and that nutrition and hydration get complicated when you need to time them appropriately for sprinting at your maximum pace. I guess I had gotten used to the triathlon race-day groove: get up early, get my shower, eat a big breakfast, take a Clif Bar and some Accelerade to the race start and some gels in my pocket. That's about it. It's different when you need to warm up at 8:00 am, do a distance race at 9:00 am, sprint at 9:50, cool down, warm up again, sprint at 11:00, sprint at 12:30 and at 2:00. What the heck do you eat, and when?

Needless to say, I threw my Paleo diet out the window. The idea of eating chicken drumsticks and yams while trying to keep up a grueling start/stop/sprint/rest schedule was beyond me. I got up in the morning, made my famous breakfast oatmeal custard and took some Clif bars and bananas along for good measure. I actually did eat some chicken breast at one point on Saturday, but that was Not A Good Idea and I didn't repeat it. I did figure out my groove for how long to warm up for each event (hint: A LONG TIME) and my arm never really felt sore until the end of the last day, somewhere after the 100 Fly and before my attempt at participating in the 200 Free Relay.

It's funny, but I don't remember thinking of any of this when I used to swim at meets in college. I guess warming up didn't matter so much because I was younger and springier, and I probably just ate whenever, whatever and didn't worry about it. If I remember right, it involved lots of pasta and pizza and our coach bought enormous boxes of donuts on the way to the meet (early day gels, just not in liquid form).

Our team had a great third day at the meet. Two of our swimmers set state records, lots of PRs all around, some fun swimming on relay teams. For lack of other female swimmers on the last day, I even got to swim in the final relay, clocking a :30:81 for my 50 yard split, even with having to start in the water and not on the blocks. So that makes me wonder what I could do if I actually worked on sprinting again. Hmmmmmmm!

And doesn't this photo make you hope that you look this strong at age 70??? He set a state record in the 200 backstroke by 8 seconds, which is an amazing margin, with a 2:44, which is way impressive in my book. This is on the blocks as the anchor for our one of our relay teams. Our guys took 2nd and 3rd in the relays.

Although I forgot to go and pick up my ribbons (dang!), I ended up the meet with two 4th place in my AG (100 and 200 Free, no surprise there as I had no sprint in me), three 3rds (500, 1000, and 1650, again no surprise since my distance stroke was not as affected), and one 2nd (100 Fly, which was basically one long slog up and down the pool - not pretty. Must. Swim. More. Fly. before the next meet). My time on the 500 today was a reasonable 6:44. Overall, very happy and excited with my first meet in over two decades, and now I am off for some much-needed sleep!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

State Master's Championships Day 2

More fun today, the meet really filled up on Day two with over 250 swimmers there. Wow, that was really something! I tried my hand at the 200, which totally stunk. I might be able to swim distance with my arm, but I really really cannot swim any faster at all. And the 200, you're kinda supposed ta swim fast, KWIM? I just don't have the strength or joint control in the left arm to catch and move the water (all of those things I talk about in swim class and coaching all of the time), so I couldn't get up any steam. Clocked in at 2:30.

The 1000 was better. Based on my 1650 time, I figured I could swim a 13:53 for the 1000. My arm was a little on the stiff side this morning from yesterday's swims, so I gave it a looooong warmup. As it turned out, I came in at 13:47, and my splits were darned near even at 6:53.5 for each 500. With my wall start instead of the blocks, I was a good couple of body lengths behind everyone at the first turn, but I started reeling them in one by one. My teammates said that the way I was picking up steam if I'd had another 50 or two I would've had everyone in the heat. As it was, I ended up 3rd in my AG, not too shabby.

So far for me: two 3rd place AG, one 4th. plus having a great time cheering on my teammates. One of my Master's practice lanemates set the state record in the 100 IM in the 70 - 75 AG and he had to break 1:15 to do it. That's pretty darned fast. No make that really darned fast! I also love seeing some of our newer swimmers competing for the first time and finding out what they're capable of. One of our younger swimmers beat her estimated 1000 time by a minute and a half! And it's just so heartening being around all of these terrific swimmers, I especially find the older age groupers to be really inspiring because we are capable of so much more than we think we are as we age. These people are amazing and they truly look terrific, healthy, and fit. A role model for our whole population, for sure.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Not So Bad After All

First day of the swim meet, I only had the 1650 to swim. I had no idea how I would do, how the arm would feel, how fast or slow I would be going. That made it a very strange return to swimming competitively, but strangely also took any pressure off since it all seemed like a total crapshoot as far as expectations.

I put down 24:00 as my entry time, about a 1:27 pace. I can't go off of the blocks due to the still-fractured arm, but did a wall start. My goggles fogged instantly because I forgot to dunk them (geez, I feel like a newbie at this, it's been so long!) and I think I missed about the first 6 turns and couldn't see my lap counter at all. My goggles finally did clear about about the 1000 yard mark but by then I was in the groove. The arm fatigued some, but not as bad as I thought it might and I think I picked up steam toward the end. I did a 23:03, something around a 1:23 pace. Not as fast as pre-broken-arm, but not as bad as I thought it might be.

Even more exciting than anything I was doing, our swimmers did really awesome. One of our guys set a state record for the 400 IM, 55 - 59 age group clocking in a PR (by 3 seconds!) with 4:52 (holy smoke!). Another swimmer did his first 400 IM ever, and came in just over 5:00 and 2nd in his age group. Another, who started out in my Swim Conditioning class a couple of years ago and has really worked on his stroke and moved up to Masters set a PR in the 1650 at 24:14. Plus just watching some of the A-MAZ-ING master's swimmers: a guy who swam in the 1956 Olympics, and is still clocking in outrageous times, I think he was seeded in the 1650 with a 22:00. Wow. And another gentleman in the 85 - 89 age group who swam it in 28:00 (I know more than a few triathletes who couldn't match this guy who is twice their age.)

More excitement tomorrow: the 1000, the 200 and some relays. Sunday will be the 500, the 100 Fly, and the 100 Free plus relays. They did say I could swim on the relays and do a wall start instead of a block start, so if we don't have enough women for the relays, at least that's an option and I can fill in.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

How Not to Taper

Violating all of my own rules and best interests, I played hookey on my karate class, blew off my notion of tapering this week and took advantage of the beautiful break of spring weather (in a week of pouring rain, sleet, and hail) to take my bike along the ever-lovely McKenzie river.

There was a sun shining overhead, there was not the tiniest draught of wind to be felt other than that made by the speed of my bike, the roar to my left was a rushing waterfall, the brilliant sentinels to my right were wild apple trees covered in blossoms. Orchards lay in spring green with fields decked out in emerald and all the while the river coiled and uncoiled, rushing and calming to the side of the road. Sometimes you climb way above it and look down on the rapids, sometimes it's right off of your shoulder drowning out anything else. I've ridden this road for over two decades, when I was in college its hills used to intimidate me. How amazing is it that at almost 44 years old (in two weeks!) they seem like minor bumps in the road now, to be spun up while gazing out at the scenery?

There are times when cycling fills my heart to bursting with joy and I have to yell down the hills "Wheeeeeeeeyaaaaaahhhhh!" like a crazy person. Today: such a day.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Blood Sucking Vampires

Oh, I know vampires are all cool these days with Edward and kin running rampant across t-shirts and movie screens. But the evil blood sucker I had the ill pleasure to encounter this morning wasn't one of those glamorous types. She was disguised as a kindly old health care worker, but beneath that mild visage lurked the heart of a Marquis de Sade.

You have to understand that I don't have good veins, from a phlebotomists' viewpoint. While my blood pressure is great and the vessels obviously sturdy, somewhere in the vicinity of my elbows they head deep underground where the blood-suckers can't find them. So today when we had a mandatory "health screening" for hubby's employer (read: the insurance company would jack up our rate tremendously if we didn't comply), I cringed inwardly, thinking I knew the torture that lay ahead. Every now and then I get a wonderful phlebotomist who can hit my veins like the kiss of a butterfly, but usually it's more like a sledge hammer. This one started out as no exception, missing the vein entirely and then going on a little fishing expedition with the needle.

The problem was, while she was playing "here fishy fishy fishy" she struck a nerve. Well, now I know where that saying comes from, 'cuz let's just say I about came unglued. And if you know my now-legendary pain tolerance you know that most people would've revolved out of their seat screaming foul curses at that point. Me, I groaned and breathed like I was in the last five minutes of labor, a kind of "whoo whoo weeeee" panting thing. But at least I kept all of the blue words locked inside my head.

Four hours later, my arm still feels like she shot it through with a nail gun, pain radiating from my shoulder to my wrist, but it's slowly getting better. Seriously, this hurt way way way more than breaking my other arm. And just think, my swim team mates told me not to hurt myself this week, I didn't think a "health screening" would be my downfall!

Looking on the bright side of things, I can at least report that as of last night I can swim butterfly again. As all of my abilities slowly come back one by one, I get to see them for the blessings that they are. Flying across the water, it's a joy. So as long as my left arm hangs in there, and my right arm recovers from the encounter with the vampire lady, I should be good to go for Friday evening's swim-meet opener, the 1650!

Monday, April 05, 2010

Taper: Why, What, How?

Tapering is on my mind this week, since I'm doing a light taper for my swim meet this weekend (a fat lot of good it will do me, since my biggest limiter is really my arm and my form, but still...), and since peaking and tapering are perhaps some of the more talked about and least understood aspects of training, I thought I'd tackle the "why, what, and how" of tapering.

When I was swimming in college, I didn't really understand anything behind the Peak and Taper cycles that we followed for big meets other than the fact that the workload seemed to increase exponentially for awhile (including our coach having us swim with one, then two or three pairs of nylons on our legs--yes, even the guys--to increase drag), and then we had this wonderful week or so of "taper" where the yardage went way down and we could eat all the pasta we wanted. Then we'd shave down (arms and everything) and arrive at the meet feeling at the top of our game. Lucky for us, the coach did all the heavy thinking about building ourselves up and when to effectively taper off and rest. Mind you this was more than twenty years ago, and exercise physiologists now have an even greater understanding of the benefits of a good peak and taper. So how do you take advantage of that?

Many triathletes, whether new or experienced fail to adequately taper for a big race. The pitfalls of tapering are many: doing too little, doing too much, tapering too long or not long enough, not including intensity, going mentally bonkers from the reduced training, resisting the urge to squeeze in one too many quality workouts. However, if you can avoid the pitfalls, the benefits are also large.

What is a Taper? 

A period of 10 days to two and a half weeks preceding your most important races where you gradually reduce both volume and to a lesser degree, intensity in your training.

Why Taper?

A training schedule that builds to a good peak and tapers effectively for an "A" race leaves you with increased fitness across a broad spectrum of measures: stroke volume of the heart, greater blood volume, higher red blood cell levels,  greater strength and power in the muscles,  a reduction in lactic acid production at peak effort, a greater ability to utilize fat for fuel combined with larger muscle glycogen stores. Additionally, you should feel refreshed and rested with your muscles no longer in a state of exhaustion or rebuilding that is common in your training cycle. In essence, you should be able to perform in your race at a significantly higher level than you've been able to achieve in training.

How Do You Taper Effectively?

For many athletes, the taper may present the biggest psychological challenge in their entire training year. This is where your mental muscle has to come into play. If you've trained effectively and built to a peak, a taper may feel like you're "not doing enough". Far too many athletes sabotage their race day performance by squeezing in one or two last workouts that are either too long, too intense, or both. Since it takes your body about 10 days to fully integrate the benefits of a workout and fully recover from that workout, training at a high workload within that ten day period is generally more harmful than beneficial.

Length: There are two general rules of thumb that apply to the length of a taper.

1) The length of the race dictates the length of the taper. An Ironman-distance race or beyond calls for the longest taper - about two and a half weeks. A sprint distance can be shorter - a week if you're a first-time athlete who is not doing a lot of intensity, 10 days if you're including more high-intensity and focused workouts.

2) The fitness of the athlete also influences the length of the taper. If you have a great base of training and are an experienced athlete, you can actually taper longer than someone with a lower fitness level. When calculating the length of your taper, erring on the side of caution is always better than trying to make sure you get one last intense brick before race day.

Workload Volume

In a 2 - 3 week long taper, reduce the total workload volume by about a quarter each week. For a 2 week taper, cut back by a third, for a one week to 10-day taper cut volume by half. When you cut back volume, it's best to cut back on the duration of each workout. Don't cut back to just doing one longer swim, bike, and run a week but maintain your normal schedule and cut the length of each workout appropriately.


This is where research has come into play - we now know that keeping some intensity in the week(s) of tapering actually helps improve your performance over just totally slacking off. This doesn't mean you slaughter yourself with intervals to keep the feeling of exhaustion that you've gotten used to in training, but within your reduced training volume keep a reasonable amount of intervals and intensity, and decrease this intensity over the duration of the taper (in other words, don't go out and hit the hill repeats three days before your race).

Basically, you want to keep the feeling of your race paces, just for shorter durations. You want to keep the feel of your swim start pace, your running turnover, your cycling cadence in these workouts, so focus your intensity wisely and include some intervals of near-maximal effort during your taper week. For instance, my swimmers this week did a main set that included four 200s at increasing intensities. Normally our main set would be twice as long with much more intensity, but by cutting back the total distance and keeping some fast swimming yardage (though a reduced amount), everyone should keep their feeling of their race pace without over-taxing their muscles.

Other Focuses

The pre-race week can be a good time to focus on the little details that might've escaped you until now. Practice transitions over and over and over. Look at the weather and at your gear, decide what to wear and try it out at the appropriate time in the morning to make sure you will be comfortable at race-day temperature. Make sure you have adequate stocks of your race-day nutrition and other essentials, firm up travel arrangements and print out those Google maps. Use some of your down time to mentally visualize a successful race. Many studies have shown the incredible benefits of positive visualization, so use this time to your best benefit by having a strong mental game.

Many athletes let the itchy not-doing-enough feeling of tapering overcome them, and you can fight this by making sure you have a game plan for your taper time.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Friday, April 02, 2010

First Taper of the Year

The arm has made it through, so I'm planning on swimming at the Association championship meet next weekend with my Masters Team. I've only entered the ugly horrendous insane long events like the 500, 1000, and 1650 so I won't be tempted to do anything really stupid like sprinting. I'm also not going to be able to dive off of the blocks, but on the long events that doesn't make such a big difference anyways. I think I can hold a 1:25 to 1:30 pace on most of the long stuff, and at that pace I should at least be able to get some points for my team.

So begins the first taper of the year. No Crossfit for me next week, and I'll go a little easy on the physical therapy exercises toward the end of the week as well. I'd say that my arm has about about 95% of its range of swimming motion back, but the weak elbow joint makes my pull on that left side very inefficient. I swim a bit like a wounded albatross, but at least it's getting better every week.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

April Foolery

Asa called up grandma (my mom) today to check in with her on the Paleo eating thing. They're going to be Paleo buddies. Now you have to know that Asa is the Carbo Queen of the household and breakfast usually means pancakes, cereal, oatmeal, etc. but she was having some scrambled eggs and broccoli. So after she got done chatting with my mom, I asked for the phone.

I told mom in a very serious voice that I had forgotten to tell her that she definitely shouldn't have any coffee while on the Paleo Challenge. She should go out and get some herbal tea right away because it would help her with the caffeine withdrawal side effects. I could hear this stunned silence on the other end of the phone and then a bit of panic creeping in, so I let her know I was April Fooling her fairly quickly. Luckily my mom has a terrific sense of humor (though she will never be able to live without her coffee, she's way down from the 6 - 8 cups a day she used to go through!)

If you're out there reading this mom, you know I love you! I was an April Baby and so in some ways I will always be your little April fool. And for those of you who don't know my mom, you can see I get my love of water from her. Even her little dog Maisy goes in the water.