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Lap Swim Ettiquette (i.e. how to not piss off K if you are swimming with her) May 21, 2008

Posted by K in Swimming.

I’m double posting today to make up for the lack of activity lately. In commenting on T’s latest post, it made me think of lap swimming and the things other swimmers do that really piss me off. For the benefit of the tons of people who read this blog (heh!), I thought I’d put together some simple lap swimming rules that are non-negotiable:

  • Swim in the lane that matches your speed – If you cannot continuously swim 100 yards/meters at the fast speed, do not swim in the fast lane. Nothing is more aggravating than having to constantly navigate around the egotistical male swimmer (and it’s totally ALWAYS a dude) who sprints for a lap, then rests at the wall after each lap just trying to “beat me” (obviously excluding those who are actually doing sprints as part of their workout). Get over yourself and swim in the lane that most accurately matches your swim speed for continuous swimming. And REALLY – don’t get in the fast lane because the medium or slow lane already have a swimmer or two. I HATE that.
  • Understand what circling and splitting means – Splitting a lane with two people means you have your side and I have mine. Stay on your goddamn side. Circling when there are three or more swimmers means that you circle swim (i.e. up the pool on the right hand side and down the pool on the left hand side – possibly backwards in the UK, I’m not really sure). When you circle, be aware of your other swimmers and be prepared to push off the wall on the correct side. I hate when we’re circling and I’m coming into the wall and some idiot is pushing off the wall on the wrong side of the lane!!!
  • Understand the signals of lap swim – There are signals to indicate to other swimmers what you want. Usually, a circling motion means “let’s circle swim” and a foot tap means that someone wants to pass you. Be aware of those.
  • Passing – It’s inevitable that you may need to pass other swimmers or they may need to pass you. PAY ATTENTION to the people in your lane, move over if they are trying to pass you, DO NOT speed up only to get in their way at the wall. On the flip side, be courteous to those that you are trying to pass, give them enough space as there’s really no need to swim over them.
  • Use the equipment properly – Learn how to use the equipment and what it’s for before using it. A pull buoy is for pulling. You put it between your legs so it keeps your legs afloat, leaving you to focus on your stroke and build up strength in your legs. A kick board is for kicking, it keeps your torso afloat so that you can practice on kicking and build leg strength. I don’t need to be kicked by some dope using a pull buoy and trying to kick at the same time, thankyouverymuch
  • Wear the proper suit – I know you may have money and may think that you need the fancy suit but you know what? If you’re a lap swimmer, chances are you don’t so get over yourself, wear a suit that gets the lap swim job done and move on. I don’t care that you’re wearing the fancy new TYR suit, I’m probably still faster than you (ahem, guyintheendlanethatiseeeverydayIswim…) Also ladies, lap swim is not a place for the string bikini. They make workout bikins that are much better for your swimming needs.
  • Don’t be a know-it-all – Nothing bugs me more than some doofus lap swimmer who thinks they know everything there is to know about swimming and wants to time me and inform me of my time. I can track my own time using the pace clock. I started swimming competitive at age 11 and though I’m not nearly as fast as I used to be (I peaked at 14 :-(, I think it’s clear that I know what I’m doing. Which brings me to my final point…
  • Don’t talk to swimmers who look angry – I have a short amount of time to swim during my lunch break and I want to maximize that time. I come to the pool to swim and though it may look as if I’m resting because I’m not swimming, I’m most likely watching the clock for my send off. Don’t engage me in conversation unless there is a reason we need to talk. And yes, I do look angry when I swim. I work hard at my swim workout and I don’t want to be interrupted. Swim time is not a chat time for me.

At the end of the day, I just want to get in, do my workout, so if fellow lap swimmers could just figure it out, life would be all that much better for me in the pool.


Didn’t Quite Make It May 21, 2008

Posted by K in K's Perspective, Pain.
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I had planned on going swimming during lunch today but I didn’t quite make it. I had some work stuff to finish, greek school homework to finish, and my swim buddy didn’t make it so I didn’t go. I suck!

At least I rode my bike yesterday. I did the bike to the train station, take the train to the Mountain View station, and then bike to work thing yesterday. It works out to 32 miles round-trip and heading home is really hard because the whole way is pretty much heading into the wind. I’m pretty tired today from biking into the wind yesterday and I’m planning to do it all again tomorrow so at least I’m doing something.

I’m checking out a new pool on Friday as I’m going to walk up to the local public pool for a lunch-time lap swim. Part of me is scared that the pool is going to be nasty – which makes me think, I could do a post on a the things to look for in a lap swimming pool… Check back tomorrow to see if I live through riding to work again and then on Friday for a new swim workout and a pool review!

Back in the speedo May 21, 2008

Posted by t in Uncategorized.
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A few days after Broad Street I gave in to the fact that the toenail I so horridly detailed ripping off last year is growing back as an ingrown toenail. I pulled out a pair of cuticle scissors and nail clippers and tried to dig it out. Unsuccessfully. So, for the past two weeks I’ve been unable to run, so I’ve only been lifting. Yesterday the doctor cut it out, so I should be able to run in another day or two. In the meantime, today I swam for the first time in about 2 or 3 years. Unsuccessfully. As I stood on the pool deck strapping my goggles on they ripped. It’s been so long that they corroded. I tried to tie them back together and I jumped in the pool and they shredded to pieces by the end of my second lap. An 82 year old man who just got out offered to let me use his for a few minutes. I felt really awkward about doing it, but I was already in the pool and didn’t want to ruin that, right? So, I took them and started swimming. After 8 more laps, and seeing him standing on the side of the pool the whole time my guilt gave in and I got out. 250 measly yards. The worst part was that the old dude then just kept talking and talking to me. I couldn’t hear or understand a single word he said. I just had to nod and pretend I was enjoying his stories. Because, it was nice of him, wasn’t it?

Promising Myself May 20, 2008

Posted by K in K's Perspective.

I, K, promise to write more about my training because it’s beginning in earnest again. I promise to

  • Blog almost daily
  • Train 5 to 6 days a week
  • Post more workouts
  • Post more funny stuff
  • Post my important cycling gear and important running gear post

There you have it for all of you still reading, keep reading because things are about to get good!

In other news, warm weather is in full effect here. I’m starting to swim during lunch again and am actually getting a good tan (I *heart* my speedo tan). I’m biking to work at least one day a week which means that I’m getting 32 miles in at least once a week, and now it’s time to bring it all together. Team in Training kick off is next weekend and I’ll begin my training with the team. I think in I might actually start being brave enough to post my weight an keep a log of any weight loss on this blog. You’ll just have to come back to this blog to find out.
Woo Hoo!

The Broad Street Run May 5, 2008

Posted by t in Uncategorized.

My day started off much earlier than expected when I woke up an hour ahead of my alarm.  4:30am.  I couldn’t go back to sleep, so I just laid there (lied there?  lay there?) waiting for time to pass.  I rolled out of bed just after 5am, got dressed, made coffee and got on the computer to check the weather.  The thunderstorms they had been predicting had already passed.  It was shaping up to be a perfect day to run 10 miles.  My friend picked me up at 6am, we were in Philly by 6:45.  What you do for the race is park near the finish line at the sports stadiums then everyone hops a free subway ride to the start line.  So, we waited in a line there and were at the start by 7:30.  Just enough time to wait for a port-a-potty with the 20,000 other runners.

We lined up and I started with a goal of 7:30 per mile.  The first mile was done at a 7:12.  A little faster than planned, but kind of what I expected.  My friend who I’ve been somewhat training with took off and I tried to keep him within reach without killing myslef.  A 7:03 second mile and I’m way ahead of my targeted pace and feeling good.  The race is a straight shot through philly.   They say there’s a whole bunch of historical stuff to notice, but here’s what I see:  Lots of fans, a dude in a kilt and a phillies shirt, some nuns and priests, nursing home patients wheeled out in thier beds to the side of the road to watch the action, several bands, road, feets, butts, and the backs of people heads.  Mile three clocks at 7:10. Miles four and five I’m going the exact same pace at 7:15.  I tell myself to hold off a little so I can push for the last two miles.  I’m way ahead of my pace and afraid to die. The next few miles are  7:24, 7:25, and 7:24, where I realize I’m on pace to beat my time from last year.  I need to keep this pace for the next two, which won’t be easy.  But, I do it with a 7:24 on mile 9.  The crowd at the end reves me up enough to end with a 7:16 mile, finishing at 1:12.51.  More than 2 minutes faster than I wanted, and 30 seconds faster than last year when I trained for 14 weeks vs. this year’s 5 weeks*

So, after the race we did what any well trained, elite, athelete does.  We sat in the parking lot drinking beers, throwing a football, and eating Doritos for 4 hours all the while telling war stories of our races… one guy caught a girl who passed out… one guy passed his childhood rival in the last half mile… one group of guys arrived to the race 20 minutes late, but still weren’t the last to cross the starting line (it took 24 minutes for the people who lined up in the very back to get across the starting line).

Next Up:  Depends on how crazy my soon to be son is.  Maybe a 5K in mid-June.  Hopefully a half marathon in September.

*Last year’s 14 weeks of training came after not running for several years.  This year’s 5 weeks came just a few months after my marathon and just 6 weeks after running a 5 mile race.

Putting the FUN in Fundraising! May 5, 2008

Posted by K in Goals, K's Perspective, Team in Training.
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Well as I mentioned earlier in this blog, I’ve decided to sign up for Team in Training and complete the Pacific Grove Triathlon! I’m so excited and proud to be a part of an organization that does so much for people with Leukemia, Lymphoma and other blood cancers. Our Team Honoree actually is alive today because of a drug that the LLS helped fund through their research grants.

The one thing I REALLY like about LLS is that they’re an organization that actually uses the funds for research, patient advocacy, patient care and other patient related services. Unlike many other organizations that raise money for some cause or another, 75% of the money we raise goes directly to LLS for research and patient services. The other 25% is the administrative fees for us to be registered for the event, to make our contribution to the coaches and etc. Plus, we participants join a “team” of sorts and we get support, coaching, motivation, and the chance to just have fun and do something that many of us have never done before.

I’m really looking forward to being a part of the team but I need help from my friends, family, and even from blogland. LLS/TnT sets a minimum amount of money to raise in order to participate in the event. This year, I’ve decided to set my own fundraising goal above what i have to raise – I’d like to raise $3,500 for Team in Training and the Leukemia and Lymphoma society!

Donating is easy and fun! Please go to my Team In Training Fundraising page and click on Donate. Any little bit helps me get started towards my goal of $3,500!!

Thank You!


Que Pena May 3, 2008

Posted by M in Lazy, M's Perspective, Running.
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So I had my 5k this morning at eight a.m.  I woke up at 9:30.  D’oh!  I’ve had three late nights in a row and I guess my body and my mind were just not into waking up early and running three miles.  I feel like a bum, HOWEVER, I’ll get to make it up next weekend because there’s another 5k on Saturday.  That one I WILL MAKE, unless I stay out late on Friday and I’m like “Eff this, I’m sleepin!”  Which is not what happened this morning, no, not at all.

I’m so unworthy of this blog.

Has anyone noticed that a majority of my posts are tagged as ‘lazy?’  Eeenteresting…

3 more days May 2, 2008

Posted by t in Uncategorized.
1 comment so far

Today I ran my last run before my 10 miler this Sunday. I did 5 miles with 3 at the pace I hope to go this weekend. Felt good, I’m ready.

So, two weeks ago I ran the Valley Forge 5 Miler. It’s a 5 mile race through a historic park where battles took place. See, these dudes are still there trying to fight people:

OK, I have no idea how to use the picture uploader so I have no idea if pictures will even show…   But, they are dudes with guns, me at the start in Green, me trying to high-five my daughter who was on my wife’s back, me finishing, and a picture of me from the race’s website.  If they don’t upload I’m sorry.

Anyway, the race went well.  I went about 15 seconds per mile faster than I expected.  I ran it last year, so I pretty much knew what to expect (hills) so I didn’t kill myself.  It gave me a good idea of how I can aim to do this weekend when I double the distance.  Wish me luck!