Where are my swimsuits?

swim suit 225 June 2015

It’s been like well over a year since I wrote anything here.  And today I had two posts.

But this one is why I should keep up with news — for myself.

My swimsuits have disappeared.  I know I bought two different style suits about 2 years ago because I wrote about them.  I have no idea what happened to those suits.  So I just ordered exactly the same thing on Lands’ End.  And I was flipping back and forth between the post and the Lands End catalog page to find the suit that I really liked.

The picture above is of a relatively inexpensive swim suit ($35) that is butt ugly.  The picture below is of another relatively inexpensive suit that looks GREAT on but you cannot tell why in the picture and I cannot remember why.  I just remember writing about the difference in the two suits.

swim suit 3

Apparently I’m getting ready to swim, again.

Cycling…6 Month Update

LeAnn and Stacey16 October 2014

Wow.  It’s been 6 months since my last post.  Guess I’ve been busy.  Or uninterested.

In the last six months, I’ve lifted weights (once a week), done yoga (after running on Saturdays), run (a ton), and ridden (ridden?) a fair bit.  Do I do anything else?  I don’t think so.  See (two different) nutritionists, each once a week.  Get a weekly massage.  See the foot guy every other week.  See the acupuncturist on the weeks I don’t see the foot guy.

I haven’t been swimming all summer.  In part, I think, because swimming in the late afternoon in the summer is like being in a toilet.  Literally.  Although I do like moving through the water.  Interesting to see if I swim more this winter.

I feel like my training regimen is remarkably limited…probably not.  Just what I feel.  What else could I be doing?  Spinning?  No, I don’t really like being indoors on a bike.  Mat pilates or yoga.  Maybe.  Yoga is super early on Saturday evenings (6 PM).  Mat pilates is super early on Sunday  mornings — which I’m probably not going to get up for in the winter.  Zumba (my coach, Mr. “I Don’t Dance” is taking Zumba).  Maybe, if at a convenient time.

Michele LeAnn Alicia

But I am compelled to re-engage because Sunday I participated in the Long Beach Marathon Bike Tour.  My first cycling event.  It was surprizingly scary and hard.

Scary because it starts at 6 AM, in the complete dark (street lights and such are on).  And scary because there are like 3,000 riders — probably only 1,000 interacted with me — but there are people zooming past in the dark and on hairpin turns.

Hard because it was hard.  I rode with Michele (light years better that me) and Alicia (sound waves better than me).  They rode together and chatted while I followed closely behind (a lot of the way) and tried to keep up (the rest of the way).  About mile 11 of a 20-mile ride I fell significantly behind and had to really work to catch up.  About mile 17 they rode off and I finished up alone.  As I was riding along there at the end, I was thinking “this is not fun”.  There’s nothing fun about being buzzed on both sides by people MUCH faster/better than me or about riding in the dark on an unknown course with hairpin turns.  There was really not much fun in working so hard for an hour plus.  I’m not sure a bigger (longer) cycling event would be fun.

When I was changing clothes — from cycling gear to work gear for the rest of the day — my hair was soaked from the scalp to the dripping off the ends…12-15 inches of soaking wet.  (You don’t know you’re sweating on the bike like you do when running, because your clothes are wicking sweat away from the skin and the wind is drying it off.)

I really like cycling.  I’m clearly improving (from having never been on a bike, to riding 20+ miles clipped in).  But the work to get better — really?

Carlos on a BikeCarlos Romero is one of my inspirations in life right now.  And he’s a dauntingly fabulous cyclist.  But there’s nothing appealing to me about this picture.  This is probably how he gets better.  But really.  Riding looking at a wall (maybe listening to music, I cannot tell — I could be listening to an audio book), with a fan blowing on you, feet a blur.  (Fire extinguisher ready in case his feet catch fire.)  Doesn’t look like fun to me.

On the other hand, I am voluntarily going to run 5 hours this weekend.  Most people cannot imagine doing that.  I cannot imagine doing it.  I just do it.

As my “A” race approaches (French Riviera Marathon — Nice to Caan (France) on November 9th), I am peaking and getting ready to taper.  I am grateful for the generous support from the universe — a great number of people have contributed to my success this season.  Without naming all those peep (because I’ll forget someone) let me just say a heartfelt THANK YOU.  I am humbled.

Asian GirlsPicture of three Asian girls.  The Asians look for me for this picture.  (I do crack myself up.)

LeAnn and StevePicture of an amazing work team.  I am extraordinarily lucky.

 

 

 

Training Under Way

IMG_0896[1]Thursday, 11 April 2014

Last week I did a baseline run with my running coach and it was GREAT for a first run of the season.  It was also great for a couple of things that did not happen…I did not have to stop and pee 1/2 way through the run, and I ran the whole thing.  (Having a professional coach and pooping out during a training session is probably one life’s most embarrassing moments…not to mention a waste of time and money for both runner and coach.)

Today I did a TERRIBLE run with that same coach.  I had to stop TWICE for the bathroom.  And I pooped out (bad choice of words) in between those two stops.  I said at the end, “I’d feel better if you yelled at me.”  He said not all training days can be the best day.  Diplomatic, no?  Such a waste of his time.  So embarrassing.

Everything was the same — same shoes, same clothes, same time of day, etc.  I don’t know what to say.  Run more, I guess.

00 Big Sur Bridge

I certainly have to run longer between now and the 27th, when I have a leg of the Big Sur Marathon Relay to support.  My 5-mile leg of the relay ends 2 miles from the bridge in the picture.  But I’m going to continue on with my good friend Brian to run over this bridge at which point I’ll stop or continue or whatever.

French Riveria

In scheduling news, I did not get into the NYC Marathon.  I decided not to go to Berlin.  So, my “A” race this year will be the French Riveria Marathon on November 9th.  Nice to Caan, along the Mediterranean.  It’s completely flat except one big up hill and down hill in the middle of the course.  My official goal is 5:59:59.  I want to be thoughtful in races between now then (I said I’d run 14 races to be like Monica, and maybe I will, but maybe I won’t).  I don’t need to run every thing that comes along.  And I want to run them when I’m ready.

It’s interesting coming back from an injury.  I, at least, want to be thoughtful about what I’m doing.  I’d like to do all these things — running, swimming, now cycling — for years and  years more.  And I don’t need to do any one thing to the exclusion of others.  So, I want to build running mileage knowing that I’m probably never going to try and go as far for as long as I did between 2012 and 2013.  And taking a break between big races.  And thinking about races coming up.  Starting with Big Sur.

 

 

Swimming is Getting Better

2-10-14 Pool10 February 2014, Monday

Remember the last time you got better at something?  I’m getting better at swimming.  Tonight I did 13 laps without stopping.  My Garmin is completely confused about the distance; as near as I can tell it’s recording precisely double the distance.  (Obviously I put the pool size information in incorrectly.)  A mile is 1733 yards and I went 750 yards; less than 1/2 but more than 1/4.  (The extent of my math.)

In the beginning I was gasping after two laps.  Gasping hanging over the edge of the pool for two minutes recovering.  My arms and legs could have done more, but I had no more air at all.  Now, I can breathe easily (on both sides) and I’m not exhausted.  Really, I’m just quitting because I got to the count for the night.

I’ve evolved to the point that I can think about other things while counting to three (to take a breath).  Now that I’ve figured out a way to count and not loose track (and I have the Garmin to help, sorta), I don’t have to concentrate so much on counting.

2-10-14 swim stroke

I suppose swimming faster is next, if you want to compete at any level.  Do I want to do that?  Unknown.  God knows I don’t want the spend the time in the pool that the swimmers of my youth did — remember those kids in high school that were in the pool every morning at like 6 AM?  (Probably not that early, but what did I know.  I was asleep.)

On the other hand, I promised myself I’d swim regularly 3x week for at least a quarter to see how it changed the shape of my body.  Results as of this moment — not much change.  But it hasn’t been anywhere near a quarter and I haven’t done it more than twice a week regularly.  However, now that I’ve found the slots in the week to get it done and it’s easier/doable, the regular work will come.

Wanting to be faster sorta ruins things.  I want to run faster to be better for myself.  What about running just for the fun of running.  Answer for me:  not that much fun on its own terms, but I feel VERY empowered by the act of running and it’s VERY therapeutic for me.

And the new biking thing I’m liking A LOT, but I find the financial investment daunting.  At least this year.

Whatever – tonight, the happy dance for visible/noticeable improvement!!

2-10-14 pool lanes

Making Progress – Getting Better

IMG_0809[1]Monday, 27 January 2014

On Mondays I lift weights (which I hate) and swim (which I don’t).  From the moment I start getting dressed (putting on stretchy clothes), driving to the gym, lifting weights.  All those activities I do dragging my feet.  And I get to listen to a book while actually lifting the weights.

I do this, mostly, at lunch time on Monday.  Usually I lift weights, check my blackberry, and then go swimming.  Today I didn’t want to swim, so I went home after the weights.

Then I went to see Lisa Fillis who is my nutritional guru.

And then I sent swimming.  Even tho the young-person swim team practice started while I was there.  But here’s the interesting news.  I did 2 laps to warm up.  Then I did 10 laps without stopping.  Yeah me!  Sometimes you don’t feel like you’re making progress.  And then sometimes you realize that you are.  In the last half of these laps I realized that I’m making progress.

And, I figured out a new way to count.  Launching out I say the big number (10 laps), but starting with the first touch at the opposite side, I can say  9 1/2.  I felt pretty good about all that.

And, I was swimming through the sunset and I could see the changing colors as I came up to breathe.  I liked that, too.

So I was successful in two different ways.  I went swimming on a day that I might have skipped.  And I did the dreaded weight lifting.

Training Breakthrough – Warm Up

swimming poolWednesday, 8 January 2014

Such a great training day.  I spent an hour with Mike Henderson lifting weights and doing whole body core work.  And getting to talk to somebody “in the biz” about the difficulties I’m having swimming. 

I’ve worked myself up to 8 laps without stopping.  Then 8 more laps with as many stops as I want.  In the beginning, I swam 2 laps without stopping.  Big Rest.  Then a lap.  Rest.  Rest.  Then another lap.  Only recently have I been able to swim two laps without stopping in the second “set”.

For reasons I could not imagine, the later laps were easier than the first laps.  In a 6 lap set, for instance, the first 3 laps were good, the 4th lap was messy, and the last two laps were barely swimming, more trashing and gasping.  But after resting and swimming a few more laps with rests in between, the last 2 or 3 laps were MUCH easier.  Good form, smoother, breathing easier. 

Mike suggested I needed to warm up.  (I’m not a big warm-up person.) 

I walked down the hall towards the pool, stopped and turned around because I didn’t have much time, and starting towards the car saying to myself, “I’ll do them after the meeting”, only to realize that I’d never get back to the pool in time, I turned around again and walked into the locker room.  Big gold star #1.

Once in the pool, I did two laps and rested for a minute.  Then I set out to do 7 laps without stopping.  Technically I’ve worked myself up to 9 laps “without stopping”, but there are quotes around it because there has been a stop in the last few sets.  In the middle of lap 7 I knew I could 8.  And in the middle of lap 8 I knew i could do 9.  So I did 9 laps without stopping.  Massively huge gold star #2.

Because I was on a tight schedule, I didn’t do the 7 additional laps with rests, so I guess I owe the universe 7 laps at some point.

But I left the pool feeling pretty zippity do dah.

Mike says that the whole body core work we did was part of the warm-up too, and got the body ready to work together.  Who knew.  (Yes, I have seen my running coach do warm ups even when no one (but me) was watching, but other than loosening up my ankles, I don’t warm up, much.)

 

 

Anxious Eating?

IMG_0809[1]Monday 6 January 2014

I used to be the most anxious person anybody knew.  I manifested this in at least two long relationships through worried hands… the guy would tell me either “I can hear your hands” as I would wring my hands or “Leave the paper alone” as I would rub my finger and thumb together until, figuratively, the paper would ball up and go away.

In a conversation today, I described myself that way — I’m the most anxious person you know — and the listener was shocked.  First because she would never have described me that way and second because I’ve not described myself that way in over two years of at least weekly conversations with this person.

But, these days I am anxious.  All the time.  When I walk up in the morning, when I’m walking around during the day, when I wake up in the middle of the night – I’m anxious.  Being anxious is like pay it forward worrying, right?  It’s anticipating there will be badness.  Or being afraid there will be badness.

Here’s the discovery.  I would not have said I was anxious 6 weeks ago.  But 5 weeks ago I started a medically supervised, very low calorie diet and now I’m anxious (and have been for weeks, although I couldn’t name the odd feeling until today).  Maybe I’m an anxious eater.  Maybe I eat to soothe the anxiety?  And so without food to soothe I can feel the anxiety again.

Arrugh.  We’ll have to see.

On a positive note.  Today I swam 16 laps – 2400 feet.  2600 feet is 1/2 mile.  I am getting better.  What’s amazing to me is that the last laps are easier than the first laps.  (There is a lot more resting in between the last laps as compared to none between the first laps.)  But why are the first laps so hard?

And I lifted weights and had my feet worked on.

IMG_0319[1]