Friday, November 12, 2010

Locker vulture and swim meet

1) Sandi and I with our jell-o. 2) The start of the 100 IM. Just trying not to fall off the block. 3) Awards. 4) BF and I at bonfire after the meet. Baileys and decaf post-meet hits the spot.

I was attacked by a locker vulture this morning. Where I swim, the locker room is shaped like two U's pushed together (basically, an E) with probably 50 lockers. While I will take any locker, usually one on the end is available because I get there so early. Today was no exception. This continually frustrates a woman who shows up for water aerobics 10 minutes before I'm done.

Water aerobics woman (WAW) does not like this. Though there are 47 other lockers available, she waits for mine. I spent some time organizing my gym bag before leaving and this did not go over well. She stood holding her stuff - audibly sighing (wheezing?) - waiting for me to finish. Really, WAW? Is your day ruined if you don't have this exact locker? Is this what you want to play your rude card on? I was there first. I'll take as long as I want. And the back of your swimsuit is entirely see-through.

Annoyance vented.

The swim meet went well. I'm a sandbagger, but I hadn't swam in a meet for so long I had no idea how to seed myself. Therefore the results show I cut significant amounts of time. Outstanding! 50 fly was 33.07 (decent), 100 IM 1:14.xx (good), 200 IM 1:39.97 (good) and 100 back 1:14.xx (total surprise). The 50 breast? Well, I won't be swimming that again. Most importantly, Sandi and I had a great time eating jell-o and gossiping between races.

There were some seriously fast people there and some not-so-fast. There was a woman in her 80's who raced multiple events. There was a dude who looked like a tatted-up UFC fighter who went 22.xx on the 50 free. Amazing stuff.

So I'm totally geeked-up about swimming again. So much so, I'm back to coaching for the Blazers. Tonight is my first practice since last June. Bring it on, tween swimmers. I'm ready for you.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Library Love

I love to read. I love books. So one might assume I have a longterm relationship with libraries. But the truth is, I dumped libraries after college; trading up for bookstores. B & N. Borders. Even Rainy Day Books, when I wanted to support the little guy. But books are expensive and I never walked out with less than four. The math wasn't pretty.

Then my friend mentioned checking out library books and I had an epiphany. I, too, was welcome at the library. I, too, could read books for free. Eureka! So I visited my neighborhood branch and in a few minutes, I was an official library card toting reader again.

Thing is, some things are different now. Card catalogs are obsolete. Learning the Dewey Decimal System as a kid wasn't necessary. Most computers have teenagers checking Facebook. And the whole be quiet in the library rule has disappeared.

But the library does have some advantages. Primarily, I can check out books on a whim. If it's not a good read, who cares? I can expand and limit my horizon as I see fit, free of charge.

A small embarrassment is my love of chick lit. (Hello, Jen Lancaster!) I'm almost 38. Shouldn't I have moved on to historical biographies or American Classics by now? To balance this shortcoming, when checking out books I allow myself unlimited mindless novels as long as I include one literature-type book. Then I use that book as my beard so the librarian will think that I'm an intellectual. At least until she see's the four books underneath. Whether or not I finish the highbrow stuff doesn't matter. It's the intent.

For the record, I didn't check out The Poetical Works of Keats. Even I know my limits.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween/Swim Meet #2

No Halloween photos. (Sorry, Becca.) When costumes are marked down 50 percent, there's a reason. In this case, we would've looked like Star Trek pop tents. While my stepmom graciously offered to alter them, it just felt like too much effort. So the party on Saturday was skipped.

We did, however, attend a Harry Potter party on Sunday. BF picked up lovely matching capes at CVS and a witch hat for me. Hmmm. What does that mean? Oh well. We made cauldron cakes (look it up if you're not a HP fan) and joined in the festivities, even though I'm probably the last person on the planet who hasn't read a HP book.

Five days until the swim meet. I've upped my swims from 2x to 4x per week. It's amazing how the fear of embarrassment is incredibly motivating. I was feeling pretty good about myself after this morning's workout. Then I checked the master's national qualifying times and my ego deflated. A 2:36.60 for the 200 IM. Uh, right. Or maybe a 32.07 for the 50 fly. Yes, this is short course yards, but still, I'm a month shy of 38. For pete's sake, when do the times start dropping off?

One thing I've noticed is when I start to feel like an athlete again, my body lets me know those days are gone. I'm like Shaq pimping the Icy Hot. (Except I don't make $20 million a commercial.) There's that brief moment of victory - "I'm a swimmer!" Followed by "I'm a swimmer with a snapping shoulder, tight hamstring and some sort of weird groin pull." Maybe Shaq can send me a complimentary Icy Hot patch. It seems to work for him.