11 May, 2008


Category: BC,Cooking,Driving,Exercise,Games,Racing,Swimming,Triathlon — Moose @ 9:55 pm

Prescription goggles seem to be a hit or miss proposition. Most of them at my approximate prescription are fine, but the one which listed itself merely as “strong” and a pretty broad range of prescriptions seems pretty damned useless. With the others I can see, even on land, almost as well as with my glasses. These, well, might as well be regular goggles for all the good they do. Which is, of course, why I ordered multiple pairs to try them out, both for vision and for fit. Two more to try tomorrow (excluding the bad ones). I really liked the first ones, so these have a lot to live up to.

Spent some time adding people to the Wii and the two games there (see my LJ for the codes). BC and I spent most of yesterday together, over at his place. Bought some Birkenstocks so I have shoes to wear inside the house, as well as outside for pre-race/post-race wear. Damned podiatrist and his sensible orders not to go barefoot. Not pleased with it, but wearing them inside does seem to be helping. Which is even more annoying, that he was right, and that walking around barefoot inside was somehow a bad thing. Blasted flat feet. Did the mom’s day brunch thing with BC’s family. Came home mid-afternoon in the rain (ugh), played some, made some dinner & lunches for the next couple of days. Just chatting and being a bum here tonight before I crash.

Have to take the Mini in at some point. It’s got this neat trick where if I accelerate too quickly, the run-flat tires’ pressure sensor thinks the tires have just gone down by more than 10% pressure, so the warning light cuts on, which then cuts out the ABS brakes and several other lights come on, the car dings at me, and it’s altogether incredible annoying. I know it’s not that the tires are actually going flat, because Dad gave me a plug-in pump that I’ve checked them all with. So it’s a bad sensor. Grrr. It did manage not to do the trick until I got onto the bridge over the Potomac on the way home this evening, thankfully.

Of course, I mention this to Dad and his reaction was to tell me about the other trick it has of cutting off the AC if you accelerate too quickly with the AC on. That, thankfully, resets when you stop the car and turn off the engine, but not until then. Gotta love it when your car’s computer has to reboot itself.

Anyway, off to bed so I can run & swim tomorrow. Taper week, with the race next Sunday, but it’s still got to be done.

9 May, 2008

Clear Sight

Category: BC,Club,Health,Swimming — Moose @ 9:02 pm

The first set of prescription goggles came in yesterday (two more came in today), so I got to try them out in the pool this evening. It was a little distracting, actually, being able to see while in the water – just noticing the details I could see now was interesting, but distracting. I actually ended up doing a bunch of drills toward the end to reorient my body into the proper water feel with the new ability to see. This will definitely help with sighting in open water, and I did enjoy being able to see, but it’ll take some getting used to. I think this is the first time I’ve been able to see when I was doing in the water since I got glasses back in 6th grade.

Went ahead and joined the new gym this evening, rented a locker so I don’t have to drag my shower shoes back and forth any more. Not a bad deal, even with the locker rental it’s still cheaper than the old one.

Depending on tomorrow’s weather, I’m headed out to bike with my newbies tomorrow morning early. Then it’s off to BC’s place and a bbq thing with his family on Sunday. And sandal shopping so I can stave off repeats of the plantar fasciitis (’cause that stuff is not fun, and I did not appreciate the repeat twinges in my right heel last week).

7 May, 2008


Category: Annoyances,Mood,Shopping,Stuff,Swimming,Work — Moose @ 8:20 pm

I was a frustrated shopper earlier this evening. Everything around here closes too damned early. I need a small spring for my bike, but got home to late to zip to the bike store as they close at 7 (thankfully I can pop one off my mountain bike until I can pick one up), and I need to get some sandals for wearing in the house (podiatrist’s orders – he wants me wearing something to support my non-existent arches), but the store I want to go to closes before I leave work during the week. WTF? How do you stay in business when no one who actually works can come to your store during the week? Ugh.

My last shopping blitz (online), however is quickly bearing fruit – lots of notices from amazon that various things are on their way from various merchant partners as of today. I decided to try out different pairs of prescription swim goggles, so I ordered several to see which fit better, which I can see out of better, etc. I’m hoping that actually being able to see while in the water should help with the experience of the open water swim. And just swimming in general. I hate when I can’t see well, which has always made swimming somewhat annoying. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Work is … work. The Project From Heck is currently in abeyance, so I’m catching up on a few other things, but I’m hearing rumblings that the PFH may be back by the end of the week. Let’s hope not, I’d kind of like to catch up on the other things that keep zinging in.

30 April, 2008


Category: Exercise,Swimming — Moose @ 11:15 pm

I suppose the little note by the door of my gym on Monday was the universe’s way of giving me a little nudge, a small push to take advantage of something I’ve thought about for a while. The note itself wasn’t very big, or rather the typeface wasn’t very big. The message, however, was huge. After years of fighting to keep the facility open, the YWCA board had finally had enough and was throwing in the towel in two weeks, closing for good on the 19th of May.

So, after I got over the initial shock I went and swam my final workout there, cleaned out my locker, and headed home to figure out what the heck I was going to do for a pool. I’ve settled on the little gym in my neighborhood. It has the huge (to me; I’m lazy) advantage of being 3-4 blocks away, but the annoying disadvantage of having a non-standard pool – 18 meters instead of 25. Calculations will be a bit more challenging (so a “50” is actually 54, and three lengths instead of 2), but having the pool so close will mean fewer excuses not to go swim, especially since it’s literally on my walk home from work.

I dropped by the facility yesterday to get a guest pass, swam there this evening, post-haircut. I need to dig up the coupon from the local rag for $30-40 off the “initiation fee,” and sign up for good next week. The rate is slightly cheaper than the YWCA was, a nice additional benefit. Going to take full advantage of the free week first before I give them any money, though.

Swimming in the shorter pool was, well, odd. Drills were easier, but straight up swimming was, well, short. 9-10 strokes to get to the end, versus 14-17 on the 25 yard pool. It’ll do, at least until full summer and the outdoor pool at Hains Point opens. A 50 meter pool sounds really nice right now.

We’ll see how the rest of the facility shapes up this upcoming week, but I’m 99% sure this is where I’ll end up. Closer, smaller, hopefully better.

7 April, 2008

Better, For Now

Category: Exercise,Food,Health,Swimming,Triathlon,Work — Moose @ 11:03 pm

I was told not to think about The Big Ugly Project this morning by da bosslady, and I was happy to comply. Caught up on other stuff instead, including sending out the weekly happy hour announcement for the work crowd (I’m the office social coordinator) for this Thursday. All in all much nicer than last week, though I know more of TBUP will be coming as the week goes on.

A pretty good swim tonight, though the pool was a bit more crowded than it’s been when I’ve gone in the evenings. I debated running this evening, since I missed running this morning, but the cooler temps made the decision for me. Plus the whole “train your weaknesses” thing (and swimming is most definitely my weakness in triathlon).

I do need to clarify something from yesterday’s posts – I do not have vertigo again. That, thankfully, is done and gone for now, and hopefully for the foreseeable future (though I won’t be going dancing anytime soon to test that particular theory of how it happened). I was lamenting the fact that because of the vertigo I couldn’t train, which then meant I had no base to build up to for the races this spring. Still miffed about it, but there’s naught to do at this point except aim for the next races that I can train for. So there I go.

Busily trying to work through two dozen honey tangelos my parents shipped up from Tampa before they left to drive the RV back to Tidewater. Normally I end up giving a bunch away because I can’t get through them fast enough, but I suspect that’s not going to be the case this time around. They’re very, very sweet, and I find myself bending over the kitchen sink to devour one more often than usual (it’s easier to peel them, and spit the seeds down the disposer, right there). Good stuff.

24 March, 2008


Category: Annoyances,BC,Exercise,Games,Running,Stuff,Swimming,Work — Moose @ 9:57 pm

I swear, tie manufacturers are getting skimpy with the silk these days. It used to be I had to carefully balance most ties to get the little end not to show under the larger piece, but these days I’m lucky if the little end meets the loop they give you to hold the little end in place. And no, my neck has not grown by 3-4 inches, either. Cheap bastards.

Work was an utter waste of a day. Would have been better spent pretty much anywhere else.

Swimming was a mix. There were glimpses of clear, effortless power, and then there were thrashing strokes that would have been more embarrassing had more people been there to see them. The last bits of the stroke drills are hit & miss, too. Mostly hit, but some miss. Felt good when it was “on,” though. The run this morning, on the other hand, was completely on. Stayed in zone 1, kept a good pace, went a little further. Very nicely done.

Also had a fun weekend with BC. His mother did an Easter dinner, and we were mercifully not part of any family drama. Played Apples to Apples with the family after dinner, which is always fun (I kept picking adjectives like “unscrupulous” and “dead,” though. Hmmm…). Didn’t get to the Design Center, but it’ll be there for another weekend. Much talking and general silliness other than the visit to see Mom. Enjoyed that a lot.

4 February, 2008

The Start of the Groove

Category: Biking,Body,Exercise,Food,Movies,Running,Swimming,Work — Moose @ 10:47 pm

Back to the training grind this morning. Short run before work, and a short swim this evening. Felt good to get back in the pool, but I definitely need to work on drills again – my form started to fade too quickly as the swim went on. I did do some limited drills among the laps, but I need to look back at my materials to refresh my memory on them.

Oh, and training 2x a day = getting home to my body screaming “FOOD!” It’s a good thing I went to the farmers’ market on Sunday.

Work was … work. Thought a particular crisis was going to come to a head, but no calls, so I assume we’re still in a holding pattern there. I’m feeling somewhat unmotivated, but I suspect that’s the decaffeination talking.

Bike ride planned for the morning, and I hear I’m going to see the new Rambo movie tomorrow evening with BC. Promises to be a real stinker, which should be nicely amusing.

29 November, 2007

Looking To The Weekend

Category: Club,Friends,Movies,Relationships,Running,Swimming — Moose @ 6:21 pm

Went to see Enchanted with BC on Monday. I most decidedly did not cry at the end; I had something in my eye. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, so there.

Dinner tonight with RNJTM to talk Ironman and life in general. Should be fun, as always.

Seeing BC Friday & Saturday & hopefully Sunday as well. It’s to be a full weekend – Grubbycrawl tomorrow, two events on Saturday, plus the start of the USAT club challenge (meaning I have to get off my butt and go swim and run). Looking forward to all of it, and looking forward to doing all of it with BC. We’ve had some integration of stuff with friends, but are still working on the mutual introductions. He gets to meet more of mine this weekend, which’ll be good.

28 November, 2007

A Big Deal

Category: Exercise,Motivation,Racing,Swimming,Triathlon — Moose @ 11:45 pm

So, if all goes right in a year I’ll have finished an Ironman race. Let’s let that sink in. An Ironman. Wow. This is definitely a big deal.

A 2.4 mile swim to start, 112 miles on the bike in the middle, then 26.2 miles of running, a full marathon at the end. It’s easy to see why they allow racers 17 hours to finish the race (7 a.m. to midnight).

I’ve known for years that I eventually wanted to complete an IM race. It’s all RNJTM‘s fault – he generously took me up to see him race his 3rd 4th IM Canada in 1999 and ever since it’s been sitting in the back of my brain, waiting for the right time to happen. When IM Arizona announced a second race in 2008, with easy online registration, well, I jumped at it. After an hour or so of contemplation, that is.

This isn’t something one can enter into lightly – it’s going to involve a lot of time, and a lot of foregoing of other activities. Folks who’ve done marathons know what I’m talking about – early bed times, not going out drinking with friends, and lots of time on the road. Just add “in the pool and on the bike” to the “on the road” part.

I know where my first steps are, getting back to my regular exercise routine, reducing my caffeine and alcohol intake, and spending some quality time working on swimming technique. The swim is my big limiter (along with nutrition) – if I can keep my heart rate down during the swim, not have a panic attack, and stay on a good rhythm, then I can get through the rest of the race much more easily than I’ve done to date. I’m getting there, but it definitely needs polishing. Get to test that in May here locally, thankfully.

Did get in a swim this evening, mostly drill work to retrain me how I should be feeling in the water while I’m swimming. It did help – wasn’t terribly fast, but was more comfortable than it’s been in a while.

I’m still processing the magnitude of signing up for this race. I know I can do it. Might not be terribly fast, but I know I can finish it with the right training. Doesn’t mean it’s not intimidating, or freak-out worthy, but I know I can do it. The fun part is going to be the long runs and rides well into cooler weather here in DC (October and November), then adapting to the warmer temps in Tempe.

But before that, it’s getting the base built up, which is where I find myself now. Wow. This is going to be a lot of work.

6 August, 2007

Pleasantly Tired

Category: Exercise,Swimming,Triathlon — Moose @ 9:20 pm

Been neglecting my two-a-day workouts for far too long, so in addition to the long run this morning I swam this evening, putting in a shorter overall session, but including a 1k yard set in there. That’s roughly half of what I have to swim for the race, and it didn’t kill me, so I’m feeling better than I was this weekend about my upcoming big race, then Diamondman HIM (half ironman).

Also, heaven help me, I was looking today for information on the Chespeakeman race, a local (Maryland’s eastern shore) ultra triathlon, aka an ironman distance race, but without the sponsorship of the official Ironman organization (which carefully controls the logo and naming rights). It appears to be much more low-key, and much easier to get into, than one of the branded races, so I may seriously consider that as my first IM race. The timing isn’t the best for me, given it’s at the end of September (one of the crunch times for me at work), but I think it may be doable. Not this year, but maybe next. I’ve been saying I wanted to tone down the amount of races I do next year and concentrate on only a couple, with the goal of an IM the following year, but it might work to do Chespeakeman next year at the end of the season, with an earlier HIM race. Decisions, decisions.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever want to do more than one, but I do want to finish an iron distance race at least once.