Friday, December 18, 2009

Wheezer 1, Geezer 0

For the past two weeks, the Pincher Creek pool has been as warm as bathwater. Seriously. It turns out the aqua aerobic ladies have been complaining so much about the water being too cold, that the staff decided to placate the whiners and crank the heat up.

The only thing is, an increase of temperature creates an increased chance for bacterial growth. Thus, they needed to up the chlorine as well.

Enter moi.

I've been struggling along as best I could -- taking my inhaler before I swam; but have still had minor episodes of whooping/wheezing. Well today was NUTS!!!

Right away I was whooping and wheezing. I was so loud, I drowned out the music they had playing over the speakers. LOL!!!!

The lifeguards were pretty concerned -- kept asking me if I was "all right." Hahahahahah!! I said -- " this pool is way too warm -- is it true the only reason it is this hot is because the aqua aerobic ladies?"

Right away, the lifeguards turned on the cold water and advised me to swim next to the wall where the cool water was flowing in. (I think they were so alarmed at the noises I was making they wanted me close to the edge if they had to haul me out!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!) I kept reassuring them -- I've been like this for a long time - I'll just catch my breath and then give 'er again. The whooping doesn't bother me (well, I can't really breathe LOL!) it just makes the session more difficult to actually do properly.

For example, part of the warm up called for 300m as 25 hard, 25 easy. I found it so difficult to breathe that I had to swim a lap then wait to catch my breath, then swim another lap, then wait again. Didn't matter if it was hard or easy -- I was whooping like a Mother Tucker.

When the cool water started coming in, my whooping immediately tapered off and then stopped altogether.


They are having a meeting with the aqua aerobic ladies today...Should be interesting to see what the temp of the pool is tomorrow. At least I know I'll always have a lane to myself with all the racket I make. LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Adventures Driving Home From Pool

Hold your horses everyone....

I made a new friend today at the pool.

She lives in the Crowsnest Pass too.

She is starting to get into triathlons.

ANOTHER TRIATHLETE IN THE CROWSNEST PASS!!!! Will wonders never cease? Hahahahahahahahahaha!!!

With the increased workouts, I've started chafing like an albino allergic to peanuts. Holy Doodly -- I NEED to apply Body Glide every time I swim and run and now. I get chafe marks like there's no tomorrow. After Friday's swim, I even had three chafe marks on my neck -- they looked like hickeys!!!

Thank God for Polysporin.

So, today after swimming, I got to talking (IMAGINE THAT!! LOL!) with a girl I'd never seen at the pool before. She did the Wasa Olympic last year and is thinking of doing the Calgary 70.3 next year. You can imagine my complete astonishment when she said she lives in the Pass as well. :) :)

After chatting, I had to make a quick deke into Wally World for more avocados and then headed home, tucking into my recovery food as I drove...

I had eaten a banana, some walnuts, and was just starting in on my mini loaf of banana bread when I could feel a truly magnificent sneeze coming. It was the kind of sneeze that you have a few seconds to prepare for. Not the kind that sneaks up and whacks you out of the blue.

I hurriedly smooshed the mouthful of banana bread to one side of my mouth to try and restrict the amount of stuff that would inevitably blast out.


Not too much banana bread flew out of my mouth, but my nose was another story. Immediately
an old memory popped into my head. Years ago when I was a little tyke in kindergarten, this little boy had an explosive sneeze. It rocked his whole body and his hands flew up to keep himself steady.

I'll never forget this image: There he stood with his hands stretched out by his face as he looked at the long, sticky booger that stretched from his nose to the floor.

It was like he was frozen in time. Our whole class was. I'm sure it was only a few seconds, but it seemed to last forever...We all waited to see if the booger-rope would break.

ANYWAYS, you get the idea of what I'm trying to say right?

Unfortunately for me, I had no kleenex in the car. OH MY GOD!!! I looked down at my banana loaf wrapped in saran wrap and had to make do. It was an altogether unpleasant experience. (By the way, I did remove my banana bread from the saran wrap before I did the deed.)

I then scrabbled around the car with one arm trying in vain to find SOMETHING to blow my nose with. It was then I realized the one good thing McDonald's is good for ---- extra napkins in the glove compartment!! HOORAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Those napkins have sat there for years, but thank God for Mickey D's (or as my Dad refers to it: Choke and Puke. LOL!!!)

Note to self: Throw a roll of TP in the car tomorrow...

:) :) :) :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

No more excuses.

Enough with the excuses...

I love this article -- found a link to it from slowtwitch.

I've been guilty of complaining about drafting -- What compounds my frustration is my lack of self-control and caving into the whining and excuse-making aspect of myself. This article is a great reminder to HTFU and stop whining.

How many times I have heard:

1. I could have swam/biked/ran/faster IF ONLY....

2. My nutrition wasn't right...

3. It was too hot/too cold/too whatever....

4. My watch/heart rate monitor/power meter stopped working...

5. I was recovering from an injury/had an injury....

6. I only learned how to swim as an adult....

7. I was too tired to train properly...

To be sure, the reason why excuses like the above annoy me so much is because I've been guilty of making them myself. And, there are no lessons more poignant then the ones in which your character weaknesses are reflected back at you. Mirrors don't lie -- whether that mirror is held by a stranger or by yourself. An excuse is an excuse and no amount of yapping is going to help my performance.

However, training will help my performance -- and so will training my mind to toughen up and stop looking for the easy way out with excuses. If I want to swim faster, I need to put the time in the pool, not waste my time blowing out hot air.

Time to buckle down and truly HTFU.

My race is MY race. My results are MY results. Like Chuckie V said in one of his excellent posts, "Your head is ultimately what runs the show and until you get it screwed on right you'll always be required to dish-out those same lame excuses post race."

No more excuses from me -- time to stop talking and start training. :) :) :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Like any couple that has been together for more than a few years, Mike and I have developed our own lexicon. Anyone who spends more than 2 days with me inevitably starts hearing some of these terms....and the truly lucky will hear me perform my piece de resistance song about Peanut (Lips of a Nutcho song.) For animal lovers it's not so bad, but my good friend and fellow teamie, Tessa was subjected to the entire song after the swim/run camp. Hahahahahaha!!

Just goes to show what a good friend Tessa is that she sat through it. LMAO!! Mind you, when I arrived in Calgary for the swim/run camp, I had to pick up a set of her house keys from a coffee shop. She was cryptic about what I might have to do to *pass the test* to get them.

The girls in the coffee shop said I had to dance the Macarena. I couldn't remember for the life of me how the heck to do it -- I sort of danced like an awkward teenage boy (from one foot to the other) saying, "da-da-da-da-da Macarena" and then clapped my hands. OH MY GOD I felt like such an idiot!! LOL!!!

So, one of the coffee girls walked me through the sequence of moves and did the dance with me. My face was beat red by this time, but the girls were intent on me getting the dance right. FRIG -- learning how to catch the water is easier than the Macarena.

Finally, they decided I was humiliated enough and told me Tessa had a reward for me: A specialty coffee and 3 ginger cookies. I laughed and said, "Tessa is so awesome!" The girl that taught me the dance responded with, "If one of my friends made me do that, I wouldn't call her awesome." LOL!!!!

But you see, I had plans to serenade Tessa my song later on.... Hahahahahaha!

Ok, back to the dictionary of Mike and Julie:

Bunler: Mike's nickname. I have no idea where this came from but I call him "my bunler" and "The Bun."

Ball: This word gets attached to the end of any other word for any reason. Derived from the medication I had to give Mandalay a couple of years ago for her ear --- I'd call it her "ear-ball." Now, I'll ask Mike, "Do you want more chicken?" He'll reply, "No, I'm full-ball." You can use it like the word *smurf* -- remember them?

Here's another example: "Had a good swim?" "Yeah, but my arms are tired-ball."


I had a couple of awkward moments when I was at the Ghetto Camp in Penticton this summer...I caught myself saying "ball" and tried to cover it up by saying something else. Hahahahahahaha!!!!! My secret is out!

Chibble: Having a chill. Enough of one that you need to take a bath. ie. "You cold?" "Yeah I've got a chibble." Also can be used like this: "Brrrr!! I'm chilly-chibbler! I need a tub!"

Fidge: This doesn't have the same ubiquitous quality as "ball" but can be applied to a lot of people/animals. If someone is slightly mischievous, or cute, or just being fidge-like, they are a fidge. "You little fidge!" You can also turn it into a verb if you want.

Here's Bunler occupied with two l'il fidges.

This was my big plan yesterday: making Bunler's Breakfast Burritos. Scrambled eggs (in a bit of bacon fat), bacon, and cheddar cheese all rolled up into a tortilla, then wax paper and foil, then put in the freezer. Bunler takes one out when he's hungry.

Monday, December 7, 2009


Swimming every day.

Training lots and lots and lots.

Love it. :)

Nap time. :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Caution: Male Cleaning Change Room

That was the sign posted on the door of the women's change room this morning. Someone had forgotten to take the sign down from last night...

I didn't think much of it until after my swim when I was showering. An aqua-fit lady was a little late getting to the pool and came rushing into the change room -- when she saw me soaped up and in the buff she had the strangest expression on her face. A mixture of alarm/shock/surprise/concern was in her eyes.

The acoustics in the communal shower are terrible -- someone can be standing right in front of you and you can't hear a word they are saying. She was frantically trying to ask me something and there I was unconcerned and and taking my time.

I finally pieced together that the "Male in Change Room" sign was still on the door. Hahahahahahahahaha!! We had a good laugh about that. No wonder she was giving me the oddest look. Hahahahahahaha!

In other news --- BIG news today....


Today was my first go at my inhaler-thingie and Holy Doodly it was like I was reborn! I could actually SWIM the entire time and BREATHE hard without whooping and wheezing. What a feeling! I was giddy! I still am. I am so excited to go for a run....

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Catch me if you can!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009.

I said the date to myself this morning as I sat on the pool edge, legs dangling in the water. I was the first one there (I always am -- Hahaha!) and as I sat there looking at the calm, still water I said to myself, "Remember this date Julie, because this is the first day of the rest of your swimming life." :) :) :)

I was looking at the water and the water, barely moving, looked back at me. "Catch me if you can!" it said. Part playfully but part command-ish too. I slid into the water and began the first day of my new swimming life...

I'm fresh from a swim/run camp that was held by my coach this weekend. I was videoed underwater from various angles and then given constructive criticism (AND DRILLS!!) to correct my lack of catch (complete absence of catch is a better description). I was so FRIGGING excited to get in the pool today and start becoming a real swimmer.

I've been given free rein to incorporate swimming drills into my schedules. MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! The beast will be unleashed, my friends. LMAO!!!

With a solid sense of purpose and an even bigger dose of determination, I immediately got to work on *catching* drills. One arm for 50m, the other arm for 50m, then both arms for 50m. When an hour passed, I took off any buoys, paddles, or other implements (LOL!!) and would actually swim 50m. Then I went back to doing the drills again. When 8:00am rolled around, I celebrated the hour with another 50m implement free swim.

I was starting to get cold in the pool, and managed to do another 5 minutes of drills before I decided to get out.

I am LOVING this new challenge. The drills are slowly working and I am starting to get (and keep) my damn elbows up. My neural pathways (as stubborn as ever) are going to be rewired to handle these new patterns. If I had the mojo (and the muscular strength), I'd be back in the pool at noon...Hahahahah!! But, I'm using my muscles in different ways now, so I know there will be an acclimatization period.

Look out water -- I'm gonna CATCH you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)