Tuesday, October 16, 2007

While the coffee brews

I will just take this quick chance to say that (rather contrary to expectation) I had a quite lovely swim this morning! It really is totally unpredictable...

I got to bed last night around midnight, but sleep proved altogether beyond my grasp for some time. At 1:30 I was looking dispiritedly at the clock and considering my 3:40 rule: namely, that anything less than about 3 hours and 35 minutes sleep does not prepare one for a fully functioning day (don't get me wrong, I don't recommend that on a daily basis, it's just that I feel it's the absolute acceptable minimum--a lesson learned in college, of course--less than that and you are nodding off all day in a way that is altogether beyond conscious control...). If I have to get up at 5:30, that means that the window is rapidly closing for it to be OK to go to the workout without compromising the rest of the day's work. Fortunately I must have fallen asleep about ten minutes later...

Kind of a great workout!

Warmup for 10 minutes or so just doing 100 free, 50 kick, 100 free, 50 drill. Then two sets:

5 x 200 (on 4:00)

#1: 200 cruise
#2: 50 steady (i.e. comfortably hard), 150 cruise
#3: 100 steady, 100 cruise
#4: 150 steady, 50 cruise
#5: 200 steady

This was good--my arms felt a bit tired at the beginning (no discomfort whatsoever in the shoulders, just a bit of soreness in the biceps--I think this is from the workout yesterday morning as well as from those hard 400s last night), but quickly felt as springy and strong as you hope they will! My time on the first one was 3:48 or so, not very fast, but on #5 I got down to 3:33 so that I think is quite acceptable.

The second set had one disappointment at the beginning, but was on the whole v. sensible and useful. Similar principles, different content:

5 x 100 (on 2:10)

#1: 25 stroke (i.e. of choice), 75 free
#2: 50 stroke, 50 free
#3: 75 stroke, 25 free
#4: 100 stroke
#5: 100 free

We decided to go through the order of the strokes in IM--so as to only have to do 25 butterfly, really!--but unfortunately (this was the one disappointment) I realized a quarter of the way down the pool that (a) it was too quick to expect myself to switch over into that mode which I have not yet fully grasped and (b) really I can only do dolphin kick properly with fins on. But the back was fine, and the breast was adequate; I did back for my 100, because it's so much like free it is just better for me than the other, though I have not yet at all conceptualized what you need to do for efficient turns & such.


I guess I really do have to go and get a Teachers College pool membership again and practice strokes in the evenings. Last week's morning workouts had a lot of IM, but today not so much; I can't count on it, and anyway I really need to be working slowly and with no lane pressure on the nuts and bolts, and with fins as needed.

The other thing I need is a bathrobe!

(But J., I know you are going to read this and have a lovely lightbulb light up above your head that it will be a good present--I am going to go and order one online today though so it will come in time for next week's swimming.)

(However, any recommendations on bathrobes that I can purchase online will be gratefully accepted in comments or by e-mail!)

And some (what's the word--sort of a compromise between wicking and water-resistant!) gear I can wear over my bathing suit once it gets colder. Laziness (and the fact that the gym's literally one and a half blocks away) means that I prefer for this AM one just go over with bathing suit already on, with sort of waterproof shorts and fleece--then I just put 'em on again afterwards over the wet bathing suit and go home to shower and change. But I need a bathrobe because I have to have at least one coffee (and some blogging...) before showering. And is there not some kind of a, like, warm sack-like water-resistant swimmer's garment that you can get into for walking around outside in the winter with wet bathing suit under it?!?

(And I take this opportunity to note a garment of great engineering genius that is on sale at Patagonia for an absurdly reasonable price--I ordered one to check it out, but it's so good that I then ordered five more--I'm not kidding--it's great--like a sort of chastity belt for the upper half, it really works for running and it's kind of a top also, so that in a heat emergency you could take off your shirt without feeling too scrupulous...)

[ED. Oh, that link does not take you to a specific garment, but I really feel I must evangelically recommmend it: it's the Women's Active Sports Top C/D... only $18.40 which if you have never bought a sports bra is a ridiculously good bargain!]


Becca said...

Just bought E slightly too big fleece pants for post-swimming: just pull them on over everything (slightly too big is the crucial modifier, you want yoga pants cut, so that they don't catch on wet body--M has sweats with fleece lining, fleece, I think, is the key)

Anonymous said...

Coffee puts the system under the strain of metabolizing a deadly acid-forming drug, depositing its insoluble cellulose, which cements the wall of the liver, causing this vital organ to swell to twice its proper size. In addition, coffee is heavily sprayed. (Ninety-two pesticides are applied to its leaves.) Diuretic properties of caffeine cause potassium and other minerals to be flushed from the body.

All this fear went away when I quit, and it was a book that inspired me to do it called The Truth About Caffeine by Marina Kushner. There are five things I liked about this book:

1) It details--thoroughly--the ways in which caffeine may damage your health.

2) It reveals the damage that coffee does to the environment. Specifically, coffee was once grown in the shade, so that trees were left in place. Then sun coffee was introduced, allowing greater yields but contributing to the destruction of rain forests. I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere else.

3) It explains how best to go off coffee. This is important. If you try cold turkey, as most people probably do, the withdrawal symptoms will likely drive you right back to coffee.

4) Helped me find a great resource for the latest studies at CaffeineAwareness.org

5) Also, if you drink decaf you won’t want to miss this special free report on the dangers of decaf available at www.soyfee.com