Archive | August, 2007

Weekend Pictures

14 Aug

Here are the pictures I took this past weekend at the Donner Lake Open Water Swim and then the Folsom International Triathlon.  I didn’t get as many pics of my brother as I would have liked because he started in a different wave, and watching both of them was a challenge.  Anyway, here is documentation of JB’s first triathlon!

Why I Got Up at the Crack Of Dawn This Weekend…

13 Aug

I can’t tell you how many times in my life I would look across a body of water and think, “I could swim that.”  But I never got the opportunity to prove it to myself.  There are always safety concerns (namely motorized boats and swimming alone) that prevented my attempts.

But on Saturday, I got up at the crack of dawn and drove up to the beautiful alpine lake of Donner Lake, and got to join about 300 other swimmers in an attempt to prove that we can swim across the 2.7 mile length of the lake.

To those of you non-swimmers out there, a 2.7 mile swim may not sound long.  Let me tell you, though, that is a long flippin’ swim.  In fact, it was almost twice as long as the Alcatraz Shark Fest I did several years ago (where you swim from Alcatraz across the Bay to San Francisco).  My Donner swim didn’t have the stigma of Alcatraz or as much rough water, but I would venture to say it was more challenging.

When I arrived at the lake on Saturday morning, it was 43 degrees outside.  That took me by surprise, as I had swam in the lake one month before for the Donner Lake Triathlon, and I don’t recall it being that cold.  I have to admit that as I walked to check in wearing my shorts and a short sleeved t-shirt, the idea of hopping in the lake seemed a bit daunting.  But I knew that it wouldn’t be so bad, as the water temperature was warmer than the air.

The majority of the swimmers for this event came from the Bay Area, and you should have seen how bundled these people were.  They had parkas, wool hats, layers of fleece…  I had to chuckle at them.  Yes, I was a bit chilled, but would have been plenty comfortable with a long sleeved t-shirt.

The race didn’t allow wetsuits if you wanted to be counted in the final standings.  I was amazed how many of these Californians showed up in wetsuits.  Granted, we were all doing the swim for the experience, but still, the water really wasn’t that cold to require full wetsuits.

Anyway, the swim itself was rather uneventful.  The swimmers spread out rather quickly, and after a while, it almost felt like I had the lake to myself.  It was easy to navigate, as all I had to do was lift up my head occasionally and look at the mountain peak in the direction of the beach.  Considering I swim pretty straight, I didn’t have to worry about sighting much at all (compared to swims with courses marked by buoys). 

After an hour, I saw the guard shack on the beach that was my destination, and got really excited that I was almost done.  The distance was deceiving, though, as I still had another 26 minutes left.  That felt like a very long 26 minutes.  Final time was 1 hour 26 minutes.  I haven’t seen the final standings yet, but I think that solidly put me smack in the middle of my age group. 

But more, it was a feeling of accomplishment, as I always knew I could swim across that lake given the opportunity, and this weekend, I did.  I can’t say enough how beautiful Donner Lake is as a venue for a race.  If you want to read more about the race, check out this article.  I think I’ll now set my sights on an ocean open water swim next summer. 

Anyway, after the race, JB and Little Miss met me at the finish and we all headed into Folsom to see my brother’s family.  JB and my brother competed in the Folsom International Traithlon on Sunday morning at the crack of dawn on Sunday morning.

This was JB’s first full triathlon, and I have to say I’m impressed the man didn’t decide to start with a sprint Triathlon, but an International/Olympic distance.  It was a 1.5K swim, 40K bike, and 10K run. 

JB doesn’t own a wetsuit, and we decided perhaps he shouldn’t buy one until he decides if he’s really getting into this sport.  It turned out he was one of about 4 competitors NOT wearing a wetsuit (or going bareback as it’s called).  That made him a bit nervous, but he did great.

My brother once again impressed the heck out of me with his athletic prowess, and finished the whole thing in 2 hours and 9 minutes.  WOW.  JB’s time was around 2 hours 47 minutes,  finishing third in the Clydesdales division.  (Which is also impressive considering it was his first time, and he actually beat our team time from the Donner Lake Triathlon last month.)

My SIL and I hung out during the race and cheered on people as they finished.  We cheered up until the last finisher, as man, I have respect for them, as I seriously don’t think I could do those distances… 

So, to wrap up a long post about one crazy athletic weekend, we’re all tired today, but happy with our accomplishments.  

And despite the girl’s advice in the locker room of the gym last week, I think I’m going to take a slight break from swimming.  Don’t you think I deserve that?!  I’m looking forward to doing spin class today and giving my arms a break.

Pictures to be posted later this week.

I Hadn’t Thought To Try SWIMMING

9 Aug

The other day, I was running on the treadmill at the gym, and my hip started hurting.  This has happened the past several times I’ve run.  I mentioned this to a friend in the locker room who is a runner.  I was telling her that I like running, but sometimes I just feel that my body isn’t really built for it.  Afterall, most runners are skinny little people.  I am not.

At that point in the conversation, this other girl I’ve never met piped in and said, “you should try swimming!”

I was almost speechless.  If she only knew that I had put in 8,200 yards in two days over the weekend.  That I have been putting in some insane yardage in the past month perparing for a 2.7 mile open water swim this weekend. 

“I have been.” I told her.

She proceeded to try to sell me on how wonderful swimming is, and for some reason, it really grated on my nerves.  I could just picture her liesurely doing side stroke for 10 laps while thinking that was a workout.

But next thing I knew, one of the trainers that works at the gym, who was in the middle of changing, and was n-a-k-e-d, started saying that I just need to stretch, and she proceeded to demonstrate stretches for me, while she was totally in the buff.  That was a bit strange.

I left the gym that day shaking my head. 

One thing that just truly grates my nerves is that I’ve been absolutely busting my butt at the gym and in the pool, and I haven’t lost weight but actually gained a pound.  And don’t start lecturing me about muscle weighs more than fat.  With the amount of cardio I’ve been doing, it should have nudged the needle on the scale.  Anyway, I get so irritated when I see women with killer bodies coming to the gym or the pool just to sun bathe in their string bikinis.  Or when they put on skimpy workout clothes, and do a workout that  serves to show off their body and prance than to break a sweat. 

It just isn’t fair.  Why was I cursed with the metabolism of a 80 year old woman?!  For the amount of hours and sweat I put in (minimum of 6 days a week, average heart rate around 170), I should be the one that can prance around in a bikini.  Grrrr… 

Two days left until my big swim at Donner Lake.  Must hit the pool one more time today.  I guess I’ll give that swimming thing a try. (Said with utmost sarcasm.)

Weekend Update

6 Aug

We had a nice, relaxing weekend at home.  On Saturday, I took Little Miss for her 18 month portraits.  I tried Kiddie Kandids for the first time, as I had frequented JC Pennies up until now.  I found that the picture quality was about the same, but Kiddie Kandids got me in almost right at my appointment time (compared to Pennies where I’ve had to wait over an hour), and they print your order out on the spot (Pennies makes you come back to pick them up 10 days later).  Kiddie Kandids is about twice as expensive, but honestly, I think it’s worth it, as I have limited time as it is. 

Anyway, drum roll please… 

The belly button pic was my idea…  Pretty funny, isn’t it?  They fixed the background on that pic for the one I purchased.

This was my last weekend to train for the Donner Lake Swim that I’m doing next weekend (2.7 miles across the length of the lake).  Both Saturday and Sunday, I did 4100 yards (164 laps).  I haven’t done that kind of yardage in one sitting since high school, and my arms are definitely tired.  And let me tell you, training for a distance race like this can be BORING.  Like yesterday — I did two sets of 2,000 yards free.  Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.  Even JB said that it looked like the most boring workout ever.  After next weekend, I’ll go back to doing interval training.

That’s all I have to report.