29 December 2007

running with Maddy

Today I got up early and went over to my parent's house to borrow their dog Maddy. We went over to the newish park in Bainbridge and got in about 1.5 miles. :) Mom was concerned because it was so cold so she made Maddy wear her sweater. It was actually quite brisk. She sure was a trooper and her little legs worked hard! Maddy has never run with me before and I think she thought we were just going to stroll around the park. ;) But she worked hard to keep up and got all dirty to prove it! Here are some pics of Maddy after our little run.

I'm going to finish reading this cross training book for runners by Matt Fitzgerald that I got from the library, make up a training schedule for next week and hopefully get some laundry done. I'm so glad the craziness of the holidays are gone. I don't have much planned for new years so I'm looking forward to the quiet.

28 December 2007

merry merry christmas :)

Hello everyone! I do apologize for my lack of posting lately. I have been pretty busy with the holidays, who hasn't!? So christmas was very nice. Monday after work, Steve and I ran some errands doing some last minute shopping and then we went to my aunt and uncle's house in South Euclid. The next day I had my parents, brother, grandma and my landlady over for christmas dinner and presents. I made a crown pork roast with green beans and parsley potatoes. My mom helped me out with some last minute things which was sooooo nice. :) Later my aunt and uncle and two of their daughters and their granddaughter came over as well as my brother's friend Steve and his dad. So it was alot of fun!!!!! I made a little slideshow of all of us opening gifts. :) Enjoy!

So in other news, today was my last day with Alexis. :( I definitely have mixed feelings about it. I mean obviously I'm going to miss working out with her and seeing her and Mariela. I'm worried that I won't work as hard since I don't have her support and encouragement. But I'm also kind of excited to have more flexibility in my workout schedule. I can vary things a bit more now. I also am excited to see how I do and if I can be dedicated even though I'm not paying anyone to plan my workouts and make me do them. ;) I'm going to finish up a workout plan for next week today. I'm going to use January as a month of experimentation. I have goals I want to accomplish but every week I'm going to try a new workout schedule. It should be interesting if nothing else. I think my mom and I are going to start taking a yoga class every Monday which would be awesome. I really like yoga classes better than just doing the DVDs I have. I feel like the classes are more relaxing.

I have the New Year's Eve 5K in Stow on Monday and I'm hoping that I can complete it faster than the last race. That is my main goal for 2008, always improve! :)

23 December 2007


Good morning everyone! :) So I have a very long list of things I'm supposed to be doing right now but instead I'm finishing my morning tea and writing here. ;) I just had to share this with you. Now I try not to go into political things on my blog so I'm going to keep this as short as possible. I DO NOT LIKE WALMART. I don't think anyone who is a planner (really any human being) should EVER shop there. I had the most unfortunate experience at my last job to have Walmart as a client and nothing depressed me more than sitting all day at my computer designing sites in CAD for Walmart. :( The only solace I had was the few anti-Walmart cartoons that I had taped to my desk. Anyone remember all of the anit-Walmart commercials during last year's elections because of the proposed Walmart in Vermillion, yeah that was me. The Walmart, not the ads. :P

There are a host of reasons why Walmart basically sucks and ruins communities, etc. etc. etc. I used to have a blog were I would discuss things of this nature and Walmart pretty much made the 'news' daily with something else that they had done or planned or impacted or destroyed. Regardless of my political views or my education, I simply could not shop there because of the discriminatory policies that Walmart holds (i.e. not paying women the same as male counterparts, not promoting women, etc.) and the labor practices.

So imagine my glee when I was sitting at my laptop last night working on my digital scrapbook (THAT is a story for another time ;) ) and I suddenly hear the words "communist China" followed by Walmart. I turned and watched the remainder of the commercial which had me laughing my ass off!!!! So I HAD HAD to go find it because while it might be true there are several aspects of the commercial that are hysterical. First, I love how people try to scare the US with the word COMMUNIST. Ooooooohhhhhh, I know you are totally shaking aren't you?! I mean in the 50s, 60s, 70s, even 80s that would make people shiver, but I don't think it means the same thing today. Especially since the famed Cold War (another war of terror of sorts) is (supposedly) over. ;)

So in addition to the dramatic use of "communist China" they include other reasons why products from China are bad and how Walmart is bad and deserves a spanking. Which I agree with but I thought the dramatic effects on the commercial were really entertaining. Watch for yourself!

P.S. I really did not post this to encourage anyone to stop shopping at Walmart. I thought the ad was extreme and VERY entertaining. (You HAVE to love the dramatic music. ;)) I also certainly don't need any responses that include why Walmart rocks. I'm not judging anyone for shopping there (ok maybe a little). I have done extensive research both from outside sources and information from Walmart to form my opinions so there isn't going to be much of a shift in what I think. I respect the fact that this is still a semi-democratic society and you can choose to shop wherever you'd like. :)

If you want a good short video that explains some of the reasons that Walmart is 'bad' you can view the video below. The couple who made this documentary interviewed Julie Langan the former ED of FUTUREHeights. They aired the entire video at Cedar Lee and it was very interesting but not at all surprising from my perspective. Additionally, while I know it was not intended to provide solutions on how to change things, it really did seem like there was an awful lot of complaining and not nearly enough problem solving. Below the trailer is a short video that explains the multiplier effect and how big business (NOT JUST WALMART) can hurt communities.


MULTIPLIER EFFECT VIDEO - Austin, Texas example

21 December 2007

What the Dickens'...

The Dickens' Village that is ;) Last night I went with my landlady, June to her friend's (Pat and Eddie) house to see the Dickens' Village that Eddie puts up every year. I can't believe all the little people that he has set up. I didn't bring my camera so a stock photo will have to do. Which by the way, I had no idea how popular these village things are! I found a plethora of pictures of peoples' villages. Websites even dedicated just to showing off a village!

We had a very nice time. The village was enormous! Eddie HAD to make me one of his famous blue raspberry martinis. Yes he TOTALLY twisted my arm. Then after, we drove past Neala Park and saw the pretty lights they had up.

I still have a ton of shit to do to get ready for xmas day! :( And I still have presents to buy. double :( I will keep you posted of the progress. I plan to hit the gym tonight and do some laundry, then tomorrow hit the gym for some running, swimming and yoga. And of course endless cleaning! I NEED to get alot done this weekend in terms of housekeeping and I was hoping to bake some cookies.

Hope you are all ready for the upcoming holidays!!!!

18 December 2007

Heart Rate

So here is the deal, there is always debate about how to become a better/stronger athlete and how to train more effectively and efficiently to reach your goals. One way to track your progress and to verify that you are working out at the right intensity to accomplish goals is target heart rate.

First, I’m going to discuss how to determine your target heart rate (THR) and then I will discuss how to apply it. Then I will talk about the differences in THR for each sport. Because of the length this is going to be posted in the three separate categories. If you already know how to calculate your THR zone you can skip to section two which discusses zones and hoe your body responds in different heart rate zones. If you already know all of that and want to see the differences for each sport, skip to section three.

I will be using myself for the examples but will be providing the formulas and links to help with and, while less accurate, shortcuts to determining a generic range based on age and resting heart rate.

*****DISCLAIMER: I am not a coach, a certified fitness professional or a medical nurse or doctor. All the information you are about to read has been generated from books and articles I have read, my own experiences, and my personal experience working with a trainer. Please consult a medical doctor before starting any new fitness program.*****

Section One – Determine YOUR Target Heart Rate

The first thing you need to do is sleep! Yep that’s right, I’m telling you to go to sleep. :) Seriously though, to get an accurate resting heart rate (RHR) you need to count your beats per minute immediately after you wake up in the morning while you are still horizontal in bed. Even slight movement like sitting up can raise your heart rate. This should be done at least three times and then you take the average of all times. I would also suggest doing your counts on days where you have had restful and restorative sleep, preferably 7-9 hours. So when you wake up in the morning, slide your fingers up to the side of your neck and count your beats for one FULL minute. It is most helpful to have a watch with a second hand, a stopwatch or a digital watch with seconds available.

The average adult has a resting heart rate of 72; you should be within 60-100 beats per minute. If you are over 100 please schedule an apt with your doctor ASAP as you could have a heart condition or could be on medication that is causing you to have a quickened heart beat. If you are a serious athlete in training, your RHR could be well below 60, especially if you practice yoga and meditation on a daily basis. Unlike blood pressure, it doesn’t appear to me that heart rate is effected by size but by your cardiorespiratory fitness only. So you could possibly be 4’5” and weigh 85 pounds and not have a low RHR because your cardiorespiratory fitness level is extremely low.

Ok here comes the math! If you want to have a general idea of your zones and don’t want to wait to calculate your RHR you can go here and get a VERY generic zone to start with. If you’ve gotten your RHR and you just feel like being lazy you can go here. Further, if you have extra cash laying around you can shell out about $150-$300 and go to your local fitness club or bike store and have a heart rate test done and they can calculate it all for you. That by far is the most accurate way to determine your numbers, but not completely necessary. Plus if you have extra cash laying around you might want to call me first because I could definitely use some! ;)

On to the numbers!

First, you have to calculate your maximum heart rate (MAX) based on the Karvonen Formula. This is simply done by subtracting your age from 220. NOTE: I have seen a couple places where the numbers are different for men (220) and women (227), but I always use 220 and have had a couple of different trainers over the years and that is what they use too.

220-27=193 so my MAX is 193

Next, you will calculate your low end of your THR zone:
MAX – RHR= heart rate reserve (HRR)
HRR x 50% = training range %
training range % + RHR = LOW end of THR zone

193 – 63 = 115
130 x 50% = 65
65 + 63 = 128

So the low end of my THR zone is 128

Now you need to calculate your high end. Same numbers, new formula:

MAX – RHR= heart rate reserve (HRR)
HRR x 85% = training range %
training range % + RHR = MAX end of THR zone

So my high end is 174, resulting in a THR zone of 128-174.

Let’s consider someone else to give you an idea of how age plays into THR zones. Kerry is 36 and has a RHR of 98. So Kerry’s MAX is 184 with a THR zone of 141-171. To give you an idea of how your cardiorespiratory fitness plays into it let's compare Kerry to Alex who is the same age. Alex has a RHR of 58. So Alex's MAX would be the same, 184 but Alex's THR zone would be 121-165.

Section Two – WTF!? Why do I need to know this stuff?

Now that we have that all figured out, you might be wondering why this is important. Physical activity/exertion can be broken generally up into three categories:
Beginner 50-60%
Intermediate 60-70%
Advanced 75-85%

Most of you triathletes are in the advanced. ;) No slacking here!

There is debate in terms of percentages. However, as a triathlete it is safe to train on a regular/daily basis in between the intermediate and advanced categories around 70-75%. This area is great for pre-season especially, as it helps your body buildup for the coming season. An active rest day workout would consist of not exceeding 65-70%. When doing speedwork or running a race for PR you will probably at least reach 90% if not exceed it.

Now I have been asked this question MANY times when I talk about HR and THR zones. Yes, it is true that you burn more fat when you work out at a lower intensity. However, if you want to lose weight, you should be working out at a higher intensity because it causes more overall calorie loss, which results in more weight loss. Before we go on to types of training, I want to show the sample zones. If you use my info for reference this is how it looks for my zones:

Beginner 128-141
Intermediate 141-154
Advanced 161-174

As for types of training, there are three major types of training that HR and THR zones are helpful.

Burning calories/Weight Loss: This activity focuses on shorter more intense workouts. So working out for 20-30 mins in 70% for example.

Endurance: This activity focuses on low to medium intensity for longer periods of time. Working out for 90 mins in 40-55% for example.

Interval Training: This consists of a mix of low and high to help build endurance AND burn calories. Here there are endless possibilities but for example if you were running on the treadmill and a light workout would be 2% incline at 4.5mph you would walk/jog there for 5 mins and then do 3 mins at 2% 6.5mph and then go back to 2% at 4.5mph. This allows you to have active rests in between your cardio bursts, which in turn helps you build endurance. Just be careful when you are doing interval training not to push too hard; there is build required just like in endurance.

For the triathletes here are more zones to work in and what you can accomplish by working in different zones.

65% to 70% This is an effort level considered appropriate for very easy run training and recovery days after tough training or race efforts.

70% to 75% This is the range for maximum aerobic training benefit, and moderate "base" training that is not especially stressful to the body. This range is also the best to develop your metabolism’s fat burning capability for distance races like half to full Ironman distance. The majority of your training should be done in this range.

75% to 80% This is mild tempo training that helps to build your muscular/skeletal foundation for the rigors of racing. This range is especially valuable during the early pre-season phase when you need to 'toughen-up' in preparation for higher intensity training and racing.

85% This is considered fast tempo training. It’s not quite race pace (except for very long races) but it simulates race efforts without the need for as much recovery afterwards. This intensity should be performed as late pre-season training, and as a substitute for races when there are none available.

85% to 95% This is the race effort range. During a PR 5k race effort, you may find yourself holding 95% for the second half of the race. For a fast 10k you’ll probably be in the 90% to 95% range for your best effort. Also, when you do speedwork on the track you should expect to see a heart rate at or above 90% of max for much of the workout.

***the above zones were taken from Coach Steve’s training write up on tri-ecoach.com

The biggest thing to remember when looking at THR zones is individuality. Based on age and fitness level, the zones are going to vary greatly person to person. It is possible for one person to have a zone of 120-135 at 85%; that doesn’t mean that s/he isn’t working just as hard as someone who has a zone of 168-176 at 85%.

Section Three - Now to FINALLY answer Tea's question!

All of the above zones are based on RUNNING/AEROBIC heart rate. Different activities require different muscles groups and therefore different amounts of energy to perform the task. Your heart’s response to exercise is directly proportional to the amount of muscle mass being used for the activity. In other words, a sport that involves more muscle to propel your body, will demand higher heart rates. Therefore you will breakdown THR zones for different sports as follows:

There are two things to consider when looking at your cycling THR zones. First, it is fair to say that you should be riding at an intensity that allows you to reach and maintain your target for 30 mins. Secondly, because you have added additional energy (i.e. bike), you should deduct 8-10 bpm for your THR zones for cycling.

As far as swimming goes you can safely deduct 10-12 bpm from your THR zones for the entire time you are swimming.

If I want to maintain 75-85% for RUNNING my zone would be 161-174. (Usually I’m on the higher side of 170, but my avg is usually about 168.)
If I want to maintain 75-85% for CYCLING my zone would be 153-166 (I try hard to maintain 162-165 while riding.)
If I want to maintain 75-85% for SWIMMING my zone would be 151-164 (I usually avg 160 while swimming.)

I hope that this info helps all you!!! There are tons of tools out there to help make us better, faster, stronger, but we need to understand them and the best ways to implement them for a difference to be seen. Good luck!!!

weekend wrap up....

Things have been C-R-A-Z-Y lately! Saturday I got my haircut and worked out for a bit then went out to dinner for sushi, very yummy! Sunday I had my swim class which I felt like I sucked at! SOOOOOOOOOO slow! Then I met Monica for coffee during the lovely blizzard. It was seriously snowing!!! Then I vegged and did some housework.

I have blisters on my toes from my beloved Zoomers. I've never had this happen before but I also have never worn them as long as I did on Sunday. I have a nice gross pic for all of you!

this was taken on Sunday after I wiped all the lint from my socks off the open blisters - fun!

Today - so pretty huh?

This week is my second to last week with Alexis. Things are going well but I haven't been feeling like a super star this week so far, hopefully things will turn around! I started putting together a workout regime in anticipation of my workout status change. ;) Originally, I was thinking that I could workout in the AM and then head into work but I was thinking this morning of changing my work hours and starting at 7am and working till 3pm then running over to the gym. I often do work at home and on the weekends so I would totally be able to make up any time I missed at the office. Plus I seem to get SOOOO much more done early in the morning when everyone else is on their way to work. What do you think??? Please leave comments!!!!

Last night my brother and I went to Great Lakes Brewing Company for a City Fresh Monday. We met fellow CTCer Brandon there. It was really great! The topic covered this month was community gardening, very interesting. I had some chicken soup made with locally grown food. How cool is that!? Then the three of us stuck it out to watch the Cavs bring in a win! WOOHOO!

The holidays are coming faster than I expected! :( I totally don't feel ready. I'm having the fam over on Christmas Day so I have to get my house in working order. Please don't remind me that it is like in a week! :(

From my last post Tea was asking about HR targets between sports. I'm currently compiling the info I have for that and will post either tomorrow or Thursday. So stay tuned bloggers!!!! :)

13 December 2007

a whole pool to myself.....

That's right everyone. Don't be too jealous now! ;)

Last night I was running a bit behind in my errands, so I didn't get to the gym until after 8pm. But I still did my 90 min workout like I planned and it was pretty great. I had a kick ass song list on my shuffle so the run and bike were super enjoyable. I spent the last 2 mins of my run in high gear at 5.8 at an incline of 1.5 so that was hard but good. Then I walked for a couple of minutes before heading over to the bikes.

I finally got in the pool around 9:45. And it was empty. :) :) :) Which was nice because I was doing some drills using my Zoomers (which are by far my FAVORITE swimming accessory!!!) and my pull buoy and kick board. I'm trying to work on rotation so I did a 100 at the beginning swimming on my side and just kicking and ended with another 100 at the end. Then for my cool down I did 100 breaststroke, 100 back and 50 just coasting through the water. I'm getting back to where I used to be in terms of holding my breathe. I know it really isn't that important but I guess it goes back to all of my lifeguard tests I had to do when I was kid. I can swim almost 3/4 of one length underwater now, so I'm happy about that.

So I have to say I had some technical difficulties with my HRM for the first time in the water last night. It was only when I was using the kick board so I'm hoping this isn't going to become a usual occurrence for me. Keep those fingers crossed bloggers! :) I was in such a rush to get my ass in the water that I forgot to take off my sports bra, which happens to be new so I'm hoping it isn't destroyed because of the chlorine. :( Soooo once I realized it was still on I stealthily slipped my suit straps down and managed to get it off in the hopes that 200M didn't kill it completely. I'll let you all know what happens; I'm sure you're just DYING to hear about it. I like to make my transition from gym to pool quick so I run and bike with my suit on and a sports bra underneath. Then I hit the locker room and get rid of the things I don't need (i.e. shuffle, pants, kicks, shirt) and get the things I do need (i.e. towel, goggles, drill equip.) and hustle to the pool. See guys it really is hard being a chick! ;) j/k I wish I could find a suit that had the coverage I need. But haven't found one yet.

Steve totally didn't want to run this AM which was fine because I didn't either! :P Hopefully, I can get some swimming in tonight. Even 30 mins is better than none!

Have a great day everyone! :)

11 December 2007

dude, seriously!?

First, I would like to thank all of you who commented on my 'Mom Z Polar Swim convo'! It provide alot of great justifications, much to mom z's chagrin. You know she reads this too! ;)


This weekend I received an email from my trainer Alexis. For many reasons she has decided to take a break (possibly a forever break) from training. Which left me saying, dude, seriously? :(

While I'm super sad that I won't be ringing in the New Year working out with her, I completely understand why she needs to do this and wish her the best of luck!!! I still have until the end of December though to get my ass kicked by her, so I'm not crying yet. ;) Monday she told me that we are going to kick it into high gear for the next three weeks. Which again left me thinking, dude, seriously!! I was like, um hello what have we been doing before then???? So wish me luck blogsters! I'm FOR SURE going to need it. ;)

So to prepare for my overly ambitious race season and my training status change to 'single,' I've started looking through a few books I have to create some training workouts so that I don't lose sight of my goals. If any of you have any suggestions of fav workouts let me know!

I signed up for the Beast series which I could totally fail at, miserably btw!!! But hey, I'm fearless! ;) Now here is where you are going to say, dude, SERIOUSLY!!!!

One of the races I'm planning on completing for the Beast is the Classic Half in March. Yes, that's right everyone. It's ok you can sit down, take a few deep breaths, I'll be here when you're ready to continue reading.

Ready? OK...(ouch, cheerleader flashbacks!!!)

Now, I totally know that I haven't even completed a 10K so why would I jump to a half mary, you are probably asking. I say, screw you 10K, I'm going for the half. I found a 9 week plan on Runner's World mag.com so I'm going to incorporate that into my training.

Today, Alexis asked me if in addition to all the other fun stuff aka stress I have in my life and finishing my masters, if I really think it is a good idea to shoot for the half in March. Here is what I think:

1. I love that Alexis is always questioning me and pushing me. I often times come up with some seriously crazy shit, so it is important for people to look at me like I'm nuts and then ask me what I'm thinking. I'd like to believe that it keeps at least the tips of my toes on the ground, if not most of my foot.

2. Alexis is right. It is very ambitious and I could very well not be ready at all by March for this event. However, right now that is my plan. There is also a 5K event either the day of or the day before. So either way I will be there regardless of the distance.

As I have previously stated, I really don't care about times or any of that. Everyone who cares about me has one fear: that I will be disappointed in myself. I don't think I will this time. I'm ok with my abilities and am always looking to improve. What matters to me is that I want to be a triathlete and even if I only do one tri in 08, I've done one. I'm new to the world of triathlon and even though I'm running head first into this, much like everything in my life, I'm running with distance and longevity in mind. Do I overwhelm myself sometimes, yes. Do I push myself to accomplish more and excel in all I take on, of course. Do I question if I'm cut out for triathlon, NO. I'm a firm believer that you really can accomplish anything you put your mind to. And this is something I'm committed to. So if I don't reach all of my goals this year, I always have next year! ;)

So you can all say it with me, dude, seriously, 2008 is going to ROCK!

05 December 2007

Polar Swim, bbbrrrrrrr....

So I just HAD to share this convo I had with my mom the other night re: the polar swim.

me: "So today I was on the CTC forum and they were talking about the polar swim. Cool huh?"

mom z: "Oh, that's where crazy people run in the water in the middle of winter right?"

me: "Yes, but-" interrupted by mom z

mom z: "You aren't doing it. You'll get sick and die."

me: "Mom, you know that isn't true. You don't get colds from being cold and wet."

mom z: "Yes, but you're sick now, you really think it is a good idea to do that in a few weeks??"

me: "Well, I would like to at least go and watch."

mom z: "Right, watch, sure. That sounds like you, just watching. More like, just watching and I fell in accidentally, I swear mom."

me: sounding supper innocent, "I don't know what you are trying to get at. I'll go and watch. Maybe Monica will do it and I can hold her towel, that sounds good right?"

mom z: mocking voice, "I was just holding Monica's towel, I don't know how I got wet!"

me: "Seriously, I'm not going in the water."

mom z: "Sure!"

me: "Well, at least I don't......think.....I.....will....."

mom z: "Yeah that is EXACTLY what I thought!"

03 December 2007

why I love radiators....

Whenever I pretend shop for a house online, the first thing I look at is if they have radiators or forced air. Why? Well, let me tell you! :)

There happen to be MANY reasons why radiators rock!

1. You can warm your towels and slippers in the winter time.

2. They heat so much more efficiently and aren't as drying as forced air.

3. They don't spread dust and allergens around every time they turn on.

4. They are a GREAT place for drying hand washables. ;)

5. The cat loves to get warm and cozy on top of them.

I can't think of any more reasons right now but, seriously I'm sure there are a ton more! I thought that I should share my love for radiators with all of you this morning as I was getting out of the shower and grabbed a nice warm towel from the top of the radiator. It seriously is the best thing in the world. Along with having warm slippers! Seriously, if you don't have 'em, you're missing out big time! :)

02 December 2007

Reindeer Run and sniffles, sneezy and coughy

No, I'm not talking about the seven dwarves, just little old me. :(

Yesterday, I did the Reindeer Run in Lakewood. It was a really awesome day for a race. It was sunny and crisp, not too windy. I rode over with Monica and my brother Steve came along. My cousin Alison met us there and then we all met up with Sara, Debbie and Abby. Everyone did great. Monica and Abby broke their PRs and my cousin finished with Monica. Sara and Debbie did really well too!

I just started doing 5Ks this year. In September actually. I have never been a runner. I played tennis through high school and you run alot but not without some breaks. ;) So when I started working out with Alexis, we talked about running. I was like, "not really too interested." But then in July I started running. A little here and there. Then I joined the CTC and when I emailed Jen C about the club and joining I mentioned my lack of running ability. She was super encouraging and helpful and said to be patient. And surprisingly, for the first time in my life, I'm being patient. Sure I get frustrated with the fact that I still am running intervals and never do more than 5 miles at a time but I'm still RUNNING. :) And that is worth something.

Normally, I run on the much loved dreadmill. In 30 mins I get 2.5-3miles in. But when I did my first 5K I wasn't really running that much. My brother just found out he had mono like two weeks before the race AND there were so many people there it was hard to actually run. So we finished that one in a little under 50mins. Then I did the Pigskin Classic. Since I usually get 2.5-3miles in on the treadmill in 30mins, I figured that shooting for 45mins for the race would be doable. I didn't reach my goal but I did help someone else finish and that was enough. So I finished that one in like 48mins. So when I went on Saturday, I was still shooting for my 45mins. I finished somewhere around 43mins. So I was happy with that. I know that is hardly impressive, especially to all my CTC buddies who make fab times! ;) But all that really matters is that I went and I finished. :) I think it is decent for just starting to run a few months ago.

I was nice Steve and Monica were there at the end cheering me on. I did better with pacing myself this time around. I started out too strong at the Classic and suddenly realized I had ran for over 5mins straight and then needed to rest a bit longer. The intervals have been helping me build up my endurance so I try hard to stick with 1-1:30mins running and :45-1:00 walking. So I managed to stick pretty closely with that; I still ran too long at first, but only for 2:30mins this time. ;) It was pretty funny. Near then end, most everyone had finished and I was running back in and saw an intersection and got all excited. I thought "wow, I'm almost done." I thought that was the intersection at Lakewood Park. So I started running a bit harder and as I got to the intersection I realized that I was still a couple blocks away from the park. :) So I was like, "shit!" I just slowed up and walked for a couple of minutes, enjoyed the quite looked over at the lake and just relaxed.

I ran sans ipod. I must say, I really liked not having it. I was surprised that I didn't miss it. I almost felt like my hearing was heightened. (Maybe because of the cold medicine and stuffy head. Who knows. ;) ) But it was nice to hear the shoes hitting the pavement and when it got closer to the end and most people were finished, the quiet was so relaxing.

After the race, I came home and did some laundry then went over to Monica's. We swam for a bit and did an hour - hour and a half of yoga at the JCC. Then I went out to celebrate my friend Allison's bday!


We went to Winking Lizard in Bedford. It was a great time!

Then I came home and crashed and slept and slept. Slept through my alarm until 10am actually. Yes, I missed swimming yet again! I feel like such a swimming loser. :( Not much I can do about this now. So to all my fellow RR swimmers, see you next time.

Steve slept over last night so we went to breakfast at Tommy's around 11:30am. We had a good time but I just felt so crummy I couldn't enjoy it too much. Then I laid around and did some things for work and rested. Which is super boring btw. My mom is here now, fixing my soup. Aren't moms great!?!

30 November 2007

Sick as a dog???

Today I'm feeling like I can't deny it any longer. I'm sick! :( How unfair!!! I think I will still be out there tomorrow for the Reindeer Run, even if I can only walk it. So since I'm super grumpy from not feeling well, I don't want to get into anything for real today. ;) I will just sound whiny! All this talk of being sick made me wonder about the phrase, sick as a dog. Where in the hell did that come from? ;)

So in the spirit of my grumpiness I have selected the first listing I found for an explanation aka it may be complete craziness. So this is what it said:

The earliest known usage of "sick as a dog'' dates back to 1705. It has been suggested that the phrase originated from the fact that dogs, being domesticated, are the most common animal we've seen vomiting besides ourselves. Our intimate relationships with dogs have also allowed for many other "dog'' phrases like "every dog has his day'' and the straightforward "you can't teach an old dog new tricks.'' British English has sometimes employed similar phrases involving other animals - "sick as a horse'' and, yes, "sick as a cat'' - but "sick as a dog'' is the only choice in American English.

A surprising variant that has become popular in Britain in the past several decades is "sick as a parrot,'' which typically describes someone who is very disappointed or disgusted rather than physically sick. Parrots aren't especially known for being either sick or disappointed, and no one knows exactly how this phrase originated. (One theory traces it to a famous Monty Python sketch involving a dead parrot.) It was first recorded in 1979, and it has been popular in the years since, especially among British athletes describing their extreme disappointment over losing a match.

So there you are! I'm sure your lives are so much more fulfilled with this knowledge. ;)

Today is World AIDS Day. And as I would normally provide you with a myriad of links to go check out, I really only have a couple of things to say about this:

1. DO NOT GET AIDS. Now I know this seems super obvious but clearly, this is an epidemic so therefore it would appear to me that some people still do not realize that EVERYONE is at risk. So be wise and think before you act! ;)

2. While AIDS is a terrible disease, the people who contract this disease here in the US and across the globe suffer from serious stigma. Recognize that ANYONE can get it and that it doesn't speak to a person's character to be suffering from HIV/AIDS.

3. We can all do things to help, PERIOD, with pretty much everything that is going today. There are lots of things that you can do to help. And donating money isn't even the biggest thing. There are tons of organizations that you can volunteer with doing all sorts of things. People with HIV/AIDS not only need medical treatment but access to many different types of services. Most of all, many of them just need a smile, a hug and a supportive hand to help connect them to the people, services and organizations that can help them.

I apologize for not giving more info on how to help in the Cleveland area but Google is extremely helpful! ;) If I wasn't so 'like a dog' and grumpy I would totally give you a head start! I have faith though that you are very capable. :)

I have a little more holiday cheer to send your way. I usually lose count of all the things that make me smile throughout the day but this is one I will be referring to throughout the day. Enjoy!:

This is my nephew, I know he is soooooo adorable! He totally takes after me! :P

I will have a race report of sorts tomorrow and I will post what I had originally planned on discussing this weekend. Have a GREAT Friday!!!!

26 November 2007

feelin the christmas spirit

So tonight after work I decorated my living room and the tree! So much fun! :) I was going to swim tonight but alas I had no willpower! I had a pretty good workout this morning, so I will make sure I swim tomorrow and the rest of the week for that matter!

Anyhow, I have created a slideshow of pics from my decorating party! I thought it might be better than posting a bunch of pics like I did for the A&C. I have included a few ornaments that make my tree every year. My grandma used to buy us ornaments every year.

In fact, the year she died she already had quite a few purchased and wrapped; it was only April!! That year a few of us had presents and ornaments even though she wasn't with us. My mom has given us ornaments pretty much every year too, so I have a bunch of those too. Plus I have a ton from my mom and dad that used to be theirs when they were young. Pretty much every ornament has a story. :) I also have a manger that my grandpa made which I'm sure will be cleaned out by morning, since Morris thinks it is his house!


I enjoyed my evening though and listened to some of my favorite Christmas songs: Snoopy's Christmas, Merry Christmas Darling, Last Christmas, Celebrate me Home and Frosty the Snowman (but only by the McGuire Sisters). I reminisced and sang along.

So all of you lovely inhabitants of blogland, what are some of your favorite holiday memories?? Any favorite songs, stories or food?? Post and share it with the rest of us! :)

25 November 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Hello to all of you lovely blog readers!

I hope all of you had great Thanksgivings!!!! Mine was good. Good times, good food! :) The next day I worked out with Alexis and then went with my mom and brother to Aurora Farms and the Nike outlet! :) See previous post re: my obsession with athletic clothing. So that was fun we shopped for a few hours and then my mom and I went to Beachwood Place and then had a girl's sleepover. :) Yesterday I worked out with Alexis and then hung out with my dad and brother.

Today I cleaned and got my xmas tree! Tomorrow I will finish cleaning the dining room and then decorate for Christmas. Which is one of my favorite things to do! I wear my Santa hat and listen to Christmas carols. Ok for future reference, I don't think I need to acknowledge my......uniqueness, just remember that I already know. ;)

I started tracking my miles for the VTC for CTC. Woohoo!!! Monica and I are doing the Reindeer Run this weekend so I can include that too in addition to all my workouts. Plus my swim clinic will help boost me too. Oh who else is in for the Reindeer Run?? It will be fuuuuunn! ;) I mean Monica and I will be there so obviously it will be an awesome time!

So stay tuned tomorrow for pictures of my Christmas tree and decorations! I totally KNOW you all are super excited to see what I've done! ;)

20 November 2007

ho hum.....

Well, I guess I don't have too much to say; I mean I have a TON of stuff to say, but I can't really talk about it due to the nature of the subject and my feelings to it. I wouldn't want any 'important' people to read this and...................well, you know! Anyway, I have several things/options that I will be investigating over the next few days/weeks and if those turn out not to be viable I will find some others I'm sure, or resort to standing in the corner, crossing my arms over my chest and stomping my feet like a five year old. *breathing deeply*

So I won't bore you with the list of things that are making me unhappy, instead I will share one of my favorite couples in the world! I'm sure many of you already 'know' them but let me introduce those of you who don't!

This is the very dapper Charles Rennie Mackintosh, artist, architect and designer. He was a Scot and is responsible for the Art Nouveau movement in Scotland. Later he would go on to create textiles, metalworks and furniture. His philosophy of design was to design buildings for those that use them, fitting the needs of each client. Unfortunately, many of his designs were never built although some have been built by others.

He was extremely fortunate to meet, fall in love with and marry the most talented and attractive ;) Margaret Macdonald. She was an artist and textile designer. Together they became one of the most influential arts and crafts couple to date. In his later years, his architectural services included interior design. Similar to FLW, Margaret and Charles would design every last detail of the house from the structure to the windows to the textiles to the wall coverings to the landscaping.

FYI if you go looking for any of the upcoming art, much of Margaret's work is listed as Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Poor Margaret was one of the MANY marginalized women of creative husbands. She has a vast collection of her own work, even before her association with Charles, and was celebrated by her contemporaries, including her husband. Unfortunately, at the time she was creating her work, women were not only seen as inferior but also incapable and therefore much of what she has accomplished has been credited to her husband. This link goes into more detail of her influence on Charles' design.

I truly enjoy the arts and craft movement as a whole although there are many things/people/philosophies that I can altogether do without, it is probably my favorite design movement. There is a wealth of information available on all three, CRM, MMM and A&C online and I have several books that I would be willing to LEND as long as a hefty deposit is first relinquished.

Today, as I sat at my desk pondering my 'future' and my unhappiness, I started looking at counted cross stitch for my friend's Eric and Olivia because they are having a baby!!!! I'm so excited!!!! Ok anyway, back to the story, I found several CCS patterns for FLW and CRM prints. And that lead me to spend some time in the comfort of friends via the internet! I was able to find a little bit of solace looking over their work.

I thought all of my zillions of readers (hey a girl can dream, can't she? ;) ) would enjoy a little piece of arts and craft heaven.

First, here are two of my favorite Margaret Macdonald wall pieces. I have one hanging over my bed and the other opposite hanging over the settee in my bedroom.

Here are a couple of other reproductions of her work, I tried to make them small so the post wouldn't be so incredibly long, click on them if you want to see a larger version:

This is the well known Mackintosh rose. I have a small pendant necklace of this and am always shocked when someone recognizes it. I know I'm not the only person who knows, but still it is exciting! :P Below that is a textile that CRM did of the rose with tears.

Here is a website with various prints, bronze plates and jewelry of FLW and CRM things: (HINT, HINT MOM!!!!! ;) )

I'm sure you all are just DYING to see and learn more!!!! ;) I KNEW IT! I have posted a few links below where you can learn a bit more about the Arts and Craft Movement as well as Charlie and Maggie (I'm SURE that's what their friends called them! ;) )


18 November 2007

Libraries are cool......

I'm supposed to be getting ready for family dinner, but I'm again sucked into the glowing screen of my laptop, reading articles and blogs. I just read this article from the Times, Much Loved, Now Much Used, about the reinventing of libraries as places or public spaces.

Placemaking isn't a new idea or term but it is on the public radar more recently. I think it has to do with a couple of things. First, I would like to believe that we as a society are becoming more educated; not just school education but everyday life stuff, via the internet. Like everything else in the modern day world, technology certainly has its pluses and minuses. One advantage is the spread of information! And that my friends, is making us smarter. At least a little. ;) As we share things with other people and read about experiences in different cities and countries, our awareness grows, as does our desire to experience more. As a result, we still crave that level of interaction that places/public spaces provide.

Also, PPS has been able to facilitate the spread of information via their website and many projects in NYC. Their location of course helps them greatly in terms of getting the public at large to pay attention. Those of us who have spent significant time in NYC and all of the burroughs are slightly less inclined to be captivated by the name alone, but do recognize that NYC can provide a setting perfect for experiments and observations.

Wow, anyhow, please excuse my ramblings! I read this article about the rebirth of American libraries and was reminded of my very own library on Lee Road. If you haven't been over to check it, please do so. They finished the renovations and every time I'm there it is alive with the hum of knowledge exchange and community building. Libraries really are taken for granted and not recognized as placemakers by the planning community.

I think the whole "Sssshhhhh!" thing might have something to do with it. ;)

Pigskin Classic and more! :)

Yesterday, I did the Pigskin Classic 5K with Monica, Abbie and Sara. It was a blast, a cool blast that is! As I feared, the marginal provided all the cool wind it could. I had a really great time though! I did a walk/run combo and just after the water break one of the other participants jogged up next to me and started chatting. Seems she had an injury and was struggling to finish near the end. We walked together for a good portion and then ran in the last block or so. I wasn't concerned about finishing in any certain time so I figured her and I could chat away and if that helped get her to the finish in spite of her ankle so be it. I briefly saw Brandon, Craig and Rob who all did really well! Congrats guys!!!

My philosophy about racing is just to enjoy it and finish when I finish. I'm not too concerned about times just yet, as a newbie. ;) I'm sure next year I will be more competitive, but as of right now, I'm just enjoying myself and running, which I never thought I would say in a million years!!!

I did some yoga last night and then another hour this morning. I didn't make it to swimming though. :( My hips have been weird! I definitely need some PT! I'm calling CVWC tomorrow to see if Dennis has any time to see me.

Today is the celebration of the November birthdays. My dad, gram and Aunt T all have bdays pretty close together so my mom has everyone for dinner. Should be good, she is making her famous lasagna. The only downfall about having a mother who is Italian is that you can't really ever eat at Italian restaurants.

I made up my race calendar for next year. I'm really trying to do the The Beast; we'll see if I can get it or not. I read Brandon's recap of the Flannel Shirt Metric Century and checked out the pics on the Lorain Wheelmen's website and between the two I was like, "I totally have to do this!!!" Then I checked out the Great Lakes Escape website and it looks totally cool too! So I'm hoping to do that one too. I'm also really wanting to do the Bike Authority Cyclocross, that looks like alot of fun. So many races, so little time!

So I'm officially addicted to athletic wear. I have been for a long time and I'm finally admitting it to world! So, I've been drooling over so many things on the Nike website. I'm not a fan of Nike shoes, but I've always liked their sports bras and athletic attire. There is a Nike outlet at Aurora Farms and Monica and I have talked about going. That could be dangerous!!!! Two women who are addicted to sportswear!!!!

16 November 2007

So I'm sitting here, getting my playlist together for the Pigskin tomorrow. Trying to find things that will make me think of warmth and going fast! ;) I borrowed a cd of the OSU Marching Band from my dad and am putting a medley at the beginning for my stretching. I was trying to find a free version of the band playing "Hang on Sloopy" and came across this:


This is one of my favorite parts of the game! If I miss the dot, I'm devastated. Last year, I started tearing up when I watched it. I know you don't have to say it, see the previous post, I already know!

So anyway, I'm getting everything together and pumping myself up because I know that it is going to be cold. And because this is the first super real 5K that I've actually planned on doing as a real race. Normally, I go with other people to do the whole walk/run thing and do more walking than running. Hopefully, I will do more running than walking this time. :) Wish me luck and warmth, I'm going to need both!

I'm off to finish my mix and do some yoga then off to bed. I will have a report tomorrow!

15 November 2007

I totally know.....

I'm a huge dork. Seriously, I know this and am completely at peace with it. :) I found the cutest things this morning. I'm sure everyone out there already knows about these but I JUST discovered them! Check it out:

Oh yes, ladies and gents, you can buy Tri Xmas cards! TriSanta has holiday cards and all sorts of things. Super cute! Too bad I already have xmas cards, the joys of having a father who is a printer; I would totally buy some of these!

I'm going to add one of Peter Dilanni's prints as my header background, stay tuned for that! You can find his other work on the TriSanta site too.

Enjoy the rainy day Clevelanders! And remember, it could always be worse......it could be SNOW!

anywhere but here

mayo county
Originally uploaded by tracie mz
For sure, this is where I'd rather be this morning!

14 November 2007

Tonight I had coffee with Monica. So fun! She convinced me to do the Pigskin 5K Classic this Saturday. Woohoo! Although, if the weather is what they predict, the marginal will be freezing! I will of course have a report for all you wonderful readers on Saturday. Ha! I know you can't wait. ;)

I'm finally sending my packages for my Adopt a Platoon soldiers. It is so weird how you can have such concern for people you don't even really know. I added the link to my list if anyone is interested in checking it out. They often run different programs throughout the year. My mom and I will be sending some fun stockings for Christmas.

It is amazing to me that these two young men will be away for the holidays on their first tour. I can't imagine being 21 or 23 and doing the things that they have to. It is upsetting to think about the reasons that they are there.

I've had a family member and a couple of friends over there already. Thankfully, they are home and safe. Please, regardless of what you think about the war itself, please keep all of our service people in your thoughts not just through the holidays but always.


I read an interesting article today about RTA. Seems that they are having budget issues and as a result have rerouted the buses to link up to the trains. Can you hear the ta-da horns? ;) Light rail is never utilized enough. I'm excited to see what the results will be. You can read more about the plans here: http://www.gcrta.org/pdf/presentations/2007-11-13-ServiceChanges.pdf


So sorry for the blah post today! I'm a little tired and have to get to bed. Up early tomorrow to workout. Yeah! Can you just hear the excitement???

So until next time, stay safe and warm! :)

11 November 2007

soooo much to say...

So it was a pretty busy weekend. Here is the recap:

Work, not much to say about that, pretty busy and uneventful. I left work late so I got to the CTC meeting late. :( I felt horrible because I had told Monica, my fellow newbie, that I was coming and then turned out to be late (which seemed to be a theme this weekend).

The meeting was great and the guest speakers had a ton of info! I met up with Monica and then met some other CTCers and headed over to BW3s. Shout outs to Cat, Elizabeth, Sara, Craig, Charlie, Janet, Debbie and Brandon. It was great to meet everyone, especially Sara and Charlie; from reading your blogs it was great to actually meet the people behind the words. :)

Monica and I started talking about the race upcoming race season, very exciting!

I was sooo tired from the week and I ended up sleeping pretty late. Suddenly, it was 8:45 and I was still sleeping. I got up did some cleaning and emailing and headed out to my parent's house. Then in the afternoon I headed to Bally's did a short 30 min run (2 miles) and almost gave the woman next to me a heart attack.

She wasn't wearing a HRM so mine was transmitting to my wrist, treadmill and her treadmill. So I begin and suddenly she is like, "oh oh oh, look at this! that is you isn't it?" I said, "yes, yes, sorry about that!"

So about 10 mins later she takes her headphones off and looks at me quizzically. I can see her looking at me out of my peripheral vision so I turn my head and look at her and smile. She looks at me with shock and concern and says, "Are you ok??? I can see your heart rate and it is at 165. I don't think you should be working that hard. Do you know what you are doing? I mean are you getting back into this running thing or training for something?" I thanked her for her concern and told her I was fine, that I was only running for 30 mins and then swimming for 30 mins so I have to work hard for that short period of time.

She just looks at me and says, "Well, God bless you! Be careful, I'm sorry to butt in, but I think that you are working too hard. I'll mind my own business." With that she covered the treadmill display with her sweatshirt. :( I felt bad and thanked her for her concern but I knew I felt fine so I kept going. I swam and the pool was packed. My lane partner was crazy side swimming lady. ;) Seriously, not judging!

Swim class this morning. LATE! So embarrassed!!! It is the first class and I was late. :( Well, I got to see some familiar faces. Cat and Charlie are swimming too so that was fun! I definitely realized some areas where I need to focus on more. I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to keep up; I think I did ok. I was feeling bad for a few laps because I kept coming in after everyone else was done but then I realized that we had more people than most lanes. (I think!) So whether that is me trying to boost my ego or reality, I didn't feel completely lost or drowning!

Then I went over to see Don and my Auntie Terri. We looked over her photography and some of mine. That was fun, visiting and just relaxing a bit. She has a gallery opening coming up soon!!! I'm so excited. You can check out her website and blog, the links are listed on the right. She keeps trying to get me to put stuff in the gallery; we'll see.

I also had my free training session at Bally's this evening at 5pm. I thought it was earlier but thankfully it wasn't! I met with Shi Hong who rocked. She really pushed me and then did a great job stretching me out after. She was a competitive synchronized swimmer for like 13 years in China, so she said she could help me with some stroke mechanics and give me a few exercises to help with core stability and upper body strength.

Now I'm just exhausted and totally unsure about how tomorrow is going to go with Alexis.

Oooooohhhhhh, they are announcing the new Iron Chef. Michael Symon from Cleveland is one of the finalists.

drumroll please..........

and the winner is......................Chef Symon!!!! Woohoo!!!! Congrats!!!

I actually had dinner at Lolita with my friend Krista this past spring for my birthday. It was wonderful! Very yummy food!

Sorry it was such a long post tonight! I promise the next will be better aka shorter. ;)

09 November 2007

I can't wait for January...

I know, you must be thinking, "What?! It's only November."

No there isn't anything exciting going on in January, I'm just ready for the Fall and the busy times to be over. Lately, I've been feeling a little out of control. I have been super busy with work, family and friend commitments, workouts and everyday life that I don't totally feel like I'm accomplishing much of what I actually want to. I wanted to swim yesterday AM, but got up late because I went to bed late because I worked late and had to do a load of laundry so I had clean workout clothes. :( And so the endless cycle continues. I would have gone last night but I had a million errands to run and Thursdays I spend with my brother. So this morning I had big plans for getting up at 5am and getting to the gym by 5:30am to swim for 30 mins and then be back home so I could get him to school on time. I didn't get up till 5:30am and then I did a little cleaning in the kitchen. *sigh* Oh well. Ok, I'm done complaining. :)

I ran a couple of miles yesterday, but only on the treadmill. (Yes for all you CTCers, I did listen to my mix that I posted on the forum, including George Michael. :P ) I think the running by far, is going to be the biggest challenge for me. I have noticed though that I'm building endurance faster than I thought I would, so that is always a plus. :) I have a workout with Alexis this morning and hopefully she will kick my ass with it!

Sunday begins my swim clinic/classes. I'm really nervous because I'm not sure that I'm completely ready. I know the whole point of doing this class was to get better, but I still can only do a few laps consecutively before I have to rest. I wanted to start swimming 6 weeks before the class so I would be in better condition. So many things prevented that from happening and I've only been able to swim for two weeks. :( And I'm only averaging 12-15 laps in 30 mins because of my resting and goggle issues. While I'm averaging 1:10-1:30 per lap (50 yd), I should be doing more laps in 30 mins. Wish me luck!

Tonight is the first meeting I will be attending for the CTC. I'm excited to meet everyone! This makes me feel like I am actually going to become a triathlete. :) I also want to check out Bike Authority and see what swim stuff they have.

Yesterday, work was crazy crazy busy! And at the end of the day, as I was closing everything on my desktop, I say this article: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/21689083/?GT1=10547 .

It is a pretty awesome story about a surfer who was attacked by a great white shark and then saved by a ring of dolphins. I love all things water and animals so I enjoyed it. :) Apparently, this is not some weird phenomenon. The article mentions that a group of lifeguards in New Zealand were recently saved from sharks in the same manner.

Here are some more stories of dolphins to the rescue:

So the first thing that came to my mind was how awesome it was that dolphins, which are already cool, saved a human who as a race destroys their habitat everyday. Then I thought about how applicable it is to what I'm going through. We all have to have faith that things really will turn out for the best and that all the little details will fall into place. I lose sight of the fact that I really don't have control over everything that happens in my life and that it is ok. But you still have to have that fight to keep the sharks at bay until your ring of dolphins shows up.

I know they are on their way, I'll try to be patient...

06 November 2007

Hello and welcome to my blog! :)

I guess a little introduction is in order. I decided to keep a blog about my training, workouts, nutrition, etc. So here I am.

A little about me:

I'm 27 years old, a NE Ohio native and I currently live in Cleveland Heights. I share my apartment with my crazy, but super lovable cat Morris. I did both my undergrad and grad in Buffalo, NY (Canisius College and SUNY Buffalo, respectively) and just moved back to Cleveland in 2005. Which is much longer ago than it feels.

My degree, well grad, is in Urban Planning. I currently work for an environmental firm and do some consulting and web design as well.

I have always been pretty active; I have been a swimmer, not competitively, since I could walk and I did diving for a few years. I played tennis in high school but sadly haven't been at it in a while. When I lived in Buffalo, I pretty much biked everywhere.

So what brought me to triathlon??? Well, I have been working out with a personal trainer, Alexis, (No you can't have her number, I'm not sharing. ;) jk, well only a little!) and as I began to reach some of my fitness goals, I thought I should make some long range ones and triathlon presented the perfect opportunity. So that pretty much brings you to present day.


So today I swam after work. Let me just warn you that there is a bit of a rant coming. *sigh* So I don't think that pool etiquette is really any different from real life manners. Here is the deal. I left work a little early, I had to go to the bank and run errands after my swim so I thought leaving early would be a great idea. Weeellllll, I got to Bally's at five to five. I thought for sure I was beating the rush. So I head towards the pool and don't see anyone.....yet. Not only are all the lanes full but there are other people waiting too. So much for my big plan! :)

Anyway, there are two serious swimmers and then a guy in the short lane chatting with a lady in the second lane. She was doing some improvised side doggy paddle thing so not to get her face wet. Whatever, not judging, just saying. ;) Chatting man leaves around 4:57pm and I look at the other waiting swimmer. The other guy that was waiting is sleeping on a recliner and I tried to wake him up, ok maybe not that hard, but I said excuse me a few times. So I got into the short lane, with the stairs. As I turn on my HRM, the lady says that she will be done in two minutes. So I do a leisurely backstroke waiting for her departure. I'm on my second lap, returning and I see the sleeping guy in my lane. I guess I couldn't be too upset, after all, I didn't wake him up or anything. So I just suck it up and stand next to the rope and start my swim.

About five minutes in, I see a woman step into the pool. In the lane I am clearly swimming in. When I got back, I kind of looked at her like she had arms growing out of her head and she just politely smiles and says hello. I look at her incredulously and say, "Are you going to be swimming laps?" She says, "What?" I'm like, "I'm doing laps in this lane. All the lanes are full." She just kind of looks at me and then sees serious swimmer in lane four is out of the pool doing push ups. So she is like, "Well he is done." And I say, "No he is still using the lane." At this point my heart rate is going down despite my attitude; so I just say suck it up and swim. She actually didn't do too much except bob around and practice her kicks so it really wasn't any bother.

5:10 pm - On my return, I see a man wading into the pool. Which in itself isn't out of the ordinary, except none of the other swimmers had exited. I just kept swimming. In my head I was completely bitching and couldn't believe what was going on, but I kept swimming. I see him talking to my 'lane partner.' She gives him the go ahead to swim. He wasn't too bad. Slow breaststroke on the rope and I stuck to the wall.

5:15pm - Swimming man exits the pool. I seriously heard half of a choir sing.

5:20pm - I get to the end of the lane and I'm catching my breath and this guy enters behind me and in a heavy accent I hear, "Well hello!" Without turning around, I say, "Hello! I'm swimming!" and with that I push off and continue. I'm still practically attached to the wall and on my return I see as I'm breathing that he is swimming directly towards me. I'm like he'll move. Closer, oh he'll move, then closer until I almost run into to him. I'm like WTF!!! I stop mid stroke so I don't run into him. I start up again, which isn't fun at all, and finish the lap.

5:22pm - I look at my watch and am disappointed that I still have 8 minutes left. I'm ready to kill someone because all I wanted to do was swim for 30 mins. At this point, I have given up. I see that there are 5 people waiting and suddenly get a chill thinking that at some point they might all be my lane partners. So I exit the pool and go shower.

Basically, it seems like common sense to me that when you see someone swimming in a lane, not even swimming, but occupying a lane, that it is taken. And whatever happened to the rule about asking to share??? Seems like a whole lot of people missed the memo. Ok so only 3 people missed it but I was still disappointed.