Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Dear Ariel (The Little Mermaid): Suck It.

Not in the mean way, but sort of.  She like Ben and Greg were born swimming and haven't stopped.  I wasn't the spawn of King Triton and walked for basically the first 35 years of my life without more than 5 days of swimming (which was at the YMCA camp when I was 7).  Because of this I learned the hard way that racing in a triathlon with the dead man's float as my approach was not going to work (but if the YMCA wants to know, if I died in the water, I'd know exactly how to lay in the water, face down, dead and not going very fast). 

kahunabike3I had to learn to swim and not like 'hey let's jump into the water and swim to the dock where we'll sit all day' kind of swimming - the real deal with speedos and goggles and lanes and a coach and a clock (which I still just look at to see how much longer).  Wearing the speedo took me like over a year to actually do and after Ben wrote a post about WHY, it sort of made sense, so now my tan lines are closer together.

Last year I averaged about 1,500 yards a workout if that - I swam 35 mins and took a lot of breaks.  Like 30-60 second breaks.  I swam 2 times a week max.  Sometimes less.  I hated swimming.  More than Liberals but not more than Unions and rednecks.  I really don't hate, I dislike but really don't have time for negative stuff in my life - more on that and having to move to Seattle in July later....

Now thanks to Soda I got into the Tiburon Master's swimming program where there are people who literally have been swimming 40 years and THEY ALL WEAR SPEEDOS.  I also have a triathlon coach and a swim coach.  The triathlon coach wants me to focus on swimming this month because I, um, swam 1 time in December.  I also sort of suck.  But I suck less than a few other people.  When you consider that you have to also bike (very little suck) and run (a tiny bit of suck) - I'm pretty decent for middle age and all my stuff matches real good and I look like I know what I'm doing, which is good and works psyching out your competitors until you have to actually start racing.  But they waste the nervous energy worrying about the age grouper with the fancy stuff and the matching bike and helmet and the AWESOME UNDER ARMOUR sponsorship.  Though until they actually get me my shoes, I love my K-Swiss Keahou more than any other running shoe ever.  Except my 1989 Nike Air Span II - which were the best ever. 

I started back swimming 2 weeks ago and swam twice for 1 hour each.  That was pretty much the MOST swimming I've ever done in 1 week.  There's a lady named Sara there, she's like 72 and I gave her a run for her money (she wears 2 swim caps, one is thermal).  She said if I learned to do flip turns I'd beat her.  I didn't push her down on the pool deck, but next time I'm totally taking money out of her change purse.  Even though he had cancer and was going through chemo and I'm sure about 3,212 more excuses he'd throw on there, Ian has pasted me time and time again in the water - so like a hound dog, I'm pretty used to getting beat by anyone. 


  • People who swam as kids: 1,302,394,241
  • Senior Citizens 1
  • Lorpeedo 0

Then our nanny didn't come back from Mexico and I missed ALL of my swimming last week - but the 2 hours in the prior week did help.  This week I have to swim 4x - same for the next 3 weeks.  That is now essentially what I did in some months last year - all in a week. 

Yesterday I got tired after a lot of 4x100s.  But a new girl showed up and she sucked the most.  I beat her. 


  • People who swam as kids: 1,302,394,241
  • Senior Citizens 1
  • Lorpeedo 1
  • New Girl: 0

Today we did a bunch of 400's, 300's, 200's and 100's and the 50's and finally 25's.  I got tired on some but felt better and tried to swim on top of the water and I didn't get so pooped.  I actually left for each set when everybody else did - I even got going before some of the speedier folks (I should note that I swim in the B group, I'd probably be in the C group but there isn't one).   There are a bunch of IM stuff we do which means I have to do a breast stroke/fly and backstroke - plus freestyle but since I'm regarded as 'sucky' - I can swim however I want, just don't make the other folks wait too long. 

Note: if you watch the Ironman videos and they're highlighting some paralyzed guy/gal - just note how many people get smoked by people who can't even KICK!  We all get beat by someone.  Just be glad it's not a 72 year old-double-swim-cap-wearing lady. 

A new guy showed up.  I beat him.  He can do flip turns.  But he's not the Lorpeedo. 


  • People who swam as kids: 1,302,394,241
  • Senior Citizens 1 (she's having surgery this week - nice excuse)
  • Lorpeedo 2
  • New Girl: 0 (not sure she'll ever show again)
  • New Guy: 0 (he'll be back)

So there, I'm doing better and swimming and almost liking in and I thought I only had 1 more swim this week, but I have 2.  And I'm going to have fun and I'm going to be faster and anyone who is avoiding triathlon because they can't swim should come swim with me because you might just beat someone and feel better about yourself if not, we can steal some change from Sara when she comes back. 


Anonymous said...

you still don't know how to do a flip turn? geez Loren. If we're ever swimming together I'll pretend I don't know you if another person is there ;)

you're back to your incomprehensible-rambling-with-weird-references blogging style - i like it!

Anonymous said...

1st of all I am upset by the lack of linkage and secondly I was in the SUPER fast lane until I was tired of having no rest periods and moved to the true "B" lane and even then we were leaving just behind the fast guys.

Oh and I didn't get out of the water until 2:45.... see ya tomorrow!!!

Kathleen @ ForgingAhead said...

I love this post! That's me too! Hmmm, I live in SF...perhaps I should come join you in the pool. I'm swimming solo at Koret. I don't seem so slow if I'm alone in a lane.

Chris Westall said...

Solid post Loren... I like the ramble. I might be at purple patch this weekend. Is it Rain or Shine?

Kathleen... you should join the USF Masters. I swim there and there are some great people there. Coach Val will help you get faster.