Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Snowing again in Portland

When did I move to Alaska?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Snowboarding day 4

Good day out at Skibowl. Six runs total. Three on intermediate runs. Only one fall on all the intermediate runs (three falls total). Dev got six good runs in and only two falls the whole time.

Like I said, good day.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

THIS is the Obama I voted for.....

Obama signs executive order to close Guantanamo Bay

Swimming breakthrough

I dunno how I did it, but I swam five 100s last night. Out of the gate. I was swimming on my better side (breathing to my left). I got near the end of my first 50 and thought to myself "I got plenty breath and I don't feel out of gas. Let's see what happens." And boom. I made it.

5 times.

I didn't finish a 100 breathing to my right. I'm mostly okay with that for now.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

To my secret audience

You know who you are. I know you're there. I can feel you ogling my text. None escape my notice. I have eyes everywhere.

But I can be gracious. Visit. Be at home. Be at peace. Say a word. Or stay wrapped in the thick cloak of anonymity.

Enjoy my tales.

Swimming report

No clever title this time. I'm about 8 blog posts behind where I should be right now. No time to be clever.

So I swam last Tuesday at Dishman pool. I swam 20 laps in an hour. I had a decent night. Not too crowded. A good night to consolidate gains.

Then I tried to swim at Dishman Friday night. I didn't check the schedule; they hosted a swim meet. So I had to rush over to Columbia pool. By the time I hit the water I only had 45 minutes to swim. I got 15 laps. Started with breathing to my right side which is the weaker side from a technique standpoint. When I switched to my left side I felt like I was flying. I also held myself to 60 seconds of rest between laps (previously I had allowed 90 to 120 seconds). Despite my limited time in the water, I felt good about the night.

Then I swam at Dishman last night for an hour. Had a lane virtually to myself. Held myself to 60 second rests between laps. Finished 20 laps. Finished 20 laps in about 46 minutes. I feel almost ready to start working toward 100s.

What a change from a year ago. I'll dig up the entry from last year this time and see how far I've progressed.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Back on the sauce

Ten days without coffee/caffeine was plenty.

Our First Time Night Skiing

John and I at Skibowl

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Monday was better than Thursday

I swam 20 laps in a little less than an hour. This was the first night I've hit 20 laps in several visits. I had several laps where I felt good flow and maintained a good pace up and down the lane. I even felt like I had some air in the tank after the lap; I almost started in on some 75s. I also managed to break my recent cycle of one good session and one bad session.

Progress continues apace.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Back to school

Started Biology 112 on Saturday. Packed class. Two lecture sessions split by a lab session every Saturday for 12 weeks. I feel reasonably current right now. The teacher seems good and she knows her stuff (which not all professors do). The most fun part involved using a compound microscope to look at specimens. I haven't used a microscope in 20 years. Or longer.

I hope it stays fun.

Monday may be better than Thursday

Which was better than Tuesday.

Swimming tonight. I swam twice last week. Tuesday night I fought about 30 people for a space in the slow lane. Apparently, I am not a slow swimmer. I am a swimmer that swims at a medium pace but requires frequent rest, like at the end of a lap. This knowledge will help me calibrate my swimming lane choice in the future. So because of the pace and the crowd, I only got 15 laps before I called it a night. Bad flow. Didn't feel strong or fluid. A disappointing session.

Thursday night went considerably better. I beat out 18 laps divided evenly between left-side and right-side breathing. I had at least two pool lengths where I felt fast and smooth and in good position. This follows a pattern I seem to have with swimming. One night is reasonably good, then next night swimming not so much. Then a third night is back to reasonably good.

So lets hope Monday is not a Monday, but is better than a Thursday.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

True evil exists at our gym

I have encountered true evil at Recreate Fitness. This malevolence causes men of grit to quail and women of quality to seek shelter. I speak of nothing less than "The Leg Circuit"; an exercise progression of such agony that the sane flee it.

Four exercises comprise this leg circuit:
20 squats
10 lunges with each leg, alternating
10 jumping lunges with each leg, alternating
10 jumping squat

The ache of this poison lingers in my thews and stains my ligaments with grief. I yearn for a quick recovery, as do all who encounter this well of woe. But you may mark me out of the crowd by my haggard visage and shuffling, pained gait.

At least for another 24 hours or so.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Friday, January 02, 2009

Ushering in a new era

We snowshoed yesterday and the day before. Some nice easy 4 mile loops. Cowboy went with us on New Year's Eve. He enjoys playing in the snow but has a hard time in soft snow. By the time we got done with the trudge back to the car, Cowboy could hardly walk. We hung out at the house the rest of the day. Ate some good food. Drank a little wine and beer. Waited for Nate and Aaron and Kate to arrive.

They walked in the door right around 9 pm. Almost as soon as they finished unloading the car, Nate shot out the back door of the house to the pedestrian path on a quest for some groceries and beer. Thirty minutes pass and no Nate. We didn't think much of it; maybe he was perusing the selection at the store. An hour passes and no Nate. At least three of us wonder aloud at his lengthening absence. We joke and keep playing cards. Almost two hours swing by with Rummy 500 passing the time. Now all of us are worried about Nate's absence. Keith and Kate hop into a car and cruise around the community. They go to the grocery store and find a local police officer. As they are speaking with the cop Nate wanders into the headlights of their car. They're back in moments.

We all watch the ball drop. I'm sad watching Dick Clark. He's so fragile and has a hard time talking. If he's doing it because he loves it, then I'm cool. If he's doing it because he was conned and cajoled then I'm angry.

Another game of Rummy and another drink and then most of us turn in. Another late start New Year's Day (yesterday). The weather conditions on Mt Bachelor sucked. Nate and Keith and Aaron loaded up for some backcountry skiing on Mt Tumalo. Dev and Sue and I wandered back to the Edison Sno Park; Sue skied cross country while Dev and I snowshoed up to the Edison shelter. We let Cowboy stay home for a recovery day. After trucking around in the snow, we all gathered back at the house. Dev and I spent a few minutes in the house hot tub. We gathered around after for enchiladas (made by Dev.) Aaron mixed up some tasty and potent margaritas. We played more cards and watched the resort network also known as the ski porn channel.

So we rose early this morning. Conditions on Bachelor still seem a little sketchy and not nearly as nice as tomorrow. At $70 for a lift ticket, we're hesitant to rush up there if the conditions aren't great. So now we're finishing breakfast and discussing our options. More snowshoeing? Cross country skiing? Town day with movie and a tour of the Deschutes brewery?

(We forgot the cable for our camera so you all will have to wait for pictures until Sunday after we get home.)