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Tag Archives: USMS

Swim:  Results are up from the USMS one-hour swim.  I was 30th in the women’s 45-49 age-group.  Not bad.  Then we went on vacation (ahh, warmth – our winter escape from New England) and I didn’t swim for 2 weeks.  Wow, getting back in the water and moving with anything like speed or grace was tough.  It IMG_0141took me about a week to convince myself that this whole swimming thing was a good idea.  Then last week I swam 5 days in a row, so I think I can say I’m mostly back now.  Phew.  Sometimes I really wish that my favorite exercise did not involve being cold and wet.  I find that February and March are tough for me motivation-wise.  Do you have a time of year that’s hard for you?  I’m making myself go through the motions – go to gym classes, get to the pool, put one foot in front of the other… I’ll get there, I just hope it’s soon!

Bike:  We got home from vacation to deal with the aftermath of a blizzard.  We were actually delayed in Chicago a couple nights because we couldn’t get home.  So after 2 weeks of lazing in the sun in Baja, we had to shovel.  Or, more accurately, my husband ran the snow-blower while I unpacked and did laundry.  I shoveled a little…  ugh.  No bike commuting for a bit – the roads were too icy and narrow.    And after being away and warm, I’m having a tough time biking in the cold.  I rode (commuted, that is) in temps in the teens before vacation, but I think now it needs to be in the 20s at least!  Another month and I’m hoping to get out on my road bike for some real riding.  Spin classes just aren’t the same, but I’m trying to go at least twice/week.

Read:  The trashier the better while on vacation, right?!  I cruised through about 5 books while lying around the pool, none really worth remembering although Oxygen, by Carol Cassella, was pretty good and a little more substantive than say, Nicholas Sparks’ Safe Haven (which I think I read in a day).  If you’re into silly dog humor, Thereby Hangs a Tail is just plain fun.  Now I’m working on Freud’s Sister, by Goce Smilevski.  We’ll see how that goes.  Never mind that one:  couldn’t get into it.  Now I’m reading Swim:  Why We Love the Water, by Lynn Sherr.  Much better!

and EAT:  nothing compares w/fresh flour tortillas right from the tortilleria!  But that seems like a distant memory now, so I’ll have to console myself (and husband) with “kitchen sink” cookies.  AKA your basic toll-house chocolate chip recipe with other stuff that I find in the drawer.  This batch was by request with the following additions: molasses (back off a little on the sugar, and add maybe a couple Tablespoons molasses), white chocolate chips (so use fewer choc chips), dried cranberries, chopped nuts (walnuts were handy, sometimes I add pecans), some shredded coconut.  Yum.  I better get back into my exercise routine or I’ll be in trouble!

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spiderweb suit

3rd AgonSwim suit arrived. Blue w/black spiderwebs. COOL!

I allowed myself to get talked into doing the One Hour Swim – I think I mentioned that in a previous post.  Well, I did it.  Phew, glad that’s over!  My goal was to do 4000 yds which is a 1:30/100 yd pace.  That seemed like an attainable, although challenging enough, goal.  The last time I did the OHS was probably 10 years ago and I went just over 4000 yds, if memory serves (why don’t I write these things down?!), so while I know I’ve been swimming fairly consistently, 10 years older is 10 years older!  So on January 13th, with the support of a good friend who diligently wrote down my splits, I took the plunge.  And, guess what?  I swam closer to a 1:25 pace and eked out 4225 yards!  I was pretty pleased.  An hour later and I was even able to move my arms around in a normal fashion.

USMS One Hour Swim:  the website is kind of crappy and scary looking, but basically, you swim as much as you want or can in one hour while someone takes down your 50 splits (cumulative splits.  There’s a form).  You have to be a USMS member, and there are some other rules about where you can swim – check out the site for details.  Swim continuously, or stop and start – it really doesn’t matter – yardage is yardage and it all adds up.  A couple people who have shoulder issues kicked for the hour (can’t imagine).  My regional team, New England Masters, seems to have some kind of rivalry with Davis Aquatic Masters in CA, so there’s always a big push to get as many people to swim the event as possible.  I think we won last year, so Davis is out to get us this year.

Looking ahead to race season… I’m all signed up for the season! I’m doing the swim part (fun part!) on 3 Team EnVision relays, all with my super fast cycling sister, and 3 different runners .

  1. Escape the Cape in June (brr, but only 1/3 mile swim)
  2. MASS State in July (Olympic distance, yeah! .9 mile swim)
  3. The Sharon in August (1/2 mile swim)
  4. Cranberry Olympic distance Aquabike also in August (not a relay, I get to bike on this one – we’ll see if that’s a good thing…)

I hadn’t planned on registering for events so early, but people started talking about what they were going to do, and relays were getting decided, so… LEAP.  No procrastinating.

Do you have your races figured out?

Read:  Thereby Hangs a Tail, Spencer Quinn.  Detective novel from the point of view of a dog.  So fun!

Oh, and EAT!  I made a variation of Frugal Feeding’s Onion Bhajis.   I added some shredded carrots and beets.  I don’t like to fry much, but for these?  totally worth it!


I considered signing up for the Janathon challenge, but didn’t find out about it until January 1st, and I was basically a slug that day.  I generally do some form of exercise (or 2) every day, which, according the “rules” is the whole point, but it seems like the focus is on running. Every day.  And that’s not going to happen!  I also doubt that I’d blog every day.  I encourage you to take a look at the Janathon site and participants – it looks like a fun challenge and a great way to find new blogs to read.

SWIM – the usual.  I try to swim most days, but end up taking a day off here and there.  On my own I’ll do 2000-2500 yds; more when I swim with the team. On New Year’s Eve day, I took part in the Miles for Marly 100×100 benefit swim.  A Cambridge Masters Swim Club coach was killed in a bike accident a few years ago, and a scholarship has been set up in her name at Smith College, where she did her undergrad.  I did 55×100 on a 1:35 interval.  I had only planned on doing 50 so I was pretty happy with that.  Hey, I wanted to go out on New Year’s Eve and be able to raise my arms in celebration!  Next year I might try for more 100s at a slower interval and see how it goes.  Next up:  USMS One Hour Swim on January 13th – unless I’m sick.  I seem to be catching a cold but hope to be better by next week.

New swim suits from AgonSwim

Two new suits

Very exciting:  I got 2 new bathing suits!  And I’m waiting for one more (back order).  I decided to give AgonSwim grab bag another try.  Unfortunately the one w/the paw prints is too big.  Oh well, someone will take it off my hands for $18 (cheap, I know).

What the hell is Cimarron-Memorial anyway?!  That’s the fun of grab bag.  Maybe somebody will recognize it somewhere along the way.

BIKE – other than commuting my 3 miles to/from work, I’m not riding outside.

commuter bike

My trusty tank w/lots of lights

It’s just too cold.  I went for a road ride when it was in the 40s and I was NOT happy by the end.  I hate it when my feet turn purple.  And that was WITH shoe covers!  So I’ve been on my trainer a couple times and am resigned to spin classes until… June?  No, probably April, though.

[RUN – I figure it’s worth mentioning when I actually do it.  3 mile run with a friend, talking most of the way.  Actually fun and not horrible!  And not too slow – it’s all relative, right?]

READ –  Fugitive Pieces, by Anne Michaels.  The writing is beautiful, descriptions and characters are rich.  But I’m not loving it.  I can dive into it and get lost for a little while, but can easily put it down.  And I’m not rushing to pick it up again.  I’m hoping the next book I read will really grab me.

and EAT! – after run snack (aka breakfast):  a banana, 1/2 an apple, 2 dates, home-made almond butter and home-made tahini.  Yum!  Oh, and MORE COFFEE!!!


Ask me if I’m doing a race, and I’ll probably say no.  Tell me you’re doing a race and ask if I want to join you and, depending on the event, I’ll probably say I’ll think about it, and then sign up (especially if it’s a swimming event).  What is it about knowing others in the fray?  In most races, I don’t even see the person I signed up with except for before and after.  Different age groups, different speeds, what have you.  It’s not exactly peer “pressure” – I like to think I’m an adult, so if I really don’t want to do something, I won’t.  I’m stubborn that way.  Ask my husband!  So why am I so sure I don’t want to compete, and then easily let myself get talked into stuff?!  And then, here’s the kicker, I have a great time!!!  …after being a wreck leading up to race-time, that is.

I signed up to do an olympic distance aquabike in August.  Hurray, no running!  And I think I’m committing to 2 tri relays over the summer – phew, just swimming:  the easy part!

Swim:  my usual pool has been closed this week.  ARGHH!!  I hope to get in the water before Cambridge Masters’ 100x100yds – Miles for Marly challenge on 12/31.  No, I’m not doing 100 of them.  I’ll shoot for around 50.  And then there’s the USMS 1-hour swim in January – see how far you can swim in one hour.  I haven’t done it in years.  I swore I wouldn’t do it again about 10 years ago.  But then a friend asked me to do it with her.  I’m such a marshmallow!  But it’s not like I wouldn’t swim more than an hour in any given practice, right?

Bike:  finally put my back-up bike on the trainer.  And I even rode it!  Wonder when that will happen again…?  Next week I go back to spin classes at my gym.

back-up bike on trainer

back-up bike set up and ready to ride. I even have cool new tie-dye socks!

Read (and eat!):  Just finished  Mapping the Edge, by Sarah Dunant.  Don’t bother.

Just started Fugitive Pieces, by Anne Michaels.  Wow.

Let Them Eat Vegan!, by Dreena Burton  It was a Christmas present.  Thanks, Shady!  A little daunting.  Lots of ingredients and involved recipes, but if the winter veg. pot pie is any indication, it will be worth the time and effort.  I’m vegetarian and trying to eat less dairy, so it’s helpful to see how vegans work around milk, eggs, and cheese.  Watch Vegucated if you get a chance.

Here’s to a Happy Healthy New Year!



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