Progress report

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(It’s been a while since I’ve bored you with a training post, so here goes… ) I’ve just finished week four of my swim focus and it’s been a very interesting project. I’ve managed to swim five times a week and I had a very helpful session with my friend (and swimmer extraordinaire) Jen, who gave me some very solid advice of where I could improve my stroke. Since then I’ve been immersed in trying to make those adjustments and strengthen all of the new arm muscles into some kind of endurance.

Swimming is a funny sport. It reminds me of ballet, since it’s so technique-driven. It’s a combination of all of these various muscle movements that all have to coordinate for it to work. And you can spend years and years drilling all of these movements and still not master them all. It’s daunting and fascinating at the same time. The nice thing about always having something to fix/focus on is that it keeps the swimming from getting boring.

Because I’ve just been focused on swimming with better technique, I have no real idea of if I’ve gotten faster or not. I’m trusting that speed will come in time. For now, I’m enjoying the journey.

Frozen Turkey Day

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Thanksgiving morning greeted us with a fresh dusting of snow. For the third year in a row, we were running the Ballard Turkey Trot (The “we” being M, J & I, since T was on the injured list… ) Thankfully, (Ha!) most of the ice had melted the day before and the fresh snow wasn’t a big deal to drive in. I was still concerned with the ice on the race route, but figured I’d follow the pack and deal with what the race threw at me. It wasn’t like this was some A race, I think I’ve swum more miles than I’ve run this month and it’s pretty hard to get too competitive at a race that is as low-key as this one is.

We met up at M & J’s place and walked to the start. We timed it almost perfectly, but we got to the start line just after the “gun” went off (Or, more accurately, the guy said “go!”) so we had to hustle into the moving pack and go. M & I ran together and somehow J was behind us for a little bit and then he passed us in the throng. We took it easy on the icy parts and chit-chatted our way down the hill. It wasn’t the fastest Turkey Trot of the three we’ve done, but it was our snow route PR!

Commemorating another successful Turkey Trot finish:

But not too serious…

T met us at the finish line, after having a nice eggnog latte at one of his favorite coffee places. I really love this little tradition we’ve got going. Hopefully, next year T will be able to run it with us. After the race, T & I headed home for some breakfast and a quick trip to the gym for T to get a little workout in before the dining festivities began. I went along to get a little swim in. I was surprised by how many people were at the gym on Thanksgiving morning. (I guess lots of folks either want to escape their families or eat their turkey guilt-free!)

Then, we had a little lounging time before heading over to M & J’s for a nice low-key Thanksgiving dinner. We brought sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and a salad, all of which I’d made the day before. J & M made a delicious turkey, two kinds of stuffing (with sausage and without) some green beans and a scrumptious apple crisp with ice cream for dessert. It was nice to keep things just as relaxed as the Thanksgiving dinners T & I have made when we’ve spent the holiday solo, but with the added bonus of good friends for company. All in all, it was a pretty perfect holiday.

Is it the end of the world?

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First, Seattle is hit with a freak snowstorm in November! Then, this:

Dog & cat snuggling on the couch? The end of the world must be nigh…

Naturally, when they saw the camera they assumed their typical “we weren’t doing anything” expressions. But still, very troubling…

Good weekend

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We had an uncharacteristically busy weekend. Our friend Jeremy and his new wife Jen (you may remember them as the folks who’s wedding we attended last month down in Portland) were in town for a quick visit. They stayed with us Saturday night and we had a lovely dinner at Delancey with M & J joining us. (And thank god for the new vacuum, it was nice to get the house really clean for people staying over… )

Thanks to Daylight Savings Time ending, we had an extra hour to sleep in the morning. T made bagels for breakfast, then Jeremy & Jenn headed out to see her family and go to the Seahawks/Giants game. T & I lounged around the house for a while and then decided to hit a Sunday matinee of Hereafter (good movie, but definitely bring your Kleenex!) at our neighborhood movie theater. Our movie was being shown upstairs, where I’d never been in this theatre. It had a fiberglass usher pig statue:

And a nice view of downtown Ballard below:

Afterward, we hit the gym for some swimming (me) and rest of gym (T) followed by low-key dinner at home. It was the perfect blend of social and peaceful.

Gross!

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We recently replaced our 13 year old vacuum (it still had bags for god’s sake!) with a refurbished Dyson. (No way I’m paying full-price for one of those babies… ) I’d been hearing hype about Dyson vacuums for years, especially how much dirt and what-not it pulls out of the carpet compared to your old vacuum. Since I knew our old vacuum wasn’t doing a very good job, I was pretty sure I was prepared for the difference between them.

Boy was I wrong! That Dyson pulled sooooooo much more dirt, hair, dust, Jimmy Hoffa’s remains and who knows what else out of our carpet that it was traumatizing. We filled three canisters from about 800 square feet of carpet. Definitely a good investment.

Fall follies

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To take a break from the inevitable posts about swimming (or equally fascinating topics of riding the bus or my fascinating exploits in cubicle-land… ) please enjoy some random fall photos:

This was the view out of our living room sliding glass door for a few glorious days:

(At least until the wind came up and blew all of the leaves off the tree, such is the transition between seasons here in the Pacific Northwest… ) Wally likes our little balcony and frequently lays on it, longingly surveying his domain:

Meanwhile, T continues his campaign to get a dog and cat to snuggle together. Dewdrop is old enough to be a good candidate for this experiment. As is Wally, who just wants to sleep on the bed she usually commandeers:

Behold the puppet master:

Wow, what a random post. Happy fall, everyone!