Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A strange growth, Church Expansion..and Terry Fox

There is this strange growth coming out of my back. I noticed it ever since I start swimming. It feels fin like :).

I have some great news. Last night I was manage to swim 3 laps non stop. That's 150 m!! Compare to what I need to swim for 1/2 IM (2 km or 40 laps), it seemed very little. At least it is better than last week when the furtherest I could go non stop is 75 m. So yeah 100% increase in distance :).

Last week, even after one lap I found myself huffing and puffing. My HR must have shot straight up. I was thinking if I swim like that, I would bonk even before I got to T1 :). That would be funny...hmm.. :D. So all my focus from Sunday on was to keep my HR down and keep myself in aerobic zone.

Focus staying in aerobic zone led me to another phrase I read, "slow is smooth. Smooth is fast." I slowed down on my stroke. Instead of madly striking the water, I tried to smooth my arm entering the water. After the lesson from last month, I still kicked wildly. I don't think much about it now. And if I am conscious on my kick, I just make sure I do light kicks. Need to bring HRM to the pool next time.

I am confident that I can do more than 3 laps. I have yet to find a time when the pool is not packed. Must be those new years people trying to lose weight by hitting the water.

This morning there were a lot of people in the water. Eight people sharing a lane. Normally I don't make a fuse about it. But this is the fast lane and there are three people that shouldn't be there. They were going slow (yes slow even for my standard). For a while I saw four people swimming abreast on one lane. That's madness. Reminds me of triathlon swimming :).

I did a lot of pull buoy this morning. I found the pull buoy helped me a lot by keeping my legs from kicking madly.

I went to the hearing last night. The arhcitect that is building our Church expansion made the case on the re-zoning. It is just a hearing, so nothing is solid yet. The council is concerned that our Church is too close to the airport and the noise will be a matter. I hope that we can use the grandfather clause and the fact that another Christian school is just a few blocks up the street.

Well, we shall see...defintiely need to pray on that.

I am reading a book about Terry Fox...this guy is amazing. He ran a marathon everyday for 143 days. Not 30-40 days...143 DAYS!! In and out. In the rain, in the heat, in the wind. (And to those who haven't been to Canada...yeah we get some harsh weather up here). Incredible. Everyday get up at 4 am. Go for a few miles. Then off to speak to the public and run some more. The book shared about the struggles that he has to deal with. Everyone try to grab him to speak at night and he needed the rest. Btw, did I mentioned he ran one leg. He wore an artificial leg and his stub would get bloody from wear and tear. Lastly, and more importantly, his goal was to raise money to cure cancer. Not some self ego trip.

I like how the book showed him as he was. No Hollywood fancy shamncy. His struggle with the media. His conflict with his crew (his bro and a friend drove a van to take care of him). His worry of people running him off the road.

Side note: Sunday night I noticed there is still a beer hiding in the basement. It was trying to be smart. It was behind a few can soups that I never touch. But I found it. My family don't keep alcohol in the house. Maybe, we (I mean ME) just drink it all. Anyways...I put it in the fridge..hmm I see a celebration for my new swimming distance coming on this Fri or Sat :D. [Beer is not part of the diet..so I am being very lenient :)]. FYI, it is a Moosehead.


Chris said...

Can't... even... fathom. That guy is amazing!

Good luck with the swimming. Have you thought about getting a coach? Swimming, especially at the beginning, is mostly about feeling comfortable in the water and moving through it - not fighting against it. If you're just starting out, some lessons might be money well spent? Just a thought. :)

Cliff said...


I went through a class already :). I agree> I can't tell what I am doign wrong. I will see the swim coach again later this month.

Hilda said...

Well done at the pool!! Building up!!
Might be like a process where you have to develop that "feeling comfortable" even while that struggle in the pool and as said, smooth first will take you there, just as while running.

TriZilla said...

Wow, Cliff - Thanks so much for that book review. It's on my list for sure!

And super huge congrats on the swimming improvement! 8 ppl to a lane? That's insanity!

Thanks also for your very kind comment. Made me smile ;)

Steven said...

Excellent progress on your swimming, Cliff. Keep at it. When I was training for my first 1/2 IM I couldn't even swim 25-yards without struggling for air so just know that it'll come. And don't fret the beer! It has carbs so you can use it pre or post workout guilt-free. Just limit the amount, is all!

William said...

You're on your way Cliff!

Drink the beer!

Sixteen Chickens said...

Ummm Cliff, I think I left a Moosehead beer in your basement, can I have it back please? I'm thirsty and it isn't on your diet plan anyway ;)

Keep working on the swimming and you will get there. Anybody who works as hard as you is bound to make improvement!

Cliff said...


Next time, please leave a 6 pack. Thanks :P

Boris' Dad said...

as you know, i'm off alcohol for this year, so i hope you enjoy that beer for me too! :)

Trisaratops said...

Awesome job, Cliff! Great post!

Kewl Nitrox said...

Way to go! The 1st step (lap?) is always the hardest, it is all downhill from here!

I remember two important things from the TI DVD - (1) learn the "sweet spot" so you can rest and cover any distance you want, (2) don't practise "struggle", practise what you can do. Hope they help you too.

No beer? NO BEER?!?! That is just too harsh my man! No wonder I am not a ironman.

it's only fuel said...

Funny strange growth comment, you had me going for a few seconds there Cliff!

Bolder said...

your swimming is coming along well Cliff... keep at it!

glad you're enjoyin' the Terry Fox story... he makes me proud to be Canadian!

BuckeyeRunner said...

Yeah for you on the swim! You're getting there!
I have to get that book!

Rae said...

GREAT job on the swimming!

I can't believe that guy was able to run so much, that's truly amazing. I'm going to have to check out that book! Thanks for the tip.