Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Be Prepared!

After a week of "too much overindulging" over Christmas I'm trying to get myself back into some semblance of a workout routine that I can carry over into the New Year. 

In mid-December I decided to sign up for a swim clinic in the week between Christmas and New Years.  I figured that as I'd avoided the pool for two months I'd need a bit of a jump start for my 2011 swimming.

I opted for the Infinity Clinic, put on by the coach of my masters swim (can I call it "my" swim when I bailed on almost the entire fall session?).  Until about 8:45 last night I thought this clinic was at the Vancouver Aquatic Centre.  Turns out it's at the UBC pool, rather a significant difference as that's an additional 25-30 minutes biking.  Annoying, and a bit embarassing, but at least I figured it out before I left for the pool this morning.

Also turns out the swim starts at 5:20, I'm not sure what was in the flyer (that came out, like, two weeks ago, why should I remember?) but that seems a bit early.  Even just ten minutes later would be lovely!  The coach sent an email stating that the pool wouldn't open until 5:15 and apologized to those folks who'd want to get in earlier.   That made me laugh.  My plan was to come screaming into the pool at the last possible second.

Signing up for the clinic gave me the impetus to finally  get the rack put on my new bike and to finally use it to bike to swimming.  As I put my paniers on last night, however, I realized that they don't quite fit the new rack, the s-hook is about 2mm too small to hook securely onto the bottom of the rack.  Probably would have been useful to figure this out prior to biking the breadth of the city at 4:30am with fully laden paniers.  It was a bit of a slow ride as I was anxious to avoid potholes or bumps that might send my gear flying off the bike but I made it to UBC with everything intact. 

I was also slow as I'm getting used to the new bike and to mountain bike clips, as well as to riding with paniers for the first time in seven years.  I vididly recall when I had paniers on for the first time and tried to take a corner at speed when they were full of heavy groceries.  For your future reference, your ability to turn declines sharply when you have a lot of weight on your back wheel.

Much as I hate getting up at that hour, and despite my various trials and tribulations with the bike, I love having the road to myself.  It's a super fast ride (even when you're being uber cautious to avoid flinging your belongings onto the street) when you don't have to stop for traffic.

And the clinic was well worth it.  There aren't a lot of people in this session so I'm sharing a lane with just one other person.  The small numbers also mean we get a lot of feedback from the coaches.  Plus I got to try swimming on a tether and, just for added weirdness/geek factor, swim over a mirror while tethered so I could see what I'm doing when I swim.  I move my head to much, on pretty much every axis, and my elbow is way to high in the water making for too shallow of a pull (the coach pointed this out, I'm not skilled enough to figure out for myself).

When the swim was done I had my proof I haven't swum in ages - I forgot to bring a towel.  Happily the woman I share a lane with lent me a towel as she brings two.  Yay for prepared people who're willing to lend things to strangers!!! 

I expect to be somewhat more prepared tomorrow, although I just realized that I will have to bring two towels (mine plus the borrowed one) so my precarious paniers will be even more heavily laden!


Roadie in Vancouver said...

Ok, now I know why you responded to my email at 3:46AM ;-)

Alison said...

I keep thinking I've discovered the earliest time I'm willing to get up for a workout (5:30am, then 5, then 4:30) then I do something silly like sign up for a swim clinic at UBC that starts at 5:20am.

The upside, I guess, is that getting to VAC by 5:25 for the Dolphins in January will seem like I'm getting to sleep in by an hour.

Sarah said...

Glad to see you posting regularly again! I'm all caught up on your life now:)

I'm somewhat envious of your swim clinic, but am thankful I no longer have to get up in the 4's to train.

Good luck in the Bahamas!

Alison said...

Thanks Sarah!

Sadly I wasn't getting up in the 4's, I was up in the late 3's and leaving the house in the early 4's. All the whle wondering exactly why I was doing this.

Penney said...

Be careful out there on the roads, it's icy!

Alison said...

@Penney/Joanne - I was actually all geared up to ride this morning then changed my mind after stepping outside. Riding a fully laden bike I'm still getting used to on icy roads didn't seem like a brilliant idea.

I justified the taxi fare as being cheaper than owning a car!