Sunday, April 7, 2013

Life after Vegas

I spent a glorious vacation helping my friend Carly celebrate her 40th birthday in Las Vegas last weekend. We ogled 18-carat diamonds, harassed a loud-mouthed bartender, dined on lobster gazpacho, mozzarella ice cream, red pepper jellyfish and enjoyed fantastic shows -- including The Beatles - LOVE and the Thunder from Down Under. So all in all, it was everything Vegas is supposed to be for a girls' weekend. Except maybe for keeping up with marathon swimming training. The hotel had a very nice fitness center with lots of equipment, but the pools were all designed for people in thong bikini's and umbrella drinks. I slogged a few miles on the treadmill and lifted some weights and we walked for hours every day, so it's not like I was a total slug. But, after 4 days without swimming, I was getting a little antsy about getting into a pool.

I called the concierge and asked for a place to swim laps in a 25 yard or meter pool. She called back awhile later and recommended the Las Vegas Althetic Club. She said it was a short cab ride away and was a full service health club with a 25-meter pool. So, despite an evening spent with several gorgeous, shiny-chested men from Australia, I returned to the hotel at a descent time so I could get up early and head to the club. 

The "short cab ride" turned out to be $20 plus tip and took me to an older, and creepier, area of the city. Lots of empty buildings and strip malls. A hotel called "Ahore" advertised rooms by the hour. Ewww.

But the fitness club was OK. The pool was dimly lit and surrounded by teal and purple painted walls. Totally rad.

I put in a 5000 meter workout and felt much better. We got home late, so I didn't do anything on Wednesday, then put in a long workout on Thursday and short workout on Friday.

Saturday, it was time to get back on track. I packed a lunch of 3 bottles of Perpetuem, 2 bottles of water and a bottle blue Gatorade and headed off to the Y for a day full o' laps.

I was a little tired and still trying to shake the cold that has me hacking up phlegm balls, but told my brain to quit bitching. We were stuck in the water for the next few hours, so get over it and get on with it.

I swam 15,300 yards in 4 hours 40 mins, which includes the breaks. I got out once and went to the lockerroom to pee. I really need to get over my pee-in-the-pool inhibition. I'm not sure I can. It's been ingrained in me since I was a toddler that peeing in the pool is totally gross. But, when you are training to swim for 15 plus hours, you just need to get over that. It's a necessity.

I was tired and a little sore this morning, but all in all, not too bad. I'm glad to be back on track with my yardage. 

I ran a Totally Rad 80's themed 5K today with my friend Laura. Turns out, the route was noticeably shorter than a 5K - about 2.37 miles according to Laura's phone. But I jogged it all and had a blast wearing my 80s dress - that I still had hanging in my closet.

After the run, I went over to the Zoo Bar for the KZUM Programmer party. I absolutely love this radio station. I was a volunteer programmer (DJ) from 1992-1996 and was on the board for a few years in the early 2000s and Paul has been a programmer since 1992, except for the 2 years we were in KC, so we know this place and I feel like we've had a small part in its survival. As past Programmer of the Year, Paul had the privilege to present the award to Amy Miller this year. Her show, The Melting Pot, is a liberal activist's rally cry - lots of political music and commentary. Seriously good stuff.

After the party, I went to the Y for our afternoon practice. It was a 5000 yard endurance whoopin'. I don't think my 400 yard and 200 yard time trials will win any medals, but after a 4 and a half hour swim on Saturday and a road race over the noon hour, I felt pretty good about doing it at all. The workout also included 20 x 100 on the 1:50. Sounds like a leisurely interval, but it was tough going. 

All in all, this has been a good week. It was nice to have a break from the routine and it was nice to get back into the routine. With a goal like the English Channel, life isn't normal. There will be lots of beautiful days I spend in a dark indoor pool. There will be cold, windy and rainy days I'll spend at a lake. It's a commitment to make sure I get in the yards that will get me across the Channel. I'm not keeping a perfect schedule, but I'm doing pretty well and I'm determined to keep it up. 

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