Friday Funny 665: Swimmers Will Understand

>> Friday, January 31, 2014

Thought Catalog recently posted an article called "37 Things Only Swimmers Know." Enjoy:

1. There are always at least two things hanging up to dry somewhere in your house/apartment, and they are a swimsuit and a towel.

2. People frequently ask if you are tired because it looks like you have bags under your eyes. Those are just goggle marks.

3. Literally every muscle in your body is used during your workout and it. feels. amazing.

4. When you’re underwater, the rest of the world gets blocked out. There’s only you, the movement of your body, and the freedom to let your mind wander.

5. ... Despite the feeling of Zen you get from #4, on occasion you wish there were something to occupy your brain with as you swim. (Underwater iPod, anyone?)

6. But being truly alone with your thoughts can give you the opportunity to solve all of your problems, plan our your day down to the minute, discover the cure for cancer, etc.

7. You understand that swimming a mile is very, very different from running one.

8. The scent of chlorine never completely leaves your skin.

9. You have permanent tan lines, but they’re not the cool kind that you get from going on vacation.

10. Speedo.

11. Deciding to work out when you have a cold is worth at least five minutes of serious thought.

12. Abdominal muscles/strength are a point of pride.

13. There is one brand/style of goggles that you swear were made to fit your face perfectly.

14. Trying to get into your swimsuit when it’s still damp can almost take away your desire to work out. (Almost.)

15. “Fast,” “medium,” and “slow,” can be arbitrary labels for the lanes. When the pool is crowded one should try to follow these signs, but if it’s not – why waste an empty lane?

16. You learned, the hard way, that you should never leave your swim cap somewhere that will heat up for an extended period of time.

17. ... Because you actually use a swim cap.

18. There’s a fine, fine line between leaky goggles and a massive headache.

19. Instead of 1, 2, 3, it’s 25, 50, 75...

20. Your cardio is also your strength training.

21. “Going to the pool” or “going for a swim” means something different to you than it does to most people.

22. It’s only cold when you first jump in.

23. Your hair stylist has uttered the phrase “Your hair is beautiful but it’s so damaged by all that chlorine.”

24. Working out feels better when you can’t tell that you’re sweating.

25. You have an opinion on circle swim vs. splitting the lane.

26. The line “Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink” from The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner resonates with you on a spiritual level.

27. Baby powder exists so that the experience of pulling a silicone swim cap over your head doesn’t totally suck.

28. You have to bite your tongue when a non-swimmer thinks they’d be pretty fast in the pool because they work out or have a significant amount of muscle mass.

29. Sports-related injuries are an unfamiliar territory for you, because there is no stress placed on your bones or muscles during your workout.

30. You’ve planned your workout around strange and specific hours because the pool you use is only open or available at certain times.

31. And a trip to the gym isn’t so simple, because all of the equipment, dressing, and undressing that you need to effectively complete your workout.

32. Swimming in a lane with a total stranger teaches you how to share...

33. ... but you still prefer having your own lane. It is a rare and exciting luxury.

34. There’s an art and etiquette to passing your lane partner, or being passed.

35. Passing or being passed also has the potential to make or break your mood during your workout.

36. You have regular lane partners or lane neighbors, but you may not necessarily know them by name. Still, you respect them and feel a connection based on the recognition of dedication.

37. Land workouts are great, but there is nothing quite like the way your body feels after a swim.

5 thoughts:

• #14 is the WORST when you forget your damp Speedo in your 0 degree car and then have to put it on. NOT. FUN. Winter sucks.

• I've been caught on #21 before.

• Doesn't everyone feel the same way about #25? Does anyone LIKE circle swimming?!?

• Yes. #28. That's happened to me more than once.

• I call B.S. on #29 - my super fast swimming Gear West Duathlon partner from 2013 is nursing a shoulder injury right now.

Thoughts on any of these?

Lots more funny stuff on! Happy weekend!


Friday Funny 664: Marvel vs Star Wars

There was a "twitter fight" between Marvel Comics and Star Wars last week. And it was pretty awesome.

Wow. That ended better than any internet argument I've ever seen.

More funny stuff on


Friday Funny 663: Unsexy Calendar Recreating Movie Scenes

This is awesome.

Thankfully the "Cabaret" granny isn't posed like this. Yikes.

Check out lots more funnies all week long on!


Friday Funny 662: Honest Slogans

A few months ago, I posted some "honest slogans." Here are 20 more from Imgur:

SERIOUSLY! The color doesn't change the flavor! This fact has ruined my childhood!

This has pissed me off more than once (actually, when I was dealing with piss [from kittens]).

Damn right I am.

See more HERE in last year's "friday funny."

Lots more funnies on!


Mileage Increasing...

>> Thursday, January 30, 2014

I haven't posted a quick injury update in a few weeks. Well, things are going pretty well. I'm still running 3x / week, doing 1 week of [so many] minutes of running, and then increasing it for the next week by 10-15%.

I did two 23 minute runs before going to Israel, and then I did no running while I was there - I figured another week of rest would be fine. I didn't do much exercising when I was there, just a lot of walking and a bit of swimming. I jumped in the Red Sea for a quick test swim the day before the race (click that link for some awesome video), then I swam the half iron race the next day, and then I did another 1000 meters at a 50-meter sea-water pool on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea in Tel Aviv a few days later:

From foreground to background: boardwalk, pool, sailboats in a marina, and the Mediterranean!

Nick, me, and Goonda (a local "ambassador" working with us) pre-swim.

Tim, Nick, and Goonda in the hot tub post-swim.

I walked around Tel Aviv for an hour like this post-swim. No one cared. (I hope.)

That swim in the 50-meter pool was slightly considered retribution for my crappy swim during the race. I did 1000 meters in 17:45 (1:45/100 meters, or 1:37/100 yards).

We also did just a little biking in Israel: about 90 minutes of mountain biking as I posted about on Monday, and about another 90 minutes along the Mediterranean in Tel Aviv (which I'll post about shortly).

When I got back from Israel about 10 days ago, I picked up where I left off with my running. I went for a 23:00 run and a 24:00 run last week, and then on Sunday, I "tested" my knee/hip a bit. I went 29:46 on a 1/6 of a mile indoor track. I covered 4.25 miles, and things still felt good!! Here I am cooling down with Henry as HE ran 2 laps:

Henry ran 2 laps on the 1/6 mile track in 6:10! That's 18:30/mile! :) #SpeedyTwoYearOld

I've stopped doing one of my PT exercises because I think it slightly aggravates my hip. I've been doing my other ones nearly daily. My knee feels about 100%, and my hip is fine - there's just a bit of an ache DEEP in my hip the day after running. I can NOT massage or foam roll it out. It just feels too deep. But it's gotten better with good hip / hip flexor stretches. I do these:

This one has some subtleties that can't properly be shown in a still image.

I do this with a straight leg on top (not bent at the knee).

If I keep those up post run, I feel good! Let's see if I can safely get up to 45:00 of running by spring! Gotta keep running SMART.

p.s. As I was looking for those final 2 hip stretch images above, I stumbled across this:

Umm, sir?... I think you might want to get that looked at by a professional.


3 Things from Israman (including a funky Garmin)

>> Wednesday, January 29, 2014

• FIRST: My Garmin wasn't reading exactly, but it shows my crappy swim pretty well. In my Israman race report, I noted that I started in a horrible spot, veered way to the outside, and found a LITTLE bit of rhythm around 500 meters into the swim. My Garmin data doesn't seem to be super accurate, but you can see me swing way to the outside at letter "A" below:

"B" was my slowest 100 ever as I had just turned back for shore, swallowed a lot of water, and got back to the outside again to catch my breath and calm down.

And then "C" was where I noted in my race report that I looked up and was headed straight at oncoming swimmers! (The the full iron distance swimmers were starting their second lap.) Oops.

I actually swam much "sharper" to the outside at "A," and I think I even cut farther to the inside at "C." How can I say my Garmin wasn't delivering very exact information? Well, just take a look at the elevation chart of my swim:

Apparently I swam 40 feet under early in the race. Maybe THAT'S what slowed me down.
(The hill at 1.1 miles is ligit: that was running up and back down to T1.)

• SECOND: I keep calling my swim "crappy," but it was easily a 70.3 swim PR. I hit the timing mat in 35:57 officially, but I was hoping for something around 33:00. In my 3 other 70.3 distance races, I swam the following:

- 44:35 at the Chisago Lakes Half Iron Triathlon in 2007
- 38:13 at the Square Lake Long Course in 2008
- 38:44 at IM 70.3 New Orleans in 2009

I just needed to see that to put it in perspective. Those two 38:xx swims were FANTASTIC for me 5 years ago. But I've made progress since then, and now I was disappointed with my poor swim and 35:57 finishing time.

(Two sidenotes here: This 1.9K swim in 35:57 was 1:53/100 yard pace, but I did a 2.5K OWS race in 2010 in 47:57, which was 1:45/100 yard pace. But I DID spend a lot of time in the water that year. And I don't know if I've ever mentioned this next part: when I was learning to swim, I had ONE pace. I did my first half ironman noted above in 44:35. Then 6 weeks later, I did Ironman Wisconsin where I swam 1:29:10. Do the math: that's the EXACT SAME PACE as the half ironman 6 weeks before [44:35 x 2 = 89:10 or 1:29:10]. Weird, huh?)

• THIRD: Here's a photo of my team biker:

Go Rany, go!!!

This photo wasn't available at the time I put up my Israman race report, so I had NO images of my biker, and I felt kinda bad about that. But there he is! So here's a photo of our SMILING team at work:

Thanks again for the AMAZING trip to Israel, Kinetis!


Mountain Biking in Israel in Timna National Park

>> Monday, January 27, 2014

The day after the Israman half iron distance triathlon, we hit the road for a half hour ride north of Eilat, Israel to Timna Valley National Park.

Passing groves of date trees in the desert. They are supposedly
really tasty because they are irrigated with salty sea water.

Through the bus window on the way to Timna.

An awesomely cheesy 15 minute video in a mini-theatre on the edge
of Timna park gave us a lot of the history.

Timna Valley was most likely the worlds FIRST copper mine about 5-6,000 years ago. The Egyptians found copper in the valley and started mining it for their use. (Egypt is less than 10 miles away.) The Jewish National Fund helped develop it as an Israeli National Park, and JNF does a lot to develop bike and hiking trails, forests, water reservoirs, etc.

Why do I do these things? Really, I'm asking. Someone tell me. Because I don't know.

Our gang in our Jewish National Fund hats (with Talia from JNF on the left).

Noa (our photographer) said JUMP, so I did.

At many of our stops in Israel, Kinetis lined up people to talk with us about things we may be interested in. Here at Timna, we met with 2 guys from Navad GPS. Their units can be pre-programed with routes so they will beep at you as you're nearing a turn - then you can just look down and see that it's showing you that you need to veer right 30 meters ahead. It's super easy to use: you turn it on, it sees where you're at, and you can just go. Here we are getting hooked up with a Navad GPS device for our upcoming ride:

Tim, Nick, and I looking over our GPSs.

Mounted on my bike.

It has a live map showing where you are along with every path around you. It tracks your workout info, but the mapping part of this device make it different than others and good for specific uses. It's REALLY accurate too - it bounces its signal off American AND Russian satellites. Pretty cool device.

Enough about that... it's time to ride!

We started on a gravel road.

Peace, Nick!

Nearing "Solomon's Pillars."

At Solomon's Pillars.

"Solomon's Pillars" are a gigantic rock formation created by erosion over centuries. The date of the copper mines don't line up with King Solomon's reign, but someone named them that many years ago, and the name stuck.

I sprinted up and back into that dark crevice to the left-center of the image above.

Looking up through 100 feet of sandstone to a crack of sky.

Looking back down to the rest of the gang and across the Timna Valley.

Tim ran up with me too.

Tim and I were in awe. We were just looking around and touching the rock formations. Then, breaking the silence, Tim spoke (in his dignified British accent): "Wow.... it looks like a giant vagina." Top notch, Tim. Top notch.

Riding off towards a little single-track.

We didn't have time to ride much single-track, but they had MILES of it.

This is what was great about this park: one minute, you'd be riding through giant rocks...

... and (quite literally) the next minute, you'd be riding across sandy flats.

On the paved road running through the park.

Behind Ben, one of the Navad GPS guys, and Nick.

The atmospheric perspective was amazing!

Riding next to Nick.

I rode 100 feet off road to get a shot of Adi riding past... and then
nearly biffed it on some rocks riding back to the road.

Riding the little stone path across this spring-fed pond.

We got back to the visitor's center and ditched the bikes. We hoped back in the bus to head off to explore the area around the copper mines.

Near the ancient copper mines at the base of the mountains.

Ben and I had to run up this tiny peak.

At the 5-6,000 year old mines!

I followed Tim down, and here we're getting directions on how to get back out!

Tim's butt crawling through history.

Me in the mines!

Tim after he made it just past the TIGHT area on the way out. I had to tuck my
camera away to fit through this. And I STILL managed to scrape my elbow up!

Adi (our fearless leader from Kinetis) crawling up behind me.
(If you've never witnessed childbirth, it's kinda like this... but with less sand.)

Nick horsing around.

The remnants of another great meal at the Timna visitors center.

Ready to leave Timna after a great day!

We drove back to Eilat to catch our flight back to Tel Aviv.

Off our flight in Tel Aviv, aboard the bus to take us to the terminal.

ANOTHER GREAT MEAL in Tel Aviv to end an amazing day.
(You can still see Ben's and my race tattoos from the race the day before.)

Thanks for the great adventure Kinetis, Navad GPS, and Jewish National Fund! What a great day!



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