Thursday, November 20, 2014

Race Report

Thought I would give a little race report on how the swim meet went this past weekend.  My sister and I headed down Friday after she was done work.  Saturday we did a bit of shopping and I got a few Christmas gifts.  Finished the day off with a trip up the CN tower in the evening. 
I didn't know really what to expect being my first master swim meet.  I went in with more of a few personal goals of times I'd like to hit being a couple weeks out from my race and based on times I've been swimming the past couple of years.  It's hard not being a sprinter as the longest race offered was a 400 and I could never sprint to save my life.  I usually would only swim the 200fly but I chose to do the 50fly as my first event just to get something in before my other races.  I was seeded in lane 1 so not ideal for being able to see where everyone else is but I'll take what I get.  First time starting in a while and it showed as I was pretty late getting off the blocks but made up ground on everyone but one guy and finished second in 29.3  I'm in lane 1 on the far side of the pool in the video.

The 400fr was up next and this one being the longest was the one I was most interested in seeing how I would do.  There was a couple of guys seeded only a couple seconds behind me so figured they would push me pretty good.  I wanted to be under 4:30 as I hadn't been in a couple of years.  I took it out pretty hard to try and put some distance between me and the two other guys but hoping they would stay with me enough to keep pushing me.  I put a good 10-15m gap between them by 200m and that's the way it pretty much stayed the rest of the race.  I wish they had stayed a bit closer as I feel like I let up a bit at the end but still finished in 4:24 so was satisfied with that.  This is the last 75m's or so of my 200

After a 2 hour break 200fr was last and by this point I was shivering as the pool deck was so cold.  I over heard some people saying they were having a hard time controlling the heat either it was way too hot or too cold and that day it was too cold.  People in the stands were wearing their winter coats.  Going into the meet I had said anything under 2:08 I would be alright with but after my 400 I set the bar a little higher.  Thought I could maybe hit 2:04 but ended up with 2:05 but still alright with that.  Overall it was good to be back in the pool racing and having fun again. 

I leave in two weeks today for Palm Springs for my 70.3 and I feel like it's coming pretty quick.  Only about another week and a half of hard workouts before a bit of a taper leading into the race on Dec 6th.  I did a bit of speed work on the treadmill in my new race shoes on Tuesday 5x2min at 11.0 and it actually felt pretty easy.  I feel like I have the speed right now for a good Olympic distance race so just hoping the endurance is there for the 70.3. 
New race suit came in yesterday.  Thanks Olivier for setting me up with this beautiful suit.  I wanted some light colors to help with the heat in the desert and these are some of the fastest suits in the world.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

It's time to speak up

One week tomorrow will be my first Master's swim meet.  I feel like I'm in an alright place a week out hitting some decent times in practice so hoping they will transfer into some decent swims.  The meet is at the Etobicoke Olympian and that kind of brings things in a full circle.  I've swam at this pool many times over the course of 20+ years of swimming but it was where provincials were held the first time I qualified in 1994.  It was a bitter sweet experience as I was over the moon that I had qualified and was there with the best swimmers in the province but I came dead last!  The week leading up my dad and I made a quick trip up to our family cottage and we rebuilt the dock and the hammering of a thousand or so nails didn't leave my arms feeling all that great and resulted in not the results I wanted but it's where the fire was lit that I would be back.
Biking and running has been going pretty good.  Just been putting in the time getting ready for the half that is 4 weeks out now.  

I feel like its time that I open up about something I've been dealing with the better part of my life.  For the past dozen or so years I've been dealing with depression.  It's something I've kept pretty private only sharing bits and pieces with 2-3 people.  I know a lot of people suffer from some sort of mental illness and I'm a big fan of Clara Hughes and the work she's done over the past couple of years trying to erase the stigma that goes along with it.  I've been to some pretty dark places over the years and have considered if life is worth living anymore and have come very close to taking my own life.  It's hard to talk about these things with people and it's only been just recently I've felt comfortable enough talking about it with someone in my life and I'm very thankful they are there and willing to help me fight the voices that tell me I'm not good enough and nobody cares.  There are millions of people in Canada alone that suffer everyday from mental illness and I guarantee everyone knows someone who is suffering whether you know it or not.  I encourage everyone to do a bit of readying and find out some of the key signs so you can possible help someone in need.  You could literally be saving their life.  I know I'm very grateful for that person I finally felt comfortable talking to noticed something was wrong and is willing to fight with me.
Here are just a few signs and symptoms to look for:
  • Feelings of sadness, emptiness or unhappiness
  • Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities, such as sex
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Tiredness and lack of energy, so that even small tasks take extra effort
  • Changes in appetite — often reduced appetite and weight loss, but increased cravings for food and weight gain in some people
  • Anxiety, agitation or restlessness — for example, excessive worrying, pacing, hand-wringing or an inability to sit still
  • Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself for things that are not your responsibility
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
  • Frequent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches