siglinde99: (Default)
Today I went to the pond much later than usual. Normally I go at around 7:00 or 8:00, when there is no-one except a few senior citizens who enjoy the peace and quiet. It's a hot sunny holiday today, so the beach was packed. It felt quite European, with everyone from babies to octogenarians in the water, a guy playing guitar on the beach, and folks changing under towels (a custom I associate with the French Riviera, not Canada). I didn't think I would enjoy it, but in fact I had a lot of fun dodging other swimmers. There were a few brilliant blue dragonflies and I spotted a cormorant waiting patiently for everyone to go home so it could fish. I managed about a half hour before we all got kicked out for the day. The pond closes at 2 pm (it is part of a nature preserve, and it is free and a few minutes by bicycle from my house, so I can't complain).

I'm ready!

Jul. 15th, 2016 10:22 pm
siglinde99: (Swimming in Varadero)
Except for packing my stuff. Tomorrow is Bring on the Bay, a 3km swim in the Ottawa River. I have promised myself that if I finish in about an hour, I will sign up for the Riverkeeper 4km swim in two weeks. That one is much more challenging, as it is across and slightly up the river; tomorrow's goes into the centre of the river for part of the way, but then turns so you get to take advantage of the current. My ride will be here at 6:50, so I'm off to bed very shortly.

Aside from picking up my race kit across town, tonight has been all about using up seasonal produce. I am learning to put all kinds of leaves into my salad, but tonight it was all about soup and a pot of feijoada. The soup has carrots, celery, beet greens, and green onion (plus the chicken and orange sauce left over from my last cooking class, and some barley). The feijoada has all kinds of scapes I'll be sauteeing beet greens to go with it, at least until I get up to the garden to pull some collard greens. I also need to sort through my bag of miscellaneous greens to find the cilantro I completely forgot to add. It will be nice to have some stuff for my freezer again.
siglinde99: (Default)
I went swimming with friends this morning. It was cool and cloudy, but not rainy. We thought we had a plan. Apparently we did not all have the same plan. That's what happens when we make the plan in the late evening, and then go swimming at 6 am. We parked at the boat launch, which is near to the mid-point in the long narrow lake and headed out for the first loop. There were four of us, with a fifth person planning to join at 7:30. A sixth person who said she was coming never showed up. When the first folks got back after the first 3 km loop, they headed out for the 2nd loop (5 km). Unbeknownst to the slightly slower swimmers, a seventh person arrived without advance warning and joined the faster group. Michelle and I, the two slowpokes, had decided to go part way and then head back a bit earlier so we would all end at the same time.

Then things got disorganized. Michelle decided she had done enough before I was ready to head back (my clothes were locked in Nadine's car, so I wasn't keen to stand around waiting for the faster folks to get back). Therefore, I kept swimming. When I could see the others heading my way, I turned around, figuring they would catch up with me about the time I hit the boat launch. Instead, they were still quite a ways back, and the only person who caught up was Laura (the seventh, surprise swimmer) who was wearing a hot pink floatie just like Nadine's. I mistakenly thought it was Nadine, Laura and I both missed the boat launch, and things went downhill from there. Laura's partner spotted her, so he drove to a spot where the road was close to the water and she hopped out. I saw this happening but was so tired and without glasses that I thought I must be hallucinating because Nadine had somehow gotten skinnier and switched into a black bathing suit. So I kept swimming. When I spotted the beach at the far end of the first loop, I knew I had really messed up.

The water had been quite choppy so I blamed that on my tiredness, not the fact that I ended up swimming a good 1-2 km further than planned. I felt a bit panicked that I had no idea where to find my friends and I was starting to get a bit chilly. I did not relish getting out and convincing someone to give me a lift (though I could have done that). I did not want to blow my whistle and signal that I needed help (though I was darned glad I had it with me).

I turned around, and things went very well. I was no longer fighting the wind and waves, and I got a second burst of energy so I could do front crawl instead of breast or backstroke. I spotted the boat launch easily (it's much easier to see from the north than it is from the south). One of my friends was on shore in a bright red shirt, and that helped too. She called the others who had headed off in their car to see if they could spot me.

We had a good debrief afterwards and will be putting new guidelines in place for future swims. I swam about 7.6 km, my second-longest distance ever, so not shabby for someone who rarely swims more than 2 km a week any more. I'm a little sore and I was very tired in the afternoon, but now I'm looking forward to going swimming again tomorrow - in a pool, where I definitely won't get lost. Now that I'm getting more comfortable with longer distances, I want to build up my endurance and speed with shorter swims before work each day.

Here we are at the beginning, when it was still all smiles:
siglinde99: (Default)
Ever since my first summer of open water swimming (two, three? summers ago), I have thought about swimming from one end of Meech Lake to the other, and back. It's 4 km each way (5 miles total for those who don't use the metric system). A week or so ago, someone in my gang of fellow swimmers said we should go for it, and today we did. We started out with 10 swimmers, 7 of whom were stronger and had already done this distance or more. Our group of 4 (including me) form the core of our gang; only Nadine, our ringleader, had ever done this distance.

Here's where we went:

Here is our core group at the end, following a celebratory feast of pea soup, scones, nuts, cheese, watermelon, coffee and chocolate cake (hey, the water was cold and we need to maintain our insulation reserves!):

The six who finished first had long-since disappeared, and missed out on all the snacks.

I was really happy with how things went. I wore my new swim socks and my feet stayed warm enough that I had minimal cramping, despite being in the water for four hours. My neoprene cold water swim cap was pretty nice too, though I ended up with major chafing from the chin strap. I also have chafing on my arms from hitting the "sides" of my suit (okay, the boobs) on each stroke. Next time, Ièll wear a tighter suit!

Right now, I'm feeling pretty hard core, despite the desperate need for a nap when I got home. My longest distance this year was just 5 km, and we didn't work up to this at all, but I'm not too stiff. Today's swim ensured that I am in 21st place overall in my age category for distance in Canada this month (among master's swimmers who bother to keep track), 6th for breaststroke (all ages) and 5th for front crawl. We're already talking about doing a 10 km next year - the swimming marathon distance.

Little Joys

Aug. 7th, 2015 01:54 pm
siglinde99: (Swimming in Varadero)
I went shopping at Value Village twice this week and got some fab clothes - most ready to wear, a few needing minor alterations, and two shirts to play with refashioning. I have been following a couple of sewing blogs and now I'm inspired. I even scored a pair of wood and leather clogs that are just like the kind I wore growing up in Germany.

Yesterday's massage left me sore, but starting to feel normal again. There is much stretching in my future, and more work to break up old scar tissue, but it's nice to be able to stand up and sit down without using my arms to pull me/balance.

At the pond this morning I got to see the otter that has moved in. Folks think there is a pair but so far, only once confirmed sighting at a time. It was frolicking happily quite close to the beach for quite a while. I finally got in and did 4 km. It took me about 2 hours, but it's the longest distance I have done I a year, so I was pleased. I finished strong and don't feel terribly achey (though I'll sleep tonight).

Now I'm watching my daughter ride while sewing, and later I'll make rasperry and coconut squares and some wonderberry jam. Yesterday I finally tested a new stuffing recipe that included barberries (an elusive plant I have wanted to try for years), and updated my sausage research blog.

All in all, it's a pretty nice ending to my first week of vacation.


Aug. 4th, 2015 08:07 pm
siglinde99: (Default)
Pootle is a word I learned from the FB group "Did You Swim Today". It means a gentle swim, puttering along the water. possibly with lots of stops along the way. That was this morning's swim. I met up with a friend I haven't seen in about a year and we had a mad gossip while swimming back and forth across the pond. By the time we were caught up on news and views, we had swum 1.5 km.

The girl wanted to nap instead of exercising her horse, so we pootled away the afternoon too.

I'm yawning as I wait for her to finish her ride, so I suspect that once we get home from the barn, I'll be putting out the trash and heading back to bed.
siglinde99: (Fancy)
Today at swimming, I was given 50 yard drills to do in one minute even. I don't think I have ever succeeded in doing them in under 1:05, and then it was basically touch the wall and start again. This time, I got 5-10 seconds rest at the end of each 50. In my first hour swim, I have graduated by one lane (thanks to many new members) so I am now right beside the fastest folks including Kevin, who is the amazingly fast Ultraman (I swear, he needs a cape). On a good day, they don't get more than two lengths ahead on a set.

After my swim and coffee, I successfully negotiated the New Edinburgh Garage Sale to drop S off for ballet class, then headed to riding. The rain held off, I managed to get Monty's girth sufficiently tight without assistance (he is a little tubby and likes to bloat), and I had a good lesson! The past few weeks have been all about unlearning bad habits: loose reins, moving my hands around too much, not keeping my horse even between my legs and pushing him into the bit so he goes very straight, throwing away the reins when I canter, letting my legs flop when I canter. I know I have had a good lesson when my left side aches. Today I got most of those things right most of the time, and had a couple of good, controlled long canters, despite being really tired from swimming. It's weird to think that, after all this time, I am finally starting to understand in my muscles what "right" feels like, and start making corrections before I get yelled at by the teacher.

Now I need to write a briefing note for work, do laundry, prepare some craft things to work on for a road trip tomorrow, clean the kitchen, and get some desperately needed sleep. Compared to what I have already achieved today, this looks easy.
siglinde99: (Fancy)
After yesterday's hypothermia worries, I decided to head to the pool today. I swam just shy of 3 km in an hour (116 lengths of a 25 yard pool). Half of that was non-freestyle, so slower.

For comparison, this is as fast, or faster, than my Bring on the Bay swim, which had a current in my favour. It is almost three times faster than my speed when I first got back to swimming in 2007 - at that time, I was very pleased when I graduated to being able to finish a 54 length swim in an hour, even though I needed a nap afterwards. By this spring, I had speeded up to the point that I could almost complete 4 km in my 2 hour Saturday coached swim practice, and could do 2 km in an hour on my own (though I rarely go to lane swims). At Bring on the Bay, I completed 3 km in an hour and five minutes, with a river current in my favour.

When I logged in to record my distance, I realized that I had gone swimming 23 times this month. Normally, I go only 4-5 times. Apparently, practice really does make a difference. Who knew?
siglinde99: (Fancy)
That seems like a really odd topic for August, but it has been that kind of a summer. Before our 4 km swim last weekend, my friend Nadine shared a bunch of links on minimizing hypothermia when swimming in cold water. I followed them all carefully and had a great 4 km swim, despite the wind going against us.

This weekend, the weather and warmer actually felt warmer, and I swam well again. By the end, though I wanted to swim another loop, I decided to call it quits at 3.2 km. I didn't feel too cold, but I had a feeling I was colder than I thought.

Part of the difference between the two swims may have been that last week I was shocked by cold after a week of swimming in Cuba. This week, I have been swimming in the Pond, a little lake just down the road; it has been chilly, but not unbearable.

Both times, I got dressed in dry clothes immediately, and drank lots of hot tea and had a snack. However today, almost 12 hours later, my toes and feet still feel like they are chilled, though the rest of me is very warm.

I'm a little glad that the weather is supposed to be rainy tomorrow. I think I'll go to a nice heated pool instead of risking further damage to my feet (at least until Monday, which may be my last chance to swim outdoors for the year).
siglinde99: (Fancy)
Today I had an excellent riding lesson on Monty. I managed to multitask by making each arm and leg move independently (push his bum out onto the track with the left leg, while pushing him forward with the right leg, keeping steady pressure with the right hand while giving and taking with the left hand to get him to relax and bend), at the same time as I sat up straight and controlled the speed and relaxation of the trot by focusing on moving my belly button up and forward  each step, and steering by turning my shoulders. I also remembered that a horse is not a motorcycle (no leaning on turns) and that reins are not a steering wheel (keep hands together with thumbs up, and perfectly level on turns - any pulling must be straight back towards my hip).

As I was riding not long after a swim that involved a discussion of technique and using mental images, I realized that my mental image of how I ride was quite different from the reality. It's a bit like my body image - what my brain sees is quite different from what the mirror sees. Today, though, the brain connected with the muscle and my two images came much closer together. The same thing has been happening with my swimming, as I realize that I'm not doing what I think I'm doing (and start actually doing it). At yesterday's swim, I kicked, pulled hard on my strokes, and managed not to get too far behind the others. When I concentrated on almost sprinting to keep up, I could do it for moderate bursts. As a result, I have now been challenged to push myself on speed as well as distance - challenge accepted!

My riding homework this week is to figure out what is the cantering equivalent of the belly button trick for cantering. I can canter just fine, in that I can get the canter, hold the canter, and feel like I'm having fun. The truth from where my coach (my mirror) is standing is that I tense up the moment I hear the word, curl my toes around my stirrups instead of stretching my heels down, and let my reins go floppy. My coach suggests whisky, but I have to drive back to town after my lesson :).


Jul. 19th, 2014 10:08 pm
siglinde99: (Fancy)

First time swimming at Meech Lake this year. We did 4 km at a relaxed pace. That's the second farthest distance I have ever done in open water, which bodes well for achieving a much longer distance by September. I am no more tired than usual, which is very good. Tomorrow a few of us are going to The Pond for an easy swim.
siglinde99: (Fancy)
Went out to visit Fancy and feed her dinner as S was at a cottage for the day. Fancy demonstrated, with gusto, that she has mastered the nose-operated drinking fountain. She snarfed back all her grain, then went back to snuffle all the bits that had spilled when she first ate (she doesn't have a tooth problem - she just tries to stuff too much in her mouth). This made her thirsty, so she stopped several times for huge drinks. S hadn't believed me that she had figured it out even though we never saw her drinking on her own, so this was reassuring to her.

I finally found an approximate dimension for The Pond, a former quarry in Rockcliffe Park. It is approximately rectangular, with the longest part being 170m. From looking at the map, I estimate that a single circuit of the perimeter is about 400m. Since it opens every day from 7-2, and is in easy walking distance from my house, I think I might start swimming there to get in some distance over the summer.,-75.6665454,16z

I'm going to swim at Meech Lake tomorrow, for the first time all summer - squee! [ profile] rozalynd promises me a 45 minute workout, which will be great.
siglinde99: (Default)
I swam 5.3 km today at Meech Lake. It was not as far as I had hoped for my end-of-year swim, but it's far longer than my longest swim to date. If conditions had been different (more relaxed swim, friends who wanted to continue, nothing else contemplated, I might have done the 7.8 km that had been my original goal. StiLl, my arms were pretty darned tired at the time, and I don't regret stopping when I did.

After swimming, I packed some essentials into the car and headed to Bonfield. By the time I arrived, most folks had headed home. Still, I had a lovely evening with some of my favourite people. In fact, I'm posting from their tent right now.

There was no potluck in the Mead Hall, which is sad as this may be the last Bonfield ever. I love this event and will be very sorry to see it isappear when the farm is sold.

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siglinde99: (Default)
I swam 3.6 km at Meech Lake today. I could easily have done another loop around the island.

Today I learned that there are only a few written references to leeks and onions in Viking Scandinavian documents, and from the archaeological evidence, it appears that ramsons (wild garlic) was most likely what was being referred to.

I am having a bit of a cooking frenzy - so far I have cooked up a bunch of green onions, a traveler's porridge of pot barley with kale, bacon and a little green onion (before I had word about the lack of evidence for onions).

I have also pitted a bunch of plums and put them in the dehydrator. Next up: some chicken with pasta and pesto. After that, I'm going to roast some kohlrabi, make German cucumber salad, and prepare hamburger patties for later. Unless I fall asleep.

Tomorrow I need to pick up 5 kg of crabapples from a friend, in order to turn them into jelly. Tuesday, I'm hoping to check out the state of wild grapes along the Ottawa River. I think it's about the right season for harvesting. I also found a great source of rose hips, though it may require a late evening trip to Carleton to pick them. Can you tell I was inspired by today's visit with the folks from Hidden Harvest Ottawa?

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Jun. 1st, 2013 09:34 am
siglinde99: (Default)
I did eight individual medley sets in power swim this morning. Mike (my coach) said I could do backstroke instead, but I decided I would give it my best shot. At the end, he told me I had done a really good job. To Nick, my other coach, he said I needed work on my technique. So, my second hour of swimming was all butterfly drills and distances. By the end, we had figured out one of the problems with my kick, and I had gotten a lot stronger on my pull.

I need a nap!

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May. 11th, 2013 09:19 pm
siglinde99: (Default)
Biked to swimming in the rain, practised sprints for an hour, then did an hour of drills and biked home. Promptly had a nap that went on far too long. Did a bit of cleaning and a few minutes of gardening, started a load of laundry and bought groceries. By then, it was time to pick up S. She must have been even tired than me, as she has been asleep for four hours, and long-since missed supper. I'm torn between fixing her some garlic cheese bread to eat in bed, and just letting her sleep. Poor little goob; she needs all her energy so she can do this again tomorrow:

ShuLing at Lower Saxony (on Nellie) 019
siglinde99: (Default)
I got several compliments on my swimming today. In particular, one person said my front crawl is really powerful because I pull through the entire stroke. Mike, the powerswim coach said my times are very good for someone who normally swims only once a week. I may not swim enough, but Nick has made my strokes very efficient, and that makes up for a lot, apparently.

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siglinde99: (Default)

After being up way too late last night, I was in the pool at 7 am. My comfy lane of just three weeks ago is now too slow, so my swim times must be getting better. I got hauled out part-way through and introduced to the coach who is organizing participation in Nationals. He gave me all the instructions on how to register, so I guess I'm committed now. I even joined the gang practising for relays - dove off the starting blocks for the first time ever, and didn't disqualify my team.

Then it was off to the pottery show with [ profile] pink_lady, and home for a few minutes rest before my mom showed up to sew. We were working on a lovely turquoise linen dress that just wouldn't go together right; the right and wrong side of the fabric were virtually indistinguishable, but there was slight fading in spots on one side, so care was needed. We ended up sewing and unpicking the lined bodice about three times, and the darts in the skirt were almost as painful. I<m down to joining at the waist, inserting a zipper and hemming, plus I got most of another dress cut out. I was absolutely exhausted and couldn't convince Mom it was time to go until I pointed out it had gotten dark. Dad hates to drive in the dark. She would have kept going until the whole dress was completed. My mom scares me.
siglinde99: (Default)
It will be in Montreal. My friend Candace is going - she competed in Nationals a year or two ago and had a blast. She also did very well in her age group (she's both younger and faster than me, with a background in competitive swimming). She's trying to convince me I should go. She swears I won't be the slowest in my category, and that we are grouped according to speed and ranked later according to age group. I'm tempted. So tempted, in fact, that I visualized competing all through this morning's work-out.

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siglinde99: (Default)
Yesterday, swimming was all about butterfly. I got my second kick lined up with my push, stopped putting extra bits into my keyhole, and really had the pelvic thrust working. Between that and serving at feast, I have definitely fought off old lady arms for a few more days.

Feast was a ton of fun, though I wish I could have had many more hours to visit friends old and new. I managed to stay incredibly busy, between Fian, serving, Kaboone, and court stuff. I may be the worst head table server in the history of the SCA. Also, it would be nice to remember the names of people I am toasting or calling into court. One more brain fart and my head would have exploded!

It was great to see Glenda again after 30 years. I wish I could have had more time with Anne, Susanna, and a few others I rarely get to see these days. I did have fun geeking out on Fian stuff with one woman whose name I didn't catch. Hopefully, she will decide this is fun and contact us with a proposal. I also had a good chat with Dubhease; it has reinforced my desire to get back to doing some bardic stuff. I have a story I have been dying to tell ever since I rediscovered it, and always forget to rehearse so that it will be ready to deliver at an event. By the end of the day, I felt too broken to go to Mordain and Aelflaeda's for the post rev, something I really regret.

Today at riding, we were working at making our horses more elastic (going faster and slower, not more bendy - that's a different exercise). Part of it involved cantering and I had a breakthrough thanks to all the butterfly yesterday. To keep my legs on and sit up and make Mercedes go, I need to use a pelvic thrust here too. The rest of my class was spent humming "take a jump to the left...". I believe it was my best cantering ever. 


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