Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Little Mermaid Goes Swimming

So, let's rewind back to last Friday, pre-Imported Thumbs. I've been going to the Y every day for lunch. I mean, there's really no reason not to. It's so close to my office that I'm pretty sure one day I'm going to make a wrong turn and end up in the weight room. Part of my workout plan is to do what I want. That's the awesome thing about not marathon training, I can work out the way I want, on whatever days I want. My running goal is a reasonable 15 running miles a week, and I'm easily hitting that with 3-4 days of running. On the other days I do the elliptical, the stairmill, and now that I'm aiming to be the next Little Mermaid - I swim. This has really worked for me - so far this month I've only skipped working out three days, which is awesome considering it's the 26th!

Coworker Blogging David loaned me his Total Immersion DVD that goes along with my book. The DVD really helps put it all in perspective and make sense. I memorized Drill #1 and my goal was to practice that Friday at lunch. I bought goggles and a swim cap the weekend before, so I was all set. I got to the gym and was pleased to see several lanes open. I suited up, picked a lane, realized I forgot my goggles, went back for them, and finally got in the pool. Finding sweet spot was pretty easy, but propelling myself across the pool using my legs only was taking forever. So, I would use my arms a little, but I spent a lot of time focusing on getting that drill right, using my ankles and legs properly, and rolling my hips the way they discuss. It was amazing how much less effort I was using when I properly got all those things going. I decided I would briefly try Drill #2 (where you sort of angle onto your right side) but it just so happened that Greg Luganis and Summer Sanders went flying by on my left and right side at that moment and nearly beached me on the sidelines like a killer whale, so I decided I would stick with Drill #1. I was proud that I only whacked my head on the wall (hard) twice. I'm pretty sure I looked ridiculous, but there was also a woman swimming laps with a snorkel mask on, and surely I looked less goofy than she did. All in all it was a great experience, and I ended up with .3 of a mile, and felt like I could go much further.

But, I needed to get back to work. I swam "until the last minute" and then leaped out the pool and into the shower, stopping to briefly say hi to the women from my office that take lunchtime classes there every day. Once I got out of the shower I took my swim cap off. For some reason something kept dripping on my back. Huh?? I looked up, around - there was no leak in the ceiling. Then I felt the back of my hair. Why was my ponytail wet?? What's the deal?? Then I felt my head. Totally soaked. Can I be so stupid that I have NO CLUE how to properly put a swim cap on??? Seriously. I was so mad. My hair was as wet as if I hadn't worn it at all. I don't get it, I've never once read about a tri-blogger having this issue. I'm not sure what I did wrong, all I know is panic set in. I have a ritual of Aveda hair smoother, blow drying and then straightening iron that just wasn't ready to roll into production at the Y. AND, to top it off at some point while swimming I had taken my goggles off and RUBBED MY EYES. So yeah, mascara and eyeliner were all over my face. I was one step from being a carnival clown. I blowdryed with the free blowdryers they have at the Y and I was a frizzy headed mess. Of course I had no clips in my gym bag so I rocked a ponytail the rest of the afternoon and played the part of Sporty Rachel in my uncasual work environment (we may be the last company in the Northern Hemisphere that doesn't have Jeans Friday. Or Jeans Anyday.)

I told Brent my story and he got a huge laugh out of it. I seriously don't have a clue how to put a swim cap on. Of course I Googled it and read that I should wet it and then put it on, but doesn't that cancel out the whole purpose of ending a swim with dry hair???? I also read you just stuff your hair in it and don't ponytail up first, so I'm going to try that as well. Overall I'm happy with Swim Drill #1, and I'm really hoping the Total Immersion program is going to help me swim efficiently.

And, in other news "wall" has now overtaken "vomit" as the #1 search word for finding my blog. Thank God.

Happy Tuesday!!


At 7:39 PM, Blogger Firefly's Running said...

That's why I wait until AFTER work to work-out...period. I hate raccoon-eyes 'cept on a RACCOON!

At 4:49 AM, Blogger Jon (was) in Michigan said...

Ok, today I learned that the swim cap is for keeping your hair dry. I always thought it just kept hair out of your way when you swam. Of made you more hydrodynamic or something.

At 7:44 AM, Blogger Emily said...

We don't have jeans Friday either. Occasionally we get to wear jeans to work the day before a holiday, but the email always goes out like this: Casual Day on xx/xx/07: remember, no shorts, capris, tube tops, or thongs. Just jeans. Don't abuse this privilege.

Seriously. Can I say, 'duh'?

At 8:08 AM, Blogger PLANET3RRY said...

The swim cap is for keeping your hair dry? Really? Don't you sweat while you swim and wouldn't the cover on your head, especially of a rubber-like material just keep it in?

While I was swimming yesterday, I was think about the Total Immersion plan that you are using and how if you like it and it works for you... turns you into the Little Redheaded Mermaid, then I might look into it. The program, not becoming a mermaid.

At 8:28 AM, Blogger Ben, aka BadBen said...


"Wall" is much better than "vomit."
My blog world is currently found by "Trail Nerds, blisters."

Happy Trails,
Bad Ben

At 9:49 AM, Anonymous Shalini said...

We just got the Tota Immersion book too, although I don't have the DVD and am wondering if I should get it. I'm at abou the same stage as you (knocking my head into the wall).

And don't get me started with the swim cap-I have loooong hair and my husband is constntly entertained by the antics I go through to get my hair in there. And yes, it always ends up wet!

At 12:39 PM, Blogger mouse said...

rae! I seriously laughed out loud at your post. a swim cap isn't supposed to keep your hair dry, sweetie. swim caps are used for hygiene purposes (the filters in public pools used to constantly be clogged by people's hair) and also to reduce friction for more competitive swimmers who want to swim faster. plus, it's just easier not having longer hair getting all over the place when you're swimming and trying to do flip turns.

that said, awesome job getting into the pool! I for real have to find a place where I can swim here...

At 2:40 AM, Blogger Tiggs said...

ditto mouse! hehehehe! i don't think you'll ever find a cap that keeps your hair dry :) sorry rae!

At 8:15 AM, Blogger TriSaraTops said...

Yep, I'm LOL too...unfortunately it won't keep your hair dry...in fact, if your hair is not really really short, you sort of need some water in it for it to stay on. :) You can try a silicone cap--they are a little more expensive (10 bucks instead of 2 or 3) but can be put on dry, and if it stays on for you, then maybe that will work?

I have WAY too much hair for a swimmer and really need to cut it but I just can't! I'm too chicken! :)

At 3:58 PM, Blogger Just12Finish said...

U, what, no pics?

At 8:47 AM, Blogger Holly said...

This is my first time reading your blog.. you will laugh at how I found it! I googled "how to keep your hair dry when swimming". Not kidding. I had the exact same experience when I tried swimming for the first time last week - my problem is that I pay lots of money to keep my hair "natural blond" and not "natural chlorine green" so I purchased a swimcap. And I was just as surprised as you that my hair was wet at the end of my swim. A girl I work with told me that you need a latex cap to keep your hair dry? (the one I purchased was nylon, I thought the nylon silver was prettier than the blue latex..)
Anyways, good luck with your training!

At 4:37 PM, Anonymous Adilah said...

Holly! that is exactly how i found this blog too! Yesterday i went swiming and I spent 10 dollars on a swim cap to keep my hair dry...( thinking 10 dollar is alot for a broke college student) but low and behold swimming caps didnt keep my hair wet! I was very upset! what a waste of 10 bux!

now im determined to find a swimming cap to keep my hair dry!

At 3:33 AM, Anonymous Jeannie said...


I too just found this blog after searching for a swim hat for long hair to keep my hair dry! Cool:-) We're all deluded ...

I have long natural spiral curls and it isn't good to keep washing it constantly. Never mind!

Enjoyed your blog :-)

At 5:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i hear you. I have red dyed streaks and they don't last long as it is, besided the whole flat iron thing. I am going to try double-capping to see if it works.


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