New swimming class

I started taking a swimming class last week. My dad seemed a bit disappointed when I announced that I was taking a swimming class. It was like he felt he failed me as a father by not teaching me to swim. That is not the case at all. I am probably the best swimmer in the family. No problems Dad.

Probably the better way to think about this class is that I have hired a swimming coach. It just so happens that he is coaching 10 other people at the same time.

The reasons I am taking the class are varied. Firstly I want to be a better swimmer. I have visions of entering triathlons in the future. Swimming would be my weakest discipline. With this class I would be better prepared to face the open water. I do enjoy swimming at the beach, but also have a bit of a fear that I will bite off more than I can chew some day. This class gives me more confidence in that.

Secondly, I like the fact that I can pay a relatively small amount of money and have access to a pool. I don’t get unlimited access as I would if I were paying a health club, but I do get to swim 3 days a week and can spend as much as an hour after class getting in extra laps. So far I have not wanted to swim any extra laps after class. I am beat.

Another reason I am giving this class a try is that I know I can only take the class for 6 weeks. That is comforting to me. I know it is not something that I will feel obligated to stick with if I absolutely hate the class or teacher. Starting early July we will be traveling pretty consistently and getting packed up to move back to the US by the end of August. So this is a short term experiment.

The class is at a local university, which is only a 4 minute run from my house. My coach is probably only 21 years old. He is a student at the school.

I have spent much of my time working on corrective exercises. I think I will be doing these for a while. When I start swimming correctly on a consistent basis, I think he will turn me lose to swim lots of laps and then start teaching me other strokes. Currently we are working on the crawl and backstroke. Those are the two I know best so he is having me clean up my form before moving on to other strokes.

The pool is a 25 meter long pool. I swam 750 meters the first day and 850 meters the other two days.

Just another ADD adventure.

Why, oh why, do I forget my Bodyglide?

After my 10K race this morning I regretted not having used my Bodyglide.

Bodyglide is a product you use when participating in endurance sports that helps prevent chafing. Anywhere that you have skin rubbing against skin is a good place to use it. For me, and for many men, the common rubbing spot are those two little buttons we all have on our chest. Women wear sports bras to protect themselves. While you can use different products to prevent rubbing your nipples raw, I prefer Bodyglide.

If the chafed area is not too bad, you often don’t know about it until you jump into a warm shower.

I jumped into a warm shower.


I used to use Vaseline since it was cheap and easily available. One thing I found though is that on the tech material that many running shirts are made out of, the Vaseline causes the shirt to not soak up water. And Vasaline never washes out. Therefore, when I sweat using one of those shirts with the Vaseline spots on the nipples, I have a sweat soaked shirt with two lighter colored dots where my nipples are. Something that I would rather not highlight.

Then with two very sensitive spots on my chest, I had to go to church and preach. In a hearing church this would be less painful. I could have stood like a robot and spoke, but in a Deaf church I have to move my arms the whole time which moves the shirt over my … well, you get the idea.

Race Report: Carrera de los Contadores 10K

This is a 10K race that I ran last year and was looking to set a course PR if not a 10K PR. My course record is 1:00:00 exactly. My 10K PR is 57:48.

Running a 10K raceI was considering not running the race last night, but then I Twittered that I was going to run this morning, so I felt obligated to do so. I did not sleep well last night and did not hear my alarm this morning. Fortunately my wife heard it and threw a shoe at me.

When I got to the race start about 30 minutes before the gun. There were only 100 people registered. But there were well over 200 who ran the race in the end. The registration tables stayed hopping the whole time.

The kilometer markers were not very accurate. According to the times on my watch I ran one kilometer at 4:19 and another at 7:01. I may not be able to stay exactly on pace, but I know it was not that bad.

I ran the first half in 27:28. That meant I was on track for a 10K PR, but I did not know it at the time. Though I looked up what my 10K PR was last night, I did not remember the number when I went to run this morning. However, I did know I was on track for a course PR.

This was an out and back loop. I ran by my house (within 1/2 a block) 2.5 kilometers into the race. Then again at 7.5. My wife and daughter came out to cheer me on when I was on my way back down the course. Our daughter came out in her Sunday dress wearing my neon yellow swim goggles. Quite a sight.

Bib from raceAt 9 kilometers I latched on to 2 other runners who were going just a bit faster than me. I hung on with one while we dropped the other. Speeding up the whole time. I was not able to hold on into the final kick, but I finished far better than I would have on my own.

Final time was 54:11. A new 10K PR! I ran a negative split with the second half being 26:43 (first half was 27:28). I had a pace of 8:44 per mile.

I think this was the first time my bib number was a palindrome.

Missionary Talks 51: Medical Mission Trip

I uploaded the latest episode of Missionary Talks today. I have been sitting on this recording for about a month and finally got it together. It was a long recording that needed a lot of editing. I also had to do some translation work to it which required a separate recording time. Excuses. But, it is up now.

This is about a trip that three friends and I made recently to the city of Valladolid. We helped with interpreting and evangelism throughout the week.

We did not talk much about the people who were on the trip with us, but they were a great group of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and logistics people. We had a good time and, though we worked a lot, it was like being on vacation with a group of 30 friends.

Review: Eat, Drink, and be Healthy

Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy is a book that I have wanted to read for almost 2 years. I could not get anyone to buy it for me, so I stole it off my Mom when I was there a couple of months ago. I finally got a chance to read it and could not put it down. I think I read it in 4 days. Just my kind of book.

Book coverHowever, it is not an easy reading book. It was also not quite what I expected. I was 175 pages into the book before I realized that he was never going to get to the material I was looking for. My expectation was that he would give a list of “eat this” and “don’t eat that.” Instead, he spent the entire book laying out guidelines of what to eat and why. But in general categories, and not specific items. Of course there are many specifics given, but more importantly, he wanted you to understand why you should make the food choices you make. And for that, I loved the material.

He explains how your body processes different types of fats. How your body responds to proteins and carbohydrates. He also talked at great length about different vitamins and what they do for you.

In a nutshell, he advocates a diet high in whole nuts and grains, lots of veggies and fruits along with good fats that our body needs. All of this is coupled with exercise and weight control. I got the feeling that if Dr. Willett could get you to do one thing, it would be to exercise. Though the book was all about food and how it affects your body, he strongly emphasized that the foundation was exercise.

If you have ever listened to Dr. Monte’s podcast, Fitness Rocks, you are familiar with the teachings of Dr. Willett

One third of the 350 page book is dedicated to recipes.

Surprisingly, he did not beat up every other diet program. He said what was basically good about most programs and how they could be altered to be better. There were a few, however, that he recommended the reader avoid. Mostly, though, he gave some suggestions on how to make the program you like, and seems to work for you, just a little bit better.

I found the book very informative. I also found it a bit too technical for most people. Not that most people could not understand it, but I think most people won’t care to try. He enjoys dissecting different medical studies and explaining what the mind numbing numbers mean. While I personally enjoy that type of material, I doubt the book has mass appeal. It would be nice for someone to write a follow up book telling people how to put into practice the principles of Willett’s book. He does have the recipes in back, but I think there needs to be an explanation along with the recipes that are more simplistic in what the purpose of the food combinations are. As the book is now, you have to have read the whole book and understood its concepts to understand why the recipes are designed the way they are.

Now I have to figure out a way to ship this book back to Mom without her noticing it is missing.

Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy, Walter C. Willett, M.D., Free Press, New York, 2001, 348 pages.