Felt pretty bad today. Never really got going until the 400 pulls at the end. We did a little more that I expected today but it is down from the 6K I've been doing. Hopefully, I'll feel a little better tomorrow.
700 Warm up
400 IM Drill down/Free back
4 x 100 Breast
8 x 50 Fly (I did Breast Stroke w/ paddles)
4 x 50 Stroke Build, turn off wall hard
200 Cool down
This morning I was able to get in a quick solo workout at the Y. Here’s how it went:
1000 scy warmup
25 kick (½ sprint, ½ easy)
25 kick (½ easy, ½ sprint)
25 easy swim
25 sprint kick
50 eash swim
8 x 50 kick @ 1:00, 1-4 IM order, 5-8 rev. IM order
500 pull build pace throughout [I did this in honor of my regular swim buddy Rondi, who is swimming the final stage of the 8 Bridges swim today. She loves doing 500s in workouts.]
I felt good after my swim on Monday—I was sore in my muscles for about a day, but that has passed, and my joints feel good. I was also relieved not to have any lingering problems with low blood pressure, as I did after my MIMS relay swim. I think adding in more sources of sodium during feedings and reducing the amount of liquid I drank might have helped with that.
Swimming today felt great, and I’m looking forward to tapering over the next few weeks in preparation for Auburn nats. I have a final OW swim this weekend before I really start cutting back on yardage—it’s the Grimaldo’s mile race out at Brighton Beach, an annual CIBBOWS event. It should be lots of fun.
My race schedule for the next month is pretty chewy and varied—here’s what’s in store for me:
Sunday, July 17: Grimaldo’s mile race, Coney Island
Wednesday-Friday, August 3-6: USMS LCM Nationals, Auburn, AL (800 FR, 400 IM, 50 BR, 200 BK, 100 BR, 200 IM)
Saturday, August 6: USMS 5K National Championship, Coney Island
Saturday, August 13: USMS 2-mile Cable Championship, Lake Placid, NY
I’m looking forward to it all!
Should be first day of taper but since I won't be swimming exept in a hotel pool I figured not yet.
State Championships for my kids this weekend GO HEAT!
1000 Free broken 1,2,3,4,1,2,3,1,2,1 @:10R
6x50@2:00 Free kick w/snorkle went 1:25,1:26,1:21,1:22,1:26,1:25
2x400@7:00 Free w/paddles & bouy went 6:24 and 6:08
4x50 from dive free 25 sprint 25 easy
2x100 From dive free breakout then shut down
total 2500 meters
Swim/SCY @ OakMarr:
9 x 50
3 x single arm fly/back/free
20 x 25 shooters w/fins
4 x back/belly/left side/right side/twirling
3 x 100 w/paddles @ 1:30
50 free + 50 kick
6 x 50 kick @ 1:30
25 AFAP flutter kick w/board & fins + 25 EZ
-- held high 11-12
3 x 100 w/paddles @ 2:00
50 free + 50 scull
6 x 50 kick @ 1:30
25 AFAP dolphin kick w/board & fins + 25 EZ
-- held high 11-12
3 x 100 w/paddles @ 1:30
50 free + 50 kick
2 x (broken 100 AFAP kicks w/fins & board + 200 EZ)
-- :15 rest at 50 and 75
-- on the first 50 of flutter, I had a senior moment and went on the :45 instead of :40
#1: did flutter kick, went :51 (25, 13, 13)
#2: did dolphin kick, went :53 (26, 13, 14)
Woke up feeling like I had gotten mauled as a result of my deep tissue. I always forget how long it takes me to recover from these. She really worked on my back & shoulders, which were shot today. As a result, I thought I would have to do just a technique workout. But my legs were fine and ready to sprint -- and so they did.
Just as I was leaving the pool, a huge storm hit. This seems to happen for virtually every Divisional Relay Champs we have in summer league ... Fortunately, that was it for the day and the meet proceeded as scheduled without interruption. And I only had to deek one relay.
Still dragging my feet on entering the Hains Point meet. Hoping to feel better when I wake up tomorrow -- hopefully not too early!
I've attached a few pictures of Eze, a medieval village in the mountains of the French Riviera. Quite lovely.
Updated July 14th, 2011 at 11:13 AM by The Fortress
It was in the high 90s today with the heat index above 110 and I worked outside all day long. Needless to say after work I was definitely lacking energy. I guess this is SC in July.
Thankfully we did some short swims tonight. I don't know if I could have survived anything much longer than we did.
12 x 50
3 kick @ 1:05
3 descend stroke count @ 55
6 x 25 @ 30 finger tip drag
6 x 75 @ 1:20 descend 1-3 & 4-6
6 x 25 @ 40 one arm
6 x 75 @ 1:10 swim strong
6 x 25 @ 30 catch up
6 x 75 @ 2:00 SPRINT
6 x 25 @ 30 smooth w/bouy
6 x 75 @ 1:05 w/buoy
6 x 25 @ 30 breathe 1/5
6 x 75 @ 1:00 pull
After I said that we don't do many 25s the other day we got some more tonight. I actually felt pretty strong considering what my body went through at work. Time to rehydrate and get some rest to do it again in the morning.
Warm up (600)
300 swim Free
300 kick/drill by 50's of at least 2 different strokes
- did 100 ea of fly-back-free
Set #1 (300)
6 x 50/1:00
odds - 15m uw kick - moderate kick - drill 25
evens - sprint 15m - build swim 35m
Set #2 (??)
30 min continuous swim - build by 100's (stay focused on form and feeling good)
- did 1900 meters in 31 minutes. Felt really good and relaxed through most of it. Had a few momentary lapses in focus but got right back on track. Checked the clock every 300 and was going between 4:45-5:00 for each.
Set #3 (300)
2 x 150: 100 kick/25 drill/25 swim: 10 sec rest
- kick on back, swim free, drill was fist swim
Warm down (100)
100 easy back
Total: 3200 meters
Back to the pool today!
So....let's see, recap this week:
Sun: sprint workout + vasa at home
Mon: nothing. My kid's summer league swim meet
Tues: Big day at Court. Vasa at night.
Wed: hey, that's today!
SCM at Baylor.
Jim Montgomery on deck
Something for warm up. I dunno; late on deck.
3 x 300 moderate
2 x 300 85%
1 x 300 strong/fast
=> Was there ever any doubt?
I can't recall the yardage. But during that entire set I:
1. Used my snorkel; reverse catch up;
2. Kick on my back with fins;
3. Swam easy;
4. Got out and watched my 50 free from last weekend. Jim was there to watch his son, so he filmed me as well!
5. Yours truly actually did the entire last 300!
6 x 100 drafting in the lane
Three in my lane, so I led on 2 and 5.
Today was more of a recovery day. The given sets were a total bummer so I just swam around everyone.
My girls' summer league champs were fun. There were 3 teams in our division (largest teams). We have to wait for results of the other 4 in order to see if they made All-Stars (roughly explained as the Top 16; actually the #1 from each of the 5 Divs, and then the fastest 11).
Here is the link:
They were in Division A.
Claire & Helen Agee, 10& under girls.
1 X 200 3:45 3:30
2 X 100 2:00 1:45
4 X 50 descend 1:00 1:00
Two times. Round 1 interval left, 2 right.
1 X 200 kick 5:00
6 X 50 kick 1:15
50's: 25 fast/25 easy
1 X 100 swim
4 X 100 FREE 2:15
#1: 25 fast/75 easy
#2: 50 fast/50 easy
#3: 75 fast/25 easy
#4: 100 fast
2 x 100 swim down 2:15
4 X 100 BEST STROKE 2:30
Swim same pattern as free set.
2 X 100 swim down 2:15
4 X 50 blocks
25 sprint/25 easy
WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00
I don't have to go to work early this morning (10am start time)...so I took advantage of the time available.
400 Free Pull
400 Kick w/ training fins
5 x 200 Free @ :20 rest (did #4-5 pull)
8 x 50 (25 Fly/25 Free) @ :15 rest
did #7-8 full 50 Fly
4 x 50 Kick w/ fins
At this point the age group swim team came in, and brought their portable pace clock, which was nice! Now at least I could know how fast I was swimming.
5 x 100 Free @ 1:40 (held 1:20s)
5 x 100 Free Pull @ 1:30 (held 1:17s)
Wed Jul 13th 2011 LCM
weighed 219 after practice today
South Central LCM Zones: DAYS AWAY
I leave for Houston next Thursday.
meet starts Friday at 4:00
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UT, main pool
6:00 - 7:30 dove in 6:04
wore FS PRO legs
swam with Todd & Ned
beside James, Jason, & Jim
36 x 50 on 45
Main SET: LCM
200 fr fast from a dive
Did 500 held 1:20
500 done 200 fr 50 kick
400 done 8 x 50 on 1:00
100 fr fast from a dive
2011 South Central Zone LCM Championships INFO
Fri Jul 22 - Sun 24, 2011 in
Shenandoah (Houston), TX
South Central LCM Zones: DAYS AWAY
Coach told me to cut back on the distance today. Its still three weeks from Nationals so I'm not ready to taper yet. For the last 2-3 weeks, I've been doing 6000m 6 days a week. I ramped up slowly and have been careful about injuries. I think I can keep it up but I have my own concerns about pushing too much. Every morning, it takes 1000m to wear off the soreness from the previous day. Then, I lay another layer of soreness on top of that. I'm inclined to listen to my coach and back off to 4500-5000/day. Saturday, I'm swimming an open water 400 on a triathlon team and I'll take Sunday off.
My biggest concern about cutting back is my weight. I've worked hard to get down to 180 lbs. The problem is that I don't diet, I just up the exercise level. Maybe I can jog or cycle in the evenings to compensate some.
4 x 300 Swim/Kick/Stroke (reverse IM Order)
3 x 400 Pull
300 Free down/IM order back
300 Free down/IM order back
2 x 50 Stroke
300 Free down/IM order back
3 x 50 Stroke
3 Times through
* 50 Kick Hard
* 200 (50K/100Free/50K)
* 50 Kick Hard
3 x 100 Choice stroke - 3:00 Sprint
I did breast (1:37 w/ Dive, 1:37 w/ push, 1:34 w/ push and draft)
800 IM Easy
100 Cool down
What a week it has been so far! We have had perfect weather... hot and sunny mostly as summers in NY typically are. All the swimmers and kayakers and boat crews have exceeded my expectations and I'm so honored by their enthusiastic support of the 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim!
For many of the swimmers, the stages they participated in were the longest swims they have ever done... and all against the clock as the unforgiving afternoon flood tide waits patiently for the chance to battle and thwart our progress.
I knew stage 5 (Bear Mt Bridge to Tappan Zee) would likely be the biggest challenge of the week... this statement is possibly premature, as there are still 2 stages to go. Rondi, Janet and I did a test run of this stage with Captain Greg Porteus, and Mates Wayne and Ritchie a few weeks ago, and we fell a bit short... 3 miles of the Tappan Zee. The data gained was useful, and we were able to adjust our plan to give us the best chance for success yesterday.
We all gave it our best shot, and John (who swam yesterday as well) and Tobey (who will be swimming Catalina in a week) both powered their way to the finish. I resigned at about 9.5 hours with .2 miles to go... but my progress was slowed to a rate of <.1 miles/ 30 minutes. It became clear that I would have at least another hour if I was going to make it at all.
Knowing that John finished, and Tobey was ever closer satisfied me... the stage was a success, even if my own efforts fell short, and I was able to resign a few hundred yards short of passing through the Tappan Zee's shadow.
I will splash today, where I left off... adding a little bit extra to stage 6 and continue the attempt to complete the 120 miles. No Stage 5 ribbon for me, but I'm feeling good physically. We wind down to just 2 swimmers for the next 2 days. This will be much easier logistically, but I will miss the company and camaraderie. It had been a joyus week!
I will write up a more detailed report of each stage once Rondi and I have a chance to review and debrief.
Felt sluggish again today. No energy and no speed.
10x100@2:00 Free realy slow on this
200 Free kick w/fins on side
10x100@1:40 Free w/paddles & bouy barely able to hold 1:35's yuck
500 Free kick w/fins
8x25 from block 4 free 4 fly
100 Free easy
Total 3000 meters
Last week was a crazy week! Saturday I attended a funeral in the morning followed by a big whooping outdoor wedding in the evening. The day finally ended with a huge thunderstorm.
Monday I had to put my beautiful bi-eyed kitty named "Caspurr "to sleep.
The poor kitty had cancer and was finally starting to suffer. I feel good about ending the suffering but so sad to lose such a wonderful friend.
Tuesday I got married! Marty and I have been together for 14 years and have meant to get married for a while. We finally paid our friend Dan (a Superior Court Judge) a visit and got the deed done. The whole process took less than 30 minutes. Sorry, I have no pictures from this event.
Thursday we started driving down to Florida to visit my youngest daughter. This trip seemed to take forever! As we hit the Florida border we were greeted by a torrential downpour! The rain kept pouring till we pulled into Madiera Beach. I felt like a soggy noodle.
Saturday/Sunday I participated in a meet down here. I hadn't been in the pool for 4 days and I felt the tightness caused by the20 hour car ride. I managed to do okay in the 1500 but it was totally downhill from there. Long course meters is not my thing.
It's been sunny and sultry each day down here. I've had some good swims at North Beach Pool. Tonight I swam with the St. Pete master's group; here's what we did:
**2 X 300 @ 5:15
**10 X 50 Kick @ 1:00
**10 X 50 Drill @ 1:00
**20 X 100 Free @ 1:45 interval (alternate hard / long and stretchy)
**8 X 25 Hard (2 Each IMO) @ :40
**200 cool-down swim
power wheel roll outs, 2 x 25
power wheel pike ups, 2 x 10
explosive leg press, 210 x 3 x 10
explosive narrow grip row, 70 x 2 x 10
box jumps, 10
altitude drops, 10
knee tuck jumps, 10
extreme angle isometric squat, 5:00
med ball slamming for 10:00 in racquetball court
This was my last drylands session (mostly explosive stuff) since taper starts tomorrow! Technically, I may go to yoga one more time. But otherwise, I'm letting the muscles recover out of the water.
Had a deep tissue massage later in the day. I was/am really flattened after. Thought about a nighttime swim, but was not sufficiently motivated. Hoping for a good snooze tonight.
Muppet and SwimmieAvsFan announced today that their team will host the Terrapin Cup LCM Meet on Aug 20-21 at U of Md. Even though I'm swimming in Nats, I'm definitely attending. No idea what events to sign up for; I'll probably wait until after Nats to decide. The meet entry form will be available in a couple days. I'm hoping both SwimStud and Jimby will attend.
Still haven't signed up for the Hains Point meet, though I know I "should" for a pre-Nats tune up. It's hard for me to get excited about swimming outside in the heat in that particular pool ... But racing is racing, I guess.
Attached are a few photos from Nice -- one of the 13th century wine cellar in which we had a delicious wine tasting.
Yesterday was stage 4 of the 8 Bridges Hudson River swim. There are 7 stages in all, and I signed up for 2 of them—I had done stage 1 last Friday. Yesterday’s leg covered 15.2 miles, from the Beacon-Newburgh Bridge to the Bear Mountain Bridge. Although this stage was about 3 miles shorter than Friday’s swim, the currents are less swift along this portion of river, so the swim length looked like it might be about the same. It’s an interesting stretch, winding around several bends and passing by some prominent landmarks, including Bannerman Castle, the US Military Academy at West Point, and Storm King Mountain.
The day was forecast to be hot and sunny, with some wind kicking up in the afternoon. I took the first train of the morning up to Beacon, NY to the meet-up point at the docks (conveniently right by the train station). Since the train tracks run right along the east coast of the river, I got a preview of nearly the entire stage en route. Once in Beacon, I rendezvoused with the other swimmers, and we chatted some while sunscreening up. We had 7 swimmers for the stage—besides me there was Lisa from Toronto (who had swum stage 1 too); my MIMS relay partner John; Laeticia, an ow veteran from Mexico City whom I knew from other NYC-area swims; CIBBOWS swim pal Lori; and of course Rondi and Dave. I was happy to be swimming with friends. It was a beautiful hazy morning by the river, and while we were waiting to depart I spotted an otter ambling along the riverbank.
Soon we had loaded the boat, our kayakers were assigned, and we were motoring off towards the bridge that marked the start of the swim. I once again had Teddy as my kayaker—he had been a great guide on Friday, encouraging, and patient about following my feed schedule, which was a wee bit on the complicated side for OW swimmers. We waited on the boat some once we got to the start point, as the current was still flowing north. I was really eager to get into the water at this point, because it was already hot and sunny and the river looked cool and inviting.
Finally the call to splash came, and we each jumped in and headed to the far span of the double bridge for the race start. The current was still going north, and I had to swim some breaststroke to stay in place while awaiting the countdown. Finally we were off—hurray! It seemed to take a long time to pass under both spans of the bridge, and I worried that I would tire myself out swimming against the current without going much of anywhere. I decided to just put my head down and swim, and stop worrying, and soon I was a ways away from the bridge. It was slow going, but we were definitely putting the bridge behind us, and making steady progress.
At my first feed Teddy asked if I might be going a little too hard at the start of a multi-hour swim. He had seen me start out very slowly and cautiously on Friday. I explained that I had been nervous and uncertain that day about swimming so far, but that I was feeling more confident today about swimming strong for a long stretch. And I was. I felt good and strong in the water, and swimming a little faster just made the whole experience seem more joyful.
Soon after the first feeding Dave and I found each other, and we swam together for a long stretch, synching our strokes up for the first hour or so of that time. As mesmerizing as it can be just stroking along for long stretches in the river by yourself, it’s even more so when you’re also watching someone beside you who’s doing exactly the same thing. Here’s a picture from that part of the race taken by my kayaker, Ted Gruber. David's kayaker Gary is behind me:
We swam to the east of the little island where Bannerman Castle sits, which gave us the best view of the ruins of that 19th century fortress built by a NYC munitions baron. This structure has always intrigued me when I see it from the train, so I was glad to get a closer view. I some backstroke as we headed further south just to see it from that angle.
We passed through little cold patches here and there, but for the most part the water was warm—probably upper 70s. This part of the Hudson is more populated than Friday’s section, and there were small hamlets dotting both shores, with church steeples visible over the rolling green hills and rock faces. The water was pretty flat here, and it was truly glorious just stroking along in the sunshine with the beautiful scenery passing by.
My feeds were going well—I did a schedule similar to Friday’s, with a few substitutions. The menu included sweetened herb tea, honeyed vanilla milk, fruit puree (banana/peach/mango), pb&j pop, graham crackers with peanut butter, and pear puree. (I didn’t swim long enough to get to the dried coconut cubes or the cookie, but I ate them on the train ride home). I used more tea feedings and less juice ones than before, just because the cold tea seemed like a lighter option on a hot day. I brew my tea from an herb blend that includes chamomile, mint, and lemon, to which I add dried ginger. I sweeten it heavily with agave nectar so that it gives me good energy—it’s as sweet as southern sweet tea, with a more interesting flavor. The fruit purees are from the “Happy Baby/Happy Tot” line of organic baby foods—I now think of that brand as “Happy Swimmer.” They come in little pouches that are shelf-stable and easy to handle in the water. All my feeds tasted good to me, and I liked having the variety—it kept things interesting as the day went along.
Several hours into the swim we met up with the Riverkeeper boat and stopped to do an in-water interview with the reporters on board. The three lead swimmers had already stopped and talked to the press a bit while waiting for me and Dave to catch up, so it was nice to check in with my friends and hear that they were having a good day on the water too. I had an extended feed and stretch-and-play-in-the-water break while Dave told reporters a little about the 8 Bridges event, and the causes it supports. (He had to tread water while doing this—getting out or holding onto the boat would have disqualified it as an official swim for him). Soon that was wrapped up, and we headed downriver once again.
By this time the wind was picking up, and the water started being much choppier. We were definitely swimming with a good current now as well—things on shore started moving by at a faster clip. The current was moving south, but the wind was blowing north and west, which eventually made for some pretty unorganized water. I found I was able to take 2 or 3 good strokes, then suddenly on the next one my recovering arm would be stopped dead by a wall of water, or my head wouldn’t clear the surface when I turned to breathe.
I worked at being patient in this section and trying out different strategies to make the going as easy as possible—I experimented with using an earlier, firmer, and more angled hand entry into the water, seeing if a steady kick would stabilize me (that seems to work for Rondi when I see her swim in chop), breathing on my left more (the chop was often hitting me from my right), and doing more of a catch-up stroke where I waited to make sure I was getting good purchase on the water before each pull. All these seemed to help a bit, and it was interesting seeing how altering things just a little bit made my swim experience feel different.
But whatever I did, this section was just plain rough swimming. My kayaker did an amazing job of keeping the kayak steady in the wind, especially with the added constraint of travelling at swimmer pace. He was also having to periodically get feeds out for me, and signal me as to what route to take—the latter job was made more difficult by the fact that there were often waves blocking my sightlines to someone even just a few feet away, so he had to continue his hand signals through several stroke cycles. But he seemed game for not only doing this, but also for finding me the fastest currents to swim in. Even though these stage swims are not really races, I think kayakers who are experienced swim escorts pride themselves on helping out their swimmers as much as possible by finding the most advantageous currents. It’s a cool and complex skill to have, and one I would like to understand better.
(In addition to all their other tasks, kayakers had to report our stroke rate to the observer on the boat every ½ hour. Mine ranged from 55 to 60 per minute during this swim, and from 56 to 59.5 during the previous stage. Kayaker humor: “Hey, they just asked me your stroke count—I told them about 2400 so far!”)
On my right I passed by West Point, which towers majestically above the river. As a high-schooler, I semi-seriously considered going there as I was casting about for a way to pay for college. I eventually decided it wasn’t for me. I still have a picture of my 17-year-old self perched on one of the campus’s scenic spots that overlooks the Hudson. It was taken during a week-long summer program I was invited to before senior year. I imagine my life would be very different now if I had made a different decision, and I waved to that road not taken as I swam by.
Soon afterthat we rounded a bend in the river and the wind started gradually calming down. I could see the finish bridge ahead, and felt a little pang of sadness that my great adventure was nearing an end. As the water flattened out I started swimming strong and hard towards the bridge, and felt a sense of great joy moving through the water as I picked up the pace. I knew at this point that I would finish, and I didn’t have anything to save myself for. I fed one last time—a quick swig of tea—then waved off my last feeding as the bridge got nearer and nearer. I went under the span after 5h35m in the river. I felt completely exuberant, and a little amazed, and the thought immediately crossed my mind that I could maybe even do a longer swim! Someday. , ,
I took my time stretching out and flipping in the water after I was finished, so much so that the captain sent a kayak out to tow me back to the boat (which had actually moved a bit upriver to pick up another swimmer who had just finished, while I had continued drifting downriver in the current). The kayak tow-in was fun—sort of like waterskiing in very slow motion. Once aboard the boat, I hugged friends and we compared our experiences on the river. I felt a little sore, and still do today, but less so than after stage 1. Mostly, I’m still just feeling so happy that I decided to try these swims, and proud that I was able to do them.
When I got home last night and was enthusing over it all to my husband, he looked at me and said “You don’t look tired at all! You’d like to go back and swim another stage wouldn’t you!” I just got a big smile on my face. One of my swim friends warned me when I was planning my season that this OW stuff could get addictive. He was right! I’m definitely hooked, and now my task to figure out what long swim I’d like to attempt next!
"Life," my dear father used to say, "is vicissitudinal."
And so it is.
Brief vlog today with only the most tangential of references to swimming.
The swimming reference has to do with the fact that so many of our fraternity here--CremePuff, Bobinator, Ande, and countless others--have pugs as pets. There is something in the breed that seems to make a perfect companion for masters swimmers.
Whereas all dogs offer their human packmates unconditional positive regard, pugs have one additional advantage.
No matter how bad you might be swimming at any particular juncture in your life, your pug(s) will never beat you. Even if they could, the wouldn't. But that is moot.
Because a pug can't beat you at swimming.
Also, they are exceptionally friendly dogs, as the video below begins to suggest. They make friends with anybody they encounter.
Between not beating us in swimming, and providing companionship to people who, let's face it, can be hard to like because of our competitive natures, the pug is the perfect match
And herein lies the most recent trough in life's vicissitudes.
Our beloved dog, Lefty, familiar to many of you from previous vlogs, is in the veterinary emergency room, receiving anti-inflammatories and electrolytes and no shortage of tests. He tested positive for Lyme Disease, which may account for his sudden inability to put much weight on his back left leg. He also has low thyroid levels, which I suspect our friend Leslie can explain is no picnic. These combined anomalies might also account for his fever, lethargy, elevated white blood cells, and assorted other problems.
My son Ben, who was in the fourth grade when Lefty was whelped, tries to ease his abdominal pains and calm him.
Ben lets Lefty know he is loved, as both of us in the hospital waiting room become increasingly verklempt.
These test findings, however, do not account for Lefty's loss of appetite. I have never in my life seen Lefty not hungry before. His gluttony is at the heart of what Lefty is: an eater, a scrounger, a beggar, a relentless snorfler for morsels of unattended foodstuff, no matter what form these might take. I have seen Lefty vomit and then, without a moment's hesitation, begin lapping up what he so recently lost, as if he could not conceive of any victuals within his reach being allowed to stay outside his stomach.
This hunger of his, I think, may be at the root of his main problem. To wit, he has long had a taste for guinea pig poop, something that I find utterly revolting but which Lefty and his bride, Biscuit, and others of their snub-nosed, child-faced, Chinese-bred ilk consider a delicacy.
Last week, Lefty may have snarfed down some new guinea pig bedding in the course of snacking on this repugnant delicacy. Alas, the bedding in question was an artificial kind we hadn't used before, designed to absorb liquids.
Indeed, Lefty's initial X-rays showed that his stomach was distended to the size of a softball (quite big for a 22-pounder), swollen up by a mystery bolus he could rid himself of neither through mouth nor the normal point of egress.
Many dogs, I learned from the vet, also get in trouble by eating Gorilla Glue, which turns into something like cement in their bellies and must be extracted surgically. It's possible, she told us, that the bedding might be creating a similar blockage.
Lefty was weakened, in pain, and almost 12 years old--not an ideal candidate for surgery.
Lefty, dehydrated and feverish, pants to cool off.
The good news is that he had a good night at the hospital, and this morning's X-rays indicate the wad of stuff has broken up and will likely pass naturally, obviating the need for surgery. When I spoke with the vet this morning, she told me he had even eaten a little, which she said was good because it would help with the intestinal motility, etc. and get the bad stuff out of there.
They are keeping him another night, hydrating him with more electrolytes, starting doxycylin for his Lyme Disease, and giving him some anti-inflammatories for his sore hind leg. (The doctor told me one of the symptoms of LD in dogs is "wandering limb pain"--they limp on one leg for a few days, then this switched to another leg. Lefty had shown some signs of this.)
Though Lefty is not an on-screen character in this movie (a somewhat cowardly fellow, he lets his bride Biscuit take the lead in confronting wild animals, like the time she attacked a rabid raccoon, precipitating our need for a family pack of rabies shots).
But you can feel Lefty's presence here, hovering by the filmmaker's leg (i.e., me.).
Last week,I happened to glance out my window and saw Biscuit had made a new woodland friend: a baby ground hog. My son Jack and I went out to see if the little creature was rabid, but it seemed quite healthy. Biscuit has caught squirrels and birds before, but she showed no predatorial behavior towards this little one. We think that the long companionship between our pugs (Lefty and Biscuit) and our pigs (Linus and Spaceman) may have left Biscuit thinking that this wild rodent was another guinea pig, mercifully one with no need for artificial bedding. The short YouTube video to follow documents the nature of their interaction, proof positive, I would argue, that pugs are the world's friendliest dogs!
For what it's worth, Lefty is doing considerably better, and we hope he will be okay very soon. They are keeping him one more night. I shall keep you posted.
In the meantime, please watch this little movie and forward it to your friends. It's just about the cutest thing you will ever see.
With luck, yesterday's trough will begin to give way a new and building wave peak in life's relentlessly vicissitudinal way!
[nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nJNsYSayag"]YouTube - ‪Biscuit the Pug and her Baby Groundhog Friend‬‏[/nomedia]
Sorry for not posting Tuesday workout...bad day for the coach.
LC Nationals in Auburn start three weeks from today, we will begin our taper/rest phase with this workout.
1 X 250 4:30 4:15
1 X 150 2:45 2:30
1 X 100 2:00 -
Twice through. Round 1 intervals left, 2 right.
10 X 100 FREE 2:15
1-7: swim at 80/90%
#8: at 100%
9-10: easy, warm down pace
3 X 100 kick 2:30
4 X 50 kick 1:15
50's: 25 fast/25 easy
8 X 50 1:30
Swim @ 80/90%
IM'ers: 2 of each
2 X 100 2:15
Swim down pace
4 X 50 1:30
25 sprint/25 easy
WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy 1:00