Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My First Masters Swim Class

Last night I went to my very first masters swim practice. It was AWESOME. Although I have improved so much over the last several months with my lessons, my instructor thought I would benefit from joining a masters swim group. I'm am still a beginner on many levels but doing this could move me to an intermediate skill level.

I am driving about 40 miles to get there either before work, after work or on Saturdays. There may be a masters swim closer but I really wanted to be coached by Leah Nyikes at www.liquidlifestyles.com because she is the one giving me lessons and knows my skill level and what I am capable of pushing myself to do.

Doing something like this can be intimidating but Leah made everyone at every skill level feel comfortable. I cannot wait to see how the summer progresses.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Triathlon Topic Not Often Discussed (aka: The best manicure I ever had!)

I wanted to discuss a much ignored topic in triathlons. I’m a bit of a princess - even when it comes to triathlon. I don’t mean that I’m high maintenance – I’m not. I just mean that I like things to look a certain way. Maybe I’m more anal retentive. THAT’S IT – I’m an anal retentive princess triathlete. For example, I like my tri shoes to match my bike. Last year, when I was buying my bike shoes, I purchased and returned three different pairs of shoes before I was satisfied by the fit and shade of blue that matched my bike and tri suit on the fourth pair. I think the guys at Performance Bike were ready to kill me by the time I finally settled on the right pair.

On that note, I also like to have my fingernails painted. I have always had nice nails and would give myself manicures weekly (see – I’m not high maintenance- self manicures – too cheap to pay salon prices). Not so, since I’ve been training for triathlons the last three years. Every time I’d paint my nails, it would chip off the first time I went swimming. That made my nails look terrible. I felt it was better to not paint them at all than to have them looking all chipped up.

Skip ahead to March 2011. I was at my son’s end of basketball season pizza party. I noticed the nails of one of the moms. We got to talking and she told me about this new fingernail polish called ‘Shellac.’ She said it lasted for 14-21 days without chipping, cracking or losing its shine. I said no way. I’m too hard on my nails because I swim so much. She said she was a nurse and went swimming 2-3 times a week too. I looked closer at her nails and they were perfect. She was on day 7 of her manicure. I still didn’t believe her but looked it up on the internet. Sure enough, that was the claim of every testimony I read. I had to have my nails looking like hers. So I did something I never do (or at least not done in 20 years) - I got a manicure at a salon. My husband rolled his eyes and said – here we go! I explained I had to see how it was done if I wanted to do it myself. I guess the fingernail polish is cured with a UV lamp but is easily removed with acetone polish remover – WITH NO DAMAGE TO YOUR NAIL!

I typically swim 3-4 days a week and after 21 days the manicure still looked perfect. There was only a bit of growth. That is the only reason I switched colors. After that I invested in my own personal UV lamp and the special Shellac nail polish and have been giving myself Shellac manicures ever since. My investment has already paid for itself.

I realize this is not at the top of most triathletes list of important stuff, but for me it is. I stare at my nails for a long time on the bike. I like them to look pretty and shiny. The attached picture is 20 full days after I gave myself this manicure. Still looks awesome.