Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Swimming Lessons

I have a HUGE goal that I have set for myself. To attain this goal, I have set myself a "list of things to do". The list inludes a) run a marathon next in 2009 b) learn how to swim c) do a triathlon in 2009. 

Running a marathon has been in my plans for a long time now. But as I always say, I want to run one when I know I am ready. I was so close this year before I ended up with a back injury that I cant pin point the cause. I had reached a point where I was doing some 90-100 miles per week with my long runs exceeding 2hrs 15mins (I ran a 2hrs 45min long run once and felt like a horse doing it) and really good strength workouts.

I also had so much school work which had me loggin in a string of 100hr weeks! I have since settled to a normal 60hr week (haah!). My synthesis (or should I say my drugs?) had me running crazy. All that time and all that research but nothing has really changed much albeit I foresee some great things sometime in the near future.

Anyway, back to that GOAL. I started swimming lessons today. When I called the swim instructor last week, our conversation started like this:

Me: "Hi, my name is Kip and I am calling to find out about swimming lessons."
Instructor: "Bla bla bla bla ... What's your child's name?"

How dare she say I have a child?

I had been taught a little, by my friend Alyssa, about swimming. I basically dont know how to breath right while swimming. And yes, I taught myself how to float! But what will floating do for me without breathing? Alyssa steered me towards the right direction on how to breath while in water but I was still having trouble and my pool closed. So, I thought it would be a good idea to pay someone with a pool and who does instruct for a living. My instructor's name is Annie. She is one of the trainers at the Michael Phelps Swimming Pool a.k.a Meadowbrook Aquatic Center. (Yes, Michael Phelps train(s/ed) here and (I believe) owns the place).

Ms. Annie is phenomenal. After introducing herself to me, she said "We are going to do Bob ..."I didnt know how to respond to that although I later learnt that its a jargon she uses while instructing. She had me learning all those breathing techniques within 45 mins (totally worth the $50/hr I am paying) and even had me doing back strokes. I have never floated on my back. Yea, I am putting my back into it (all pun intended).

Triathloning also involves biking, just in case you dont know. My friend Elf a.k.a Ryan McGrath lend me one of his bikes so I can use it for training (are my friends AWESOME or what?). I have been bking to school (45mins out, 45mins back) and have gone out several times on weekends for longer rides (1.5hrs +). I grew up biking a lot, so that was easy to pick up on. I know I need some instructions on this but I am not worried. I'll worry later when my tail gets smashed by big boys.

One other exciting recent development came last Monday. I was out jogging (no, I wastn running) when Joe, of Joe's Bike Shop here in Baltimore, MD came up to me. He was biking from somewhere. After saying hello and all that, he said "So when are you going to come in so I can hook you up with a bike?" My response came in between my breaths as I mumbled "Saturday!" I cannot wait for this day. He helped me get Elf's bike into good road shape (Elf's bike is a $3000 bike!) a while back. After I asked him if I could be a good cyclist, he basically said that if I had a better bike, I would perform better. Who knows what's in store for me?

If you read this far, I am sure you are a fan of mine. I am a fan of you too!



RM said...

Ahem, I believe I, too, attempted to help you swim. You just didn't take to my lessons because I was not in a bikini.

And I will always contend that it's not the bike that makes the cyclist, it's the engine - you just have to ride more. And then ride more. And then ride more.

kipchirchir said...

Seems like you have figured out the trend Elf! People wearing bikinis are patient! People without usually want to drown you after 2 minutes. Wear a bikini next time!

Well, I am hoping to ride more in the winter (like that is really going to happen). But remember, my more is nothing like your 6hr rides ... You are just one of a kind.

Alex said...

"if I had a better bike, I would perform better"

Oh Kip ... if you only knew the road you're going down...

When are we going to ride?


kipchirchir said...


I am up for a ride whenever man. When do you guys usually ride? See, I have no idea how my body is going to take this. Should I be worried? You guys are probably going to school me.

Alyssa said...

Kip! I'm SO excited about your swimming lessons. And the fact you call your teacher Ms. Annie. Why didnt you call me Ms. Alyssa?

PS. I need to ride my bike more too....

Maybe I'll ride in a bikini and then you'll go with me.

kipchirchir said...

So, I guess Ms Annie instructs many kids at this pool and thats how they call her. She introduced herself as Ms Annie. I believe you introduced yourself as Alyssa.

Ummmm, can we go biking today!!??

Alyssa said...

Thought you'd find this interesting:

kipchirchir said...

I read about this last month and thought it was interesting. So, those two guys are from the Kikuyu tribe (same tribe as Wanjiru, the Olympic Gold medalist in marathon). I would love to see them recruit some kalenjins (the tribe that's dominating the running scene).