Posted by: Karen | December 1, 2014

In Other News

I should say “in other sports”, because I’ve been far more active in things other than running this fall. I’d like to say I’m keeping up the yoga, but I haven’t. Maybe I’ll get back to it in the summer.

Bike Commuting

The bike commutes were going really well (130 this year so far) until Wednesday last week, when it snowed and then got really cold (-25°C). This week it’s not so terribly cold, but there’s a lot of snow on the shoulder of my street where I ride. There’s soft snirt-y snow all over the bike lane further in, and a local educational institution I ride by has even cleared all the snow from their sidewalk into the bike lane instead of onto their lawn. (sigh)

I had my studded tires re-installed and new Bar Mitts put on prior to last week, and used them twice before the snow hit. When my bike route emerges again I hope to see how well the Bar Mitts keep my hands warm in negative double digits, starting at around -10 ish Celsius and gradually attempting colder rides.

We’ll see how it goes. I don’t have to bike to work – I’ll bike when I want, and take the bus or walk when I don’t. It’s nice to have choices.

Masters Swim Club

In the meantime, I signed up for a master’s swim club this September. I have never been part of a swim club before, so this is a whole new world. We swim all the strokes, even butterfly, and I’m learning drills, which keep things very interesting. There’s a coach. Sometimes we wear fins. Flip turns are normal (at the community pool flip turns were like showing off). I have been trying very hard to remember which part of the whiteboard workout comes next – sometimes I do. Tonight I didn’t.

After the first night we did butterfly and I realized I had no idea of what I should be doing, I came home and watched butterfly swimming internet videos until bedtime. I think it helped.

Swims are four times a week – I’m trying to make it to all four, but usually I end up with three or two. In October I suffered an ear infection followed by a head cold, but now I’m back to regular swims. Swimming this often is good – I think I’m improving my coordination. I didn’t realize how much mental concentration swimming demands. I don’t have much time for daydreaming when I’m working on a stroke or trying to remember what time on the clock my next interval begins.

Swimming doesn’t leave much time for running, but that’s good for now – I’m hoping it’s really hard to re-injure my foot on one or two gentle 5 – 8 km runs a week between swim days.


  1. What is snirt?

  2. Snow + Dirt, usually it’s been plowed off to the side of the road and is grainy and lumpy like cold wet sand.


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