Monday, October 13, 2008

Pool Party

It should have been a fun swim.

It was supposed to be a relaxing, fun swim.

I would have liked an easy-going, relaxing, fun swim.

But it wasn't. Through no fault of my own, though.

A quick side note: Sure, I may race for Peanut Butter Cups and Peanut M&Ms, but I love, absolutely love the baked goods. Give me a piece of sheet cake (marble with butter cream frosting), and I'm a very happy camper. A sugar-high, cake-buzzing, happy camper.

So yes, I'm still true to the October Challenge on TriGirl Pink's blog (no candy, no baked goods!), but I simply wasn't aware of my love for the baked items until I swore off them for a month.

As of yesterday, it had been 12 days of no baked goods. No cake. No blueberry muffins. No pumpkin cheesecake. No cookies (or cookie dough). No creme brule when I went out last Saturday with Nate, because I wasn't sure if it was included in the baked goods...

Trust me, I'm working hard here. The last thing I want is to inadvertently cheat. Kind of like finding out you were on track to set a PR in the 1,000 swim, only to swim 950. Or something like that.

In summary: I am a good girl!

Back to my swim.

The workout code was "Hard: Steady". I wasn't sure exactly what that entailed, but lots of sprinting combined with 2 X 750 pulls with paddles sounded downright masochistic. Apparently, my coach has a quirky sense of humor.

But I started off on the warm-up and then main set, noting between brief stints on the wall the lifeguards setting up tables and chairs on the side of the pool, a few lanes down from where I was swimming.

And that's when the parents and kiddies arrived. It was a huge pool party.

Not the kind where a few little friends jump in the water and splash around. No. No less than 25 kids were running and screaming up and down the pool deck, jumping off the diving board and having a great time. Briefly I smiled, happy that they were young enough to unabashedly show their joy.

Another set of Hard: Steady! completed, and I found myself gasping on the side of the pool. My Darth Vadar-like breathing may have attracted the attention of a few parents, concerned that their child was choking on something they shouldn't be eating yet.

And then I saw it: the cake.

A GIANT sheet cake, white with something colorful coming out of the top. Was it a volcano? Could the parents have commissioned a sheet cake with a frosting volcano coming out of the top? Or where my eyes playing tricks on me?

Before I was tempted to jump out of the water, steal the cake, and run out of the pool, I started my second 750 pull. Quote: I am a good girl! But I swear, I would have covered the half mile to my car - sheet cake and all - in well under 3:00. Speedwork, right?

The thought flashed briefly through my mind: a mad woman, wearing only a bathing suit, cap and goggles, running with all her might towards the parking lot, making off the a kiddie birthday cake with parents and kids stare in amazement. What I wouldn't do for sheet cake.

And then I found myself growing more bitter by the second: stupid kids! They didn't know how good they had it! They could stand around, stuff their faces with chips and coke, and eat cake! Humph! And the parents? Bringing sweets, treats, chips, and CAKE to a pool where people are obviously trying to workout. It's not fair I tell you, not fair!

I may have screamed out underwater; I can't be sure.

And then it hit me: let them enjoy their cake. Let them enjoy their youth. When was the last time I ran around in a bathing suit, eating whatever I wanted and having a great time? Okay - races don't count.

That's the beauty of youth: kids aren't taught to be ashamed of how much they eat or how they look in bathing suits. They just want to have fun, enjoy the pool, and celebrate a friend's birthday. It was me who needed to get a grip.

Oh well, the plight of aging.

So instead of dwelling on what I didn't have (Sheet Cake!), I focused on the rest of my swim set - finishing off my sprints with as much flourish as I could muster after 2 X 750 pulls. And it was as good as I could make it be.

But gosh darn it, I could have certainly used a piece of sheet cake for my effort. Perhaps a corner with lots of frosting?

Only 2 and a half weeks to go. And next time I encounter a birthday party at the pool, I'll sit back and watch the kids enjoying themselves. But you never know about the cake: I have some serious running speed work to work on, and running as fast as I can toting a hijacked sheet cake would be a great workout. Food for thought, eh?


Muppetdog said...

Great job on the hard swim and on resisting the cake. The only thing that keeps me away from frosting-laden mounds of cake is the memory that they never taste quite as good as they look.

Pedergraham said...

Ha's almost like someone planted that cake there for temptation!!!!

kerri said...

Way to resist!! I couldn't get into that challenge..not yet. Saving that for Lent! Yeah, two more weeks....and you'll have cake and M&M's in your running shorts.

Eileen Swanson said...

Ooooo, sheet cake ;-) YUMMM! Way to not give in....


Damie said...

I never fully committed to the challenge, but I have cut back. If a sheet cake were in front of me- I just don't think I would have the willpower. I must be a junkie. :)

Anonymous said...

HA! Too funny - funny what certain people like. I wouldn't even look 2x at a sheet cake! HAHA...I would much prefer homemade choc. chip cookies - but good girl! :) Jen H.

Mira Lelovic said...

Um, I've realized that most of America is having a daily party with their nutrition. I also realized that's why I feel like such an outcast trying to "be good". But yes, kids certainly should enjoy it while they can. I would have scooped up all the icing with a shovel and left the cake. Maybe that's what I need to get my &*# moving in the pool! Shhh, don't tell Jen.
You've got some serious will power to pass up the creme brule. I would have definitely counted that in the "other" category and went for it. I don't think wine or margarita's are prohibited in this challenge either. Just an option!

Maijaleena said...

You know those kids would have clobbered you if you stole their cake, right?

2x750m pulls? ouchy on the arms. good job toughing that out.