I am marking this, the final official day of winter break, in four ways. First, instead of making some ill-conceived attempt to work (and not really succeeding), this morning I went to my first ever Pilates class. Second, I am listening to WNCW today, instead of the music I work to. Third, I am going to take a stab at finishing my book, which would mean reading 200 pages. (Luckily, it is a mystery, so this is possible. Also luckily, it is vacation, so everything does not have to be about achieving goals.) Fourth, I have just laundered most of the fleece clothing in the house (not inconsiderable), so since the dryer recently buzzed, I am now wearing hot fleece--ahhhhh.
But I am not writing this to talk about vacation; I am writing about plans. Specifically, I am thinking about "resolutions" for the year, and about assessment. Quite a few people say that most New Year's Resolutions go down the flusher pretty quickly because they are vague and often a little over-ambitious. So, here are seven resolutions, and then seven swimming goals. I am writing them here so I have a record of them.
1. Swim 150 yards or more of butterfly in every swim practice. This goal started as a "swim more fly" sort of goal, but OK, assessable. The 150 yards does not have to happen all at once, but it will require me to swim fly in "choice" sets, which I am not always inclined to do. 150 yards feels like it will require diligence, but it will not kill me. By summer, I would like to be swimming 300 yards of fly in each practice.
2. Find non-computer-related break activities and use them to replace aimless internet searching, doing several days worth of Washington Post sudoku at a time, etc. The PP pointed out recently that I used to do more gardening at our other house, so this was a better break. I agree. Also, one of the people on the swim team pointed out last night that constant computer work may be causing some of my neck and shoulder pain. I am not happy that this resolution is phrased so vaguely, but I am not sure how to assess it, so there you are. I am thinking of things like cooking, gardening, reading books away from the desk, etc. as break activities for the days when I work at home. This next one is related:
3. Turn off internet and e-mail while working. This goal is partly about not overindulging in computer activity, but also about increasing productive work. There can be occasional exceptions, for when I am using the internet as a part of my research--but no play.
4. Eat one salad, one large piece of fruit, and one other vegetable per day. This is an attempt to make "more fruits and vegetables" real, and my thought is that substantial portion sizes will get me closer to those USDA requirements. And back off, all you nutrition nuts! I am trying to be realistic!
5. Exercise 4-5 days per week instead of 3-5. That explains itself. Exercise can include swimming or strength training, but not leisurely walks around town, although those are a good bonus. When summer comes, and teaching goes away, then we raise the bar to 5-6 days per week.
6. Do shoulder exercises every other day and also stretch on those days. I fell off this wagon when the semester ended. Ahoy!
7. Ice sore shoulder after swim practice. Not necessary after every practice--only when it is hurting. This will be more fun now that the PP's fabulous mother has given me excellent icing equipment and I can say goodbye to the leaky plastic bag filled with melting cubes.
There. Those are the plans for the year. I will also post them here at my desk.
Now, swimming goals for this year. I do not want to set time goals around my breaststroke, because that would require upping my training from last year, and I do not see that as realistic, or even desirable. So instead, I want to target events that I usually ignore or avoid--a lot of butterfly and backstroke, both of which I have been working on in practice.
1. Swim 200 back in competition. I have only swum this even as a part of a postal meet, never in a regular meet.
2. Swim 200 fly in competition. Ditto #1.
3. Swim 1000 SCY free in competition. I have never done this race, although I have swum the mile once and also the 500 several times. This is the only race that I have no time for, if you include postal meet times for the 200 back and 200 fly.
4. Swim 400 IM strong in competition. I tend to avoid this race, or else really slack it. I want to try to beat my previous best time (6:06.47 SCY). That time is from November 2004, and every time since then that I have swum it (all of twice, one of them postal, one in a regular meet) I have gotten slower.
5. Beat previous best time in 100 SCY back and SCM in competition. (1:23.67 for SCY, 1:33.45 for SCM, and that SCM time is from December 2004, before I began writing about swimming.)
6. Beat previous best time in 100 SCY fly in competition. (1:16.73) This will be tough, because I was hauling ass in that race, even beating all but one of the other people (read: 13-14 year old girls) in my heat.
7. In one week during the summer, swim every practice that my masters team offers. This has to happen in the summer, because it is logistically impossible with my teaching schedule. The practice schedule includes 7 x 1.5 hour sessions, M-Th pm and T/Th/Sa am. I will have to work up to this, to avoid injury.