Okay, so I am officially the worst swim wife-PhD student-new mom-blogger. I stink. I don't even remember the last time I posted. Well, shame on me. Now, let's put the past behind us and move forward. Which is really a funny thing to say, since I will be going back to tell you about all of the things that I have failed to tell you over the last few weeks.
I'm not sure where I left off, so I'll pick it up wherever I want which is three weeks ago. Three weeks ago, after a family trip to Albany, GA with Mark for a Mutual of Omaha Break Out Swim Clinic, we took Mark to the airport, waved goodbye, and said, "we'll see you in a couple of weeks." Boo. I hate long training trips, though I appreciate them for Mark and do see their value. You see, Mark trains with the Auburn University college team (kind of) and with the Auburn coaches. So, come college championship season (conference championships are in February and NCAA championships are in March), those swimmers that train with college teams and college coaches must find alternative training. Mark used to just hang around and, without fail, be a bit disappointed in his lack of training. So this year, Brett (Mark's coach) and Mark decided that he would go on training trips as to not disrupt the plan. In February, Mark went to Florida to train with a French team and SwimMAC for a couple weeks, and just a few weeks ago he took a little USOC National Training Center tour. He first trained at Chula Vista and then at Colorado Springs with our friend Dave Denniston and his team.
This was Mark's first visit to Chula Vista. He said it was amazing--beautiful with fantastic accommodations. The only hitch is that there is not a pool on site (not sure why), so the swimmers were bused to a near-by pool. Mark enjoyed breaststroke specific workouts with some of the best breaststrokers in the country including Mike Alexandrov, Clark Burckle, and Kevin Swander. He loved racing the best of the best. The only other thing I really heard about, remember Mark is not a big talker, is that Mark crossed paths with the Facebook rowers. Remember the twins that were at Harvard, claimed that they came up with the idea for Facebook, and then sued the Facebook guy (and I think are suing again)? Well, they are Olympians (Rowing) and evidently still training... at Chula Vista in fact. Mark saw them and immediately texted me. Yes, we are still in awe of real famous people. Mark, though not a big talker is funny, and texted, "Do you think I should sue them for copying my idea to become an Olympian?" Good one, hon.
In Colorado Springs Mark trained with the Paraolympic national team. Here is a quick video starring Mark and the guys he trained with.
He said they were amazing. He said that no matter what their challenge, that they made it up and down the pool. He said that they worked their booties off. And, it seemed to work as Mark did get beat in practice a few times. Mark explained to me about the altitude and said that no matter how good of shape you think you are, that altitude will royally kick your butt.
Two weeks is a long time, so my mother came down to stay with Annabelle and I for the last half of Mark's trip. I am always ready for Mark to come home, though. Not to mention help with the baby, running errands, and other daily things that seem so difficult alone, I just miss my buddy when he is away. I think he feels the same, because Mark changed his return ticket and surprised us two days early! It was awesome. My girl friend (a swim coach's wife), Annabelle, and I were huddled on the sofa watching the live streaming of the NCAA championships (Congrats Dave!) when in walks Mark. I turned my head in complete shock. Even Annabelle was paralyzed with surprise. We were so happy to see him. And, again, though I understand the reason he travels, and I support it whole-heartedly, sometimes we just want him to be home.
Okay, now I promise to post again. Soon. Really soon... I swear. I've got to tell you about a note to a sponsor, and I want to follow up on a great suggestion by Turtle. Stay tuned... I'm going to tell you all about the swag.