IN OVER MY HEAD

Deep End

Let me start with something different … running. This past weekend I completed my first official 10K race at the Scotland Run in Central Park. I say my first official because I ran the 6.2 distance last fall in a 50 mile relay race. I was pleased with my time of 1:02:45 but felt as though I could have done better. The race course was very congested in places, especially the first mile, and there was a bottleneck towards the end. This was a little annoying. A few people actually stopped during the race to take pictures and one man started running backwards to look for and wave at his cheering family and/or friends. I had to run outside the cones quite a bit to pass people. I’m such a rebel.

I wasn’t feeling so rebellious when I actually got around to doing a brick workout outside. Yikes!!! It was not pleasant at all. I only had time to run for a mile and it was the most draining mile ever.

Now back to my favorite topic … swimming. There are now only ten days to go to the Mini Mighty Man Triathlon. And yes, I am still struggling with my swimming. However, I have made some major strides in that I stared down my fear and ventured into the deep end. In actuality, the “deep end” is the pool in which the triathlon swim will take place. My first visit consisted of me getting accustomed to being in deep water. One of my training partners encouraged me to let my feet touch the bottom of the pool. It was an interesting exercise because I was in eleven feet of water but had the hardest time getting down to the bottom. This helped to relax me a little because I realized that since I had to work so hard to get to the bottom of the pool, the chances of me accidently sinking eleven feet were slim to none. With that done, I was able to swim a few 25 meter laps in the deep end. Yay me.

Fast forward to tonight. The task at hand was to swim the length of the 50 meter pool without stopping. Until now, all of my training swims have been in pools with the length of 25 meters or less. Once again, I would be swimming at the venue of the actual triathlon, only this time the pool had been extended to 50 meters as it will be on the day of the race and it got as deep as 17 feet.

Before I even began, things started to go bad. I somehow managed to slip and fall in the locker room and banged up my knee. This actually sounds like the makings of a joke, “a lawyer slips and falls at the pool and then …” Only it wasn’t really funny because I whacked my knee and wound up on my back. Talk about an ugly fall. I guess it might have been funny if it wasn’t happening to me. Anyway, I hobbled out to the pool and eventually commenced my 50 meter mission, making sure I was swimming close to the wall at all times. It took me a few times to make it across without stopping. I bumped into the wall a few times and had some water choking incidents. After a few tries and a good pep talk from one of my teammates, I made it across without stopping but it was probably the most ugliest 50 meters known to man. There was some freestyle, some flailing, a little funky breast stroke and more flailing but I got to the other side. The lifeguard was watching me closely and looked like he was considering whether he should rescue me. After I caught my breath and received another inspiring pep talk from my patient teammate, I tried it again. It was a little more graceful this time and I made it across. Yay me again. Now, I just have to figure out how to do it like that seven more times in the inner lanes to complete the race.

QUITTERS NEVER WIN!

perseverance

I have occasion to remind my daughter that “quitters never win” at least once a week. Now I have to tell myself the same thing three or four times each week. My swimming is improving, but very slowly.

My form is atrocious. I know what I’m supposed to be doing but implementation is eluding me. There are so many things to remember. Keep your head down, breathe, lead with your elbow, kick from the thighs and not the knees, breathe, stay aligned, inhale with half of your face still in the water, relax, breathe. UGH! My swimming instructor has taken more hiatuses than Scandal this season, but I still get in the pool three or four times each week. My tri coach, Jackie, has been a lifesaver. Thankfully, she has been assisting me with drills and tips. So onward I go but time is working against me right now as the race is in 5 weeks.

Since we’ve had a real winter, complete with freezing temperatures and snowstorms, we just managed to get in our first group ride. It felt great to be able to dust the bike off and hit the outdoors. Although I am tres rusty, I enjoyed the 6 mile ride. But I really need to incorporate more spinning into my schedule because I struggled a little and we didn’t even hit any hills.

For all of my whining about swimming, it has been helping my achilles and I’ve found that I’m better off doing some running than none at all. I have been increasing my running distance slowly because I have to be ready for a half marathon on June 1st. I couldn’t resist. The real challenge that I’m facing with running is to not push too hard. I have to remember that it is better to run slowly than not at all.