Because the important moments in life just don’t fit in a status update! I started this blog when I was training for my first ½ Ironman, (70.3 miles) to record what I hoped would be growth and progress but ended up being a huge learning experience. Although fitness is one of the key ingredients to a happy life, it certainly isn't the only ingredient. My blog has evolved to document growth, progress and setbacks in other areas too. From my surprise proposal in Rome and wedding in the fall of 2013, to Mom's devastating stage IV cancer diagnosis and death 2 weeks after I found out I was pregnant. Who knows what shape it will take, but thanks for being along for the ride.

Monday, December 6, 2010

FIRST DAY IN THE POOL!

Workout:
50min. swim
3 mile run

I set my alarm for 4:30am and was at the OCC pool by 5:10am. Bundled up in sweats and Uggs, the last thing I wanted to do was strip down to my new less-than-attractive functional one-piece and get in. It was completely dark and steam was rising off the top of the outdoor pool. My counseling intern, Kieth, is the coach of this master's swim class. It helps to have someone I know there...but at the same time I didn't want anyone I knew to be there because they were about to bear witness to just how much I suck.

I honestly do not know how to swim. I can do it, but know zero about technique, breathing, strokes. In fact, I know so little that I don't even know how to adequately describe what it is that I don't know! But I was there this morning because I signed up for my first 1/2 Ironman and now I have no choice but to learn. It's 21 weeks away.

I got into the pool with the directive to swim 8 laps as a warm up. Kieth stopped me after 2 (or is that 4? Is 1 lap down and back, or just down?) and said, in the nicest way possible, that now he was really impressed that I was able to complete the swim portion of the LB Triathlon.

Back to basics! Kieth explained that your chest/arms are supposed to be pushed down into the water. He gave me a kick board to hold out in front of me and instructed me to practice that while kicking. All these swimmers in other lanes and there I was, in the last lane with a kick board. I held it out in front of me and practiced keeping my shoulders and head in the water. And keeping my hips/legs up more near the surface. Then he had me try kicking w/o it - with my head down. I felt like I was not going anywhere. I could not make it the length of the lane w/o getting out of breath and needing to rest on the wall. 

Next I tried swimming with one arm leading and rotating my body/head to the opposite side to try and get in a breath. I put my right arm out and just kept kicking. Each time you change arms you are supposed to also rotate your body...not just move your arms which makes sense but I had no clue. This is where core and oblique strength come into play. After a few laps of that, I was instructed to start with one arm out for about 9 kicks and then use three strokes of my arms, resulting 9 kicks with the opposite arm leading. It felt good to be using both arms, making more progress and moving through the water a little faster.

Throughout all of these drills I would get water in my ears, through my nose and into my mouth. Water in my goggles. I would try and hold my breath because I feel more efficient when I did...but then of course I would end up out of breath and need to keep my head above water longer to get more air, breaking my momentum. I'd have to stop and rest on the wall.

At the end of the hour, he told me to now try swimming a lap. I was much more efficient ... already some noticeable improvement. It felt like I was expending less energy. I am really surprised at HOW MUCH of a good workout swimming is! It is so much more cardio. and core strength than I ever realized! My learning curve is huge right now.

Before I left, I committed to being out there every day this week because I need the accountability, and if I say I'll be there I will.

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