Monday, January 21, 2013

Swimming Dummy

My swim-coach-friend
I'm trying something new this winter - swimming. I am not a strong swimmer and find it very challenging on many levels. But my good friend and training partner encouraged me to come by the high school pool for open swim. Swimming in the summer is easy, natural and warm. Swimming in the winter is scary, new and difficult.

I am a swimming dummy. I used to think swim caps were intended to keep your hair dry. When I was starting to train for my first triathlon last summer, I bought a nose clip because I remembered being splashed in the face a lot in the triathlon I had done 13 years ago. 

"You need to breathe through your nose," my swim coach-friend reminded me. Duh.

At the high school pool last week, I was waiting in the lane to start my laps and my friend said, "We'll start on the bottom." I asked another lady who was training with us, "Does she mean the bottom of the pool?" (The answer is no, the bottom of the time clock.)

I don't know what a good time is for a length, or a lap, or an interval. 

But I'm there, once a week, logging in the yards. 

That's another tough thing - it takes me forever to swim a half mile. Like 30 minutes. I can run a half mile in 3 minutes and 30 seconds. I can run a half-mile zoned out. I can run a half-mile 10 times in a row, 20 times in a row...but to swim a half mile? It's tough. It's both an accomplishment and a frustration. All of that work for a measly half mile? Good lord. 

Running isn't easy but I'm so familiar with it that I'm not scared to do it. Sometimes I am pretty freaked out to get in the pool. But I do it and I feel good afterwards - and that's a feeling that's very, very familiar!
Running in my local park