Friday, October 30, 2009

Sometimes I surprise myself

In an effort to spice up the routine today I decided to hit the lap pool and try my hand at swimming. I was dang nervous since my last attempt at swimming 2 years ago was a dismal failure. I could barely make it to one side and back without dying. It was so hard and horrible that I haven't tried it again till today.

Nervous as I was I must say that I did have some extra confidence knowing that at least this time around I've been running, so my heart and lungs are much stronger than last time. Still, I was nervous and called my sister, who has done a triathlon, to get some swimming tips. She talked to me about form and told me to try to swim without stopping for at least 15 minutes. Remembering my last experience I thought there was no way I could swim continuously that long. She assured me that my current state of fitness would help me along and that I could do it. The main thing was to focus on my breathing, 3 strokes then breathe left, 3 strokes then breathe right. Got it, on to the pool!

When I got to the pool I had a great realization as I confidently walked out to the water in nothing but my bathing suit. I remember being in high school and even college and being MORTIFIED of wearing a bathing suit in front of people! If I ever did it was with a t-shirt and board shorts. Sometimes I'd ditch the t-shirt but NEVER swam without board shorts as I felt my legs and thighs were too hideous to be shown to the public. Ha ha!! Guess the whole birthing process, where I had a room full of total strangers not even blink an eye as they stared at me in all my glory, kind of helped me get over that fear. That and just realizing that this is my body and imperfect as it is, it works hard and I'm blessed to have it!

So I found an empty lane, pulled on my goggles, took a deep breath, jumped in and started counting my strokes, "one, two, three, breathe left!, one two three breathe right!" Before I knew it I was at the other side of the pool! Feeling so pleased with myself for making it to the other side without dying, I thought I'd be fancy and try to do that neat little Michael Phelps flippy thing where he turns around. Um, yeah, that was awkward. After doing a few uncontrolled flips in the water that never led to actually turning around, I realized I would need some experienced tutelage before I tried that again. Back to swimming, "1,2,3, breathe left! 1,2,3, breathe right!" Back and forth I went without stopping. My heart was pumping and my arms were burning but I was moving across the water and feeling strong! 15 minutes went by and I knew I had more in me. I pushed hard for 5 more minutes and stopped to catch my breath at the 20 minute mark. "Wow" I thought, "this is kind of fun!" I pushed off the wall again and went at it for 10 more minutes. After half an hour I stopped and started backfloating to cool down. As I floated down my lane, staring up at the ceiling I thought back on how doubtful I was of my ability to swim for 15 minutes. I smiled as I happily realized that sometimes I surprise myself with what I can really do.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Where did October go?

Today I had to sign and date a paper and when I wrote in "10/27/09" I literally dropped my jaw in disbelief! This month has flown by for me with a trip to Utah, Taber's marathon, my sister flying in for a week and other crazy events. Somehow in the midst of the insanity, running has taken a back seat. I usually run 3-4 times a week. Before yesterday I had only run 4 times the whole month! Being busy isn't really a good excuse though. I've been busy before and fit running in. I think it comes down 2 different reasons:
1) It's getting cold (it snowed last week) and it's much harder to be motivated to run in 30 degree weather.
2) I don't have a race I'm training for. When I'm training for something I MAKE myself run, even if I'm busy, on vacation, or it's cold. I really need to find a race, but with winter approaching the pickings are getting slim!

Excuses aside, I really do love running and I've missed it. Taber knew I needed a boost and a few weeks ago he got me a gym pass where they have a great childcare so that I can run during the day, even though it's cold outside. I went yesterday and today and it feels awesome to be moving again. I started out easy, 3 miles on Monday. And even that didn't feel as easy as I thought it should. Guess slacking off has some backlash. Today was better though. I did four miles and even kicked it up and did "speed" intervals. My slow miles were 9:13 pace and my fast miles were 8 min pace. I tried doing a 7:30 min/mile sprint and that only lasted for a 1oth of a mile! So much for being fast ; ) I miss running outside but I think this gym pass will be a lifesaver this winter. Now I just need to find a race. Any ideas?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It's been awhile...

Um yeah, it's been awhile since I blogged on here. Last week I was in Utah visiting my family and the running thing kind of took a back seat. I did manage to get in 5 miles early Monday morning before our flight, and then on Wednesday my sister watched the kids so I could run. I did 4 miles on the track and finished in 33 minutes. I felt like I was super fast. It was fun. But then I spent the rest of the week eating A LOT of great food and pretty much doing nothing in the realms of exercise until today when I forced myself to hit the gym for a 4 miler. It was harder than normal (not working out and eating excessively does that to you) but I'm back and looking forward to Taber's marathon this weekend! The weather forecast says he's facing a 40 degree high and rain and snow showers that day. Can we say TROOPER!! I'll be there with bags of warm dry clothing on the trail, just in case... Despite the weather though I think he's excited ( I know I am!) He's ready and I know he'll do great!