Only 35 1/2 lengths to go

Since my breakthrough last Friday morning when I was actually able to swim, breathe and stroke, I’ve gone to the pool 5 more times, including twice yesterday! That’s right, I’ve started two-a-days bitches!  Okay, that sounded more hard-core than it really was. But hey, I have to try to give myself a boost when I can because this whole swimming thing has been really demoralizing, so if pretending that going to the pool twice in one day is card core, than dammit let me pretend!

In my time in the pool since Friday, I have gotten pretty good at swimming and breathing while using flippers.  I’m super pumped about that.  It’s a HUGE breakthrough.  Huge.  Huge.  Huge.  And the fact that I’ve been able to maintain that skill, has me pretty geeked, hence the visit to the pool twice yesterday.

However, once I ditch the flippers that’s when things go downhill.  Quickly.

I just can’t maintain my stroke and breathing.  I can swim (omg, did I just type, “I can swim”?, who would have thought?!?!) about a half a length and that’s it.  Then I have to stop because I’m taking in too much water.  But why?  What’s happening at that time that makes me fall to pieces?  Am I going to slow to keep myself afloat? Why can’t I breathe properly?  Am I too tired?  Am I out of shape and can’t make it more than a half a length? Am I out of breath?  Am I really sinking, drowning and about to die a horrible death – which is the way it feels?

Brian thinks it’s not that I’m out of shape or going to slow or anything else, he thinks it’s that I’m not calm.  He said swimming is all about getting into a rhythm and staying calm.  And lord knows I’m anything BUT calm.  Calm has never been by specialty.

But how do you practice being calm, especially while in the fricken water and trying not to drown?!?!  It’s not like Brian can give me drills to work on that teach “calm”.  Oh sure there’s yoga and meditation that help a person learn to be calm, but that’s completely different from trying not to panic while swimming.  Oh yeah, and I’m also trying to concentrate on all the things Craig told me to, like…. kick from the hips, keep my feet at the top of the water, head down, elbow over wrist, push the water, blah, blah, blah.  That’s a lot of freaking shit in my head that’s not helping me stay calm.

I’m hoping the more I do it, the more calm I become.  I mean everything else just “clicked” for no apparent reason and I had no idea it was going to happen and click when it did.  So I’m really hoping calmness clicks for me too.  Because as of now, I can only go .5 lengths of the pool which means only 35.5 lengths shy of the 1/2 mile swim I need to do in August.  Just a tad shy!

Here’s hoping.

Until next time,

Gotta run (or swim)

Uneventful and loving it.

Where has the time gone?  I can not believe the marathon is just over 2 weeks away. I’m ready for it and not ready for it at the same time.  I think the reason I don’t feel ready is because something major is missing this time around.  —  My anxiety seems to be MIA.  Not that I don’t still have it, I do, but it’s nowhere near the level I normally reach at this point in training.  Normally, at this time, I’ve consulted every conceivable weather predictor to try to guess what the weather will be like on race day, I’ll have my pre-race meal all planned and restaurant reservations booked and I’ll have a good idea of what I’m wearing etc.  But I haven’t done any of that (yet!).

I have to say, and perhaps my husband would disagree with me, but I’ve been a lot more relaxed this training season. Other than being concerned about a lingering injury, I really haven’t fretted about much this year.  Two 18-mile runs, a 20 with hills and a 22-miler have come and gone without incident.  I wasn’t even overly anxious prior to the 20+ milers.  I wasn’t necessarily looking forward to them, more because I knew I’d be running for 4 hours and that’s just a long time and it’s really boring.  But I wasn’t too concerned about them physically or mentally, etc.  HUGE, HUGE progress for me.  Not until I sit back and think about the fact that the marathon is just over  2-weeks away and that I am already tapering, does the magnitude of this year’s training really hit me.

  • What was different this year?  Is it because I’m kinda, sorta getting a hang for this whole running thing? Nope, I doubt it.
  • Is it just that once a person has run 20+ miles almost a dozen times, it’s no big deal any longer?  Nah.
  • Since I’m not experiencing too many “firsts” with winter training anymore, am I not as shocked or worried as I was in the past? Perhaps.
  • How about the fact that since the winter was so mild, it wasn’t as grueling and curse-word inducing as in the past?  Possibly.
  • Was my resolve to have fun this year the attitude adjuster that I needed to enjoy the training?  HHhmmm, maybe.
  • Or am I too preoccupied about my fall marathon and I’m just logging the miles for this spring race to get me ready for fall? Aahh, I may be on to something with this one.

While I, of all people, will never-ever take any race for granted, I think I am already looking past this marathon and am focused on fall.  But I don’t think that’s a bad thing.  It’s made me less of a crazy person and I’ve been much more tolerable and pleasant this training season, if I do say so myself.  And it’s not like I slacked off and didn’t train hard.  I’ve actually had some really hard hill workouts and have cross trained and run as I should have.

So I guess I need to thank my soon-to-be-announced fall marathon for making me a bit more calm this winter.  It’s been a refreshing change of pace.  And it’s very much-needed because I will soon be embarking on a lot more “firsts” soon.  First time doing 2 marathons in one year and first time training for a marathon in the summer heat.  I can not imagine my anxiety level staying anywhere close to normal for this.  Which will make for a crazy, action-packed summer and a fun, foul-mouthed blog!

So until then, I’m going to enjoy the taper over the next 2 weeks and I’ll be sure to let you know how the Eau Claire marathon goes.  I hope it’s just as uneventful as this training as been.

So here’s to uneventful!

Until next time.

Gotta run.