Don’t Focus on Drowning

Because the IronGirl triathlon is officially less than 2 months away and I hadn’t done much in terms of triathlon training, I decided last week that I really needed to do something about it.  My inspirational triathlon/marathoning friend told me about a local triathlon club that met up for workouts twice a week at a gym in Towson.

I e-mailed the contact person for some info on the club and he informed me of the twice a week workouts AND the 2 free sessions.  How could I say no?  I’m a sucker for a freebie.

I grappled with going to the ONE HOUR swim workout last week for awhile. 

I had attempted a swim the day before with atrocious results (another incident where my superstar husband annoyed the crap out of me).

I also sometimes suffer from a socially crippling anxiety that does not allow me to go to new places where there are strangers and I am supposed to show some measure of skill.  It was especially difficult to get over the fact that I would be wearing a very unflattering one piece swimsuit with equally unflattering swim goggles.

I figured I had no choice – I had to act like a normal adult and just do it. 

I felt like a complete nerd for the first 20 minutes.  There were many skilled (and surprisingly much older) swimmers in the group.  Some of these women were in amazing shape.  WTF was I doing there?  On top of that – the coach, who was very nice and patient, had me stand in front of the group and explain the workouts for the night (he had to give me a quick lesson on what they meant).

My worst nightmare was coming true!  I was afraid he was going to make me demonstrate how crappy of a swimmer I was next but thankfully he didn’t.

He had me swim a few laps on my own and then he came over to talk to me about my form.  Not surprisingly, I had bad form.  The good news is that I can keep myself from drowning. 

He gave me some pointers and a drill to work on – the freestyle kick.  The drill consists of holding my arms stretched out in front of my head and kicking.  The drill is supposed to help me keep my head down.  Who knew that this slight change in form would keep my butt from sinking?  Only when I need to breathe do I take a stroke and lean my head out of the water.

After doing this for awhile, he had me swim 200 yards straight… without stopping.  I’m sure that doesn’t seem like much to any of you but I thought I was going to DIE.  And when I get tired, my form gets sloppy, I panic, I swallow water and then I think I’m drowning.  Not fun.

The coach gave me a really nice pep talk that inspired me to finish.  I was the last swimmer (since it was taking forever) and the class cheered me on.  I felt like a dork but it was nice to have the motivation.

I went back on Thursday for the 45 minutes of swim followed by 45 minutes of cycle.  I felt good this time.  I thought my form had improved and that this particular swim would be much easier. 

I’m not sure what the f happened but I thought I was going to die in this class.  My legs kept cramping up, my ankles were killing me from the kicking and I just didn’t have the energy.

I had a breakthrough at one point (towards the end – go figure) where I realized that if I just relaxed and not focus so much on the potential of drowning – I can actually swim 300 yards.  Amazing.

I’m going back for more torture tonight.  You’d think I would have stopped (it is exhausting to workout in the morning, work all day and then fit in an intense workout in the evening) but my inability to swim with ease just makes me realize that I NEED this class.  And yes, I probably should ditch the morning workouts but I have scaled them back and dammit, I need them to wake up.  It is a part of my routine.  Don’t judge me.

 I was so exhausted after Thursday night’s workout that I had to call Theresa to confirm the news of Michael Jackson because it was just so out of the blue.  I had to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating.  And I wasn’t.

1 Comment

Filed under Charm City Kim Runs

One response to “Don’t Focus on Drowning

  1. I’ve never met anyone as massochistic and you, my dear. You are crazy.
    That being said, I have stupid amounts of respect for you for kicking the ass of both that pool and your fear.

    I really am feeling like a masochist these days… stupid early mid-life crisis. But thanks for the respect!

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