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Posts tagged ‘swimming’

37 miles and then the letdown


So, last week was a banner week in my running. I’m not even 100 percent how I pulled it off either. I ran a half marathon on Sunday, which isn’t counted in the numbers.

Then I ran two miles because I was really tired. I made it a mission to run further the next day. Five miles worked for me. Then I just kind of kept building, outside of my no-run Thursday.

I was slated for 15 miles on Saturday. Jeannie and I got 10, which, for our first run outside in a good while, was good enough for me. We’re hoping to do the full 15 this weekend. It’s kind of my last chance for a long run before taper for the Big Sur 21-miler on April 29.

I even had enough energy to go to San Francisco on Sunday night for a social media workshop.

We stopped and ate, quickly, at Pier 39. Then we spent twenty minutes trying to drive less than two miles. And then Thomas had to drop me off at the bottom of a hill, only we didn’t know it was a hill then.

I took a picture of it as I was leaving because walking up it was nothing for me after a 10-mile run on Sunday.

I was so proud.

I even took a photo of myself with more of the hill behind me.

Then the week started. It’s technically spring break for me from school. So I have a little more time to devote to my 40-hour which turns into 50+ hour a week full-time job. Well. It’s weeks like this I forget how I’m able to do both.

I’ve had some personal defeats this week. I ran only five miles yesterday. I’m hoping for eight tonight.

But I found out earlier in the week that my swim school had close, permanently. That means no more swim lessons on Tuesday and Thursdays.

As much as I want to say “well, I can devote more time to marathon training” I know that I also really enjoyed the swimming and I had come incredibly far in a short time. I’m trying to figure out a gym membership to keep going.

But I’m not 100 percent sure I want to do that before the marathon.

It doesn’t help that I’m tired. In the too exhausted to do anything way. When I was paying to swim and someone was actually there waiting for me to show up, I was, well, more inclined to show up.

A pool at the gym? Alone? I’m not sure I want to take that route either.

So I’m not sure where I stand right now after last week’s stellar performance. I need more consistency in my workouts and in my running.

I just don’t know if I have the time for that. Or the will.

Things to catch up on

Over the next couple days I need to blog about several things: swimming, biking, a broken treadmill and pole dancing class among the topics.

I need to get on this.

And I need to start running again.

Some end-of-week motivation

Whew, my week is nearly over. Thank goodness too. I’m exhausted.

I just finished up my first set of swimming conditioning lessons. The lessons spanned over a four week period, every Tuesday and Thursday outside of one night I was in San Francisco.

And I’ve been relearning everything. My freestyle is not what they teach now. My backstroke is okay, but not perfect. I found out tonight I tread water pretty good. That’s likely from all the leg conditioning I do running (speaking of which, I did a nice six miles with Sam last night in Mountain House).

But I found myself needing a little more motivation this week after the DNS for the Stockton-based half marathon. Sigh.

Motivation is inspiration.

It kind of propels me through the swim conditioning and running. This week it came in shirt form.

I came across a random running blog (sorry, I don’t remember which) that included a link to the Saucony Strong campaign.

You can visit the page and add inspirational reasons why you run (or bike, or swim, etc.) and put an image on Facebook or email to yourself. You also have the option of making a shirt out of it. That’s what I did. And I was surprised at how reasonable it was to buy and have shipped. It cost under $30. That’s half the price of my Nike ID shirts.

Now this one isn’t made out of Dri-Fit style material, but it will be a great shirt for easy workouts or after swim conditioning.

I added my reasons and inspirations for running.

My Garmin: It’s my pace buddy.

My family: That’s a given.

A faster mile: Always working on this.

Being a better me: This is really the bottom line why I run. It helps me be a better me and put a better me forward.

Warm-up mile: As in getting through that first mile, pushing to get to the enjoyable part of the run.

Long runs: To help clear my mind. To bond with others.

5:30 a.m. alarms: That’s how early I get up for my Sunday long runs. By 9:30 a.m. we’re usually done, depending on the distance.

A personal record: I don’t run to achieve a PR, but it’s nice when I actually do.

Running with friends: They say running with friends is cheaper than therapy. That is so true. It’s my time to loosen up and be free.

Beating diabetes: I started running because I was lazy, fat and unhappy. And to beat diabetes. Every step I ran was to move closer to that goal. And I didn’t stop when I achieved it.

My husband: For all the reasons I mentioned in my previous post. He’s my rock.

I love this shirt and what it stands for. Saucony isn’t my typical running brand (I’ve recently developed a love for Brooks gear, though) but I think every time I look at this shirt, I’ll get motivated. And I’ll remember why I run.

And, as I mentioned before, that’s inspiration to keep going.

Not so fishy

I had my third swimming lesson on Tuesday. Turns out I have to get worse before I get better. At least that what it seemed like last night. I kept messing up the stroke. I kept feeling as if I was going to drown.

I’ll get it eventually,the instructor said. I hope so. Between that and feeling ridiculously uncomfortable on the bicycle so far, I keep want to running back to running solely.

Deep breath. It will get better.

I’m just not so fishy. Not even floatly.

I sink pretty well, though.

On a brighter note, I made English-muffin pizzas for dinner. My husband actually ate them and didn’t complain. He even called the idea “creative.” It’s not my idea, but I’ll take it. It works. Either way, the mini pizzas turned out pretty good, even if my swimming didn’t.


Obviously this is before I baked them. They were so delicious we ate them up quick!

Swimmer, kind of

I started swim lessons today. Not the kind where you learn to swim. I did that a long time ago.

I remember learning more by osmosis than actual lesson. I grew up in Stockton, Calif., which is where I commute to everyday for both my jobs. I lived in a neighborhood with a not-so-great park (serious, a teenage boy was shot and killed there only a couple years ago). My parents would always opt to send us down the other way on our street to a park that was further away, but in a safer neighborhood.

Victory Park in Stockton is home to the Haggin Museum, one of the greatest establishments in the city, and Victory Pool. It was also right down the street from my elementary school.

I learned to swim at Victory Pool. I didn’t want to hang out with the “babies” in the shallow end anymore. To get to the 4-6 foot end, we had to swim across the pool back and forth to prove to the lifeguard that we could do it. My sister took swimming lessons at the local YMCA. I never did. I think my mom picked up that I was slightly afraid of water (I still am, actually).

So I learned good enough to swim across the pool back and forth and make it to the other side. And then I picked up more, because my sister and I would spend the summer down at the pool with nothing else to do. It only cost $1 to get in at the time. My mom would drop us off and come back four to five hours later. That was the time when you could do that sort of thing.

I haven’t swimmed much since. My friend Sam apparently decided after me torturing her with long runs she would return the favor.

We’re now doing swim lessons twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays in Tracy.

So I packed up and headed about five-minutes from my house with a new swimsuit and goggles stuffed into a Nike running bag.

I grabbed a towel and my Amphipod running water bottle. The lesson was 30-minutes.

We did “bubbles” and glided across the pool. No kicking. We’re not supposed to kick. I have a feeling we’ll be getting yelled at a lot. And I ended up having to use a little blowfish toy to keep my chin down. My chin was supposed to be touching my chest. I wasn’t do it right. The instructor was patient with the both of us. The lesson went by quick.

I walked away realizing how much work we have to do for the triathlon it now looks like we are doing in April. We have another lesson on Thursday. I’ll be coming back from a run in Sausalito with my Nike Women’s Half Marathon team at 3:30 p.m. I’ll be blogging about the run after my lesson hopefully. About a month ago I won a spot on Team Somersaults to run the Nike half. Words can’t express how excited I am to run with the group of women I’ve been reading about.

So I’m stoked for my Thursday afternoon run (I took a day off work to be involved in it) but a little worried about getting back by 7:30 p.m. for swimming lessons. I’m crossing my fingers.

Gearing up

I’m in the midst of total marathon training, slowly ramping up my mileage over the next few weeks. I’m averaging about 30 miles of running a week right now. That’s great for a half marathon training schedule, not so much for a marathon.

So as I’m working on that, and running three half marathons this month, I’m also supposed to be starting swimming with Sam at her daughter’s swim school in Tracy on Tuesday. Why? She wants to do a triathlon.

Also why? I need to cross train.

I’ll admit that I haven’t done any cross training during my half marathon training. I’ve only recently actually started taking days off as “rest days.” That’s made a huge difference in my runs. The quality has increased. I’m running long. I’m hurting less. I was tempted to come home and run tonight, which is an off night, and I resisted. I’ll do a five-mile recovery run tomorrow before work instead (which will bring me to 103 miles for the month of September).

In any case, I’m starting swimming. I’m nervous/excited at the same time.

But unlike my high school self, I didn’t have the necessary equipment to get going. I turned to and two-day shipping to order a pair of Speedo goggles (pictured above) and a TYR bathing suit (recommended by instructor).

In total I spent about $60 on supplies so far. The lessons will cost $100 a month. I’m not learning how to swim, I’m learning how to swim better. That’s a big difference.

So we’ll see how it goes. I’m not sure when or if this triathlon will happen. But I think it will add strength to my upper body and maybe work out some muscles I’ve been neglecting by just doing long distance running.