Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Friday Night Fever

Friday, June 22, 2012

The rec center is hosting a swim competition this weekend, which means the natatorium is closed.  Which is fine because I wouldn't have been able to go swimming early this morning anyway.  Not that I wanted to since I had basically just finished a swim class, but later in the day I found myself wanting to swim a few laps.  Weird.

In the evening was Zumba.  I've been to this class at least once before, and I wonder how successful a Friday night Zumba class will be.  Evidentlly, there are several of us who have no lives.  Luckily one of these is my friend Tangila.  Zumba takes place in the 2 adjoining activity rooms.  Usually Tangila stays to the far side whereas I stay pretty much in the second row in the center so I can see what the heck is going on with the instructor.  Today Tangila joined me on my side, and I think it made the class so much more fun.  I felt like I used to when I went to class. 

So I think the solution is to be with a friend.  If I'm on the other side of the room and can't see what's going on, there's always the option of breaking out into free style. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Spin and Swim

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Spin and Swim.  This will be my Tuesday/Thursday ritual for the rest of the month.  


It's taking some getting used to waking up at 5 am for early-morning workouts.  And by the time it's second nature, school will be back in session and they will be taken away from me once again.


I slowly got out of bed and made my way to the rec center for Spin class. I was dismayed that we were out of peanut butter, which is what I eat before early morning workouts; just a teaspoon, but we didn't even have that.  Luckily, I had a Luna bar, so I took a few bites of that on the way.


I decided that I will just be happy to have a class to go to and not concentrate on what he does and doesn't do or what music he plays.  As class really got started, I thought I would push myself with his instructions and really give it my all rather than doing the minimum with the tension.  When he said to add it, I did, more than I usually do.  I added it until I could barely keep the minimum of our rpms that he suggested.  It was tougher.  Then about half way through class, he had us come up out of our seats.  I was surprised and happy, because I had already come up a couple of times just to give my booty a rest.  That was the only time he did it, but I found it promising.  


I kept my end of the bargain with the tension, and I think I should have been doing that all along, rather than pacing myself for what may come.  Because I could have handled it, but I used the excuse that I was pacing myself as a cover for the fact that it's really about me hating adding tension.  And I'm only cheating myself.


After class, I thanked him for getting us up out of our saddles a little bit.  He admitted that it is brutal to be in the seat the whole time (which is what I suspected when he got up and walked around.)  He is easing us into it since it takes some getting used to, but in the weeks to come, he will be adding more challenging things and changing things up a bit.  


Yea!


I was nervous about swim class because she said we'd be working on speed.  I really want to work on technique and not really worry about my speed, and I was going to talk to her about that.  


Turns out this is our last night with Meagan.  For the last week of class a guy named Tim will be taking over.  I think I'm going to like Tim.  According to Meagan, he over teaches.  For me, just starting out, I think over teaching will be a good thing.  


She had us do drills.  Different types of swimming followed by regular laps at different speeds.  When I was confused about something she was talking about (like a zipper stroke) Tim was all too ready to explain it to me.  Some of these things don't make sense to me.  Like the zipper thing.  I don't see how this is supposed to be beneficial since you are moving your arms against the water.  Turns out I was doing it wrong, and before I could ask questions, we were moving on to the next thing.  


Most of the laps were good.  I think the freestyle is going to be my strongest, since that is what we do the most of.   At one point, we had to swim 50 yards in a minute and a half.  You got to rest for what was left of your 90 seconds before taking off for the next 50.  This wasn't as bad as I thought as I had about 15 to 25 seconds of rest between sets.  I was worried about it, and I told her so.  I mentioned my ideas of technique vs. speed, and she explained herself.  There is a method to her madness.  She does watch me, but she is not seeing anything to critique me on.  That is good news, but I wonder if she is not watching me enough.  But that may be the critic in me.  All the drills and speed are meant to build endurance.  Even the speed work is meant to build stamina and confidence that will be needed in the tri.  Tim will be working with us next week on different strokes, and she told him that I would want to work on technique.


I think it's going to be a good week.  Kelly and I thanked her.  I know I learned a lot from her, and she's always at the natatorium, so she is there if I need her.


When all was said and done, I had swam 900 yards, and Kelly had swam 950.  Another half mile down.  Then I thought about it a different way.  I had swam the Half Ironman distance this week.  Granted I didn't do it in the 1 hour 15 minute time limit, but the distance is good enough for me.  Three weeks ago, I would have never thought I would swim half a mile in a single day; so this is a milestone to feel good about.


I'll take it.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

1000 Yards!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Last night was one of those nights.  My youngest didn't feel well, and she couldn't lay down without getting sick.  I propped her up on the pillows on the couch, so basically she was sleeping sitting up.  Which means that I was sleeping sitting up.  At least until midnight which is when I carried her to bed hoping that the worst was over. 

Thankfully it was, but as 5 am rolled around, I was exhausted.  I managed to get myself up without too much arguing, but I was still late for Spin class.  However, Jason was helping a new girl, so they were only flat-roading.  I wasn't missing anything but a long warm up.  I am grateful to have a class again, but I wish it was more varied.  We did the same kind of stuff, adding tension, slowing pace, adding tension, maintaining pace, etc, etc, etc.  I kept wishing he would have us do some jumps or something, and I had to stand up on my own just to get out of my seat for a minute.  


I noticed he always gets up in the middle of class to walk around for a second.  He also stands up himself for a bit.  So why doesn't he consider that the rest of us need to get off our butts, too?  


When it was all said and done, I had logged in 14 miles.  That's not as much as usual, but I was late.  At least I burned enough calories to negate my breakfast.


Later was swim class.  I got to the rec center a little bit early because I wanted to check out this Zumba instructor that no one seems to like.  Everyone tells me I would recognize her because she used to be in class with us, but I didn't know her.  I saw Lydia waiting for her class to start, and I wished that I could just go to her class instead.  


Maybe I'm just a runner.  I do like going out for my runs, but I do not feel that way about cycling.  I don't even really like Spin, I just think it's a good workout and calorie burn.  And now that I'm adding swimming, I can't say that I am loving it; although I will consider that I just need to give it more time.


As I slumped over to the natatorium, I really didn't want to be there.  Especially since Kelly had texted me that she wasn't coming.  She wasn't feeling well.  I chose an empty lane and decided to swim a couple of laps before class started.  I swam 200 yards figuring I would swim the rest of my warm up with everyone else.  Sure enough, they all swam their 300 yard warm up while I swam another 150.


As I waited for our next set of instructions, she told me we would be doing a pyramid workout.  She had it all written down and it was something like this:


300 yards (slow/medium/fast)
200 yards (medium/fast)
100 yards (fast)
200 yards (medium/slow)
300 yards (slow/medium)
200 yards (cool down)


I just looked at her.


And I continued to look at her.


Finally I said, I'm just going to do what I can since I am a beginner.  
She said, "I keep forgetting that!" 
Then she wrote out a modified version of the pyramid just for me in which she basicallly halved everything.  As she was doing this, she told me how much she has seen me improve since day one.  She's noticed that I don't rest as often and my form is better.  For being a beginner, I was doing very well.  It was encouraging to hear her say this.  I told her my average 25 yard lap was 35 seconds, and she seemed pleased with that.  I also told her that I didn't think I had a "fast" pace for this workout, but she said any amount of difference was good and I should just push a little bit more on those laps.  


Okay.  I could try that.


I ignored what my classmates were doing and i just took off for my own swim.  I learned a lot on this swim.  I realized that I am getting better at this whole breathing thing.  I can now make it almost 50 yards before I start to feel winded. I also realized that if I use my legs too much, I can't quite make it the 50 yards without gasping by the end of it.  She had told me to break every 50, so this worked pretty well for me.  


When it came to doing my fast laps, I waited for the timer so I could pace myself.  My regular laps were still averaging 35 seconds, and I seriously doubted that I could do better than that and still make it back; but I was willing to give it a try.  I could push myself for 75 yards, and I could always slow down or rest more if I needed to.


So I pushed off.  I used my shoulders and arms as much as I could and barely moved my legs.  I tried to hurry.  When I got to the other side, the clock indicated 30 seconds!  I had shaved 5 seconds off my time.  So I took a second, and I tried it again.  This time the clock read 28 seconds!  7 seconds difference!  I was happy with that, and I told my teacher when she asked how I was doing.  She gave me a high five, and I found it kind of funny that this young girl's approval was making me so happy.  Toward the end of my workout, I used the paddle board for 50 yards.  I just had to catch my breath, and it gave me an excuse to practice my kicks.


I did my cool down, a 150 yard swim and another 50 yards using the kickboard again.  She wrote down on my paper that I had swam 800 yards including my warm up.  800 yards!  That didn't include the warm up I had done before everyone got there, so that brought my grand total up to 1000 yards!  


1000 yards equates to .56 miles!  No wonder why I was so tired!  After I realized this was my distance for the day, I didn't feel too bad about using the kickboard for 100 of those yards.  Maybe next time, I won't have to.



Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Monday without the Blues

Monday, June 18, 2012


There's nothing like waking up at 5 am to have an argument with yourself.  I know I need to get more swimming in, so I planned on going to the natatorium before work to get in a good half hour or so of swimming.  


But when I woke up, staying in bed and sleeping a little longer sounded like a better idea. The truth is I was intimidated.  I didn't want to go and swim with all those early-morning swimmers - the ones that know what they're doing - the ones that swim so effortlessly and glide through the water with ease.  I didn't want to worry about sharing a lane with a total stranger.  And most of all, I didn't want to get out there and possibly not do well and then feel bad about it the rest of the day.  


I didn't want to go.  I heard my voices telling me to get my a** out of bed.  They were telling me that I was going to have to get over these issues sooner or later and the tri is coming sooner rather than later.  Begrudgingly, I got out of bed and got ready to go.  


That's the short version, by the way.


Luckily, Monday morning must be the morning those swimmer stay in bed themselves, because it wasn't crowded at all.  As a matter of fact, there was only one guy in a medium speed lane.  I had two slow lanes all to myself, although I only used one.  ;)


I just did freestyle swim trying to concentrate on my breathing and my legs.  It's really so much to remember, but it's getting better.  I even tried to time myself, and it seems like my pace is about 35 seconds per 25 yards.  I don't know if that's good or not, but that's what it is.  It's good for me.  I did have to rest quite a bit, but as long as I could keep going, I was happy.  I lost count of my laps, but I think I swam about 450 yards.  The guy that was in the medium lane was going pretty fast, so I was going to check out what he was doing with his legs.  I waited for him to get to the side of the pool I was on, and then I went underwater.  At that point, he decided to do the breast stroke, so what he was doing with his legs was of no use to me.  And maybe that was lesson in not stalking swim moves of fellow swimmers.  


All in all, the morning was a success.  But then as evening came, it was time for something equally, if not more, vigorous.


It was time for 30 in 30.  This class is intense.  There were no stations today, just one exercise after another. Punches and jumps and planks.  OH MY! There was no break in between exercises.  I was literally dripping sweat within minutes.  DRIPPING!  I found myself wondering if I could hang for an entire hour.   I think the hardest thing was the plank push up things.  I don't really remember how to do them now because it's like post traumatic stress and my brain is blocking the memory of them, but the soreness in my arms and abs is a reminder that something did take place.


Next up was Zumba, which frankly was like one big cool down after that 30 in 30 class.  There were a couple of new songs, which is always (not) fun.  It makes me want to break out in free style dance since it's impossible to keep up with the new moves when it seems like the instructor doesn't know them either.  So that's what I did.  Just for a few moments, but my friend Tangila joined me.  After that I have to admit that I half-assed the rest of the class, but I just couldn't get into it.  Luckily, there was only 15 minutes of class left.  


All in all, I think it was a successful workout day.  I logged all my stuff into My Fitness Pal, and it said I would weigh like 20 pounds less in 5 weeks, but I know that My Fitness Pal lies, so I won't hold my breath.


At least not until it's time for me to swim again.


Good Mornings

Saturday, June 16, 2012


It's almost exactly a month until I start meeting with the Pearland Area Road Runners again, so when Kelly and I decided on a 3-mile run, I didn't worry about it too much.  We'll be logging in the miles soon enough.


The Texas weather is here, and I blame it completely for our time.  We were slow.  But it is still a good training run, and getting out there is still better than staying on the couch.    It was not a very eventful run, but it was a very enjoyable one.  I'm beginning to think the bunny family that lives on the corner has moved.  I have not seen any bunnies in a month.  But even though there was a lack of bunnies, there was not a lack of cyclists including a large group. I mentioned to Kelly that I'd seen them before.  They had passed me up a couple of weeks ago, just like every one else I see when I'm out.  Whether I'm running or cycling, and now even swimming, someone is always passing me up.


But I'm not beating myself up over it.  Because I had a great time running, even though our pace was not so hot.  We made it back in time for me to go to Zumba, so I did.  I left as is after changing my shoes.  I got to class and my face was still red and my shirt was still drenched in sweat.  So I was all bring on the music, because I was already warmed up.  


It was a good workout morning.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Skipping Class

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Life kind of got in the way this week.  And I have to admit I got in my own way this week.   Monday evening, my daughter was home for a couple of days, so I missed a workout.  Which would have been okay because I have spin and swim class on Tuesday; but then I stayed up too late watching the Spring Show video with her, and I didn't wake up for spin (which my friend Tammy has so lovingly called me out with her comment to this blog.)  I was all set for swim class, but then my Dad wanted to take us out to dinner, so I opted for that instead.  Then of course, Wednesdays are out because it's too busy.


From what I understand, I think I am glad I had to miss swim class.  She had them do these 50 yard sprints in which they had 1.5 minutes to complete.  If you finished before the 1.5 minutes, you got to rest before doing the next one.  They did this for way longer than I would have been able to hang, and I'm afraid this would have shattered my already-fragile confidence.


Since Tammy did call me out for not showing up to Spin class for two classes in a row, I knew I couldn't miss again.  I kind of thought that since I missed a couple of classes, Jason would be a little bit tougher.  But I think his style of class is just generally a little easier.  He likes to have us maintain 90 rpm's at different tension levels.   Then he'll have us maintain 90 with low tension, then we add more tension at slower speeds for short time periods and then speed back up again, etc, etc, etc.  It's kind of boring. Lots of sweat, but kind of boring.  To make it worse, he engages in conversation.  This is good and bad.  It's good because he talks to us about important stuff like nutrition, we get to know him, and it makes it personal.  It's bad because he gets too involved in off topics, and he loses control of the class.  If he's talking about random stuff, he's not instructing us.  And if we are all able to have random conversations then the workout must not be challenging enough, and we're not concentrating on what we're doing.  There has to be a balance. I hope we find one.  


Which brings us to Thursday night.  I tried to get to the rec center a little bit early to get a couple of laps in, but I only made it early enough for a couple of laps before my fellow classmates were showing up.  I'm beginning to think my swim teacher really doesn't know what she's doing.  I mean, I think she's a great swim teacher, but she has never done a triathlon before.  She has guarded several, but she has never participated in one.  And her teaching is very scattered, and it seems like we should be concentrating on technique.  Apparently, the guy in our class brought this up Tuesday, so I didn't have to. It makes it better that someone that actually knows what he's doing would say such things and it's not just me talking out of my behind.  Because most of the time I don't really know if I know what I'm talking about.  


My friend Tammy is a great swimmer, and she told me I should be proud of the 325 yards in 12 minutes.  That's actually a pretty good place to be with no training, so I was trying to hang on to her comments as I started swimming.  


We did a few different drills.  One of which I was rolling my eyes because it looked ridiculous.  Luckily the pros in the class did it first because she changed it when she realized what she had instructed us wrong.  But basically, we were kind of on our side swimming with one arm up in position like you are about to put it back in the water.  You swim on that side until you need a breath and then you switch.  I doubt that makes any sense, but it is important, because something clicked in these 100 yards of this kind of swimming.  Breathing was a little easier, and I didn't feel so winded.  I enjoyed those 100 yards.  


Time ran out pretty quickly after that but even the freestyle cool down we did at the end seemed a little better.  I still have so much to learn.  The thought of swimming in Lake Houston still scares the crap out of me, but scared is okay.  Scared is better than terrified.  I'm sure the pendulum will swing back to terrified before the tri comes, but today was what I needed to get a little of that gumption back.  And hopefully one day the pendulum will only swing between nervousness and confidence. We'll see.  


Of course, I still have to think about biking after the swim.  


Ok...  Back to terrified!!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Silence is Deafening

No doubt that the lack of running miles is taking its toll.  I went for a run this morning, and although it went well, I wondered if I could still run a half marathon tomorrow.  Probably not.  This was a 4 mile run, and I was ready to be home by the end of it.  In my defense, I think running long distances is much easier when you have a running partner, and I had none.  I also think it would be easier without  a running partner if you weren't running in Texas in the summer, but maybe that's just me.  Marathon training starts up on July 14th, so the miles will eventually go back up into the double digits.  I can't feel too bad about it (although I do) because of all the other stuff I'm working on right now.

It's hard sometimes to not be so down on yourself.  For the first time since this whole thing started, I lost an argument with the voices in my head.  I was supposed to get up for Spin on Thursday, but I was really tired and (I must admit) medicated.  So when the alarm went off at 5 am, I heard the voice say quite loudly, "GET UP!" 

Instead of an argument like I normally have with myself, I simply responded, "No." 

"Get up!  Just get moving, and you'll feel better and you'll be glad that you went!" my inner self said.

I responded  by rolling over and going back to sleep.  There was no discussion.  No banter.  I just ignored myself and rolled over.  And I didn't wake up until 6:30.  Then I proceeded to have the worst swim lesson, so there wasn't even that to feel good about at the end of the day.  I should have argued with those voices.

I bring this up because today my Dad had a book signing at Barnes and Noble.  The title of his book is The Silence is Deafening: Poetry by the Voices in my Head and Other Friends, and he was autographing his book and singing some of the songs from his CD Poets and Dreamers.  Like me, my Dad is his own worst critic.  He inspires me; he inspires others.  He was nervous about today, but as I watched him grab his guitar and sing his own songs, I was so proud. 


Autographing his book

The sign was on the store window.  Awesome!





















He was confident.  He was warm.  He was personal. And he played music and words that were his and his alone, melodies that only existed in his mind before he put brought them to life to share with us. 

I was proud.  I was moved.  And I was inspired.  And I realized that I must get my tenacity from him.  He doesn't give up.  He keeps going, and he looks for ways to improve. 

I had a bad swim day.  But I'll keep going.  And I'll look for ways to improve. 

The silence is deafening.  And even though sometimes the voices in my head are not nice, I prefer having them to listen to, to guide me, and yes, even to fight with if necessary.  It will only make me better in the end.


Friday, June 8, 2012

Zumba with a Crick

I somehow got a crick in my neck sometime during this week.  I've been trying to work it out, but it lingers.  


I do love my Zumba classes, but I know what's been missing.  My friends.  I have friends in class, but they don't always show up and they don't cut up with me like Tiffany and Kelly used to.  Alas....


Luckily, they added a Friday class at the rec center with an instructor that I like, Annette.  The music starts and we did a good warm up, and I can feel my neck trying to protest.  I keep dancing, and I found myself singing what songs I knew in my head all the while interjecting ow-ies into the lyrics.  


"you make me this, bring me (ouch), bring me down, playing (ouch)
Make me (ouch) like a freak"


I think the week of exercising with this crick is taking it's toll, and now I am feeling a pinch in my booty.  I know a visit to my chiropractor is in order, but there's just so much going on right now.  


We'll see.  

Swimming Sucks

Thursday, June 6, 2012


I left my swim class feeling optimistic on Tuesday, and I walked into the natatorium today feeling the same way. After we swam for a quick warm up, our instructor gave us our first assignment.  We would be swimming a 12-minute swim to see where we are.  At the end of the month, we'll do another one to see how far we've come.  My assumption is this is like the beloved Magic Mile.  Oh, how I love the Magic Mile.  (Not!)  If I would have thought of this before hand, I may have been more prepared for what was to come.


It was my turn to go, so I took off for my first lap trying to remember everything I learned on Tuesday.  At first everything was going well.  On about my 4th lap, 100 yards, I started getting a little winded.  I took a quick break at the end of the pool to clear out my goggles, and I took off again.  But this time my goggles weren't sealed completely and water got in them.  I tried to ignore it, but it's a really weird sensation when you're flipping your head to the side to take a breath and the water is sloshing around in them.  So I eventually stopped mid-lane to empty them out.  This happened several times, by the way.  Once I got back around lap 6, I was tired.  She told me to swim on my back to catch my breath.  So I did, but then I was using my legs too much, and it didn't help.  Erin passed me up a couple of times.  A couple of times I waited for Kelly to get to the side to let her go ahead of me because I knew she would pass me up.  I tried a breast stroke for one lap, but it was futile.  It didn't matter what stroke I used because I was tired.


I watched my classmates gliding effortlessly through the water.  And I was done.  We still had five more minutes to go, and I didn't want to do them.  I was a mess.  This was only 12 minutes.  IN A POOL!!!  I can't swim 12 minutes in a pool and I am supposed to put myself out in a lake?  At the Mother's Day tri, I heard the winds were so bad and the water was so choppy.  How can I handle those conditions with water that I'm afraid of if I can't handle the pool!!


 I stayed by the side for longer than my pause.  I didn't want to swim any more, and I felt like crying.


I couldn't let the tears come; I didn't want them, and I couldn't sit there for five minutes either.  I took a deep breath, and I heard my voice.  I pushed off the edge and took off again, trying my best to follow all of my new rules.  Right, left, right, breathe, right, left, right, breathe, cup your hands, bend your elbows, right, left, right.  I pushed and I pushed until at last our time was out.   I've never felt myself sweat in the water, but I know today I was.


When all was said and done, I had swam a little over 325 yards.  Kelly had swam 425, and the other two ladies swam 475.   I was careful not to speak for a moment, even to Kelly, because I was afraid of not being able to control the tears.  Eventually I did speak, but my instructor encouraged me and reminded me that this was just a test.  The end of the month will be better.  


I was shaken. I really just wanted to climb out of the pool and go home.  But instead she handed me flippers to put on my feet.  And she gave us paddle boards.  So for the next 150 yards, we swam with flippers with our heads above the water.  Well, at least my head was above the water.  Once I got the hang of them, it was kind of fun.  We swam some more using the buoys between our legs so we wouldn't use our legs.  Although Kelly's face showed disdain for the buoy, I didn't mind, because I got to practice my breathing more.


I think that was about it for class.  But maybe I've blocked the rest from my mind.  I tend to do that with stressful or awful memories.  


I know I need practice.  I know this, but I'm worried.  I know how to tread, but tonight I felt like I was drowning and like I was in way over my head. 


I don't like that feeling.


Triathlon Swim Class

Tuesday, June 6

I went to my first triathlon swim class.  I am really nervous about the swim portion of the tri for so many reasons. 
1.       It’s an open water swim.  I really do not like non-chlorinated swimming areas.
2.       I am not an efficient swimmer, and I don’t know how to breath properly.
3.       I don’t like the fact that I hear you get kicked in the face quite often because there are so many swimmers swimming around.
4.       The transition from bike to run was hard enough.  I can’t imagine adding swimming before all of that.
This is why I’m in class.  I was the first one there, and I asked where I should go.  The kiosk guy (who didn’t even know there was a tri class before I said anything) didn’t know who my instructor would be and said to go to lane 1.
I went to lane 1.  Lanes 2 through 10 were being used by a swim team.  Then I saw this guy putting down some equipment.  So I asked him, “Are you teaching the tri class?”
He looked at me like I was crazy.  He said, “What?”
“Are you teaching the tri swim class?”
“Uh.  No.  This lane is for master class swimmers,” he said still looking at me like I had lost my mind.
“Ok.  They said go to lane 1 and you are at lane 1, so I thought I’d ask,” I said and walked away.  Geez!  Like I’m not already so out of my element and he’s all “Uh. This is for masters!”  Whatever!
I felt better after Kelly got there.  We went into the activity pool to get wet and get our swim caps on and waited for our instructor.  Finally she came out.  There were five of us all together, including one woman who does not want to do a tri but just wants to improve her swimming. 
First our instructor (I forgot her name) had us swim across the pool (25 ft) and back to see where we were.  The five of us had two lanes, so Kelly took off first and I followed behind her.    As soon as we got back to the side, I could tell she was going to call me out for something.  She said we looked pretty good, but a couple of us had to work on our breathing. 
Next up was a swimming with this floater between our legs so that we would be forced to use our arms, and she looked at me and said something to me about breathing.  I told her I didn’t know how to do that, I never learned, and my tendency is to lift my head.  I know this.  So she had me practice this by giving me a paddle board and I had to swim with my arms out in front of me on this board, and I would practice turning my head and taking breaths while swimming.    We did this for 100 feet. 
After that, she had us do the floater-between-our-leg thing for another 100 feet.  I felt like I was getting a hang of the breathing thing, but I was still short of breath.  But I think it’s more of a learning to swim breath thing.  Kind of like how I had to figure out how to breath while running.  Now I have to build up the cardiovascular endurance of this activity and figure it out.  So I felt better about that, but then she said my hands were open rather than being cupped to help move myself through the water.  I would have to work on that too.  And this is something I know, because I remind my little one to do this all the time.
Next up was freestyle swimming.  As I made my way down the pool, she was waiting for me on the other side to tell me I was still opening my hands.  I told her, “ I know, but I’m still freaking out about the breathing thing and trying not to lift my head, and then I remember the hands, and I’m trying to remember it all, but it’s so much to remember, so I’m still just trying to figure it all out!”  She laughed with me and said she would try not to give me too hard of a time for a couple of weeks.  I told her she could give me hell and I’d be working on it.   The next length of the pool, I made it to the other side proud that I had not lifted my head, I had cupped my hands, and I remembered to move my arms the way she had said.  Kelly was there, and I asked her, “Was she watching?  Because I was totally cupping my hands!”  I don’t know if she was or not, but I told her about my accomplishment when she came back to the side. 
Next she talked about the breast stroke, because this is a good stroke to use if we get tired or are out of breath in the tri.  After demonstrating the proper form, we got to try it.  I’ve been doing the breast stroke wrong for a long time.  Like forever!  I always moved my arms and legs in the same motion, like a frog.  But your arms and legs are supposed to be opposite.  I would swim, swim, swim, and then I would realize that I was synchronizing the movements.  So I would stop where I was and start again.  Then before I even made it the 25 feet, I was synchronizing again.  It took some getting used to, and even when I was doing it properly, I wasn’t doing it properly.  That one is going to take some practice.  And I really feel like it’s an inefficient swim.  It seemed like a lot of energy used,  and I felt like I was barely moving.    But maybe I’m just doing it wrong. 
The last thing we did was a five lap cool down.  Just an easy swim any way we wanted for five laps.  This is when my legs started cramping.  I would just stop and try to tread water and move my leg around until it stopped.  I wasn’t scared, but rather I couldn’t stop laughing. 
Finally class was over.  When it was all said and done, we had swam a total of about 500 yards.  Not too bad.  I think the Tri Girl Tri is only 300 yards.  But it is in a lake.  (shudder!)
I fell asleep pretty easily, but I was awoken at 3 am with horrible shoulder pain.  Shoulder pain in the area in front by your bones that surround your neck; what are those?  The clavicle bones?   That’s where I was hurting.  I was so sore, and I couldn’t get back to sleep.  I also know we have no pain meds in the house.  Instead I opted for this all-natural Icy Hot kind of stuff that my mom got me.  It’s very strong, and unlike Icy Hot, you can feel it working for a couple of days.  You can literally feel this burning sensation coming from the inside of your body.  It’s really good, and it has helped a lot with sore running muscles.  So I put it on my neck bones and shoulders, and I lay back down.  But then I realized I had gotten it on my actual neck, because all of a sudden my neck was on fire.  Then I had to get up and get a wet towel to kind of wipe it off of my neck.  That was better. 
I tried again to go back to sleep, but even though the lotion was working, I was still in quite a bit of pain.  So got up AGAIN and went downstairs to see if there was anything that would help.  I was even willing to take a cold medicine as long as it had some ibuprofen or something in it.  Then I found a prescription from a dental appointment for 800 mg ibuprofen!  Praise the Lord!  I took one, and went to lay down one last time in hopes of falling asleep.  Sleep finally came back about 4:30 by the time it was all said and done. 
I had to get up at 5:30.
Needless to say, I did not get up and go to the gym before work.  But I will be back there on Thursday for more spin and swim torture.  

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Spinning into Action

Tuesday, June 4

The rec center has added Spinning back to the early morning schedule.  Yea!  Just in time for summer.  Now that I don't have to wake up my little one for school, I can get to the gym before work.  Matt is not the instructor, but it's also not the dreaded Stephanie.  It's a guy named Jason. 

Turns out Jason is a trainer at the rec center, so hopefully we won't be losing him any time soon.  He said he would take it a little easy on us today, but we were not allowed to miss his class from here on out.  Ha!  It's been so long since I was in a class, and now I remembered how much I hated it when I first started, and I found myself wishing the clock would move much faster.  I can't remember my exact time, but I remember looking at the clock and thinking that I was make much better time here than on my bike at home.  I kept going trying to keep up with him.  Most of what he did today is have us hover in the 90 rmp range and then add resistance while staying in a certain range for short periods of time.  Then he gave us a "hill" at the end.  It wasn't necessarily a hard class, but it was hard in the sense that I'm out of practice.  And it's so freaking early.  Even before I left the house at 5:15 am, there was way too much movement before coffee. 

I think he's gonna be a good instructor.  The only problem I had was there was not enough standing.  Who ever thought I would complain about not enough standing.  But honestly, my booty needed the break.  I have the feeling he is going to be much tougher once we get into the swing of things, but I have the summer to try to hang.

When the hour was up, I had rode 17 miles. 

11 mph vs. 17 mph.  How can I bridge that gap on the real road.?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Slacker Blogger

Monday, June 3

I am falling behind on my blogging, but the good news is that I am working.

Sunday, I felt much better, so I went to my Zumba class that I love so much.  Nothing new to report there, other than I think one of the mirrors in the room is a skinny mirror.  So I am going to try to get a spot in front of that mirror every time I go from here on out.  I LOVE that mirror!

Monday, I went to a new class called 30 in 30.  I have no idea why it's called that.  I mean I know the second 30 is because it is 30 minutes long, but what is the first 30 for?  I have no idea.  So the class is only 30 minutes, but it is intense.  It's like a boot camp.  She set up all these stations and we had to do all the activities for one minute and then we had a 15 second transition to the next station.  One minute is a long time when you are doing some of these things.  Like one of them was holding a plank and then alternating lifting your knees to the side of your body.  And then I heard her say, "Put your butt down!" and I was all, "Do you want me to put my knees to the side or just hold a plank, because I don't think I can do both."  At least that's what I said on the inside.  On the outside I did my best, but I think my booty was still too high to be considered a good plank.  Before our first round was finished I was sweating bullets.  She gave us a one minute break in between rounds which was excellent for water consumption. 

It was a good class, and I'm glad they are offering it on a day where I can come.  After that was Zumba, and I wondered if I was going to make it through after that.  Unfortunately, I forgot my shoes, so I had to wear my running shoes.  As soon as class started, it was clear that that was not going to work.  My Brooks do not want to move and shimmy and pivot.  They want to move forward.  By the second song, I knew I couldn't finish the class in them or I would hurt my knees.  I took them off and gave it a go in my socks.  Which was not really good either.  They were a little too slick, and even though the floor is made for activity, it was still pretty hard.  I did have to modify my moves a little, but it was still a good workout.  At least until the 3rd to last song when I almost ate it.  I don't know what I was doing, but I almost fell.  I put my shoes back on for the last song and the cool down.

Note to self-DON'T FORGET THE SHOES!!!

7 Mile Bike

Saturday, June 2


This morning, I was going to do a brick workout.  But then I woke up with the worst headache.  I think it's because my dog was extra smelly and wreaked havoc on my allergies.  Who knows, but I do know that I had a headache.

I woke up later than expected, and by the time I got out the door, I really only had time for one or the other.  So I biked.  I put on that damned helmet that I love so much, and took off down the road.  I really don't like it.   But I must, so I do. 

Right at the mile mark, I got freaked out because I heard voices behind me.  But then I realized that it must be the announcer at the near-by high school stadium.  (I tend to get freaked out pretty easily)  Then when I was going to round the corner, the voices came back. Only this time they were people, not a sports announcer.  It was a four-pack of cyclist passing me up like I was standing still.  One day, I'll be that fast.   They were going to go back for another loop, so I turned the opposite direction to make my rounds to the front of the neighborhood. 

I was speeding up a little at this point, but not fast by most standards.  Then at mile 3, I saw this older gentleman that I always see riding.  He had a riding partner with him today, and they were dressed in the same cycling suit...which was yellow and black.  So they looked like bumble bees passing me by, and I had to smile in spite of myself. 

Since I was only going to be biking, I had to step it up a notch.  And also, I had realized that the time I posted that I had ridden 1/2 my tri distance, I was wrong.  I thought I had ridden 5.5 miles, and it was only 4.5.   This time I repeated my entire course, and I was cursing myself as I was doing it.  My inside voice was all, "What the hell?" and I was all, "Shut up and just go!"  and then the voice said, "You suck!" and I replied something that was not very nice.  And I thought this is what it has come down to;  I am shouting expletives at myself. 

I was tired, and by the end of it, I was sighing out loud.  And I had finished a seven mile ride with an average pace of 11 mph.  Which is strange because when I was doing Spin classes, I would get up to 16 to 20 miles in an hour, and this pace was no where near that.  I know it's different with the real bike and all and the wind was blowing against me, but I think it all comes down to even though I am pushing myself, I could push harder.  But that's hard to do when I feel like I am pushing myself already. 

The good news is my headache left.  Unfortunately, it came back a few hours later along wtih a slight fever.   And I was glad I had gotten my workout in already.  Because then all I had to do was lay on the couch.