Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Freestyle Success

Yesterday was Monday so that means weights and swimming.  I like to swim the day before and after a long run because it gives my legs a little break.  I never thought in my life that I would love to do laps in the pool, especially because last year at this time I could barely swim.  In fact, I refused to even get my head in the water.  So what made me want to start swimming?  Well it was really just a chance comment on Facebook.

Last year I took my kids on a walk, to the pool, and then I went for a bike ride.  I put as my status on facebook that I had my own little triathlon and I wondered if I could call myself a triathlete.  One of my friends (Audrey, the same awesome gal who went to the Newton's clinic with me) commented that I should do the Tri for the Cure with her.  To be honest it was something I had been thinking about.  I had started running again and was cycling a lot.  So swimming was the only missing piece.  However, if you stink at running you walk.  If you stink at cycling you switch to an easy gear and go slow.  But if you stink at swimming, you drown.  Hmmm, this was not a good idea so of course I signed up for it!

I had paid my money and now I needed to learn to swim.  I thought that perhaps I wasn't as bad as I thought.  I went to the gym pool and found out I wasn't as bad as I thought. . . I was worse. . . way, way worse.  I was gonna die for sure.  Since I didn't actually want to die I decided that swimming lessons would be a super idea.  The lessons started 5 weeks before the triathlon.  Nothing like cutting it close.

I ended up learning enough swimming in those lessons to breast stroke (head above water) for the race.  Sure women two heats behind passed me, but the point was I made it. . .and no CPR was needed.  I did another race a month later and I still did the breast stroke, but this time my head was in the water!  Yeah!  Progress!

I then came across and read a book called Total Immersion Swimming.  I didn't think reading a book would actually help me swim better, but it did.  Well that and lots and lots of practice.  I am proud to say that yesterday I was swimming free style (yes with my head in the water) and breathing every third stroke.  Now I am hoping that this year that I only get passed by women from one heat back.

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