Monday, February 17, 2014

What a Non-Swimmer Has Learned About Swimming

Things I've learned swimming:

1. I can blame my receding hairline on the swim cap. Yep, that's the story I'm using!

2.  The batthing suit hides NOTHING. No matter how many times I pull or tug, the back fat remains. 

3.  Using a kick board is deflating...and super exhausting. All these years running and I never knew just how tired my legs could really feel. 

4. Pool buoy should be considered an investment and not an expense. I used the Rec Center's pool buoy (free) and it's that hard styrofoam kind of material and it chafed my thighs...ouch!

5.  I should have invested in a Lotion company and will start asking for bottles of Eucerin for Christmas. 

6.  I am not an amphibian. Breathing while immersed is not easy and I am amazed at how uncoordinated I feel at times trying to breathe. 

7. Pay the extra for a good swimsuit. My Speedo Endurance has worn like iron and I love the straps. 

8.  Lastly, not every practice session will go well. It's a lot like running so I know not to get deterred. 

15 weeks left and at least I knowi can swim 2,000 yards. I'm no Natalie Coughlin, but I'm getting a little better each week and really starting to enjoy being in the water. 

Friday, January 31, 2014

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Half Ironman Training Update

During January I've been able to reach my target goals for training.  I'm surprisingly not as exhausted as I thought I would be - strange, right?  I am surprised how much laundry I generate - hardly any from my work clothes, but wow the WORKOUT clothes are multiplying.

So during January, I am averaging 3 days a week swimming and I can swim 1500 yards without stopping.  No, I can't do flip turns without having the coordination of an elephant in water.  I tag the side of the pool and hope I'm counting correctly.  And counting? Holy crap, my math skills suck and I know this from trying to figure out the difference between swimming laps in a pool that's 20 yards length versus 25 yards length. The good news is I signed up to be a part of the Ohio Masters Swimming group and I am excited about doing drills and having help to impove my stroke. I have A LOT of work to do.

Biking.  Phew, what an ass pain! I fortunately have "toughened" up my "seat" and can now bike on the trainer for an hour with minimal squirming. I'm like a Starbucks cup of tea, though - I feel better if there's double insulation versus just a sleeve, if you know what I mean! I'm bored out of my mind.  I have tried to watch TV, but I hate the commercials.  I can't read because I slow down to turn the page and, before I know it, I am spinning at 11-12 mph pace and that just won't help me finish.  I think I'll have to go to a spin class or maybe take 2 classes back to back to get in a good session.

Running is funny.  I am completely disarmed by the fact that I don't have a long run.  I have been running half marathons and marathons since 2006 and my mind just can't adjust to only doing 3-5 miles regularly. The training plan I'm using got Greg through the Wildflower Half Ironman, so I know it's tried and true and well-tested. I do have to admit I like my body not taking the constant pounding of running - so that part I sure can adapt to.

For strength training, I've been going to Pure Barre classes once a week for the past 3 weeks.  I'm in love with this class.  Each instructor has had slight modifications, but I love that I'm really working my core (abs, arms, legs) without wrecking my knees.

Best part of all this is I'm down 4 pounds since the New Year!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Thoughts Drifting Off to Hawaii

The half ironman training is in full-swing in this house, but that should not be our only Hawaii-related focus.  Megan, Bridget and I have found our minds drifting off to, what we believe will be, an amazing island vacation! Fashion, food, and island activities.  It only stands to reason that we should spend a little time on Pinterest daydreaming about spending 10 days in a warmer climate...and what better time to do this than now, when we're getting super frigid temps here in Northern Ohio!

We'll be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary while in Hawaii.  This might be a nice outfit just for that dinner!

Luau outfit, maybe? Would be nice for going to dinner on both islands.

Greg has scheduled us for a luau about 3 hours after our expected finish time.  I'm hoping the seats are comfortable and the people next to us don't mind the sweet scent of Icy Hot!

I've always been known as the turtle and not the hare.  Let's hope this little fellow will show me the way to each of the buoys and recognize me as one of his own!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Best Christmas Gift (and Most Used)

My parents gave me the Carry Me Om Tote from Lululemon for Christmas last month and I have been using it every day since the beginning of the year.  I love that it's waterproof, which is perfect for taking on my 3 times per week swim sessions.  I have a spot for my goggles, swim cap, and I don't have to worry about my phone getting near my soaking wet swim suit.  I can empty the swim stuff out, put in the running stuff, or even use it for a weekend bag.  Plus, I'm totally fashion-forward, which the gym is simply not used to seeing out of me!

Monday, January 20, 2014

A Splurge

I'm splurging and treating myself to a new pair of prescription sunglasses.  Hard to believe, but I've been wearing glasses since second grade and I've never owned a pair of prescription sunglasses.  I am fortunate enough that I don't have to wear my glasses while reading (yet!) or while doing everyday activities.  However, I do have to wear them while driving for distance.  I caught myself sliding my Ray Bans over my existing glasses and I knew that not only was a making a HUGE fashion faux pas, but I was probably giving passing motorists something to laugh at!

So thanks to Lenscrafters and their 40% off sale, I will be coming home this week with a new (designer) pair of prescription sunglasses.  Yay me!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

My Newest Fitness Obsession: Pure Barre

A Pure Barre facility opened near where I live about a year ago, and I had been wanting to try it out for quite some time.  I finally made the time and took a class together with my oldest daughter.  Guess what? I loved it! And so did she.  Never before had I enjoyed a workout like I did at Pure Barre and I couldn't believe all the muscle groups/body parts that were targeted.  I thought getting out of bed the next morning would be tough, but it was actually day 2 that challenged me the most.  Oh, and when I sneezed,  I felt my abs ripping apart or coming loose or something equally as dramatic.

The instructor was perhaps the best part of the overall experience.  She greeted Meg and I first asking if we had taken one of their classes before. She explained everything with a smile, helped get our equipment, showed us to a space and then kept touching base with us during the class.  It wasn't overkill either - it was much appreciated.

The class is fast-paced set to music and incorporates varying moments of working all leg muscles, glutes, arms, shoulders and abs....lots of abs.  After working each of the targeted groups, you take a moment to stretch and relax.  I wasn't sure I was going to make it after the first 12 minutes, but then found myself forgetting the time and really enjoying the experience.

Not only will I be back, but I've scheduled myself for 3 additional classes and plan to attend one class every week as part of my strength training for the upcoming half ironman.  As a girl with occasional knee problems, I loved that Pure Barre focuses more on building core strength and balance without all the jarring involved by exercises like plyometrics.