Saturday, November 18, 2006

Cross-training: Swim

In an attempt to begin cross-training, I purchased a 6-month membership to a local rec center with an indoor pool. My theory: if I spend money on something, I'm going to use it. So that being said I am now going to swim 2-3/week to cross-train.

I was a swimmer growing up. I wasn't the best on the swim team, but I was the solid backstroke leg of the girls relay team. I never DQ-ed. Needless to say, once we moved, I stopped swimming. And God forbid that I get up any earlier in high school to go to swim practice. And then college I was too embarrassed to be in front of anyone in a bathing suit. Now I have agreed to do a triathalon with some friends next summer and this marathoner is not going to embarrass herself on the swimming leg of the race.

So I got in the pool looked at the little sign "1/4 mile=8 laps, 1/2 mile = 16 laps, 1 mile = 32 laps...1 lap is 2 lengths of the pool" TWO lengths! UGH. I thought, well 1 mile is a good goal, but after 4 lengths (only 2 laps) I remembered why swimming is a hard sport. I revised my goal to 1/2 mile. Everyone has to start somewhere.

Having a marathoner's mindset came in handy: "count strokes, breathe's okay to take a break". I actually ended up taking 10-15 second breaks (sometimes longer) between each length of the pool. I felt like such a wuss, but everyone has to start somewhere. I did my 16 laps in just under 30 minutes. Which totally blows my mind. 1/2 a mile running takes me 4 1/2 minutes!!! Not that I think I'll ever be able to do 16 laps in 4 1/2 minutes, but I'd like to do it without stopping. And oh yeah, do it free-style. I reverted to my good old backstroke because I didn't have goggles and contacts don't do well in chlorine.

Swim time: 30 minutes, Distance: 1/2 mile

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