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10 miles and a swim?

So Saturday morning I got up bright and early for my 6-10 miler. I wanted to hit ten miles, but I didn’t know how I would fare and I didn’t want to push myself too hard pending how I felt during the run. I was just going to run until I was tired. I started out at a nice pace but I knew I hadn’t run this far in a long time. I just ran around the streets, looking at all the Christmas decorations and I enjoyed the fact that I was in a short sleeve shirt and shorts. It was a little bit chilly, but it felt good. I thought a lot about the past year on the run.

I never thought that I would be where I am today at the beginning of the year. It was even better because about mile 2 in, I randomly saw a guy wearing a Marathon Maniacs jersey. I looked at him and smiled and teared up a little. I am a maniac. I am one of a little over 2,000 people who are maniacs, just like myself. I did it. It was a really happy moment for me to see that because one of the main reasons I became a maniac was because of the camaraderie the maniacs shared. Then around mile 7 I was getting pretty tired, which was a given, I hadn’t run past 4 miles in two weeks. I just kept pushing forward though and like I usually do, thinking that it was only three more miles, then two and a half left, then I hit nine miles and I knew I would be able to make ten, which made me happy that I could still pull that distance.

It was a great day out for a run, the sun got a little warm towards then end and people were friendly. It was a very reflective run though, and I’m really sore from it! I didn’t run fast or for time, but it felt good to be able to get out there and just go. I did some core work when I got home too. DEATH to my abs. I’m still feeling it today. Then I Christmas shopped for everyone on my list was pretty tired and went to bed early Saturday evening after watching Cars and Ratatouille, both great movies.

Then yesterday was my first day to attempt to swim. I was meeting up with someone who swims often and told me that he could help me out. Well, he could also help me out if I started to drown. I’m not scared of water or anything like that but I was nervous to try to swim. I brought my Malibu Marathon towel to make myself feel more legitimate. We worked out our arms and I did more core work in the gym before heading out to the pool. It was just a little bit chilly, but he was right, I got used to it quickly and then I swam a few little laps towards him so he could watch me. I need to work on bending my arms more and my breathing a lot.

I think one of my main problems is that when I am swimming, I swim until I can’t breathe anymore and I try to take in too much air in the limited amount of time you get to breath when putting your head to the side. So I need to breathe more often. I also feel that I start out really strong and fast and then I die by the end and my form gets all crappy. Another thing to work on is just working on swimming laps. I swam a total of 600 meters yesterday. I wasn’t that tired by the end of each lap but my body felt like it was going to sink to the bottom. The pool is so long! I just tried to think of it as then end of a race when I was getting closer and closer to the wall. I also kept telling my legs to kick when my arms got so tired. I kept thinking, Come on legs! You ran a marathon! Kick! My swimming coach was very helpful though and I’m glad he was there so I wouldn’t drown. Watching him swim, he made it look so easy! I felt like I looked like a seal who just got electrocuted. I must get better!

It was really fun though and I really liked swimming! So many people have asked me if I’m going to do a triathlon or why I wanted to start swimming. Well here is my answer.

I am not looking to do a triathlon at all at this point, and another reason why I will not be doing a triathlon is because I don’t have money for a bike. Yes, I know I have a beach cruiser, but if I did a triathlon I would want a legitimate bike. Also, people have suggested I get one from Craigslist, or something like that, but seriously, I barely have enough money to turn on the heater, so I really don’t think buying a bike would be the smartest financial decision right now. So, do I want to do a triathlon? Yes, at one point in my life I do, but not right now. Also, I started swimming because I wanted to implement something else in my workout besides running and I know swimming will increase my lung capacity and will strengthen my back. I notice when I start doing longer runs my back gets so sore. I also think that it is a great workout when it’s raining, or on an off or rest day, it works totally different muscles than running and I did really enjoy it! I just wanted the ability to mix things up. Also I live close to a huge pool where they had the Olympic Trials a long time ago, and I would love to take advantage of that. So don’t worry, I’m not stopping running, I’m not becoming a triathlete just yet. I’m just seeing other ways to work out. :)

Tomorrow comes my training plan for the Surf City Half Marathon, and yes, I’m sore today.


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  • Reply Punk Rock Runner

    Knowing you like I do, you’ll take that next step (to the Triathlon) sooner than you think and when you do, I can’t wait to read your apology letter to cycling.

    Swimming is really hard for me and I struggle with my breathing and form every time I get in the water. You’ll continue to get better, I promise :-)

    Thanks for all the great posts in 2009 and happy holidays!

    December 21, 2009 at 8:56 am
  • Reply Colleen

    I’m so glad you liked your swim! Swimming is so much fun, and so different from running like you said! It can also be really relaxing (once you get used to breathing)

    Breathing was a hard thing for me. What I started doing was breathing every 3 strokes. So I’d count, “One, two, three – breath…” That helped me a lot.

    For my first tri I just did spin class to train then rented a road bike for like $30 for the race. It worked out really well, and I didn’t have to sink a bunch of money on a bike right away. Actually, “I’ve” never bought a bike, I have always used my husband’s hand-me-downs. It’s nice being almost the same height sometimes! So, keep that in mind if you ever get the urge to do a tri. :)

    December 21, 2009 at 9:11 am
  • Reply mrs. darling

    yay for swimming! i agree with colleen (up above)…i was on the swim team in high school and we were coached to take a breath every third stroke. it really helped out because, like you, i naturally want to swim until my lungs burn then take a huge breath. we also did “no breathers” where we started out swimming half the length of the pool in one breath and worked our way up to swimming the entire length in one breath. you think you are going to die but it’s amazing what it does to your lung capacity!

    anways, congrats on the 10 miles. i love reflective runs, especially this time of year.

    December 21, 2009 at 9:17 am
  • Reply Shannon

    New to your blog and ran CIM. I suggest adding a spin class to your regimen. It has really helped my running over the past few months. :) Enjoy!

    December 21, 2009 at 9:48 am
  • Reply diana

    So cute about your eyes tearing when you saw the other maniac! Glad you enjoyed swimming. It is such a great workout.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:06 am
  • Reply naomi

    i am so glad to see that you are starting to swim! i dont have very many friends who swim (or run for that matter) and now i feel like i have another person to “talk” to about swimming! yay!

    and i share your position on a tri. i would love to do one too, and i will someday, but i need a bike first – i haven’t ridden a bike since my bmx days in the 6th grade!

    i love forward to reading more about your swimming adventures. i’m about to join another gym so i can use their indoor pool. its too cold to swim outdoors in the bay area right now.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:17 am
  • Reply Kristen

    Swimming is hard work!!! In college me and a few friends started a “swim club” haha we went swimming 2 nights a week for a month or so… but it was a fun alternative to running.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:44 am
  • Reply David

    A friend of mine turned me on to your blog a couple months ago and I have to say I always enjoy reading your posts and if I lived anywhere in the SoCal area I would’ve tried to ask you out a long time ago! ;)

    But I’m in the same boat as far as Tri’s…I can’t afford a ‘real’ bike. I would want to do it right, and to do it right I would need a proper road/racing bike costing way too much! Great job on starting the swim though–how much does it cost to use that pool? Sounds nice!

    December 21, 2009 at 11:36 am
  • Reply x-country2

    Great job on the swimming! (And personally, I think you should borrow a bike. Jsut for a race or two. I think you’d love it. :o)

    December 21, 2009 at 12:14 pm
  • Reply Kristin

    Tri soon???? YAY! :)

    December 21, 2009 at 12:18 pm
  • Reply Cut La Rock

    You’re going to be stoked after a few weeks of mixing in swimming into your workouts. It will actually make your runs easier down the road. Less wear and tear on the legs, and extra core/upper body strength for when you start to hit the wall during the long runs. I love swimming!

    December 21, 2009 at 1:14 pm
  • Reply Maggie @ It Is Everlasting

    I couldn’t swim to save my life. I am so motivated by all of your activity. I went for my first outdoor run in a while today… 30 degrees and V E R Y chilly!

    December 21, 2009 at 1:51 pm
  • Reply Sydney Hunter

    Thats great you started swimming…AND have the courage to start. I also want to implement something new into my workout routine but feel so unfamilar with swimming…thanks for sharing – the fact you started is inspiring.

    December 21, 2009 at 3:42 pm
  • Reply Nicole

    I agree about the whole tri thing! Someday- but not anytime soon unless i win the lotto- in that case, i would buy you a bike too! :)

    great job on all the exercise- you ROCK!

    December 21, 2009 at 4:06 pm
  • Reply Lara

    I am not a triathlete for the same reason you are not one; finances. That’s okay though, I’m having a really nice time being a runner and doing the other two sports as practice and strengthening. And, just to be clear, swimming is HARD. I’ve known how to swim for year, used to be a swim teacher, but since I’ve been swimming in Master’s my coach has torn apart my stroke and slowly rebulit it, bit by bit. So frickin’ hard. You can do it. Don’t get too bummed out by it though, is my only advice. (I did that, not good. Don’t go there.)

    December 21, 2009 at 6:15 pm
  • Reply Kim

    Thanks for the kind words!
    I still have your first give away…still waiting to use it to PR. Maybe in 2010…2009…there just wasn’t enough time to train right to try to PR…it was just trying to rest the body to get to the next marathon.
    Happy Holidays to you too!! See ya around soon.

    December 21, 2009 at 6:59 pm
  • Reply Chloe

    Congrats on the swim! That is such an AWESOME sport to pair with running no doubt! It will keep your arms and abs smoking hot and give you something awesome to crosstrain with! keep it up!!

    Have a great holiday!

    December 21, 2009 at 7:09 pm
  • Reply sarah

    Can you please post your ab workout? I am always looking for new moves!

    December 21, 2009 at 8:18 pm
  • Reply SDrunner

    Great job pushing through to get those ten miles in, way to go!

    I also really like swimming to complement my running (not replace, of course) I noticed my back was hurting when I was running my first half, it probably isn’t strong enough to run such long distances yet. Swimming seems like it could help out a lot!

    Merry (early) Christmas!!

    December 22, 2009 at 12:51 am
  • Reply Bootchez

    “like a seal that just got electrocuted.”

    That. Is an awesome image.

    December 22, 2009 at 8:43 am
  • Reply Brandon

    NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! I’m glad you enjoyed swimming, but ROAD BIKING?!?!? Isn’t there a more EXTREME race you can do with some jumps and $#!~? That way you can buy a Mountain Bike! Well, I guess a Triathlon is pretty extreme, except for the road biking segment. Just seems so booring riding on pavement for so long, no matter how beautiful the scenery. This reminds me of a movie I once watched, where there was this kid who was real good at doing things with his mind, but one day the “dark side” beckoned him and he turned EVIL. I know you won’t turn EVIL, and you will probably be a real bad@$$ at Tri’s too. The spin class and rental bike “seems” like a good idea, but you should probably rent the bike you are going to race on a couple of times before the actual Tri. Just so it doesn’t buck you off unexpectedly in the middle of the race. Very funny image of the Seal getting electrocuted. Kind of like Bambi trying to ice-skate for the first time… hahaha. Okay, have a great Christmas and I’ll check on your progress after the holidays.


    December 22, 2009 at 10:31 am
  • Reply J

    swimming meters is hard! They are so long! We dont have many meter length pools here and if we do they just put it to the yards format instead cause otherwise all the old ladies who swim complain…

    December 22, 2009 at 11:08 am
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