Thursday, May 16, 2013

Ready.....Set.......Swim! Or spazz whatever.

I don't know about you but when I was a kid I spent my summers at the pool. I love swimming. I could swim for hours and never grow tired of it. Or so I thought. Years later, I discovered that I had never actually been swimming per se. I had been in a pool. You can't call what I did for hours and hours swimming. Swimming is grace and form and power. We were trapping air in our swim suits to make it look like fart bubbles escaped. Both require talent, but they are not the same thing.

So I went to the pool. I have seen swimming on tv I just needed to mimic what I had seen right? Umm nope. There is techniques you have to master and it turns out that being a complete and total spazz is not conducive to hydrodynamics. I learned that big word after I watched a ton of videos on you tube. 

After watching more 5 minute swimming videos than I care to count, I can tell you what I learned from both of them. I'm doing it wrong.

Proper Form

This is me with my legs and arms at impossible angels and my hair all over the place
I was worried about the triathlon before. Now I'm in a full on panic. I can't even swim 25 meters with out popping out of the water. And he's always there. The lifeguard, ready to throw a flotation device at my head and blow his whistle in a panic. I know he's faced with a difficult decision. I'm clearly not safe in a pool, but I'm fun to look at in a swim suit. He watches me. I can't tell if he's fixated on my boobies or if he's wondering why both knees come out of the water during my freestyle? .... cause it's freestyle BOY!

I've identified my biggest problems. My lower body sinks, my head lifts, and I can't breathe rhythmically. Essentially I can do none of the things required to swim. That's a pretty big problem. I don't have a lot of time for the obvious and reasonable solutions. With only a few weeks until the big triathlon I did what only I would do in this position. I signed up for another triathlon. This one is tomorrow. That's right it's called the Spring Sprint and it's held at an Olympic venue. The swim is harder, the bike is harder, the run is the same. only harder.

Here's my logic. Have you ever tried to give a cat a bath? They thrash, they claw, they flip around while screaming and it takes at least 5 minutes of total submersion before they suddenly relax. Seems daunting, but if you fight a badger first, well then the cat bath seems like childs play right?

For me, the Women of Steel Triathlon is my cat bath. The Spring Sprint was my badger.


It is done. I forgot to post this blog last week. The First Tri is now over and here's how that went -

Spring Sprint Recap:
Before the race I saw an elderly overweight woman and I said to myself no matter what happens I'm going to beat her.
On the swim (400 meters, it took me 15 minutes 52 seconds) a special needs girls with a snorkel passed me on the third lap. It was a little embarrassing but not as embarrassing as trying to throw a little water in her snorkel out of spite. Don't get all enraged I couldn't catch up to her so nobody got drowned.
On the bike (12.4 miles, it took me 1 hour 1 minute and 54 seconds) I quickly realized that I was in the seventh circle of hell. I was dripping wet from the pool, which is miserable with all the dirt and debri swirling around. I was in an industrial area of western Utah which means at times semi trucks were flying past me only a foot to my left. More importantly this eye sore of a location was also a portal into a world that defied physics. What goes up must come down? Right? Wrong! Not in Kearns Utah. The hills. The many many awful hills. I could literally walk faster than I was peddling up the steep incline. When I got to the top of one hill all I could see was........ the horrid realization that this was not the top of a hill but the bottom of the next. I've read about Sisyphus but this was the first time I actually appreciated his plight.
On the run (3.1 miles, it took me 42 minutes and 54 seconds) don't mock me. This is a pretty pathetic amount of time BUT after those hills your legs are numb. I have no shame in admitting I did not run. Like a belligerent child I took my time and thought about what I had done to bring about this strange and completely unnecessary course of events.
The finish line. Wow. That's what its all about. The swim, the bike, the run were all beyond what I believed myself to be capable of. It's two hours of persevering through your own fear and doubt. And then you cross the finish line and it's the most amazing feeling. It no longer mattered how long it took or where I ranked. I F&%$#ing finished!!!! until I found out that fat old tart from the beginning totally kicked my ass. That stung a little.

I fought my badger. Feels good. Now bring me a dirty cat. It's bath time.


  1. I can only imagine what I look like when I swim - the word grace certain doesn't come to mind. Good for you for doing all these challenging things! I had a friend who wanted to a triathlon when she was 25 but she never learned to swim. So at 25 years old she went to the Y and learned to swim and that same year did a triathlon. In other words - you can do it! Here from the blog hop.

  2. Great post! I just discovered your blog, I am following you now, can you follow me back?
    Xs Neja

  3. You are a freaking hilarious inspiration...good on you!