Wednesday, March 10, 2010

First Swim

I was out the door at 5 a.m. this morning to meet a couple of my friends from kettlebells and go to the pool for my first swim. And by first swim, I mean first for real swim. This morning was the first time since middle school where "swimming" has meant more than hanging out in a hot tub or splashing around with a toddler. I was so nervous, I barely slept last night. What if I drown? What if I didn't do a good enough job shaving?

I was pleasantly surprised in that I felt I could maintain relatively good form doing a front crawl and breast stroke. I alternated - 25 meters front crawl, 25 meters breast stroke. I lost count, but I think I did 800 meters total. What I would like to know from all you swimmers out there is whether clinging to the side of the pool between laps and gasping for breath is normal. Or am I just that out of shape?

My plan is to try to get to the pool twice a week. I want to get strong enough to have some confidence going into the swim portion of the triathlon - I don't have to be fast, I just have to survive. It's pretty rainy here, so I may have a second chance for swimming after work on my tempo run. Rain + melting snow = massive puddles. Good thing I have my goggles in my car.

17 comments:

Julie said...

Good luck with the swimming Heather!! You are going to do great:)

ShutUpandRun said...

Nice job. It's tough to get into the pool sometimes; but once you get going it's usually worth it. Well, always worth it.

Katie A. said...

Love the worrying about the shaving portion - priorities! A girl has to at least look good when she is attempting something new :)
You are so much braver than me with the tri, I know that is one road I won't travel down! Good job girly!

DRog said...

Great job getting in the pool! I started in January and could do 2 laps to every 1 lap breaststroke and now don't have to do breaststroke....so I think it's just building the base?

Marlene said...

Great job getting in the pool! It can only get easier from here on out.

onelittletrigirl said...

Great job getting started. I am going to dedicate a post to swimming for beginners but what I can tell you quickly is this: get some open water swim training...it is so much different than a pool and you do not want to be shocked on your first race. Also, a wetsuit might make a good investment because it gives you a bit of a saftey net since you can float in it!

Sarah said...

I went swimming for the first time recently too. Usually I just walk around the pool and watch my kids swim. I also clung to the side gasping for breath...after every lap! I figure I can only improve from there. :)

Jeri said...

swimming = hard. I got lifeguard certified during the spring of my junior year of HS. This was during track season when I was in arguably the best shape of my life as a sprinter. Lap swimming left me dead and GASPING for air. I think we take oxygen for granted as runners. I like to breathe, when i WANT to breathe, not when it's convenient for the stroke. :p

You are a stronger woman that I for doing this swimming crap. :p

Jill said...

Nice!!!! I need to get to the pool more often, I was a swimmer in college and know it's excellent recovery for achy running legs....at least at the slow pace I swim :). Thanks for the motivation, that's awesome you're getting some good laps in!

joyRuN said...

Here's what I do so I don't look so out of shape pausing every 50 meters: I pause BUT look busy (adjust my goggles, adjust my cap, adjust my swimsuit, etc.).

Then I look BUSY instead of just dying.

running mom said...

Oh I MISS swimming!!! I swam a lot before I had my first... when I was pregnant too.

When I first started I had to work on my breathing a lot, it's way different from running.

Mel-2nd Chances said...

Triathlon, here you come!!!

Running Through Life said...

Great job with the swimming!

MCM Mama said...

Way to go with the swimming!

M2Marathon said...

HAha, I hear you on the shaving! And when I swim (rarely), I do waht JoyRuN does: pause, gasp, gasp, adjust goggles, gasp, look busy adjusting, gasp, ok I think I am good to go another 50m, gasp...I used to swim a lot in college and it does get better if you keep it up. ;)

(my word verification is "equatic" --equally aquatic, it's equatic!--which makes me laugh at it's appropriateness and wonder how I could work it into my comment...)

Beth said...

Great job getting in the pool. That is the hardest part! It took me a long time swimming laps before I wasn't gasping for breath at the end of the laps. Don't worry. In the tri, you will be lifting your head to spot and be able to catch your breath. Not needing the extra air will come with time. Good luck- you will do great!

I Run for Fun said...

Wow! 800 m on your first attempt! Your rock! Ha ha...my experience is the same...I have to stop and breathe for a second before I start again...but I also don't have good form and take forever to swim 800m.