Trying to overcome my swimming anxiety…

Yes I have swimming anxiety.  Not the kind that makes me fearful to go into the water.  As a matter of fact I’ll be the first one to jump in the deep end with my grandkids and the last one to get out.

I love the water.

I hate the water.

Wait..what??  It’s true.  If you ask me to go swimming, go to the ocean or the lake I am there before you can finish inviting me.

Yet last year when it came to doing the one and only sprint triathlon I had signed up for I chickened out.  The anxiety about the swim part grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.

I had done this tri before so I knew the drill.  It was an outside pool swim and you were seeded according to your swim time.  The last time I did it I was the next to last to get in and  out of the pool and I barely made it.  I promised myself it would never happen again.

I have no problem being the last out of the pool. That’s okay but what I didn’t like was how I struggled with the swim.  I thought I had trained enough but obviously not.  I knew what I had to do.

So last year I signed up for it again knowing that I REALLY needed to practice, train and train some more.  And guess what I did?

I got a PhD in swim procrastination.  I did some training but by the time the triathlon was 10 days away I started to panic so I rationalized as to why it wasn’t a good idea to participate.  My lame reasons amuse me now but I remember waking up the morning of the tri and thinking “Wow that was such a good decision” and then a week later beating myself up for not at least giving it a go.

One of my main reasons ( aside from the lack of training) was the waiting by the pool for a good 2 hours before it was my turn.  Not only was it in the blazing sun but there were women  (it was a women’s only tri)  already crossing the finish line by the time I got in the pool.

An embarrassing, anxiety inducing, heat exhausting wait.  Nope wasn’t going to do it.

The joke was on me.  They used two pools this past year to avoid the wait.   Beat myself up some more upon hearing that.

So here it is January 2017.  There is 8 inches of snow on the ground and I am thinking about  wiggling and contorting my post Christmas, post birthday celebration body into a swimsuit and going for a swim.

Snow and swimsuits  brrrrr

Of course the main problem ( which I always blame my lack of training on) is there is no close by indoor pool   I have been patiently waiting for the one to be finished that is about 25 minutes away but it’s taking forever.

Wouldn’t you know as I was online checking on the pool construction status I find one on our local military base that is not only what I need but can use right now.  It’s a little farther away but doable for once or twice a week.

And my anxiety started simultaneously with the excuses as to why I couldn’t manage this. Everything from:

  • there will probably be all these fit young military people swimming there..how embarrassing to be the slow poke
  • to the old standby “I don’t have the time for this”

I got myself into such a state of anxiety I was starting to think about the leftover birthday cake downstairs that would taste so good with a hershey kiss chaser.  So far I am resisting…barely.

After a couple of deep breaths I made a decision!

I WILL swim this week Thursday* because despite all my reservations, all the silly excuses I make up,  all my anxiety over doing it, and not really wanting to put on my suit I KNOW that I will be so disappointed in myself it I don’t at least try..or should that be tri.

What will you Tri this week???

 

P.S. Its Thursday because it fits into my schedule but most of all the roads in my community won’t be iced over by then!

 

 

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The Bike Trainer almost won…. The gadgets are taking over

It was one of THOSE days last Tuesday.

The New Year brought us new gadgets and inspiration to get the old gadgets up to speed.  So we found someone who actually knew what he was doing in the audio/video field to fix what many others had mucked up, and get the new stuff set up correctly.

And along with all that came a new learning curve for us  me.  I now know enough to write things down and try them out before I let the electronics wizard out the door.

And while I didn’t do any of the setting up I was answering lots of questions,  testing things out and running up and down stairs.  Considering what happened later with the bike trainer I  should have considered THAT my work out.

The next hurdle  in the elctronics adventure will be to get Paul on board since everything now operates differently.  Normally I would not think this would be a problem but since he claims Amazon is not user friendly ( WHAT??) I have some concerns.

So this evening with about 95% of my brain used up on new electronics I decided to go for my first indoor bike trainer ride since last year.

And  I couldn’t JUST go ride the bike ..NOOO I had to go get my Garmin watch to track my miles and speed.

From there it went like this:

  • Remember that I needed to put in replacement parts  on my bike so my Garmin would sync with my bike
  • Find replacement parts
  • Find iPad so I could follow you tube video on how to do it
  • First video has no sound, find second video
  • Go get flashlight that actually works
  • Go get scissors
  • Go find glasses
  • Watch video, rewind, go get towel to clean off spot on bike to  replace sensor that I lost
  • Fool around and ruin 2 out of the 3 zip ties that came with replacement kit
  • Finally get it working
  • Lose glasses
  • Find glasses
  • Get water
  • Change clothes
  • Go get shoes
  • Fiddle with TV so I have something to watch
  • Get on bike, need glasses
  • Get off bike, get glasses ..fool with Garmin Watch
  • Get on bike, get off bike to find TV control
  • Get on bike..room is too hot
  • Get off bike turn on fans
  • Get on bike and actually start cycling and realize I didn’t cut off zip ties and they are rubbing bike frame
  • Off bike,find scissors,  cut zip ties, adjust bike on trainer
  • Ride bike for 10 minutes and realize I never started watch which if you recall STARTED this whole fiasco
  • Start watch and cycle for 3 miles

At one point I was about to throw in the towel and just give up but I perservered.  And now I need to find my second wind because I can’t find the paper that I wrote down the instructions on how to turn the TV off.  Its either going to be a long night or a noisy one.image

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Good-bye old friend….

It’s that time of year again.  I have avoided it for several years but it is a must this year.  It’s time.  I have to say hello and good-bye and both will be painful in a way only women can understand.

My time came earlier than for most of you.

I have to …I have to..I have to find a new…..

SWIMSUIT

I heard the collective gasp, the memories of poorly lit dressing rooms with unforgiving mirrors in stores that are sometimes cruel enough to carry the latest  copy of Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Edition.

o-SWIMSUIT-SHOPPING-570

Seriously

I have been avoiding this for several years managing to eek out one more season from my ever faithful friend.  It has seen me through several sprint triathlons and tons of training ( well maybe not tons since swimming is still my worst sport) and great times with the grandkids at the pool and ocean.

It deserves a decent burial..the elastic is so gone it leaves black marks on my back.  A not so subtle plea to be replaced.

So I ventured out…well I ventured online to find another replacement hoping beyond hope that this same style was still available.

Yes I am a dreamer.

I surfed the net and even called TYR.  I sent them a photo and the very nice gal called me back and said  incredulously

“Did you buy this in Canada”  Uh..nooo  right here in the good ole USA.  “We ( TYR) don’t even make that style with that back”

mmmm..Well somebody there did because it has your logo monogramed on it.  What she meant to say was “You are out of luck”

As I started to surf again I wished that I could just plug in my dream suit into someplace like map quest and it would direct me to the exact suit I needed.  I guess that is what google is suppose to do but it misses the mark…alot.

Zappos was my online choice.  Love them.  I call them just so I can hear the joke of the day.  The gal was so helpful and my suit came the next day.  Loved the color, the feel of the fabric and then I noticed it was missing something.

The shelf bra.

Ugh  Double ugh.  It’s not that I even need it for support because the newer suits are so snug everything is smooshed anyway.  I want it for the extra lining because…how shall I say this….I would rather shiver to show I am cold than have my breasts tell the whole world “It’s a bit nipply in here”

As luck would have it I ended up near a sports store that specializes in triathlons.  Called ahead to see if they had suits which they did.  What the really nice guys failed to tell me was that ALL but two of the suits were size small.

One of the two looked like it would do.    It was lined, had a shelf bra ( yes) so I tried it on and… no, no and no.

So that is how I found myself having a conversation with a really cute guy about swimsuits and shelf bras.  Yep I had that conversation with a really cute guy. And yes at the beginning it was embarrassing ( we did not get into the nipply part but he got my drift)  I needed some answers and he ended up being very helpful.

Turns out the need for speed has ruled out the shelf bra in  99% of the kind of suits I like to wear.  Wow.  This turtle swimmer has no need for speed..just the need to finish without drowning.

So hello new TYR suit from Zappos..you must do as I have a swim training this week-end.  You fit fine..let’s just hope the “girls” behave, stay in place and decline to do any weather forecasting.  I’ll keep you all posted  or…. not!

Keep triing!

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Asking for a do over as I begin again on my virtual triathlon

Well I had good intentions of starting my virtual triathlon from Virginia to Florida  on Jan 14th.  Well as they say:

Sh*&t Stuff happens, like life.

Also had good intentions of posting my progress on a weekly basis.  (see above)

Wish I could get a do over but lately I have been like a dog in a room full of squirrel, totally distracted and unproductive and  frustrated.

So  I never made it into the water, or on the road or on my bike the week of Jan 14th.

The good news is  I am now on a  roll and I am a movin and a groovin.   So without telling anyone I  humbly asked for a restart.

The new official start date was January 21st!  And as you can tell from today’s date ( Feb 11th) I am running behind in the updates.

My biggest hang-ups getting started ( aside from my chronic procrastination) were:

  • Getting the bike set up.
  • Getting over my love of being outdoors ( I really do grieve that)
  • My  hatred of treadmills.
  • Getting my butt to the pool.

Out of all of those the biggest frustration was the bike.  So it went something like this.

1. Clear a spot in our disaster of a basement for my bike.

2. Get bike trainer set up.  Watch video of how to do it ( I’ve done it once before but “poof” I forgot how)

3. Get ready to call Kinetic to tell them their video sucks because the set-up instructions are buried in one of the segments.

Phew!!  Ended up being easier than I thought.

4.  Realize this part of the basement is extremely warm. The rest of my house is chilly..what gives?

5.  Get on my bike and uh oh no way to track mileage.

6.  Get on google, get on Amazon..get what I need ordered, pay for 1 day  shipping.

7. Clean up basement =move all of the stuff from one room to another, move couches and desks by myself.  Call it a day.

8.  Watch it rain for the 6th day straight and wonder if I should be boating down to Florida.

9. Get cadence /mileage sensor.  Instructions suck.  Google comes in to rescue me.  Still can’t  figure it out.

10.  Clean  more  of   basement and decide SOMEONE in this family is a hoarder.

11.   Throw in the towel on the start of my virtual tri..

I FINALLY got the sensor installed on my bike.  The reviewers on Amazon were wrong or we have different ideas of what an easy set up  means.  I did learn what a crank shaft is and and a chain stay (not as exciting as it sounds!)

Here’s a photo of a bike on a trainer ( and yes I wear my clip in shoes)..tried one of me but the lighting in the old basement pretty much stinks!

bike trainer

So the good news is I DID get started.  The even better news is I LOVE being on my bike inside !  Who knew?  I have made it out to run but have yet to get to the pool although that is coming.

Ugh..the thought of putting on a swimsuit in February and not being in the tropics is not that appealing but it must be done.

So here is my total mileage as of Feb 11th.  I have traveled about 41 miles.  Which puts me somewhere on Ruffin Rd and of course still in Virginia.

I have about 50 more miles before I cross into North Carolina.  mmmm guess I had better get busy biking, running and swimming!

Keep Triing!

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Join me as I Virtually Tri my way to Florida!

As I write this I am  mourning the loss of the perfect weather we were promised for this past week-end and did not get.  All week long the weather guessers kept saying it was going to be 70 degrees on Saturday and Sunday.  Even for Virginia that is unusual.

I pictured myself running and biking and doing a little garden prep work and enjoying the sun. What wasn’t mentioned much or I didn’t hear was all the rain.  Friday, Sat, Sun, Mon. and again today.rain

I was also slightly delusional in thinking the weather might be a predictor of things to come and I would not have to resort to doing most of my training indoors or endure questionable weather.  WRONG!

So to keep me motivated I am going to do a Virtual Triathlon from my house here in Virginia to St. Augustine, Florida.  If map quest is correct it will be a total of 658 miles.

One of the items on my adventure list is to bike across the US or at least down the East or West Coast.  I KNOW I will get to do this but while I am planning and getting things into place I thought I would try to do it virtually to keep me training and motivated during this damp, cold and dreary weather.

Since I like variety I will be running, biking and swimming.  Each week I will post how far I traveled and by following a map I can tell you where I am exactly ( sort of).  There may be days (often)where I end up in the middle  of nowhere.

If I do end up somewhere that is actually on the map I will actually post a little about the area and perhaps actually learn a little geography.

When I can get outside I will and let my trusty Garmin watch keep track of miles.  Indoors it will be the treadmill and bike trainer and as for swimming I FINALLY found an indoor pool to swim in and there is always my indoor swim trainer.  Tracking the swimming will be the most challenging but I will figure it out.

I actually started yesterday, January 14th and I am guessing I will be at this for about 4-5 months considering I am pretty slow and my mileage isn’t where I want to be in any of the three sports AND let’s see my job, my family and everything else life throws at me may create speed bumps along the way.

Who knows I may surprise myself.

So this is a pretty mild kick off to all of this.  I will make short posts weekly about my progress and longer ones if anything BIG happens.

I have a few “My life as a sitcom” posts waiting to be tweeked to keep you laughing.

Right now I need to go set up my bike trainer and get ready to rock n roll some miles.

Oh and anyone who wants to join me..let me know!

Let the tri-ing begin!

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Oh Mr. Race Photographer I’m ready for my close-up

As I sat down to edit this post  I started to smile wondering if this really was a post about how to get a good race photograph or just an excuse to exhibit a rare but good race photo of myself.

A little of both.  As my friend and web designer Sherra said to me ( often) Your blog, Your rules!

Long before digital cameras I was ( am) a photo connoisseur ( sounds better than addict)

Yes I am the  obnoxious dedicated one at the family gatherings with the camera .

When I  started running a mere 5 years ago I was thrilled to find out about “race” photos and anxiously awaited to see my athletic image as I pounded the pavement to my first finish line.

Anticipation led to disappointment.  There was no photographer at this race.  No  images of my  achievement to put on the frig.

Bummer.

Next event was my first sprint tri in Minneapolis.  Yes we live in Virginia and yes we drove all that way for a sprint tri.

This tri  definitely had a photographer .   Guess what I learned?  Only the babes from Baywatch look good running in a swimsuit.

I also think that most race photographers have the uncanny ability to catch me  at the most unflattering and awkward moments.

Yet at this tri I was rewarded with this one photo.    At the end of the run I managed to catch up to my husband and grab his hand as we crossed the finish line.   It was our anniversary and he , once again, was supporting one of my crazy ideas!

At subsequent events the photos were my equivalent to those bad auditions on American Idol in that they were a continuing source of humor for the family..or at least for my husband.

Hey, what can I say.  At least I was out there moving my body.

BUT this summer at the one and only triathlon I could fit in to my crazy schedule  I accidentally   discovered the  secret to a good race photo.

I anticipated, and trained to have my best swim ever.  For many reasons it did not happen and once again I came out of the water at the end of pack, winded, a little discouraged  and frantically racing to find my bike.  Once on the bike  I relaxed, decided to do my best and enjoy.

Did I mention that I later found out the heat index that day was 105?  Not exactly conducive to  a great photo.

Yet as I rounded the trail on the run one of the volunteers clued me in that the photographer was  right around the corner.  So I put on my best race smile and ta da….

61784-076-017f

Approaching  the finish line I noticed  ( and it was no surprise) that  mmmm, I was one of the last ones in.  So I could be bummed or make the most of it…and give the photographer something to do so I hammed it up.

A little focus would be nice…

I saw him take more than one photo  so I thought well maybe the law of averages is in my favor this time and it was…

61784-106-021f

He found the focus button!!

I did discover the secret to a good race photo..  or at least this time…is  to be at the end of the pack.

Honestly, as in life, as in “triing” or “trying” you just never know for sure what is going to work.  Sometimes you just get lucky!

Being one of the last had its payoffs…and if your disappointed in my answer think of it this way..  when my grandchildren or great grandchildren are looking at this they will have no idea if I was first or last , only that I was out there having fun.

Go out, have fun, take some good photos, take some that will get you a good laugh and move your body because that’s whats its all about.   Oh and like me…ALWAYS be ready for your close up!!

Say Cheese,

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Do these bike pants make my butt look big?? It depends….

The old saying “Once you learn how to ride a bike you never forget” is true except riding a bike when your 10 years old and then again when you’re in your forties is a whole different  kind of  ball game ride.

This is what I learned after several rides:

  • Some guy(s) had alot of fun one day designing a really uncomfortable bike seat
  • Maybe it was a woman because my husband complained more than I did
  • We found ourselves singing that old Billy Crystal tune from the  movie “City Slickers”   …rolling, rolling , rolling gee my a@#@ is swollen…

Seeking the advice of our local bike shop we invested in bike pants.

The best part of bike pants is the padding.

The worst part of the bike pants is the padding.

Last time I checked no one my age is anxious to add any more girth to their backside.

Comfort won out over vanity.

And in the words of my very funny  friend,  Mary Gediman

“Its good practice for depends”

bike_cartoon

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