At the beginning of the year, we joined a gym with a pool. Last week I swam 36 laps in the pool. One full mile. A quarter mile of it was breaststroke. I had ask the life guard if I could do one more lap because the pool was closing for the night. My feet and calf cramped, and it took me over an hour, but I did it. I am pretty proud of myself.
Before I ran my first marathon (and the four after it) I did two sprint tris. I had a few things working against me back then. Six years ago my running and spiritual mentor of the time, Yvonne, asked me if I wanted to do a tri. It was nine months after the birth of my second daughter, and I was just getting my body back. And my sleep. We ran together. I biked and swam at the local outdoor pool. Yvonne is amazing. Not only is she the mother of six, when she had done the tri before she would get dropped off, do the tri and ride her bike home. Eight or nine days before the tri, I felt tired. Really tired. I woke up one morning knowing why I was so tired. I was pregnant. A complete surprise to me. I had to take it easy on tri day. It was also about 90 out. Not ideal tri conditions.
I did my second tri a year later. I had given birth to a beautiful baby girl. I had also had an appendectomy five weeks before the tri. I was supposed to see the surgeon for a post operative consult at six weeks. I decided to ask for forgiveness rather than ask for permission. Not ideal conditions. It turned out to be fine, and the intern at the surgeon's office asked me what my mileage was. He was a runner too.
Even though the conditions for the tris were not ideal, the thing that really haunted me was the swim. I had such a hard time with people swimming over me, kicking me in the head and all the splashing water. I had a hard time being a lefty with a left wind. The swim angels would come over and tell me to move the other way as if I didn't already know. One actually said, "Honey, you're going to swim a full mile if you keep zigzagging like this." I felt like Nemo with one weak little arm. When I got to the middle of the lake, I was a little spooked.
Today, I'm already stronger in the pool. With regular pool time, I can't wait to have a successful tri. And it goes along with my running goals for the year, a little whimsy and off the beaten path. Tri me.