Thursday, September 22, 2005

Born Again

There is bruising and not a little bit of soreness on my ass from the kicking I have administered this week. Naomi the Triathlete is not one to be messed with.

After the 5K of near-awesomeness, I ran 10 miles of not-kidding-around-ness on Sunday. I overslept and lolled and lolly-gagged, but I eventually convinced my inner monologue that I was GOING to run, so we might as well just get it over with. And I think it was my fastest 10 miles ever. It was a tenth or two over 10 miles, according to the gmaps pedometer (I looked it up on Sunday, but the site doesn’t work on my work computer), and I ran it in 1:44, and I made it all the way up the half-mile hill of doom without stopping once.

On to Monday, day one of Naomi Swims 2005.

To clarify, in case anyone was confused, this triathlon plan is still in the contemplation phase. I haven’t picked an event or given myself a deadline, or come up with a training plan. First I need to learn to swim. And swimming, as I imagine you all know, is different from running. Okay, I know, that sentence is ridiculous. After all, just look at the words: Swimming. Running. Different. Brilliant.

But what I mean is this (it’s deep, so put your thinking caps on): learning to run is largely a matter of deciding “I will run”. Lo, I have decided, and I ran, and it was good. Or bad. But definitely running. No question about that.

But that doesn’t work with swimming. Lo, I have decided, and I drowned. Or, in my case, I kicked and I stroked (dirty!) and I kicked some more and lo, I have not moved.

My first lesson was meant to be on Monday, and it did not go well. I put on my brand new swim suit which is adorable (no, not adorable. Serious! Speedy! Aero (hydro?) – dynamic!) and I trucked my behind to the fabulous Y at 7 am (even though I didn’t need to report to jury duty until 10:30 am) to meet two (2) friends who have dedicated their considerable talents to NS2K5. Except that neither one made it. One had too much work to do in prep for an important interview she was filming later that day (work. Whatever.) and the other had forgotten a previous commitment with her mother (family. Double whatever).

I looked at the (crowded) pool, and I thought about it. And I went home. And watched TV until it was time to go to court. But! I rescheduled with Swim Coach Numéro Un (let’s call her… Kristen) for the following afternoon, and I took a tap class on Monday night.

Tuesday morning, despite the impending swim lesson and oversleeping a bit, I still went running, and once again, I was shockingly speedy. I have a new route around my neighborhood, and I ran the short version on Tuesday (4.1-ish miles) in 37:38.

And then. Tuesday afternoon. Swimming. It was every bit as bad as I expected, but also far, far better than I’d hoped. First of all, Kristen is a fabulous coach, and was incredibly kind as she explained how I was doing everything completely wrong. So now I know what I have to work on: my stroke, my body position, my breathing, and my kicking. But my bathing suit was perfect!

We got me a floaty buoy for my legs to keep me higher in the water, and allow me to focus on arms and breathing, and I think I’ll stick with that for a while. But I’m very excited to get back in the water and get better, and I think tomorrow will be day two in the pool.

But first there was yesterday and today. Yesterday I ran the long version of the new neighborhood route, 5+ miles, in 48 minutes. Did I mention there are a lot of hills in this route? That it goes uphill almost all the way for the first mile, and then turns, and goes uphill on a different road for the next mile? And yet? Speedy.

Today, Kristen and I met at the Y again for a spinning class. I have long been intrigued by the notion, but my old gym didn’t have spinning. And it’s a very good thing they didn’t, because if I had tried this while any less fit than I am currently, I would have died. Or, evaporated, probably, as my vital organs liquefied and were sweated out of my pores.

It was seriously hard, y’all. And I cheated. There was one part that teacher called a “hill climb” where we ratcheted up the resistance every few seconds for, like, EVER, and I kept turning it DOWN instead of up. My legs are STILL feeling it, and that can only mean that tomorrow will be worse.

So. To recap:

Saturday: 5K race
Sunday: Long run
Monday: Tap class
Tuesday: Run (am); Swim (pm)
Wednesday: Run
Thursday: Spin

Note how there is swimming, biking, AND running in that schedule. Sign me up for an Ironman already, am I right?

But, to be non-quippy for a moment (just a quick moment, promise!) I haven’t felt this motivated and excited (dare I say, invigorated?) by my workouts in ages. It might be true, that thing they tell you, about how variety is like tarragon for the soul.

For those who are curious, the trial finally ended in a hung jury, after more than two days of deliberations. It was very Twelve Angry Men, complete with racial tension and re-enactments and wild speculation about what could have happened, what might have happened, and what really happened. The alleged incident (assault on a police officer) occurred over the space of maybe two minutes. I discussed it with eleven of my peers for more than 12 hours. It was an extremely interesting process. Just not 12 hours interesting.


Blogger Mica said...

Congratulations on your new endeavor! Triathlon is super fun.
And, with a great swim coach like that you'll be improving in no time.

7:40 PM  
Blogger jeanne said...

Can you believe this?? Well, I can! I remember well the days of Jen, and that other obnoxious kid—it is really amazing how far and how fast you have come and how your inner athlete is all over the place. and yes, you just did a TRIATHALON this week, while on a jury, and you probably got your nails done while you were at it!

You know what I'm going to say: you go grrl.

10:36 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

Congratulations on surviving your first swimming class. I am proceding with a similiar plan a Tri in 2006, but I also need to learn to swim first! Actually I can swim a little, something similar to a dog learning the breast stroke. But I want to learn to swim correctly, so my first swimming class starts on September 30th. Good luck!

1:39 AM  

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