In the back of mind, spurred on by thoughts of my brother and his epic triathlon adventures, I’d been pondering the sport of triathlon. Without fully committing to the sport or any event, I started looking for a pool to train in. This sounds easy but is not. Most pools are at a gym and require a gym membership. With my track record of *never* going to the gym, I thought this an unwise choice. The YMCA has pools but they are only open Spring-Fall so this too was out. Finally, I found a city pool several miles from my house open all year round. Success! I bought a day pass my first time as I wasn’t sure this was something to which I was 100% committed.
I was determined to swim 20 laps on my first time at the pool. Those 20 laps were quite possibly the worst 20 laps I’ve ever swam. I apparently had completely forgotten how to swim and how to breathe while swimming. I was gasping and panting for breath at the end of each lap. It’s a miracle I didn’t drown and I felt quite sure that everyone was 1) staring at me and 2) debating whether or not to rescue me.
My swim times and lap numbers have increased over the past year. I am typically swimming 40-50 laps per session with the total time depending on whether I am doing long or short intervals. Right now, that’s all I want to to do, as for some reason, swimming is still mentally my hardest sport.
The night before my swims, I sometimes have trouble sleeping. Swimming just seems so intimidating sometimes, especially during cold winter mornings. My pool is outdoors and although the pool itself is heated, I am outside in 30-40 degree weather in a swimsuit. Swimming later seems to help decrease this sense of apprehension so recently, I’ve switched to mid-day workouts.
Occasionally, during certain laps, there are times when I feel myself glide effortlessly through the water (the other chunk of time involves me struggling sluggishly or clumsily or with a huge sense of effort). One gentleman recently asked what I was greased with to swim so fast. I responded somewhat awkwardly, feeling uncomfortable with the implied compliment, but inwardly pleased that someone, anyone, thought I was good at this sport.
So now that I had running and swimming under my belt, I just needed a bike to get started with the “triathlete” part of my goals.