Category Archives: re-invention

The Hardest Thing About Swimming


For the past few months I have struggled with my swimming stamina. After regularly swimming for several years, I didn’t see the progress that I wanted to. Even post triathlon season I still found myself gasping at the end of a fifty yard swim. My coach told me to stop struggling and use the buoy and just use my upper body.  So the next day I did 30 laps (60 lengths of 25 yd pool) for a total of 1,500 yards without stopping. Not bad but in my head I am still using the crutch of the buoy. I have done this for the last two weeks. The other day I decided to try to do fifty yards without the buoy. Guess what? I did two hundred! So what’s my point? After the mechanics kick in what’s in your head dictates your swimming ability. I can’t stress this enough. Relax and rely on your training. The rest will come. Did I mention be patient with yourself? A hard learned lesson for me.

Nobody Likes A Cry Baby


So I am concentrating on my swimming. At least in my mind that is. I had a very stressful few days leading up to Christmas and although I enjoyed the day my legs were aching and stiff. No exercise at all this week and plenty of holiday eating. All reflected on the scale today at my Weight Watchers weigh in. Ok, boo hoo hoo. So when I ran out of real excuses, I put on my bathing suit and after Weight Watchers (my Saturday ritual) I headed to the pool. I was late and my team members were way ahead of me. Mike the coach says your late! Do your warm up. 20 lengths of the pool. I was exhausted after four but I did the twenty. Then he said 20 with the kick board. Really? I can’t do one. After six  he said okay lets move you on to something else. 20 with the buoy. I was officially finished and I hadn’t done one drill.  The ladies (no guys this morning for some reason) who finished the drills were exhausted. Mike suggested that we work on everything during the week because next Saturday we start again. He mentioned a T30 workout. Thirty minutes non-stop as many laps as we can. OMG. I won’t cry though.

Putting In The Work


 

 

IMG_0039

 

Okay, I’ve spent a lot of time in the pool over the last three years and the bottom line is that I haven’t made the progress that I should. I am easily defeated and when I don’t see fast progress I ignore the fact that I haven’t put in the work to get better. We have indicated to our Coach Mike Garrett that we want to improve, maybe compete and for sure improve our open water times for triathlons.  Speaking for myself, I have been mostly playing. By now a mile should be a routine. I am gasping for air after 100 yds.  Plain and simple I haven’t done the work. So here is my 2015 pledge, no more whining just doing. I started today. Let’s see what I can do.

 

2015 Plans


I haven’t posted in weeks. Not that I don’t have anything to say it’s just that finding the time to type it out is more than I can handle most days. Next year  want to be in the position to do more video posting. I can talk with out a doubt and without a problem! I will be tweaking this blog process and getting myself ready to take my blogging to the next step. So be patient. I shall return!

A Blessed Day For Sure


Started my day putting air in my tires, voting and doing a three-mile walk. Along the way I ran into my girl Roz two days off of her New York Marathon run this past Sunday. She walked yesterday and today. Gotta love her! Warm and sunny just a day to feel blessed. Happy Tuesday!

 

The closest I'm getting to an NYC marathon metal. Thanks Roz!

The closest I’m getting to an NYC marathon metal. Thanks Roz!

Don’t Let Illness Force Your Fitness


So most of you know that I’m 63 and that this past summer before my birthday was my first triathlon season. And yes I’m proud and happy and all that good stuff. Yet every morning when I get my day started I have to take several pills that for now help to keep my situation in control. So I thought this morning as I was pumping it around the track in the park (I’m a walker), lots of things could have been better if I had done this my whole life.

Like many during my 20’s and 30’s  and 40’s I was an episodic athlete. Usually it was tied to an upcoming event or something that I considered a tragedy at the time. Once the situation was over I usually fell back into my more challenging habits. Somewhere around 50 (it’s a blur now) I received an early morning call from my Doctor saying that my blood sugar was elevated. Dang I could see that one coming. Diabetic father and many of his family members combined with my over weight and bad eating habits. Hmn…. no surprise.

My point today is that perhaps I couldn’t have prevented the eventual diagnosis but I sure could have tried. A healthy lifestyle should be a life long pursuit. Kudos to those of you with family, and work responsibilities as well as pursuing a healthy lifestyle. I know the athletic part is tough and is usually the first to suffer. Tired and all. But I can’t help but think in the long run it is essential. Like I said, don’t let illness force your fitness.

Slow, Easy Walk in the Park


 

Yesterday for only the second time since my September 7, 2014 triathlon, I put on my sneakers and went for a walk. I decided to take my time and just enjoy the park without the pressure of a training schedule. It was nice. I actually did the track which we call the red carpet which goes around a very pretty lake.

Weequahic Lake - picture by  Jennifer Brown/The Star-Ledger

Weequahic Lake – picture by
Jennifer Brown/The Star-Ledger

I was able to spend time thinking about random thoughts and not worrying about how fast I was walking. Spoke to lots of folks. We are a very friendly group, looked for turtles ( they are very big) and decided whether to go all the way around which involves climbing a very steep hill lovingly called Dead Mans Hill. For the second time this year I decided to go all the way around instead of turn around like I usually do and with a lot of huffing and puffing I climbed the hill. When I got back to my car I realized that it had been a very enjoyable walk. Slow for sure but who cares. I stretched the legs and I’ll be back tomorrow. Good day in the park.

Who Did Another Triathlon? Oh Yeah That Would Be Me!


Two hours and 59 minutes later and I had my second triathlon metal ever! Someone pointed out that this was my second in 35 days. Sounds impressive to me. I have begun the critique and see lots of room for improvement but hey I did it. Who would think that I could keep moving for hours. Did I mention a 15 minute walk to where the competition began and a return walk at the end?  So the breakdown was 32 minutes in the water, 1 hr and 24 minutes on the bike (two loops riding a few miles into a killer wind each time) and a 3 mile run (walk for me). Well I quit again yesterday like I had done in August. But this time I’m serious. That was the hardest physical thing I’ve ever done. Hmn a week off and then I begin training again for next year. Even though I’m not doing it again I need to be ready. Just in case.

Left to right Roz Kelley, Debra Smith, Terrell Holliman, Maisha Amen and yours truly after we finished.

Left to right Roz Kelley, Debra Smith, Terrell Holliman, Maisha Amen and yours truly after we finished.

These ladies swim with me and were my inspiration. We range in age from 30’s to 60’s not telling their ages. I’m the oldest just short of my 63rd birthday in October. Iron Girl’s all.

First Triathlon – The Swim


I was pretty calm when we approached the water. I grew up swimming in the Atlantic and even though it was a bit rough, I didn’t have any trouble getting in. My strategy however wasn’t great. I thought the slower the better because I wanted to save my energy for the bike and run/walk. Well that’s okay but I was in the water long enough to swim three times the distance. Life Guards kept approaching me and asking if I was okay. I was. Just incredibly slow. The next time I want to relax an swim my regular swim.

Advice, if your triathlon involves open water swimming and you haven’t done this before (splashing around in the surf doesn’t count) please see if there are training swims on location so that you know what to expect. If you are uncomfortable with the swim, do several training swims. Then swim, your swim don’t let anything change your style.

Triathlon Journal


So this will only be helpful to potential triathletes or newbies like me. I was not prepared for my Tri. I thought that I had done enough training but I was slow in the water (I swim daily) and the bike almost killed me even though I had done the distance in the park where I ride. I don’t run due to knee issues but the walk was not bad. Not my fastest but not bad. 

I think the worst thing was that as soon as I began to tire on the bike I lost my mental game. I began to think that I couldn’t make it. If Nancy Daly hadn’t come up next to me and convinced me to continue, I was going to stop and rest and try to start again. She rode with me and talked to me the last 3 – 4 miles. 

So what’s my point? Make sure that you can do the distances with ease. The water is always an unknown but at least be comfortable with the distance. Ride, ride, ride and do your 5K runs/walks often. Lastly have a positive mental game and don’t let anything take you out of it. I can’t imagine an Ironman but lots of people do them. They must have a serious mental game because sheer will has to help you finish something that physically punishing.