Category Archives: renewal

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.

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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


 

 

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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.

 

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!

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.

OMG the Post Season Lazies have struck!!!


I can barely get off the couch. I am waking up between 7:30 and 8:00 am. Not even sure I remember the way to the park. Good grief. Just a month ago I was setting my phone to wake me at 5:45 am so I could get to the park and start my ride/walk. I was at the pool by 10:00 am daily like I was getting paid. Now making coffee makes me tired. I teach online so I don’t even get dressed for God’s sake.  I know that I have to adjust and get back in the swing of things. I can’t afford a season off for a variety of reasons. Weight control, arthritis, boredom all come to mind. Today though I’m going to sit here and contemplate my garden and enjoy a pretty fall day. Check back with me later.

Out of my garden

Out of my garden

Lost in Fall. What Now?


I am lost. I have nothing to train for. My season is over. I can’t run, don’t enjoy riding really  so swimming is my main winter activity and my pool is shut down for draining and cleaning. I have to get the motivation back because I need to be active all year-long. I am fighting the couch potato lure.

What now?

Athletes are Liars


So let me explain. I was a triathlon newbie this year. I am a pretty literal person so when you tell me a course is flat I take your word for it. So here is what I learned don’t ask a real swimmer about the swim in a triathlon. They will tell you something like ” it only a 3rd of a mile you’ve done that in the pool. True. Lesson one the  pool is not the ocean or the bay. I swim four to five times a week in the summer and could do the distance that I needed for the tri’s. I was not however ready to swim the distance with waves, wind and people swimming over my slow head. Plus something touched my foot and there were no people near me.

Lie number two, bikers don’t count hills that don’t make them stand up while they are riding. At Iron Girl they said a little wind. What?  I felt like I was riding into a wall for a mile or two and had to do it twice.

This time the runners didn’t lie and the course was flat and pleasant.

This past February though I did a 5K with my buds. We all walked it. Could anyone have told me that Morristown, New Jersey is built on a series of hills. I was talking to my self out loud by mile three.

So whatever an athlete tells you ask them first how fast they run, ride or swim and then multiply what they say by at least three.

Words to the wise!!!!

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.

A Fried Green Tomato Summer….


Green Tomatoes Frying

Green Tomatoes Frying

Tonight I am pausing and drinking in all that was summer. Wow it’s gone. I was so busy concentrating on my triathlon’s that it blew by me. We had a great garden and more tomatoes than we can eat quickly. Lots are frozen for pasta sauce to be made at a later date. Some of them however were fried green for my Mom. She said her grandmother fried them and she loved them. So a little flour, a few breadcrumbs, a teaspoon of sugar, a bit of salt, pepper and garlic powder and into hot oil. Yummy actually. Can’t explain it you jut have to try them.

It was that type of summer and I have enjoyed every minute of it.