Observations by a Land Mammal Turned Amphibian

Yes, this land mammal is returning to her water roots, and finding amphibian life more complicated and difficult than she remembered. It seems like just yesterday I was starting my swim career at Pax River’s swimming pool. Boy, how times have changed.

Nowadays, between 3:30 and 4:30pm, you will likely find me spending time trying to grow gills at the pool. I was hoping my recent dates with chlorine would show some improvement in my swimming skills by now, but, I still seem to dread pool time, and continue to feel a need to gasp for air with every stroke and after each maneuver in the water. My attempts at flip turns are useless, and yet fifteen years ago, I could do them with my eyes closed.

I was discussing my swimming frustrations with my coach today who stated matter of factly, “You can’t be so hard on yourself, you just started swimming again.”

Dorothy was right, I can’t expect to be Nathalie Coughlin after a few sessions at Bard after a thirteen year swim hiatus. The only thing is, you cannot tell a perfectionist like myself perfection is hard to reach. “You have to give it time.”

Man, I really hate it when people tell me to “give it time,” even though I myself am guilty of telling others to do the same. Will I really be able to swim 1.4 miles by June without having a cardiac arrest?

I suppose “time” will tell.

Some observations I’ve noticed about swimming thus far:

1. Goggle marks around your eyes, and cap marks on your forehead, are not very sexy. Nor is wearing your swimsuit inside out, for that matter.

2. The black line at the bottom of the pool does not extend all the way up the sides of the pool.

3. Swimming hurts your thighs just as much as hill work on a bike. Try swimming 800 yards with a kick board.

4. I have not felt upper body fatigue like after a swim workout since my rock climbing days.

5. I’m hungrier after a 45 minute swim session than two hour bike ride, and have weird cravings for Ritz crackers after my time in the water.

Non-swimming related observations:

1. Brick workouts are painful, but an important part of multisport race training programs. They remind me of a quote about running: “running is like mouthwash, if you can feel the burn, it’s working.” Need inspirational/motivational quotes?Just ask.

2. Tears freeze to your cheeks when riding in cold weather. So do the other liquids that might come from your face, like your nose. Note: checking your reflection before going into a store after a ride in cold weather is strongly advised by yours truly.

3. I could easily own a European club with all the dance/techno/trance music on my workout playlists.

4. If compression socks are God’s gift to the recovering calves, then imagine what compression pants and shirt are to the body.

Miscellaneous Music Notes

Great tune for getting you out the door

JBT, bringing back memories of mishaps with Australian friends, is good for sprinting

And for a steady incline

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