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Accepting Limits

14 Jun

I have dead batteries.

Yesterday I broke my run streak. Here I sit, hanging my head in shame at only making it 13 days. Not exactly the 21 days I had hoped for.

Yesterday started at 5:00AM. Feet hit the floor, showered, dressed, made-up and in the car by 6:00AM. At work by 7:00AM. Work until 4:00PM. Home at 5:00PM. Changed clothes, ate a quick bite of dinner with my husband and then baby class at Woman’s Hospital from 6:00PM – 9:00PM. By the time I got home, I was EXHAUSTED. Not a second of my day was free. I know that “no time” is not an excuse when it comes to exercise, but I just can’t put any more hours in the day. No run. Streak broken.

This morning I had swim class at 5:00AM. I barely got through the warm-up and realized that I just could not get my act together. I was tired and my legs felt like lead. Because my legs felt wonky, I couldn’t get my breathing in sync. Because I couldn’t get my breathing in sync, I started to panic in the water and got more exhausted. You see where this is going, yes? Tired, hungry, and frustrated, I left and went home.

I just have to realize that right now, I have limits. Whether that limit is time or my physical condition, I have limits. I can push, push, push on them all I want, but I’m not going to win. Not this time. As much as I would like to think that I am, I am not invincible and this Energizer bunny’s batteries do run out.

Planning for a baby (registering, shopping, classes, discussing financial plans, discussing work plans, etc.) takes A LOT of time and energy. And this is just the “warm-up” for when he or she arrives. I just have to accept that I can’t put in 2-3 hour workouts like I used to.

And as far as my body goes, I HAVE to start listening. I knew when I got up this morning that I was not feeling swim class. But I tried anyway. Hey, I tried. I’m bummed about it, but what can I do?

Today I’ve been eating better and drinking all the water this body will handle in preparation for tonight’s Happy’s Running Group. If my usual sub-30 5k is more of a super-40 2-miler today, then so be it. I’m trying. (On the bright side, we’ll have three new peeps coming tonight! Woot! Can’t wait to meet @JenZenator, @DubyaWife, and @Bambi_P!)

Today, I am coming to terms with my limits. Sometimes, we are at a point in our lives where we are just, honest to God, giving it all we’ve got.  And I really am these days but sometimes I feel like its not enough.  I know that I am stubborn as hell, but I have to start taking it down a notch. Some days are just going to be rest days…and that is just going to be okay.

What limits (time, injury, pregnancy, fear, etc.) have you ever had and how did you deal with them?

Longest swim workout to date!

5 Jun

This afternoon I had my longest swim workout since I started swimming! I’m so excited! Granted, I’m exhausted, but I feel like I accomplished something. My original goal was 2200m, but the pool was PACKED and I ended up sharing a lane with two other swimmers. I’m still getting used to swimming in close proximity to other people. I know this is something I’ll have to get over in order to ever consider triathlons with open water swims. For now, I’m just pretty wary of getting kicked in the stomach accidentally. Maybe I’m being overly cautious, but it took (what seems like forever) to be blessed with Baby Key and I don’t want anything to go wrong. 🙂

200m x swim
200m x kick
200m x pull
200m x swim
300m x pull
100m x swim
200m x kick
100m x swim
100m x pull
200m x swim

And now, its time for a long bath and dinner with family. Another good day. I’m lucky. 🙂

Black cloud over New Orleans triathlons?

16 May

As the water continues to flow down The Mighty Mississippi, I am concerned for the overall effect it will have on the triathlon season in New Orleans. Don’t get me wrong, I know good and well that the quality of Lake Pontchartrain wasn’t that of a bottle of Dasani, but the dirty Mississippi River water flowing in through the Bonnet Carre Spillway can’t be helping, can it?

The 5150 Olympic Distance Triathlon yesterday in New Orleans was turned into a 2mi run/40k bike/10k run duathlon after swimming conditions in Lake Pontchartrain were deemed unsafe. This comes right on the heels of the cancellation of the swim portion of the Ochsner IronMan New Orleans (technically making it a 69.1 event). From what I understand, a cool front that caused extensive wind and wave action coming in perpendicular to the Gulf of Mexico caused unsafe swimming conditions for both events.

And now we have the wide-open Bonnet Carre Spillway to be worried about. Will the influx of water bring more pollution or alter the water quality? Even worse, will it bring more critters to the lake? Swimming with snakes? No, thank you.

The IronGirl New Orleans is set to take place this coming Sunday and I really hope it is able to go ahead as scheduled. If for some reason (wind, whitecaps, lake zombies, etc.), it doesn’t, I fear that New Orleans will unjustly have a black cloud over it and the triathlon season will be finished. Competitors who travel from far away will be gun-shy for events this year and maybe even next year. This saddens me…especially for the two inaugural events…the 5150 and the IronGirl New Orleans. New Orleans is really making a name for itself on the competitive racing circuit and I hope that momentum continues to build. However, I can understand hesitation on behalf of the participants…why train and spend all the money on traveling when Lake Pontchartrain is so unpredictable? After all, they have trained for a triathlon, not a biathlon and not a duathlon.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the Athleta IronGirl New Orleans.

What do you think the fate of this weekend’s triathlon is? How do you think it will affect future triathlons in New Orleans? Would YOU swim in Lake Pontchartrain right now??

Swim class #2 and Athleta IronGirl NOLA!

12 May

Swim class went well today. I feel like I understand a little bit better what I am supposed to be doing with my body. Now whether or not I’m actually doing what I am supposed to be doing is an entirely different story. But hey, I can honestly say I’m trying.

Today we learned more about how we should be moving our arms through the water. It felt VERY awkward and uncomfortable…so that probably means I was doing it more correctly than incorrectly. We used the kickboards again, and today we added the pull buoys. Technically, I didn’t use a “real” pull buoy because we ran out, so I used an aqua fitness barbell between my legs instead. This was pretty uncomfortable, so I ordered my own Speedo Pull Buoy to use next time. While I was feeling frisky, I went ahead and ordered my own Speedo Kickboard as well. I figure this would be a good idea since I need a lot of help on my kicking. In addition to adding the pull buoys, we also added a couple new drills called the catch-up and the 12+3.

I am also still having a hard time keeping my head down and face in the water. Coach Anne said the 12+3 drill would help this, so I better get used to doing a lot of those. Because I can’t seem to keep my head down, I just can’t get my breathing figured out. I am just so afraid of running out of air or something. I know I’ll get this, I just have to keep practicing.

Coach Anne says she’d like us to get in at least one other swim outside of the two times we meet each week. I’m going to shoot for two other times. Hopefully swimming four times a week will get me on the path to improving. Oh, and she also said the swimming will improve my running and cycling (BONUS!), but unfortunately, the reverse is not the case. Oh well…

In other news, I have signed up to volunteer at the Athleta Iron Girl New Orleans! I am really excited about this event. Last fall, I set my sights on competing in this event, but because of the holidays, moving states, starting a new job, and the surprise of Baby Key, I just haven’t had the chance to obtain the gear I need and train properly. Besides, a mass start open water swim (even if I was at that swimming ability) is probably a bad idea for a pregnant lady. Getting kicked in the stomach in Lake Pontchartrain isn’t real high on my priority list these days. I figured that this year, if I couldn’t get in on the action, I could at least be near the action. So until then, I’m working up my best high fives and “good luck” cheers to give the competitors on the big day!

Iron Girl couldn’t have gotten a better sponsor than Athleta. Their clothing rocks and ranks super high on my Gear Love Affair list. C’mon, have you seen how awesome their running skorts are?? (This pregnant lady has officially retired her running shorts until her pre-pregnancy, trim, toned legs return. Until then, I am loving me some running skorts! Don’t worry, I am sure a future post will be dedicated to them entirely.)

Swim class is back ON!

9 May

Okay, I know. I’m a drama queen. I swear I’m usually not, but last week, when I thought my chance at getting good decent at swimming before Rocketchix was shot, I had a total “moment”.

But, at the very last minute, I got a call from Woman’s Fitness Center saying they were starting a new class today!! Swim training is officially back ON! The new swim course will be 4 weeks instead of 8 weeks and everyone at the gym said that the swim coach, Anne Shawhan, ain’t no joke. I was a little nervous about it, but I decided to press on anyway!

My classes will be on Mondays and Thursdays, from 5:30AM to 7:00AM. I’ll have to alter my work schedule a little to make it happen, but I’ve been given the green light by my boss! Woot!

(This is me at 5:30AM. Be kind. I know I look like terrible, but whatevs. I was excited to get my swim on!)

Didn't you know that baby bumpin' in a lifeguard red swimsuit is the coolest?

I fully intended on being the worst and slowest swimmer in the class, but I was surprised to learn that I was a little bit (and I mean a VERY little bit) better than I expected! And if nothing else, I wasn’t so discouraged that I didn’t want to do it again. This is a really big hurdle to conquer for me. I don’t like continuing to do things that I feel I’m not good at, but I know this is something I have to learn to do well at Rocketchix.

Today we learned the very basics about kicking, rotating the body side to side during the freestyle, and breathing. The first half of the class was mostly assessing our skill level and what each of us needed to work on. I know I need to work on everything, so I just have to remember to be patient with myself. I didn’t train for a marathon overnight, and I won’t learn to swim in one day either.

We don’t meet again until Thursday, but I plan on going to swim again at some point before then to work on my kicking with the kickboard. Coach Anne said some of us (me) were still kicking like a runner/cyclist (at the knee with a flexed foot) instead of like a swimmer (at the hip then the knee with a pointed foot), so I really want to work on that and improve. I’d also like to work more on my breathing. I need A LOT of help in that area. I just need to trust that I’m not going to drown and to remember not to hold my breath until I feel like I’m about to die.

So, lots to work on, and LOTS to remember…but I’m still motivated! I’m determined to be patient with myself and learn all that Coach Anne has to teach me!

No swimming. Not any time soon, at least.

6 May

Today was supposed to be my first swim class to get me ready for the Rocketchix Triathlon in July.  Today was supposed to be the day I added that third leg, completing the trifecta, and starting my journey toward officially becoming a triathlete. No more duathlons for this girl!

Ugh.  Unfortunately, it was not to be.

When I signed up for the swim course, I was super excited because it was the PERFECT opportunity for me to get small group lessons (each lesson is 1.5 hours) AND have access to the pool on other days of the week for added practice for 8 weeks for only around $200.  Other gyms or aquatic clubs in my area cost at least that and then you have to pay for one-on-one lessons in addition to that price.  One-on-one lessons get pricey FAST and with Baby Key on the way, we just cannot afford it.  Plus, I am already stuck in a membership at another gym (that does NOT have a pool) and we can’t afford family memberships at two different gyms.  And sadly, Baton Rouge doesn’t have anywhere where you can swim on a pay-as-you-go basis.  All of the aquatic centers require some sort of membership or you have to go with a member…and none of my friends swim. 😦 But even if they did have a place where I could pay per visit, the point is, I still need instruction on technique.

When the lady called to tell me that my class was canceled, she did say that they were trying to start up another class on Monday and Thursday mornings from 5:30AM – 7:00AM.  Getting up early isn’t the problem.  The problem is that I have to be at work…an hour away…at 7:00AM. *sigh*

So, it seems I’m sort of stuck between a rock and a hard place.  I’m trying to BEG my current gym to let me out of my contract, but this gym in particular is known for not being that considerate about this sort of thing.

I’m trying really, really hard to not let this ruin my day.  I feel like the fact that I even got a little teary about it makes me a complete and total drama queen.  But I just wanted it THAT badly.  I’m sure to some people this may not be a big deal, but I was REALLY excited.  I have wanted to get in the pool and start tri-ing for a couple of years now and I thought that this would be my year.  But, it seems like I will have to put it off and wait…again.  I’m going to be honest, its really hard to not look at this as just one more setback. 😦