Thursday, September 11, 2014
My hubby recently told me that he's concerned about me snorkeling on our upcoming vacation. I now enjoy snorkeling and the depth of the water doesn't seem to bother me much. I tend to panic more if there are a lot of people around but if I were the only person in the ocean, I think I'd be fine. I understand my hubby's concern because if I do panic, I could drown so I've been working on spending more time in the big (deep) pool trying to get more comfortable.
Last week it occurred to me that, as a runner, I am a mouth-breather so maybe that is also the case in the water. I feel panic as soon as I try to exhale underwater through my nose so I put on a nose clip and did my exhales through my mouth. It seemed to be better so I started down my lane holding onto a kick board for support. After a few laps, I tried a very ugly stroke while keeping one hand on the kick board at all times. The man swimming in the lane next to me didn't stop to try to rescue me so I guess I didn't look as awkward as I felt.
This week, I warmed up and worked my way up to trying to let go of the board before I reached the end of my lane. Each time, I went a little farther without the board. I even did a few laps with no board at all. It felt like "head to the side for inhale, head in and start exhaling through mouth, flail, flail, flail, head to the other side for inhale, head in and start exhaling through mouth, flail, flail, flail, ..."
I was exhausted after only a few laps because of the stress but I was ridiculously proud of myself. I think I'll keep this up for a few weeks to get more comfortable and less panicky and then consider finding a swim instructor to help me work on technique.
Friday, June 27, 2014
I'm not sure what made me do it but I decided the other day to set a goal of jumping off the edge of the deep pool into the water. I even posted my goal on Facebook to hold myself accountable. I was very touched by how much support and encouragement I received after my post.
I've been working on my fear of water for awhile and have gotten to the point where I could ease myself into the water and slowly work myself up to putting my head underwater. I would swim down and back holding on to a floaty board with my head up out of the water, then I would swim down and back on my back, then I'd swim down and back with a snorkel mask on. By the end of my 30 minute session, I might be willing to try exhaling through my nose once or twice. I was getting very frustrated with how slowly I was progressing so I decided it was time to do something drastic, to literally "sink or swim."
I headed out to the "big" pool. I was the only person there so I went to the far lane (where the exit ladders are). I stood at the edge of the 5' deep end and, after taking several deep breaths, held my nose and jumped off the edge. I'm only 5 feet tall so I knew I would be totally underwater. My feet touched bottom and I shot back up to the surface. I climbed up the ladder, moved to my right a few steps and jumped again. I repeated this process all the way down the side of the pool, eventually working all the way to the 8 foot deep end. Then I moved around the corner to the starting blocks at the end and jumped 5 more times in the deepest part of the pool. I made a total of 25 jumps and my feet touched the bottom every single time! It was very scary but also kind of exciting.
I ended my session by doing the breaststroke from the deep end to the shallow end. When I got out of the pool, I started shaking so badly I could hardly walk. I know it was just the adrenaline that was flooding through my body. Afterwards, my hubby asked if it had gotten easier as I'd gone along. I told him that I had really been trying not to think about it as I was doing it. I'm not sure what my next step will be but I'm hopeful that my progress continues on. This was such a huge accomplishment for me.
Monday, March 18, 2013
Today is the day I start training for my first full marathon which is the end of July. I have been reading tons of material about running, strength training, nutrition, and mental preparedness. I've got my training schedule which takes into account the shorter races and relays that I have signed up for between now and then. I'm ready to get started and see how I do.
I have picked a trail marathon as my first. It's a very small race held in a beautiful park in downtown Portland. I will have a chance to run my long training runs there which I feel will greatly benefit me. I have a wonderful running buddy who has agreed to run this with me. I know that will really help me to get through this.
My only goal for this race will be to arrive injury-free at the start and to finish the race and have a fun and memorable experience. I am open to any advice or suggestions for making this a fantastic adventure. Thanks.
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