Run. Dog. Cat. Cat. Me.

Everything you need to know about running and life and any other random crap I find bouncing through my mind like a ping pong ball. And always be sure your shoes are happy.

Archive for the tag “swimming”

It’s all fun and games until the clowns show up.

If you are an athletic type – and I mean any type of activity, walking, running, swimming, cycling, exercise classes – you know how hard you had to work to achieve whatever level of fitness you desire and you know how much easier it is to lose it than to gain it in the first place.  Also, as you both know, one thing I’m really excited about right now is that I’m enough out of shape that I’m burning extra calories doing my regular workouts trying to get rid of the extra weight I got from being out of shape.

The wheels on the bus go ’round and ’round, ’round and ’round…

Another cool thing is that it’s all fresh and fun again.  There are more chances to have a feeling of accomplishment – I did 5 miles!  I haven’t done that since September!  I did 7 miles!  I haven’t done that since September!  I swam a mile!  I haven’t done that since Septnever!

Now that Becky’s foot is on the DL she’s concerned about maintaining fitness at just the time she planned to ramp up her triathlon training.  She can still swim and cycle but her running is being cut in half.  She is also, apparently, off all meds.  Again.  Every single time she gets on the Crazy Bus she gets me a ticket too.  And then I get on the damn bus with her.  And I’m ON my meds.

*BOINK*
Terri!  LOOK:
“If you start pool running for several days doing high-intensity workouts, you’ll notice something odd: you will be able to eat much more than usual! Even though your workouts are of a similar length to before you were in the pool, the thermal load of the water will spike your metabolism.”
AND: “Since water is a much better heat conductor, it will force your body to generate more heat to stay warm (and therefore burn more calories). As detailed in Tim Ferriss’ book The Four Hour Body, this is how Michael Phelps is able to eat over 7,000 calories per day. It’s a combination of the time spent in the pool and the effect of the water.”
HE CAN EAT 7000 calories a DAY!
WHAT??!!

I say, obviously someone needs to take away Becky’s Googling rights.

I found myself digging aqua belts out of the pile at the pool where the Senior water working-out class was going on.  I had the brilliant idea of wearing my HR monitor and putting my Garmin inside my hat to keep it dry. The Garmin wouldn’t stay on my head long enough to get the baseball cap over it.  Finally I held it in place and Becky put my hat on me, except then my hand was stuck in the hat and when I tried to pull my hand out I ended up with the Garmin strap as a new kind of earring.  In the end, when I got home, it was for nothing because apparently the radio signals from the strap to the watch won’t go through water.

I say, smart radio signals.

Of course we had no clue what we were doing, strapping those stupid belts on and heading for the deep end.  As we got deeper in the water the belts started to try to float and soon the aquabelt was asphyxiating me.   I struggled to shove it back down on my waist and choked on a mouthful of water which I then snorted out my nose.  OUCH that burned.  Do not laugh when the water is at your chin.  Of course Becky found that hysterical, and then the Senior water worker-outers started staring at us.  I think several of them were former schoolteacher nuns.  Fortunately rulers are not part of the Waterworks Class equipment.

BluesBrothers

We bobbed forward, legs spinning out behind us.  We bobbed backward, legs spinning out in front of us.  We bobbed up and down.  We kicked back and forth and up and down and snorted water while we laughed like idiots in bumper cars rolling in circles.  “RACE YOU TO THE OTHER SIDE!”  We took off ‘running’ going the speed of slow, pumping our arms and running like mad, going nowhere.  I would be talking to Becky and realize that my back was to her because I’d spun off in another direction.  We could not quit laughing, and I kept thinking of the circus clowns who all climb out of the tiny little car and go running madly in circles, bouncing off one another.  The Senior water worker-outers were really cutting their eyes at us now.  Hey.  Exercising in Water is Serious.  Cheer down right now.

drinking bird

In about 5 minutes my HR was up enough that I had to stop for a minute and catch my breath.  The problem with having to catch your breath is if you quit the pool running you tend to start tipping over again, so if you’re out of breath, you have to make your way breathlessly to the ropes or the edge.  You can bob up and down again like the bobbing bird toy I had as a kid if you prefer, but you might end up snorting more water.  We kept going, back and forth.  Then we ran in circles, doing laps around the deep end.  One old guy in the water exercise class finally quit altogether and just stood in the pool, watching us working our a$$es off going nowhere.  He kept looking at us with the same expression Mo gets when he sees the coffee pot start:  head slightly to one side, intent, curious and slightly baffled.

“I see it, but it makes no sense.”

There goes the castle.

It’s a grey cold windy day with flakes of snow blowing sideways past my window.  None of it is sticking, although we woke to enough to lightly blanket the grass and the deck was white.  I have Italian herb bread in the bread machine (I cheat, but it makes such a nice dough!  Then I bake it in the oven, not in the bread machine.) and minestrone will soon be on the stove.  Murphy is curled up in the bed and Chunk and Mo are off somewhere asleep.  They should be, they were crazy this morning.  thudthudthudthud thundering down the hallway.   thudthudthudthud back down the hallway.  thudthudthudthud up the stairs.  thudthudthudthud down the stairs.  Suddenly the happy little felines went thudthudthudthud through the kitchen nearly knocking my coffee mug out of my hand.  Near death experience for cats.

Don’t break my new coffee cup!

grumpy cat mug

I Love Grumpy Cat. *heart* *heart*

Everything went well in Oxford and Sunday I was surprised – I was not sore at all.  Rather like someone who just bought a matching set of Ford Pintos, I was, however, feeling deeply remorseful over the Fbombs exploding in my head Saturday and showering all over poor Maggie, who happened to be running next to me when they started igniting, and was regretting my effing slightly effing negative effing attitude.  Not that I’m always Little Mary Sunshine anyway, but I’m thinking I may have also been spitting pea soup in a circle on the course.

Unfortunately Monday morning I apparently tried breathing or thinking or something and suddenly my lower back went “EFFFINGSUNUVABEECH” only louder and with a lot more intensity.  Who knew, we actually have live wires that run through our body and my back had stuck its finger in the socket.  I moved and it hit again.  My back was in labor.  I already have a back.  I don’t need to birth another.  I’m not even registered at Babies BackwardR Us.  Thank God for Lamaze classes, little did I know decades later I would be using the breathing techniques again.

Tuesday it was no better and I called Dr. Krackurback – who is out of the office on Tuesdays, oh yippee skippy – and got an appointment for Wednesday, resigning myself to spending the day walking around like a puppet on a string, jerking erratically.  Hey, it gave the cats something to look at.  Murphy slept through it all, curled up on his blanket.  Just don’t touch his blanket.  Ever.  He jumps like it just exploded and looks at you:  WHAT?  WHAT?  WHAT DID I DO?  all sleepy-eyed and confused.  It makes you feel really guilty.  Especially the 7th or 8th time.

Wednesday Dr. K explained to me that muscles are like a castle wall.  Muscles are the first line of defense.  If the muscles hold the castle then all the kings and queens and little knaves and knavettes are safe.  If the invaders start knocking the wall down, and the wall is already rather rickety – maybe made out of bamboo instead of bricks – pretty soon the wall gives in, the castle is invaded and everyone starts screaming and trying to shove knives into the knaves and pouring boiling oil all over the place.

He’d already figured out that my Quadratus lumborum is weak and gave me some exercises to do but noted it would not be a quick fix, need to get the muscles strengthened and that takes time.   (Seriously.  Quadratus! lumborum!  Doesn’t that sound like some made up word that Harry shouted at Voldemort?  ZZZaaaaat!)

No, it’s just a stupid muscle in your back.  The short of it is I slightly sprained my SI joint (castle) because I strained the QL (rickety wall of bamboo) because it’s a sorry a$$ 99 pound weakling at the beach, all white and puny and skinny getting sand kicked in its face, stupid thing.  Probably it got a bit tuckered out, poor weak little jerk, feeling sorry for itself because my butt never invited it to the Falling Off Party and later when everyone else was all laughing hahahaha at inside jokes that happened at the party the QL got jealous and decided to go remedial.

So, it’s all good.  I know what happened and how, I know what to do to fix it, and I can be patient working on it.  I took it easy this week and moved carefully in order not to re-strain anything; every day it’s better.

I can’t feel too badly about any of this – I’m in a lot better shape than Becky, who’s got a stress fracture of the 5th metatarsal and possibly 6 weeks off running.  Today we swam.  I used the swimming buoy so I didn’t kick (no need to upset QL, the whiny brat, I’d go down like a rock) all arms pulling which is great as they also need to get stronger.  I did OK, got 1750 yards.  I wanted 2,000 but was losing my form – no need for that, just another way to get hurt.

While I was swimming, backandforth-backandforth-backandforth, for the first time I thought, this isn’t too bad.  I could breathe well enough.  I didn’t have to hold onto the side at each turn.  It felt … good.

Just keep swimming

old-slide-puzzle

I’ve had trouble writing lately. Not with the writing, but with the focus. I’ve been scattered, disorganized, distracted, flitting from one thing to another, suddenly forced to stomp out the flames of something I’ve forgotten or ignored until it became an issue.

I’m very lucky – and aware enough of that luck to be grateful – that BFOS has not been life-changing for me. It has changed my life in that I was unable do something that I enjoy, that defines me, directs me, focuses me. But it has not changed the way I can live day-to-day, to clean my house, go to the grocery, be with friends.

It is, however, a constant presence. I live in awareness of my body, not focused outside of my body. I expect neither of you walk around Kroger thinking, “I have an arm. I have an arm. I have an arm.” Since last fall there is always a knowledge, an awareness of my leg, and I do not like it. I get into the car and shift in the seat until I can get comfortable. I literally feel my right leg every time I take a step. It’s narcissistic except I don’t love it.

And – I had not realized that until today.

In a continuing effort to solve this stupid puzzle, to get the numbers in sequence, I saw a neuro last week. I’d put it off for weeks because I’m tired of this merry-go-round, but I finally made an appointment. Considered to be one of the best in the mid-south, Dr. Neuro walked in and sat down, took off his glasses, rubbed his eyes. “I cannot see anything wrong with your back,” he stated. “I’m sorry, but there is nothing I can offer to help you, that disc is perfectly healthy.” He punched around my hamstring, trying to find some trigger point that does not exist (I’d have already gotten the Finder’s Fee for that if it existed, as many times as I’ve uselessly prodded, rubbed, rolled, tennis-balled that damn leg). He was wonderfully nice, thoughtful and painstaking, but what can you do when a healthy person doesn’t need you?

Next on my list was chiropractor and then some deep tissue massage, because as much as I want to just quit trying, I’m too damn stubborn. Meanwhile one of my BRFF’s, “Becky” started having some back issues and had gone to a new chiro. She called, singing, “You have got to go see this guy!”

Friday I got in to see Dr. Chiro who also poked all around in my hamstring to find the Phantom Source. Nothing. He started manipulating my leg and hit the hot spot. The doc explained that we have a small muscle, the semimembranosus, which runs along the hamstring on the outside of the leg from the hip. This muscle is innervated by the tibial nerve, which is a branch of the sciatic nerve. He believes I have a mixture of irritation of that branch of the sciatic, along with Meralgia paresthetica, which is the ten dollar name for numbness or pain in the outer thigh not caused by injury to the thigh, but by injury to a nerve that extends from the thigh to the spinal column, along with piriformis syndrome, in which the piriformis muscle irritates the sciatic nerve, causing pain in the buttocks and referring pain along the course of the sciatic nerve.

In other words, as we’ve always known, I have a lot of damn nerve. Also, apparently, I’m impressed with multi-syllabic words.

He did some pressure point therapy on the outside of my thigh and hip which had me grateful for having learned proper breathing techniques during Lamaze classes and sent me home with a set of stretches.

This morning I realized that I actually don’t “feel” my right leg any more than my left, which is when I realized I had been for the past few months. It does actually feel better and so I hold out hope.

Meanwhile I will
nemo-1-1
even though it’s a truly ugly thing.

Having bailed on two classes I resumed swimming hell last Tuesday. First, we warm up. Then, we do some drills. Things like swimming with one arm extended permanently in front and stroking with only one arm, or an exercise called the “Dolphin Kick”. WTH. If I wanted to swim with dolphins it would not be at a YMCA in the mid-south. Look around: No dolphins in the Mississippi River.

I have lost a lot of conditioning, as evidenced by the skyrocketing heart rate in 10 seconds flat, and I have firmly proven that you can inhale enough water to lower the level of a swimming pool. This does not, unfortunately, have any beneficial effect on your sinuses or asthma, although you will be well hydrated. It occurred to me that perhaps I could walk down the lane, extending my arm and pretending to swim, but apparently you can also see through water. I call bullshit. Don’t those little kids pee in the pool enough to make it opaque??

Oh, and guess what? There’s a deep end. What kind of special idiot put a deep end in a swimming pool? You cannot walk on the deep end. Well, you could. If you had one of those diving suits like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Only then the ginormous octopus legs would surround you and drown you. Which I’m watching for, carefully. You never know.

Next she giddily announces we are going to do 5 – 100’s, then 5 – 75’s, then 5 – 50’s with a 10 second recovery between each set. This is like me going to Italy and thinking the first day I’m going to know what the waiter just said to me. Point to the picture on the menu and hope that’s what you get. I looked at Becky. “swim to the end, 25 yards, back, 50, back to the end, 75, back here, 100”.

gonna pee

NOW the kid finally pees. Cue maniacal laughter. Dammit, I’m gonna do this. I swim 25, hold the side of the pool, gasp for 30 seconds, swim back. Slow going but I’m gonna kill this sucker. I’m gonna kill it, and I’m gonna get stronger. I’m Wonder Woman. I’m Swimming With the Fishies Woman. I get to the shallow end, gasping.

I see her blurry face hovering above me. I lift my foggy goggles. “How many 100’s have you done?” she asks.

“HUNDREDS? I’m doing TWENTY-FIVES!”

BSOD

While I would not be the first to admit it, because I am very happy wallowing in my own misery, there is something worse than BFOS, and that is the BSOD.

BSOD

Which, unfortunately, I woke to last week.

They do a have a few things in common, the most obvious being they are both a huge pain in the a$$ followed by the 2nd most obvious, you are jumping on a merry-go-round right here and now in a vain attempt to find any solution.

My current vain attempt to find resolution on the Falling Off Butt is a trip to a Neurologist which will happen Tuesday. I don’t want to but have been mercilessly nagged by friends and family for weeks to please make an appointment which I finally, grudgingly did. If he comes within 20 feet of me with a steroid he’d better never plan on having children.

Being my own IT department at Chez Terrilee’s Running Club Secretary’s Top Secret Laboratory, I quickly triaged the situation.  Upstairs at one end of the house:  The dead or dying laptop.  Downstairs at the other end of the house:  The still useful desktop.

Here’s a thought:  bring the laptop downstairs and try fixing it there, next to the working computer.

But, no, that never, in six hours of running back and forth, occurred to me. First I’d google the most recent error message on the desktop and run upstairs to implement that fix. Then I’d run downstairs to google the next step, run up the stairs, run down the stairs, six hours. The next day I could not figure out why my knees hurt so much. Finally it occurred to me I’d done six hours of a stair workout…in Uggs.

Anyway, eventually I came to the realization that nothing was going to help so I held a pillow firmly over the screen until it quit kicking. Resolutely, sadly, I closed the lid on my laptop for the final time and stuck it in the Closet Of Death. We all have one, the closet where you stick everything you no longer need but have no idea what to do with. I thought I heard a faint whirrrrrr and sigh as I dropped it on top of that ugly quilt someone gave the twins when they were babies. They probably quilted it while watching Top Gun. You can’t really say too much good about color combos of the 80’s, not that I wasn’t extremely grateful for the quilt at the time. Now I just do everything beige. Light Beige, Medium Beige, Beige Beige. It’s boring, but I won’t look at pictures 20 years from now and say, what the h@ll was I thinking? Because everything will be beige including me, and I won’t be able to see anything. The pictures won’t paint a very colorful history of our family, little beige squares stuck in a photo album, but there will also be no evidence of my poor taste, evolving hairstyles and expanding waist.

There’s something else that might be worse than BFOS, and that is the BPOD:

BPOD

Swim class, or as I like to think of it, Torture, is on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Last week I spent Thursday putting the laptop out of my misery, and this past Tuesday I spent eagerly awaiting the highly touted ice and snow storm. I was less eager than usual because I had not taken time to buy several loaves of white balloon bread, 13 gallons of milk and some firewood being sold by the side of the road out the back of an old red pickup truck to use in our gas fireplace. Fail to plan, plan to fail. The cats glared at me accusingly. “What kind of mom are you?,” I could see them thinking. Meanwhile, the television screamed.

“RIGHT HERE, ONLY ON THE BEST STATION IN TOWN, NEWS CHANNEL ZIPPY, THE LATEST UPDATE ON SNOWMAGEDDON 2013!”

“BOB! TELL US THE LATEST NEWS CHANNEL ZIPPY WEATHER UPDATE ABOUT ICE AND SNOW AND POSSIBLE POWER OUTAGES!”

“WELL, BILL, AS YOU KNOW, HERE AT NEWS CHANNEL ZIPPY WE ARE CAREFULLY WATCHING OUR WEATHER UPDATES WHICH INDICATE ICE AND SNOW AND POSSIBLE POWER OUTAGES!!! STEVE, WHAT CAN YOU TELL US?”

“WELL, BILL & BOB, HERE AT NEWS CHANNEL ZIPPY WE ARE CAREFULLY WATCHING OUR TRAFFIC WEATHER UPDATES, WHICH INDICATE ICE AND SNOW AND POSSIBLE POWER OUTAGES!! IN FACT, SEVERAL CARS HAVE ALREADY WRECKED ON THE FLY-OVER IN JOYFUL ANTICIPATION OF ICE AND SNOW!!”

“WOW, BILL & BOB & STEVE” SOLEMNLY INTONED NEWS CHANNEL ZIPPY ANCHOR SALLY SUE, “WE ARE SO GRATEFUL FOR YOUR DEDICATION TO GETTING OUT ALL THE LATEST NEWS AND WEATHER UPDATES ABOUT SNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-MAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGEDON 2013!!!”

I tried to turn off the TV but apparently at the hint of ICE AND SNOW the television becomes sentient and immediately stations itself on NEWS CHANNEL ZIPPY. You can beg and plead but you are not going to see anything other than large words superimposed over photos of last year’s SNOWMAGGENDON 2012 while Bob joyfully exclaims the worst that could possibly happen, so I kept watching, anticipating, ready for the power outage so I could try to rewarm my coffee over my dad’s old Zippo lighter, but nothing happened. No snow. No ice. No power outage. It was like being five and getting clothes for your birthday. And while I watched and anticipated, swim class passed me by. Darn.

Things are going swimmingly, thanks. And you?

Where have ya’ll been??   Sucked into a black hole?

Oh, wait, that’s me that’s been in a black hole.

First the Munker got sick.  For a day or two I thought it was really cute that she kept sleeping on top of the heating vents, funny little kitty, curled up on the vents in the winter.  Then I came downstairs one morning and realized she was still in the same spot and same position she’d been in the night before.  Mo and Murphy were right there with her, where they’d been the night before – never moved.  Stayed with her all night.  And of course it’s New Year’s Eve day (does that seem right?  eve day?)  They got her in but it took almost three hours.  Temp 104.6, probably viral, and she’s pissed about being at the vet’s.  I mean Pissed.  Like, all over the carrier.  Later she said this sh*t’s for the birds and so she did.  All over the carrier.  I started wishing I had a cold just so I couldn’t smell anything.

This is what I decided for 2013:  Since running is still not really working for me,  I would try to do some type of exercise every day.  Not many people make this type of resolution, but I’m just like that.  Cutting edge.  Most people resolve to eat more sweet potato fries.  A few decide to be radical (mostly New Yorkers) and pledge to drink at least one 32 ounce soft drink per day.  Not me.  After I got done giving the vet most of our retirement account I went home and loaded up my shining new Jillian’s 30-Day Shred (LOSE UP TO 20 POUNDS IN 30 DAYS!) video.  I figured, since I haven’t been working out a lot, I would start with Level 1.  It wasn’t too bad until the next day when I needed brush my teeth and my arm only reached my neck.  I don’t have teeth in my neck.

I did the Level 1 workout and checked my Garmin.  Wearing my HR monitor the Garmin said I’d burned 238 calories in 28 minutes.  Doing the math I figured I’m only going to have to do Level 1 for six hours a day to LOSE UP TO 20 POUNDS IN 30 DAYS.  So, I hopped up on the hubster’s trainer for 30 minutes.  Now I only have to do the shred video for 5 more hours.  Today.

You’ll both be surprised to learn that I did not, in fact, do the video for five more hours.  No.  I played some Spider Solitaire, which I think the Russians or North Koreans have invented to keep us U Ess of Aye citizens distracted while they plan to invade our golden shores and take over AIG, that Golden Boy of All Things Right About the American System.  Also, I think that damn game is rigged.  I mean, how can you have a win percentage of 23%?  That’s un-American.  Win percentages should always be 100%.

Now, suddenly, it’s January 18th and so far I’m up to December 31st on my awesome blog that you have both been distraught to read.  My life is a whirl of inactivity and boredom that I cover up with many fascinating stories.  There are so many to choose from.

Here’s a Teaser:  My crazy friend “Becky” talked me into taking a swim class.

Oh, wait, it’s not really a swim class.  It’s really a Master’s Swim.

Master’s swim does not include clutching the side of the pool at the end of each 25 yards and gasping for breath.

No, yes.  For me, it does.

swimming cat

I DON’T HATE SWIMMING!

My abs are sore, my quads are sore, my calves are sore and my ego is sore.

I am currently 4th in my age group in the Road Race Series, with some pretty speedy ladies ahead of me.  The past three years I’ve done the series I placed:  3rd Grandmaster, then 1st in my age group, then 3rd in age group last year.  The truth is I got lucky, you can see by the progression I was sliding.  Now there are a couple newbies in the series who’ve earned their stripes.  Any 59-year-old that can do a 7:53 pace on a hot and humid 5k, I say, has earned the spot and it’s my job to get better, not wish her away.

In the meantime my butt is trying to fall off again.  Probably because I almost ran it off at the 5K, the wheels just about fell off the bus and my average HR was 3 beats below my max HR, which I pretty much count as running at 100% for 26 minutes and 22 seconds.  I’ve texted the Exorcist, hopefully she can see me soon.  I’m looking forward to that.  I had my first two children in the midst of the all natural craze with nothing during labor and delivery except pitocin which – I can tell you – just makes it worse instead of better.  If you have “the laziest uterus I’ve ever seen” per the Doc you’re going to have to do something to get that kid out of its lazy residence, if your butt is trying to fall off you’re going to have to go see the Exorcist to have her put it back on – you might as well start practicing your transition breathing again.

Which, by the way, does jacksh*t to alleviate pain.  One night after Lamaze class (this was with the twins.  I took the class for form but fool me once, fool me twice, third time I’m taking the epidural) hubs asked me about the breathing thing.

“So does that breathing make it not hurt?” he asked, sincerely interested and trying to figure out how this all falls into place.

“Go slam your Buddy in the door over there.  Breathe in–breathe out–slow and easy now.  Does that help?”

“Oh.  Never mind.”

I have some friends who are “runners” which is code speak for “Crazy People” but sounds nicer when you’re out in public.  More PC.  One of my runner friends does triathlons, which is runner code speak for “Crazier than ME” and tends to make runners feel both superior, because obviously they are less crazy than the tri-er, and inferior because they’re struggling to do one event and the tri-er is accomplishing three.  Three is more than one, even “runners” know that because they can count on their toes and fingers and they know that when they lose three toenails that’s worse than losing one.

Silly me, I made FB friends with them, which means they have easy access to inboxing me; all three of us have awesome jobs which allow us to sit at a desk, alone, for hours at a time with no one to talk to and which occasionally bore us to tears, we inbox to alleviate boredom.

*BOINK* inbox message:  BEER

 – YES!  BEER!

 – BEERBEERBEERBEER

 – Cheeseburger!

 – Cheeseburger and Fries!

 – YES!  DONUTS TOO!

 – YOGURT SHOP!

 – What are you having for lunch?

 – Salad.  Turkey & low-fat cheese roll up on whole wheat tortilla.  Gatorade. 

 – I have 24 almonds and some raisins for later, too!

See?  Idiots.

*BOINK*

I’m swimming tomorrow says my friend, whom I shall give the alias “Becky” to shield her from the Child Protective Services who will certainly remove her child if they find out she runs, bikes and swims – all in the same day – and thinks that’s fun.  Perhaps they would have a point.

Good on you  I say

What time?  I’ll meet you replies “Heather” to whom I also have to give an alias because now she’s exhibiting some serious crazy too.

Terri, you need to come

 — no.

– Come on!  It’s great cross training (translation:  “more crazy shit”)

— no

 – it will make you run better

 — no

 – it’s a great aerobic workout with no impact 

 — no

 – it will help you get some exercise while your butt is falling off

 — no.  I want my butt to fall off. 

 – What.  Are you …. chicken?

 — no.  dammit.

 – You always cuss when you don’t want to discuss things rationally

 — I F*&$’ing DO NOT

 – um…yes ^^^ you do

 — @#$$.  I hate you both

 — and I don’t have any goggles

 — and I don’t have one of those swimming hair condom things either.

 – they sell goggles at the Rec Center

 — WHAT THE HELL?  Do they have a license to sell sh*t???

 – I have a swim cap you can use

 — dammit.  fine.

 — and I hate you both

That evening I tell hubs I’m going swimming with “Becky” and “Heather”.  After he recovers from the fainting spell he offers me his extra swim goggles.  Now I hate him, too.  I hate swimming, I hate “Becky” I hate “Heather” and I hate goggles.

Tuesday morning I trudge into the swim area.  B & H smile but it was really a smirk, I think, and they were just disguising it.  I hop in the pool and attempt to put the hair condom on.  It springs off the top of my head, rolls up into a tube the size of a pencil and sticks to itself.

“See?” I say, “it’s a sign from God.  I’m not supposed to swim.”

B unwraps the damn thing and I get it on my head after losing several large chunks of hair to its rubbery grip.  The goggles are glued to my face and seem to be sucking all the air out of my eyeballs.  H & B set off across the pool so I push off and flail along behind gasping for air and sucking in enough water that I will not need to hydrate for several days.  Hugging the other end of the pool I promise God if I am able to swim back to the shallow end I will never cuss again.

Shit.  I made it.  Dammit.  I just cussed.  Sorry, God, please don’t smote me.   God’s pretty cool, by the way.  Never once has He ever smote me, and if I were God I’d be smoting the hoohah out of me.

I will insert here that I am an RRCA certified running coach.  I took an intense three-day course and a killer test and passed.  I learned all about the physiology of running, the progression of fitness levels, starting slow and easy and gradually increasing distance and incorporating speed work.  I had just spent three hours the evening before telling all the ladies I ran beside in the Beginning Runners group that they need to just run for one minute.  Then we’ll walk two.  You don’t have to go far.  Just go to that next light pole.  Take it easy, don’t rush it.

Tuesday morning I get up, jump in the pool and think I’m supposed to swim back and forth repeatedly the minute I touch water.  Do as I say, not as I do.

B says, “Terri, watch me.”  She pushes off, shows me form, how to practice gliding, how to incorporate a stroke.  I push off and make it to the first set of steps and return.

“There, that’s good.  Now just do that for a few minutes.” and she heads for the deep end.

I obediently push off and glide.  I made it past the steps!  YAY ME!

I push and glide, progress to pushing, gliding, stroking; progress to pushing, gliding, stroking, breathing.  By the end of the session I was making it 2/3 of the way across the pool before resting and turning back.

“I don’t hate swimming!” I announce to B & H.

They smile.

That night I announce to hubs, “I DON’T HATE SWIMMING!”  He smiles a little.  He knows how I flow.  Always fighting it on the front end and learning the hard way.

“Hey, God – thanks for hubs.  And for H &B.” I say.  “Maybe by the time I’m 60 I’ll be fast.  And not hard-headed.”

Ok, one out of two would be good.  I think I’d rather be fast.

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