Tag Archive | swimming

Mr. Bean

Last Friday night, I went to the Friday Night Triathlon thing again since I was in GR and it was the last one of  the season.  I was excited to go and a little bit more nervous because this time, the one person I knew last time, would not be there.  Oh well, I can’t be comfortable all the time now can I.

I swam the distance in 21 minutes.  It was just under a half mile swim.  I was pleased with this…last time I did the Friday Night Tri, I did this swim in 25 minutes.

Then I moved on to the run.  Last time I did this run, I had never run 3 miles straight.  Since then I have been able to do that distance straight.  Heading into this, I really wanted to be able to run the whole thing, which would be a challenge given the number of hills there are.  Plus, it is a 3.5 mile course.

I started out, not being able to even run up the first big hill that started the course off, but I ran and walked it.  Once I got to the top, I started running steady through the apple orchard, to the road, and beyond.  My other goal in this run was to NOT get passed by the other racers who were doing all 3 legs so early in the game.  Last time, I got passed before the turn around point!

As I ran, I kept looking behind me for the runners.  I got to the turn around point and started back and still had not seen any runners and still hadn’t stopped running!  I was sooo doing this.  I was grinning!  I was excited.  I was coming down a hill that I had just climbed and suddenly a scene from Rat Race filled my head and I started laughing!

Picture the beginning of the movie when the racers are sent out and all the contestants are all in a pile in the stairwell.  Mr. Bean comes running down the stairs with a  huge grin on his face saying…

“It’s a race!  I am winning!  I am winning!  It’s a race!”

Yeah, I was running down the hill, with no other runners in sight laughing and grinning saying, “it’s a race, I am winning!”

3 minutes later, I saw a runner approaching!  But who cares, I was already further that I was last time and he still wasn’t passing me as he had not reached the turnaround point yet!

In the end, I got passed by everyone and it took me an hour to run it, but who cares.  I did it and I improved  from last time.  That is all that matters!

This journey towards health is a race….and I am winning!!!

Just forget about the fact that Mr. Bean has narcilepsy and falls asleep 2 minutes later!

Triathlon Pictures

Me and my Teammate, Ingrid, Pre-race

Me and my Teammate, Ingrid, Pre-race

Pre-Race, getting ready

Pre-Race, getting ready

Coach-Fan and Illegal Runner, Aaron-Veteran Fan, Ingrid-Veteran Fan, Race Photographer, and now teammate!

Coach-Fan and Illegal Runner, Aaron-Veteran Fan and former teammate, Ingrid-Veteran Fan, Race Photographer, and now teammate!

Here I come. Starting to run up the Hill, Coach is coming to give me my towel!

Here I come. Starting to run up the Hill, Coach is coming to give me my towel!

I am more than a number, but on this day, I am identified by 294.  Which ironically, is almost my weight, but not quite...I am a little less than that!

I am more than a number, but on this day, I am identified by 294. Which ironically, is almost my weight, but not quite...I am a little less than that!

Still pinning my number on

Still pinning my number on

Almost ready, putting on the doo rag!

Almost ready, putting on the doo rag!

Finally ready to run!

Finally ready to run!

Ingrid comes in off the bike!

Ingrid comes in off the bike!

Last minute words of encouragement as we approach the finish line!

Last minute words of encouragement as we approach the finish line!

Coach leaves me so I can finish it on my own!  I love this man, his crazy spandex leggings and all!  He is a great friend!

Coach leaves me so I can finish it on my own! I love this man, his crazy spandex leggings and all! He is a great friend!

IMG_0846

Finish Line, Sprinting it out!

Finish Line, Sprinting it out!

Nobody Said I looked pretty while running…and it really wasn’t as painful as my face seems to be saying!

Me and Jen, Post Race, If she didn't go first 3 years ago, I don't know that I ever would have!

Me and Jen, Post Race, If she didn't go first 3 years ago, I don't know that I ever would have!

Dear John/Jane

Dear Aaron, Ingrid, Ann, and Marissa,

I am at once sad and delighted to be writing this letter to you.  The past two years you have been there for me, more than you could ever know.  You have each ran or biked for me as part of team efforts in the sport of triathlon.   Our relationship, as it has been, has been wonderful.  I have experienced much joy and satisfaction with each of you.  The camaraderie and friendly competition we have shared against our mutual friends has been delightful and invigorating.  Life producing.  Your place on the teams we have been on together has truly been an encouragement to me.  Without each of you there along the way I would not have participated in 3 triathlons in 1 years time.  Again, our relationship as it has been, as teammates, has been amazing!

I must tell you though, I have found another athlete to fill your shoes or pedals, as the case may be different for each of you.   This athlete, I have realized I love a lot and really want to see her be able to excel at this sport of triathlon and with your feet on the pavement or shoes in the pedals, she cannot do that.  You are standing in her way.  So I must ask you to respect me and my decision, and step aside.   I will be honest with you.  The athlete that is replacing you is not as fast as you.  She won’t be able to bike 12+ miles in less than an hour or run 3.1 miles in 30 minutes.  With her on my team, we may for sure come in dead last with the finish line all packed up.  But I do not care.  I love this athlete!  I want her to have a chance to do more than she ever thought possible!

I met this athlete out on the run course last Saturday at Girls Best Friend.   I had talked about the possibility of doing all 3 legs myself next year, but never really thought I could do it.  It was always an illusive thought.  But out on that run course, I realized that within me, lives someone far stronger than I ever imagined.  And as I crossed that finish line, I knew, I KNEW that next time I crossed a finish line, I wanted it to be because the girl I met out there, the strong one, did it all by herself.  That the beep went off, the photo is taken, of a girl who is truly a triathlete!

I hope you will all understand and forgive me.  It is not you, it is me!  We can remain friends.  And instead of being on the race team, I would love to have you as part of the support team.  People to run, bike and swim with in training.  Or if you like, I would love to have you there on race day running, swimming and biking right beside me…or ahead of me…I won’t ask you to go that slow.  Or, if you are not up to it, you can always come and watch and cheer and remember back to the old days, when I barely thought I would make it out of the water alive and to the transition area.

I am sorry my friends and teammates.  Our relationship must die, so that I can live.  In the dying though, something new will develop between us and I am excited for that.

With great sadness and much anticipation for the future,

Kim

Girls Best Friend Triathlon

Saturday morning came really fast. It was chilly and cloudy and threatened rain.  I woke up in an extremely abnormal state of 5:45 AM chattiness.  I woke up, showered and immediately began telling Jen about the crazy dream I had that night.  Jen is not a morning person either and when she wakes up on race day; it is typically in your best interest to NOT talk to her until post-race.  I was risking my life, but she was gracious enough to realize that I was not normal either.  While she has pre-race jitters one way, mine shows up in extreme warp speed chattiness about everything other than what I am about to do.  Thank you Jen for being so gracious, I love you all the more for it!

Despite that bit of oddity, the rest of the day went well.  Since this is my 3rd race with this group, no one really asked me how I felt about what I was about to do.  They knew my answer.

I AM FINE!

And I was more than fine talking about everything other than the fact that it was cold outside and how cold the water may or may not be (73 degrees) and most definitely not talking about the run.

But in the end…I did it folks!  I swam my 500 meters in 18 minutes and 17 seconds.  I was hoping to do it in 20 minutes or less.  I was last in the water (again) and got escorted in (again), this time by two of the lifeguards!  However, I am pleased to say I swam the whole way and did not ever use the lifeguards to rest!

I came out of the water much differently than in last year’s event at this same location.  Last year, my friend Todd had to drag me up the hill or I never would have made it to the transition area.  This year however, I came out and ran up the hill, as Coach tossed me my towel. (good man, Coach!)  I was so excited to be running up the hill on my own power and not being pushed or pulled up it, I started laughing/talking about how much easier this hill is this year than last.  To which I got this reply from Coach as he ran along the side of the marked area.

LESS TALKING…MORE RUNNING!!!!!

Fine.  I got to the transition area and handed off my electronic chip to Ingrid, who took off on the bike.  I caught my breath, wrapped myself in my towel, and headed out of transition with my bag to go greet my friends, to dry off and to change into my running clothes. And to pee. Again (Note to all you who wish to start racing…the bladder goes on overdrive on race day!)

About 55 minutes later, I was cheering my former teammate (from Bostwick Lake), Marissa, along with her mom in, when suddenly I am being shouted at that Ingrid is back!  CRAP!  I am not even in the transition area!  So I ran in, threw my bag down, grabbed my chip and took off.

Now, I must remind you that Coach planned on running in this all female event with me and he did.  He showed up in decked out in his running gear, ready to run.  Truth be told, he looked like the runner, where as I, just looked like a girl in cotton Capri pants and a tank top.  Next year, I will have the cool gear, except I don’t think I will be wearing spandex pants quite yet!

I ran down the hill, and realized CRAP! I have to pee! But then thought, NO time girlie, you are in a race!  So I continued down the hill and then back up and then I thought…

WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING??!?!?!?!

Seriously.

I am about 1 minute into my run, all pumped on adrenaline, trying to make it up a hill hoping 2 things.

  • That Coach will be on the other side of that hill, waiting for me, ready to run, and to help me through this
  • That Coach would somehow forget his word and NOT be there, so that I might have a chance at walking for a breather at some point.

Coach was there.  Clapping and cheering.  Ready to run.

New thought.  Why does he have to be a man of his word ALL the time?

So off we went.  Him doing what I call a simulated run.  Me running.  Gasping.  Attempting to talk in 2 word bursts.  Wondering what in the world I was doing this for.  Hearing Jen in my head reminding me why.

A little less dying and a little more living, Kim!

Oh yes, this tortuous thing that causes your legs and lungs to burn and your heart to pump at a ridiculous rate is bringing about more life!  I can be on board with that!

Part of the run was on trails, which I run on at home, and like.  Part was on cement which would be my next preferred way to run, and an obnoxiously long portion of it is on a mowed field (due to mud on the trails) which I hated!  It sucks running on grass.  It is as if the grass is a vortex that tried to suck all life from my legs.

Before we were even at mile 1, I knew that my bladder was not going to last 3 miles.  I began watching the bushes for a good place to pee, as 100’s of racers run by and Coach would be waiting for me.  Oh the awkwardness.  I saw a building up ahead and it was almost like seeing a mirage.  Could it be a bathroom? I asked Coach.   Well, nice guy that he is, ran ahead to check it out and confirmed that this was no mirage.  My bladder found relief without the prying eyes of 200 women (plus Coach) running past.

As I approached the first water station, a nice young boy called out asking if I wanted water.  OF COURSE I DO!  What a silly question!  So I grab the cup, drink it as I am running then realize there is no trash can.  What do I do with the cup?  So I turned around and went back to the table and tried to hand it back to them or ask them what I do with it.  They looked at me very strangely and told me to throw it on the ground!

WHAT?? You want me to litter?

Well, by then I was near a trash bag so I through it at least NEAR the trash bag…and continued running.  Coach then enlightened me to the art of race running.  You grab it, drink it, crumple it, and toss it.  They have volunteers to clean up after me.  That is so nice!

Throughout the race, there were several times I wanted to walk, mostly when on the grassy field.  There were also times that curse words were driven from my mouth as I realized I had a hill to climb and I refused to walk it.  In fact I was pretty determined I was not walking any part of this course, despite my desires.  In the end, I ran up the final hill.  Coach shouted for me to sprint it out, to finish strong as I approached the finish shoot and he veered off and ran along side it.  Somewhere deep inside me there was a hidden burst of energy that burst out of me when I saw Coach and Aaron running alongside the shoot, cheering, and Ingrid running and snapping pictures.  I picked up speed and ran as fast as I could across the finish line where I was handed a lovely flower and accosted to get my electronic chip back.  They are like Nazi’s about getting those chips back!

It was a lovely race.  I ran 3.1 miles in 55 minutes.  Only 5 minutes slower than what I did on a 3 mile course that was all flat and 5 minutes faster than I anticipated.

I am proud of myself.  I have done more things physically this year than I have ever thought I could do.  I am discovering a little athlete in me that wants to do more of these.  There is some sort of something that fills your head/body when you cross that finish line that makes you forget that the last 3 miles hurt, and makes you want to do it all again, plus some.  It is the strangest thing!

So, I will be in GR again next weekend.  I think I am going to go do that Fri Night Tri again!  Woot!

Oh and I will have pictures up in a few days!

Ready As Ready Can Be

Tonight, I have another 10, 000 thoughts and I still have not finished blogging about the other 10,000 from the other day…but this one is celebratory….so it goes first.

You all know that on Saturday, I will be doing a triathlon relay, this time doing 2 legs of the race, swim/run.   I have been quite nervous as I have had a goal to be able to run the WHOLE 5k without stopping.  Well, running, oh heck, all exercise has been sucking for me lately, so I knew I was NOT on schedule to be able to complete this.  Of course, I did not tell Coach how BAD I was sucking…and despite it being an all female event, he plans on running it with me.  (Something about me being his little bird taking flight for the first time or some sentimental thing like that, that makes me cry to think about it, so instead I will make light of it!)  Anyway, given that he plans on running with me, I knew that there would be little room for breaks, so I HAD to get my mileage up.

So tonight I went out for a swim followed by a run.  I swam for 20 minutes.  I do not know the distance in the pool I am in, but figure 20 minutes is about how long it will take me to do 500 meters, since I can do 700 in 25 minutes.  When finished, I jumped in my car, and went down to the state park trails (about 3 miles away) to run a loop that I KNOW is 1 mile around.  My plan was to run it 3 times, without stopping.

Lap 1 happened and as I approached my starting point, I threw my hands up in victory…and continued running.

As I finished lap 2 my legs were burning, and my breathing was rough, but heck, what is one more lap?  As I started it, I thought, “What is the big deal to stop for just a minute.  Besides, I think my shoelace is tied too tight.  I should fix that.  Oh and one of my toes is falling asleep??? What the heck is that?  I should check that out…”

But then I thought…

“Do I really want to tell Coach that I ALMOST ran 3 miles straight or do I want to hear his excitement when I tell him I RAN 3 miles straight?”

I want the surprise and excitement.  So I kept running.

Halfway through my last lap, I got a stitch in my side and thought, “oh man, I can’t finish this!”

I would swear there was someone else in my head yelling at me.

“Oh yes you can!  Don’t you dare quit now!

“OK, I guess I can go a little further.”  Breathe deep and slow…deep and slow….

I came to my final stretch.  It was a stretch of marshy land covered by a wood plank bridge.  Once I cross this, I am done.   I thought, “I am not gonna make it!”

Out of nowhere I heard Adam yelling at me…”Sprint it out Kim!  Finish strong!”

So what did I do?

You got it!  I sped up!

I finished strong and I immediately pulled out my phone to call Coach!  Got his voice mail…poor guy listened to it later and for a brief moment thought Crazy Kate had come back for a visit and I was in a place of really needing to talk and he wasn’t available…HA!  Nope, that was just me not being able to breathe!!  Sorry to have scared ya Coach!  I am FINE!  More than FINE!

At least now, I know that I can do Saturday’s event.  I had my Friday Night Tri a week or so ago and now this little training brick tonight.  There are still a lot of unknowns out there and I am still very intimidated.  But I feel better about it now!

I am ready as ready can be.

Oh yeah, Coach’s response to my achievement?

“Of course you did it! You’re hardcore!”

Oh the expectations I have set myself up for, there is no going back now!  And dang!  These boys have followed me across the state and even when they aren’t around, their words haunt me and challenge me to greatness!  God, I love the men you have placed in my life…so grateful!

Oh SNAP!  I get to check off another goal from my list!

Help! I’ve Been Trained On And Can’t Get Up!

A few weeks ago, I got a phone call from a gym in the Detroit area telling me that I won a free 2-year membership to their gym.  I am quite skeptical about the “You have won!” phone calls and questioned them quite a bit on how I could win if I never heard of their gym and never submitted an entry.  Basically, someone submitted my name and phone number for me!  (Since I won, I can’t be mad, but had it opened me up to a bunch of sales calls I would have been!)  Anyway, I went in this past week to confirm it is not a joke, to see the gym and “accept” my prize.

I walked in and the woman who greeted me is someone I KNOW from the bank I used to work at.  She also happens to be a woman who lost a ton of weight all on her own…I think at least 150 lbs.  (Jackie, if you read this feel free to correct me!)  In the end, she threw in a free personal training session with “Thomas” who also is the guy there that trains her.

I went to see him yesterday.  Thomas is a BIG DUDE.  His bi-cep is probably as big as my thigh, but all muscle.  I REALLY do not think I am exaggerating here!  He has this deep voice but is rather soft spoken.  You would think he would be super loud, but he is not.  Ang, you would LOVE this man!  I am not sure if it was the commanding way he spoke or the fact that he could crush me with his pinky, but I was intimidated, to say the least.

In one hour, we did a total body workout. We worked every single muscle in the arms, then moved on to  every leg muscle, through the back muscles in there, then ended on abs.  Today, I had to WORK to get out of bed.  I cannot lift my arms.  My boobs even hurt!  My legs are stiff but I can walk sort of normally.  Oh, how am I gonna swim today…

He was very good at explaining the purpose of the machines, correcting my form, and helping me understand and know what it should feel like when I have done a good solid workout.  The things I need to work on?  Yes there are a few…

  • apparently when it gets more difficult, I move my head around…a lot.  I don’t know how many times he got on me about that.
  • Breathing.  He finally just started talking to me and asking questions.  He said if I can talk then I am breathing.  However, then I would mess up counting and if I forgot my count, I had to start over grr…only did that ONCE.  Learned my lesson good.  It is interesting to note though that I stop breathing a lot.  Esther(counselor) used to tell me to breathe as we talked about difficult things.  When I was attempting late night, top secret runs with Laurie, she would tell me to breathe.  I am certain Coach or Adam has probably told me on occasion to stop holding my breath.  So, when things get difficult, emotionally or physically, I hold my breath.  Good to know.  Must stop this!

The one thing I didn’t like…he made some assumptions.  We all know how I feel about assumptions…just go find my post about Ann the Spin Legend!  When he first put me on the treadmill, he said it would be for about 5 minutes at 2.2 mph and if that is too much feel free to lower it.  2.2?  Really?  Umm Thomas, what if I feel like that is too slow?  Of course I am allowed to increase it. (Whew!) He then said that if he had his dithers or duthers or something about him he would put me at 3.1-3.5.  HA OK…That I can do, without getting bored.

I am sure he needs to err on the side of too light when just getting to know a new trainee…there is some risk of injury he needs to be aware of and as far as he knows…this could be my first workout in years!  Fortunately it is not, but he doesn’t know.  And fortunately that was the one and only assumption he made.  After that, he asked a ton of questions as we worked out. I liked him.  Wish I had the money to pay him to train me every week!

Oh…the other bonus.  Jackie didn’t know you could do a triathlon as a relay.  She wants to bike/run but can’t swim.  So I may swim in a tri for her so she can do the other 2 legs! Could there be opportunity for a third tri this summer?

One last bonus….I may have a running buddy, at least some of the time since she lives right near me!

OK, I MUST get up again and go swim…even if it kills me!

Faster Than A Speeding Bullet!

I was too tired to write this story last night, so here it is.

I was going to use Sunday as my day off from running or swimming since I would be at a family gathering all day.  However, I realized later that the gathering is at a lake and that there may be possibility of  doing a lake swim, which is the best kind of training swims for me.  I had hopes.  It all depended on if it was an all sports lake with speedboats racing around or not.  If it was, then there would need to be someone that was willing to ride in a paddle boat or canoe or something near me so that the speedboats don’t run me over!

Paddle boaters were needed and available.

First of all, when I decided to swim across the lake, this apparently became the big event of the day!  I could hear conversations about “oh Kim is gonna cross the lake” and the like…all in some measure of aww or concern!  My nieces and nephews were quite excited to see this and I had cheering fans standing on the dock yelling “GO Auntie GO!  (Guess my fans follow me across the state!)

In my first attempt, mom was in the paddle boat with my younger cousin.  I start swimming.  They start pedaling. Since I am working on swimming in a straight line with my head in the water, I am not hearing the yelling going on …far behind me.  I turn to look and the boat is about 60 yards behind me and I hear mom yelling “Kimberly Anne!!  Stop swimming…we can’t do this!”

WHA????  Yeah, mom can’t pedal like it is needed to actually go somewhere in a paddle boat.  I am too fast for this boat with these peddlers.  So, I swim back to shore….the boat eventually makes it back…and we get my older brother to pedal along with said cousin and just in case a change up is needed, his mom.

We head back out.  This time I am aware enough to keep checking on the progress of the boat but had high hopes that with 2 guys pedaling they would be able to keep up with this turtle of a swimmer.

No such luck.  Apparently when I am pitted against a paddle boat, I can win every time!

I look back and realize they are about 50-60 yards away from me and….wait a second…they are pedalling…but they are not moving anywhere…except in circles.

I start floating on my back and laughing.  So much for a great non stop swim across the lake and back…

My fans are continuing to yell and cheer for me(they are not bored yet)…then they realize that the boat isn’t going anywhere and Gavin starts yelling…”Get the biggest person out of the boat!!!”  Umm yeah that would put his father in the water…not gonna happen!

I swim over to the boat  and grab the string and was laying down all sorts of smack talk about how I can swim and pull them in the boat faster than they can move in a straight direction!

It was actually kind of working until….my young cousin jumped out of the boat and started pushing from behind and almost ran me over!!  (And I thought I had to worry about getting run over by speedboats!)

I went to the back and young cousin and I decided to push the boat.  So my “Swim” became an hour long session of getting to work on my kicking technique.  With us kicking from behind and controlling the rudder from behind…and the riders pedaling…sort of…we went quite a distance around the lake.

It was all fine and dandy until I got a SERIOUS cramp in my foot.

I don’t think I am really faster than a speeding bullet.  That would be coach.  But apparently I AM faster than a speeding paddle boat!