When I told you last month about my three goals for 2013 you might or might not have noticed that I had no specific exercise goals for the year. It’s true. In fact, at this point, I have no running goals, which is rather unusual for me.
Ever since the half marathon, I’ve been pretty relaxed about running. Most of my runs have been in the 1-4 mile range, with nothing longer than 6 miles. I do have three races in the 5K – 4 mile range on my radar for later this year, but I’m currently experiencing some sucky middle-aged aches and pains that might or might not allow me to do much running. (More on those in another post.)
Last month I was having some arthritis pain in my knee. Yes, that one. (It’s better now.) This is an issue that was around long before I tore my meniscus and which was mostly better after surgery. But the pain reappeared right before Christmas, so I cut way back on miles and looked for other ways to stay active. Surprisingly, I decided on swimming.
I know, I know. I have waxed not-so-poetic about how much I don’t like swimming. But there’s a terrific indoor pool just a couple miles from Jenworld and swimming there is inexpensive. A friend dragged me over and into the water I jumped.
I am a terrible swimmer. There’s no false modesty in that statement. I am slow and lumbering and very awkward in the water. I have no style or form or anything. Mostly I just kick a lot and eventually make it to the other end.
I also hate — hate, hate, hate, big stabby hate, HATE — to put my face in the water. In the post I linked above, I mention that several years ago I signed up for a swimming challenge and that I backstroked most of it. Last week, I was in the second swim lane from the wall and when I was finished, I had to duck under those lines that separate the lanes in order to get to the ladder that would take me to dry land and freedom. I realized that I was going to have to put my head under the water, which caused me to hesitate and then spend a full minute determining if I had any other options. I did not, so under the water I went. It was only a few seconds and it was not fun.
Instead of backstroking my way back and forth across the pool, this time I’m freestyle/dog paddling with a kick board. If I had more vanity, I might possibly be embarrassed, but I am so delighted to be able to swim without getting my face wet or worrying about ramming into the pool wall head-first while backstroking (did that so much that it’s a wonder I don’t have brain damage), that I don’t care.
At the end of last summer, I bought two new bathing suits on sale from Lands End. (I love that you can search their offerings by bra size.) My previous suit (yes, that one) was lost somewhere in Australia or New Zealand, but that’s okay, because it was too large anyway. I bought two, more for the fact that they fit and that they’d look cute, than for doing any serious swimming in them.
Ladies of a certain size, I can now reliably inform you that this style, while cute, is not good for lap swimming. It’s possible that your girls will try repeatedly to escape their confines and that you will possibly flash other swimmers. Ditto any halter neck swim suits, with the additional news that that you will have neck strain from having all of your mammary weight supported by a single strap around your neck. It will not be comfortable. I have ordered a suit specifically made for serious swimming (or attempted serious swimming) and am hoping it will keep things contained.
I still find swimming to be boring, but not as bad as it used to be. I’d like to figure out a way to take my iPod in the water so that I can have music to amuse me, as well as keep pace with faster music, but I haven’t yet figured out how to waterproof my Nano.
In the meantime, I have found that I am much less self conscious about appearing in public in a bathing suit, which is a HUGE milestone for me. Hell, I have even posted photos of myself in a bathing suit on Facebook and this blog, which is almost worthy of a ticker tape parade. Here, I’ll do it again. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
It’s not a great photo of me, but I don’t care. Baby steps, people. I look at that photo and remember having a wonderful day in the Bahamas with my family, not that my cellulite was visible for all the non-caring world to see.
So that’s the latest on my fitness goals. As in, I don’t have any and I’m totally fine with it. Swimming is turning out to be more fun than I thought it would be, which is a nice thing.
Who among you swims? Do you have any advice for waterproofed tunes while I pretend I’m a mermaid?