Posted by: realifemermaid | April 22, 2013

One Year Later….Still Swimming

Well now. I have successfully neglected this blog. I suppose that is because I have been busy. REALLY busy. About this time last year, I was having a love/hate relationship with swimming. I wanted to swim, but I was tired of chasing times and also did not want to be a washed up lap swimmer. I needed something more. I swam occaisionally last spring and focused on running. Last July, I entered the Dave Reynolds Biathlon in Rehoboth, DE while I was home visiting my parents. I have always done this swim/run and thought I would do pretty well this year because of all the running I had been doing. Had not been swimming much at all. Well, wouldn’t you know it, my swim split and finish was one of the best ever for that race! I was one of the first out of the water, and this was always very competitive because there is a relay option and there are also tons of lifeguards from out of state (or out of country!) that spend their summers training and working as a beach guard. Sadly, during the run, I did not do too well. But that event was a wake up call for me. I could use running to make me a faster swimmer, but I was MEANT to swim.
So as of July I’ve been swimming more seriously again, but this time for open water. I started training with a group of amazing people in St. Pete Beach area in September. I entered a 2.4 mile race in October and did decent. I actually came to swim practice and did not care if I swam with the high schoolers if that meant finishing an entire 2 hour practice. The fall was a lot of building back, and by December I was feeling like a swimmer again!
I entered the Frogman Swim in Tampa Bay in January, but only under the condition that I could swim without a wetsuit. Then I submitted an article to USMS Swimmer Magazine about how wetsuits took away the accomplishment of swimming on your own, which was crazy to consider when I spent my entire life trying to go just a teeny bit faster and a wetsuit would essentially help me do so! I got sixth place/32 in the swim and my article was published. The US swimming coach looked at me and said “Well, I guess we better start training you up for this open water stuff!”
Late January, February, and March have been devoted to increasing yardage. Or mileage. My biggest accomplishment during this time was a 9 mile swim in 60 degree water. The following weekend Chris and Magoo (don’t worry, his real name is Mark. And he calls me Space Cadet or Girlie Whirlie) went 12 miles in similar conditions, but I went 8.
April 6th I swim in a huge 10K in Miami, placed 1st in my age group and 4th overall. I was really feeling like a swimmer again!
Now I am totally psyched for this weekend and maybe (now that my blog is caught up) will be making more posts again. This weekend is the USMS National Championships (5K) but according to the entrant list, the Miami swim had more of a national showing…at least for my age group (I think younger people are more inclined to travel to Miami than Ft. Meyers).
So that is where I have been! Some scuba and surf has been happening still, but swimming is back in it’s rightous spot as number one in my life. 🙂

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