I took most of this week off completely.  I didn’t do any running or other exercise-related things until yesterday (Saturday).  I’m glad I took those days off, because when I started back up yesterday I was feeling really good.  Sometimes your body really (REALLY) needs to rest.  And this week was one of those times – for sure.

Yesterday I decided to change it up and try my hand at swimming.  I plan to incorporate swimming as my cross training activity while I’m training, so I figured I’d go and see how it went.

We had a pool at the house I grew up in, so I spent many summer days (and nights – gotta love the night swimming!) playing around in the water.  But I’ve never been a big lap swimmer.  EVER.

I’m in a fortunate situation in that I teach and get to use all the college athletic facilities for free.  That includes the cardio, weight room, and pool.  Sweet. So I figured I’d go try out the pool.  Worst case scenario, I hate it, and I’m not out any money.

But I loved it!  I had no idea what I was doing really.  I could count the number of times I’ve gone to swim laps before on one hand.  So Carrie went with me.  For the first little bit, I was scoping out her form and the form of the girl on my other side.  Then I just had at it.  It definitely wasn’t easy, but it got a little better with each lap.  By the end of an hour, I was tired, but feeling really good and starting to get my confidence up.

Carrie and I went swimming again this afternoon and I felt even better than yesterday.  Also, one of my super nice students who is also on the swim team was lifeguarding (ah, and joys of working out at the school facilities), so I asked her to give me some pointers.  It was really helpful!  The pool is only 25 yards long, so it’s not huge.  I was doing 50 yards at a time and kept stopping when I’d get back to the wall.  I knew I had the physical ability to do more than one lap at a time, but I was having a mental block.  After Carrie yelled at me and told me to “just do it” I forced myself to continue on and ended up doing just over 175 yards without stopping.  Yay!  I could have gotten to 200 yards, but my foot cramped up and I needed to stop and tread water for a second until it went away.

So now I am totally addicted and am LOVING swimming.  I was only going to do it once or twice a week, but I have a feeling this might become a more frequent thing.  It’s so fun!  And very zen.  Something about gliding along and just staring at that black line of tile really zones me out.

There was one other event today…

My friend Chelsea was running a 5k this morning and wanted to beat her PR of 28:38.  I hadn’t run since the marathon on Sunday, so I had no idea how I was going to feel.  But I decided to run and pace her to beat her PR.

Pre-race.  Don’t we look snazzy in our awesome running tights?

We needed to run a 9:14/mile pace to beat her PR.  So I took her out at 8:44/mile for the first mile to bank some time.  Unfortunately, someone was calling out the splits at the first mile marker and she heard how fast she was going and got a little nervous.  (She was totally rocking the 8:44/mile, by the way.)  But she kept pushing and we did the second mile in 9:25.  I pushed her a little harder for the last bit (9:12/mile) and she crossed the finish line in 27:42.  A new PR.  Way to go Chelsea!

New PR!  Go Chelsea!

I felt pretty good for the first two miles, but I definitely started to feel the post-marathon fatigue in the last mile.  It wasn’t anything horrible.  But I could definitely tell that my body was still in recovery mode.  It takes a long time to recover completely!

And now it’s time to rest and relax.  I hope you had a fabulous weekend!