Learning to Swim: Week 1

Well, I finally finished the first week of my “Learn to Swim” program from About.com. To recap, my goal in doing this is to build to a 500-yard swim and improve my freestyle/front crawl stroke. My main hindrance in this is not so much lack of strength, it’s that I have poor form and have trouble managing my breathing.

The big obstacle this week was not so much my crappy swimming ability as it was the monsoon. After all my praise of monsoon season last week, I forgot that the monsoon can also do this:

Via KOLD

Via KOLD

Ouch! So, my goal had been to swim on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays to keep my swimming workouts apart from my running workouts, but my plans were foiled when I went to campus on Saturday and it started with thunder and lightning. Then I wanted to go on Sunday, but the massive monsoon storm that caused the damage above kept me inside. Today I finally got to the gym to do workout #3 which was supposed to take place Saturday–and I barely got through my 6×25 laps before it started raining again! Other than that, though, I feel like this first week of workouts have been very manageable. Today was the first day I felt a little taxed, but that may not be surprising coming off a long run and some weights yesterday. I’m not sure my form is improving, but I am spending more time with my face in the water so I guess that’s progress. Today I invested a whole $3.99 (plus tax) in my very first swim cap, so I guess I’ve now made a financial commitment to this program. Ha ha. On to week 2!

Monsoon Season and 300 Miles

This morning I finally hit 300 miles for the year, a total of 14.2 miles for the week. I know a lot of my hardcore running friends hit 300 miles a long time ago, but for me it’s quite an achievement. I’m still a bit behind on my goal of averaging 50 miles/month for the year, though, so I’m hoping that for the second half of the year I can pick it up a little and spend less time dealing with injury.

Gambel’s quail, from All About Birds

This morning’s 5K run was really a delight. Running in monsoon season can be both frustrating and fun… The endless days of 100+ degree weather are a bummer, especially on days like Tuesday when you wake up and it’s already 85 degrees. But on a day like today, it’s an unexpected surprise to get to sleep in (until 5:30AM, ha ha) and wake up to reasonable temps, cloudy skies, and a light cooling rain. The animal kingdom was out enjoying the morning, too, and nothing quite makes my day like seeing the happy little quails out running along the dirt road. Hope everyone has a great weekend!