Pools, hills, and new gear.

Holy shit. It’s official. I signed up for Dam to Dam.

All my nights of not sleeping has trained me for the registration opening at 6:00 am. I assumed some cruel twist of fate would leave me to be boxed out of the race as the 8001th runner, so I set a 5:50 am alarm ready for action. After hitting refresh 39 times and panic sweat began to gather on my momstache, I was in at 6:13am. Boom. I secretly wanted the satisfaction of having my 5:50 alarm be worth it to have the entire race sell out in minutes, but that did not happen.

Now the truly hard part is happening. Sticking to a training plan. As I’ve said before, I’m starting a Hal Higdon half marathon training and I have had a habit of cutting corners in my training.

Week One.
Just killed it. Slam dunk. High fives. I hit every scheduled run and even included some cross training. When I have trained for running races before I got really tired of just running. I know that sounds so stupid, but it’s true. It starts to feel a little like Groundhogs Day. My real commitment this time is to do more cross training activities and trusting these activities improve my training instead of only running. This week I decided to hit the pool.

Digging into the depths of my basement storage, I had to find the boxes that held the ghosts of triathlons past. There I found my training swimsuit, goggles, and one remaining swim cap that held some remnants of race day jitters. Getting into the swimsuit should have counted as cross training. Lots of pulling and stuffing parts back in that wanted to pop back out. I reminded myself my body has endured two pregnancies since it saw this swimsuit. As I moved and shuffled, everything stayed in place (mostly), so I am going to consider this a win.

I hit the pool on a Saturday, not knowing what to expect and no training plan in my head. I started swimming and the first 50 meters felt great. Then, my arms started to realize they were doing work. My triceps woke up from a four year hangover, tired and wanting to go back to bed. I pushed through and remembered what I loved about swimming. The quiet, the secret underwater competition with the other lanes, finding a rhythm with your movement and breathing.

I ended up swimming 1100 meters. My favorite part is the last 25 meters of every swim. I have a routine of repeatedly diving down to the bottom of the pool and bobbing back up for 25 meters. I am not sure if other swimmers notice, but I don’t really care.It reminds me of being a kid and swimming in the deep end. I remember at the public pool, my mom would throw rocks in the deep end and I would swim down to try to find it or find it before it hit the bottom. Who needs pool toys when you have rocks? I remember doing this for hours. I loved being submersed in the weightlessness and quiet. Although the YMCA pool has it’s own share of “treasures” at the bottom, I still enjoy reaching down to touch a piece of what reminds me to be a kid again.

Week Two.

After all the training week one brought, my muscles were starting to feel pretty achy. I opted for a Tuesday morning run to do some hill workouts and I found myself walking at around 1.5 miles. I hadn’t even hit the hills yet. I completed my run and went home feeling defeated. My second run was a little two miler I squeaked in before the kids got home. Again, just felt tired and muscles felt wimpy. I gave myself a two day break before my long run on the weekend.

And then, you guys, I got my next piece of NEW GEAR. All this training I have been running without a watch. I really love running without a watch, but I should probably start seeing what my pace looks like.

Are you ready?


New gear.

Bam! Before you is a “Marathon” watch found in the clearance section at Target for $16. I bet you are wondering, ‘Alicia, what can this amazing piece of technological advancement do?’ Well, hold on to your hats people, this little beauty has FOUR settings. It can tell me the time, the date, set an alarm, and has a stopwatch. GPS? Pssh. Overrated. My watch has an “indiglo” button that illuminates the watch face to blind everyone in a dark movie theater. Perhaps for self defense. So many options.

I wore my new piece of equipment on my second long run this week and I was happy to learn I was running faster than I originally thought. I ran 4.22 miles at a 9:28/mile pace. Closing out week two, I’m feeling pretty confident. I’m listening to my body, pushing through the hard days and celebrating the good ones.

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