Getting Started

I’m registered for two triathlons next year.  It is insane.  Prior to last week, I hadn’t been in a pool in at least two years probably longer.   While my focus for right now is the marathon, I thought that adding in swimming once a week would be a good way to add in some cross training without causing any more stress on my joints.

It’s tough being the newbie.  With running, I could sort of pretend no one was watching me.  I would be passed by people, but then they were gone.  Same thing with biking.  But swimming is different.  I joined our community lap pool, which rocks, but means that I will be out swimming laps with other people.

I was nervous.  I didn’t want to show up and have all these people think I was a stupid newbie.  I didn’t want to look ridiculous.  I actually debated what to wear.  I have two suits designed for swimming (rather than sunbathing, which I don’t do), and I also wanted to wear my swim cap to help protect my hair from the chlorine.  But would I look silly?

I made my first trip to the pool on Black Friday.  I figured that was a safe day.  And who was in the pool?  I don’t even know.  Couple of older people.  And other people swimming in lanes who I couldn’t see.  The point?  No one was looking at me.  I wasn’t looking at them.  We were just swimming.

Now, I’m still nervous about going in and swimming at 6:30 in the morning when the “hardcore” swimmers are there (because in my brain, those are the people who swim that early, nevermind that I’m going to be there).  But what I’ve learned is that no one cares what you look like.  Just get out there.

2 thoughts on “Getting Started

  1. Is it crazy to have tri aspirations before having completed one’s first full marathon (or half in my case)? Yes. It is. Crazy but awesome. It seems like I am meeting so many accomplished runners and triathletes that make long runs/rides/swims look so easy. But you have to remember they didn’t pop out of the womb like that. Everyone was once a newbie, and while it sucks to be at that stage, it is temporary. You’ve got commitment and self-motivation to spare – in fact I come here sometimes to borrow a cup. Being around competitive runners and triathletes is new for me – I’ve only been at this for maybe four months – and it has really been a lesson in humility. But it also pushes me to get better. I don’t want to be the last one finishing either, but if you can hang with that crowd, even if it is near the back of the pack – that’s a heck of a lot better than not being out there at all. I’ve got my own Ironman fantasies that I plan to start working towards once I get through my first half, so I’ll be following your tri-training progress. And I agonized over swim caps, goggles, and suits as well. It gave me something to obsess over – so I would stop thinking about my crappy technique and poor breathing form. But you are right, it doesn’t matter. Take Dory’s advice: “Just keep swimming…”.

  2. Thank you so much for the positive comments. I’m glad to hear that I can help you out too! That’s really flattering.

    I don’t know that I will ever do an Ironman, but maybe a half someday. Who knows. Always good to look forward.

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