Friday, April 13, 2012

Not freaking out

I'm sure some of my friends are wondering if I'm freaking out because it's Friday before a Sunday race for me. Surprisingly, I am way more calm than I was before the ORF 5k. Yes, I still want to PR, and yes I'm still going to try but I'm not putting as much pressure on myself as I did last time around.

Anything over 5 miles is sort of an unknown for me at this point, I've seen much success in the last 6 months on increasing speed on my shorter runs, but as I compare my longer runs it doesn't seem that I'm really getting any faster than the last time around. Although it's difficult to really analyze this as last time around I didn't have a Garmin, and last time I did everything in my power to avoid hills on my runs, or more specifically the dreaded uphill last 3/4 of a mile to my front door. I would plan my mileage to complete my run earlier and walk up the hill as my cool down from my run. Really, the only way I'm going to know if I have seen any improvement is in my race times.

You may remember my last 10k race (only my second ever 10k distance) was a sufferfest. With pavement, trail, single track and a ginormous hill, I realized that maybe it wasn't the best course to try and PR on. Although I squeaked one out, I think it was by sheer luck (or perhaps the ginormous hill on the way back which was all of a sudden a nice downhill helped to make-up lost time). I really have no idea what I am in for on Sunday as the event site has no elevation listings for the course. I did this event 2 years ago but ran the 5k course. Which I fondly remember as having an endless amount of rollers at the end. So I'm certain this is not going to be a flat course and I'm sure that I'm going to have to face rollers again only on a longer course. Will it be a sufferfest like my last 10k? I sure hope not, my main objective is to go out and have fun, so hopefully that will keep me on track!

In other happenings, I've realized that it is a good thing I don't have any big races over the summer. I left the summer mostly open in order to spend time working on my swim to prepare for next year. And of course there is the whole "my kids are out of school all summer long" thing. I keep thinking about how this is going to impact my training. I guess I'll be at the gym a lot this summer and riding the trainer a lot!

Sydney is going to swim on swim team for the first time ever. We didn't do it last year because Kylie was still napping at this time last year and I couldn't swing swim practice every day for Sydney with a toddler that was still napping. To be honest, we have both been really nervous about venturing into the world of swim team. Having both grown up here we know how competitive swim team is. It takes over the entire city and when the region meet arrives in August not only do people decorate their cars, but you will find SUV's with wood shark fins attached to the roof, or waves, or whatever else people come up with to show their team spirit. As a non-swim team family, we have found it annoying to not be able to use the pool around meet's and not be able to park at our gym around OMPA weekend. With all of this in mind we were apprehensive about signing Sydney up, but I'm big on letting her try things to figure out what she loves and what she wants to do. When I asked her if she wanted to do swim team, she was all over it! That's my girl, she is highly competitive and loves the water so I guess there was really no doubt that she would want to do it.If you can't beat them, join them?!

Having not participated in our club team previously I really have no idea what level of swimming she should be at. From last year I know that she is like her Dad, and loves to just glide under the water but isn't very efficient at breathing or any stroke. Since Kylie was going to be taking swim lessons, I signed Sydney up as well. Early season practice starts the end of this month, so it seemed to make sense to have the girls start this month and get a hard start on our pool opening and pre-season practice.

This girl jumped in the pool and blew me away. Kids have a tendency to forget things after being out of the water all winter. Sydney was like a regular mermaid out there, clearly not having forgotten anything from last summer. She didn't actually take any sessions last year because of a snafu with scheduling. So the last time she has had any swim lessons she was 4, turning 5. Her instructor started her out with some big arm work and much to my surprise, here is my kid doing freestyle! I was utterly blown away. I'm watching her pay close attention to her instructor and doing everything exactly as she is asked. It made me so proud and reminded me a little bit of myself and how hard I'm working with trying to implement what my swim instructor is asking me to do. She and I spent some time talking about swim team and what it would mean. I had explained to her that it wasn't going to be all fun, that it would be like running club, that she would have to work really hard and some days she would be tired, but that in the end the reward would be great! Apparently, she was actually listening to me!

Doing drills
At the end of the session she was moved up a level in her ability. Since then they have worked on diving off of the pool deck (another skill that she picked up right away) and back stroke. Her instructor told me this week that she thinks back stroke is going to be a really strong stroke for her.

I hope her enthusiasm hold all summer long, we will certainly support her 100% if she really loves swimming. In the meantime I will apparently be a "Swim Team Mom"... we all know how I struggle with this type of stuff! I've tried to plan my volunteer commitments for the afternoon so I can still get my own workouts completed in the mornings. Just a warning that if you don't hear from me all summer long it's because I'm at the pool!


  1. Isn't it amazing how fast they pick this stuff up? While we toil away working our butts off for every little bit of it :)

    Remember, this race is just a training day on the way to the big one next month. It's a good chance to test out your fueling/hydration strategy, any racing strategies (like run/walk if you are going to do that) and your outfit! :) Less stress when you look at it like that!

  2. This is exactly why I try to encourage parents to train. The kids pick it up and to them it's normal. How wonderful!

    Have you tried plugging your course into It will give you elevation -- carefully read what the elevation changes are as they can show you a scary monster hill that turns out to only be a 20ft incline over a 1/2 mile. Have a blast Sunday!