Tag Archives: Swimming

Weekly Workout Recaps: Aug 19-25 and Aug 26-Sept 1

I was hesitant to write this post because as of right now I really don’t know if I’m going to run the Fall marathon I have been planning to. Its not that I don’t want to, or that I’m injured because I do and I’m not, but I’ve been going through a period of cutting runs short or simply skipping them altogether.

I got sick a couple of weekends ago and wasn’t able to get out of bed, let alone do any workouts whatsoever. It took about a week and a half to fully recover but then I started freaking out that there wasn’t enough time to train for the race. You’d think that would be enough to drive me to run every single mile and then-some; instead I did the exact opposite.

So I really don’t know if I’ll run it or not but I will making the trip no matter what (travel is already booked and paid for) so I’m going to make every effort to run the miles and finish the workouts that are on my schedule between now and then.

Mon, 8/19
Rest Day

Tues, 8/20
6-mile Run

Wed, 8/21
30-min Swim
40-min Strength Training Session with Trainer Dave

Thurs, 8/22
5-mile Run Nothing

Fri, 8/23
1-hr Spin

Sat, 8/24
14-mile Run 11.5 mile Run

Sun, 8/25
30-min Spin / 30-min Treadmill Run
30-min Strength Training

Mon, 8/26
Rest Day

Tues, 8/27
5.40-mile Track Workout

Wed, 8/28
30-min Swim
45-min Strength Training Session with Trainer Dave

Thurs, 8/29
7-mile Run 6-mile Run

Fri, 8/30
1-hr Spin

Sat, 8/31
15-mile Run 8-mile Run

Sun, 9/1
5.27-mile Run

Yesterday I half-heartedly intended to make a second attempt at the 15-miler, but after 5.27-miles I stopped to spectate the DSE Mile Run that a bunch of my friends ran, then chose to go to brunch with them instead of continuing my run because who can say no breakfast at Q.


Weekly Recap: Aug 4 – 11

I was humbled this past week by some really tough times during workouts that shouldn’t have felt that hard.

During my last swim lesson I couldn’t finish two laps without imploding. I came up gasping for air yelling, “I just ran a marathon six weeks ago, why can’t I finish this lap!”

Then I ran 12 miles yesterday. It started off great but the last few miles were pretty ugly.

Last week I also missed some miles and workouts and I’m fearful of it becoming a habit. I need to start holding myself accountable again so I’m going to do so by resuming these weekly workout recap posts.

Here’s last week’s recap.

Sun, 8/4:

Giants Race – 10K

Probably the least unfortunate race photo taken of me yet

Probably the least unfortunate race photo taken of me yet

Mon, 8/5:


Except I had my 30-min swim lesson which was no joke, physically or mentally. It took lots of concentration and effort to learn new things.

Tues, 8/6:

PM: 7-mile run 3-mile run

Except I had to go into the office and my new office is now at least a 25-min commute going 80 mph on the freeway (if I’m lucky). I cannot stand to be in traffic so on days that I do have to go into the office I try to leave the house by 6 am. This means I have to run after work and I am not an afternoon runner. I could only muster up 3-miles because I knew I still had a tough swim lesson later that evening and felt like I had to conserve every bit of energy I had left in me.

PM: 30-min swim lesson

Wed, 8/7:

AM: 45-min swim on my own to practice stuff learned during lessons.

Lunch: 1-hour strength training with Dave which these days consists of lots of time of the rowing machine and TRX circuits.

PM: 30-min swim lesson – the one where I faced my fear and learned how to do somersaults (then flip turns !!!) in the pool.

Thurs, 8/8:

AM: I had a track workout that didn’t happen because I was so sore from Wednesday’s workouts and my stomach was being upset again.

PM: 30-min swim lesson – the last one in which my instructor had me do sprint sets that I could barely finish.

Fri, 8/9:

Complete Rest Day

Sat, 8/10:

A 12-mile run in the City along the Embarcadero to the Marina Green and back. It started off well and then went downhill real fast during the last few miles. I don’t think I fueled properly which is disturbing since I should have known better after SFM.

As soon as I finished running my legs were overcome with a pain that I’ve felt only after running 26.2. I laid down immediately, which was probably the worst thing I could have done but it needed to happen. My quads hurt the most which is also disturbing since the route I had just ran was mostly flat.

Sun, 8/11:

AM: Brick – 30-min on the Spin bike, 30-min on the treadmill

AM: 75-min Restorative / Yin Yoga class

I came thisclose to bailing on each of these workouts but I finished them and afterwards was glad that I did. Its a shame though as it took me a full 25 minutes to feel comfortable on the treadmill.

Workout Highlights of the Week:

+ Learning how to somersaults in the pool

+ Finishing 30-min on the dreadmill

+ And seeing this:

a peek at the GGB

a peek at the GGB

Although my 12-mile run was garbage, I still got butterflies in my belly (as I always do) at my first glimpse of the day of the Golden Gate Bridge. It doesn’t matter how many times I run by or across it, I am always in awe of it’s majestic beauty.

This past week marked 15 years of Bay Area living for me.

After all this time I still have to pinch myself because I still can’t believe how lucky I am to live here. #ilovesfforever

What I Learned During Private Swim Lessons

Four summers ago I had just finished the my second half marathon, Seattle RnR. I was on a high and looking for my next challenge so I signed up for adult beginners swim lessons. Learning proper swim technique was something that I had always wanted to do and decided that it was time to do it. I completed two 2-week sessions and learned the basics of freestyle.

This summer, inspired by my incredibly inspiring triathlete friends I signed up another 2-week session, but this time for private swim lessons. I had two very specific objectives that I wanted to address and felt that private lessons would be more suitable than a group class.

Objective 1: Learn how to kick again

Since initially learning how to swim I’ve swam casually, mostly as recovery workouts after long runs. Because of this I became very dependent on a pull buoy and essentially forgot how to kick. Whenever I tried not to use the pull buoy I would panic and either sink or not move at all. It became my crutch and I wanted to get rid of it.

Objective 2: Learn how to breath on both sides

Last summer I attended an open water swim clinic hosted by the Mermaids. I found that swimming in the San Francisco bay was pretty gross, but I kinda loved it. I guess the advantage to growing up in Hawai’i is that I’m used to being in the open water and it didn’t scare me. However what did scare me was being told that in order to complete a triathlon I needed to be able to breathe on both sides. It would be a matter of survival. I was registered for their Sprint Tri but after hearing this and being terrified of my road bike I dropped the race. Since then I unsuccessfully tried to teach myself how to breathe on my left side. It was time for more swim lessons.

Swim Lessons 2.0

Joinville Pool

I signed up for private lessons at the county parks and recreation pool. Each session would be 30-minutes long and held from Mondays – Thursdays for two weeks.

My first session started on Mon, 7/29. We started off in the kiddie pool which I was more than fine with – feeling comfortable in the pool was half the battle.

Well Objective #1 was completed in about 10 minutes. My kick came back to me in no time. It just took a couple of pointers from the instructor to make adjustments to my form and technique.

Objective #2 would take a bit longer. I got the gist of it during the first lesson but it would take practice. Eventually I got comfortable enough with it and graduated to the big pool (25 meters or Jr Olympic size). So for the past two weeks I’ve practiced and practiced and ingested enough chlorine to bleach my insides.

To my surprise and delight my instructor also had me learn other things that I never expected to learn like:

* Directional swimming
* Backstroke – which is so much fun except I can’t swim straight for the life of me
* Dolphin kicks – so you know if i ever decide to learn Butterfly
* Breast stroke – still a lot of work to learn this one

And last but not least flip turns! Well sort of.

Let me preface this by saying I have never done a cartwheel in my life. I avoid inversions during yoga classes like the plague. And I have never done a somersault in or out of the water. So when my instructor said we would work on flip turns sheer panic set in. I explained to him that I don’t do flips or tumbles or anything remotely close to it. But he pushed and pushed until I relented and consented to give it a try.

The first attempt was a complete disaster. Water up the nose and no flip to show for it. So he gave me a few other pointers like – tuck your chin and your knees, then paddle your arms in the opposite direction of the flip.

I gave it a try and then just like that I did my first somersault ever! The flip happened naturally, just like he said it would so then he made me practice it a few more times. I can’t say its my favorite thing to do but I felt a real sense of accomplishment by facing a fear and doing it anyway.

I’ve found that swimming with my entire body, not just my upper body, uses so much more muscles than I imagined. Although its a non-impact sport, the amount of effort required from my legs is tremendous. Its a perfect compliment to running in so many ways and truly is a total body workout.

One of my first motivators to start running was from an article that I read in a fitness magazine that said “running will change your body.” Well after swimming for four days a week for two straight weeks I can honestly say that swimming will too. I can feel changes in my body – it feels stronger and leaner in different ways that my regular workouts make me feel.

I’ve always enjoyed swimming and now I’m looking forward to doing it on a more regular basis and practicing what I’ve learned.

I was so sad to learn that the pool isn’t open year round. In fact, it closes in just a few weeks. Swimming outdoors is so much more fun than indoors. I compare it to outdoor running vs. on a treadmill. Luckily I still have the pools at my gyms to swim at, but I am already planning to take private lessons again next summer!