Twitter Road Race and Swimming Lesson #1

About a month ago, I saw something on Twitter about the Twitter Road Race. 

After looking more into it, I found Doug Cassaro’s blog and his movement to organize a virtual 5-k.   Turns out some 700 people around the world signed up!

The Nike Women’s Marathon organized a virtual half marathon last weekend that I was thinking about joining.  Since I was running a half marathon anyway, why not run a 2nd “virtual” one at the same time?

For the Nike Women’s, it was a $40 fee ($10 went to charity and you got a bracelet and a chance to win an automatic entry into the lottery process real Marathon in October) AND you  had to have a Nike plus GPS system.

I’m a Garmin girl.  I didn’t want to buy the Nike thing. So I decided not to participate.  Plus, adding $40 to the RnR fee just didn’t seem economical. But I thought, hey, a free virtual 5-K  that helps me connect with other runners sounds pretty cool.

So I signed up for the Twitter Road Race.

This week, after the Rock n Roll Arizona half marathon, has been very relaxing.  I went on the elliptical once and I have been happily indulging in all the food, beer, and wine I desire.  I feel gloriously fat and out of shape. Aaron also busted his knee last week in Arizona, so he hasn’t been able to run.

 I had to run my virtual 5-K on a treadmill at the gym so Aaron could hang out on the elliptical. 

My problem with “virtual races” is this: I like to win.  When running, being able to pass people keeps me going.  Not having those people around makes me much less motivated to go faster.  Add the whole running without going anywhere to the equation, and I pretty much never had a chance to meet my PR time of 21:05 .  Plus, running fast and hard on the treadmill is noisy, and other gym people look at you like you are a complete nuisance to the gym world. I don’t like gym people looking at me like I’m a complete nuisance to the gym world.

But I started out fast anyway. My calf tightened up, I started feeling seriously ill 1.55 miles in, and had to walk for 3/4 of a mile.  So I didn’t have my best race (virtual or not) ever.

26 minutes and 13 seconds.  Just about how fast I ran first ever 5-K.  But hey, it was fun anyway (except for the whole feeling violently ill part).

Since we were at the gym anyway, I asked Aaron to give me my first swimming lesson.

If you read my 2012 bucket list, you may know that I want to do a triathlon this year and you may also know that I don’t know how to swim .  And by don’t know how to swim I mean, if you dropped me in the middle of the deep end of the pool, I would drown. I live in the desert, so not knowing how to swim hasn’t really affected my life too much.

Aaron on the other hand was a champion high school swimmer in addition to you know, the THREE Ironman races he’s finished. So I’d say he’s qualified to teach me.

My first ever swimming lesson made me realize how far I have to go.  I have an irrational fear of drowning. For example, it took me several tries before I was able to snorkel without having a nervous breakdown and on those occasions I had a floatie vest and a breathing apparatus.

I don’t know to kick.  I don’t know how to move my arms.  I don’t know how to breathe.  Putting my head underwater is terrifying. And Aaron let me know a sprint triathlon is 400 meters….I did about 100 today and thought I was going to die.  Even being a runner, swimming wears me out.

But I am still determined.  This was only the first lesson.  I imagine after about 5 more I will be able to at least make it across the pool without stopping to rest. And someday I will be able to stick my head underwater without thinking that I will die.

At least let’s hope.

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