Back At It

It’s no secret that running is my golden child. I love it. I cherish it. I give it preferential treatment and sugary cereal on Saturday mornings. Would you blame me with views like this?


But it’s also no surprise that my least favorite is also the sport in which I’m the weakest. Oh you want me to try and use my chicken arms to propel me through water for an hour plus while staring at nothing other than a black line? Sounds EXHILARATING.

But as we transition from marathon mode to triathlon training, and knowing that I have some audacious goals in front of me over the next two years (yes years), I’m declaring my avoidance of swimming officially OVER and facing the fact that I have some work to do in the pool. I will embrace the “drowned-rat” look, beg for forgiveness at work, and will boast about chlorine as my fragrance of choice. Plus, swimming in this pool is kind of a dream come true – in fact, it’s the only pool I actually…dare I say…enjoy swimming.


February is going to start a new training regime and while I have a lot of rebuilding to do in the pool, I also know that I’m aiming to get some yardage under my belt and some meat on these bones.

What’s your least favorite and how are you embracing it?

Happy Running (and Swimming)!

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30 Responses to Back At It

  1. Kim says:

    OMG love this post – you know I am always here with some motivation to follow that black line! <3 swimming. Get it, girl!

  2. I’ve swum in a lot of pools in my day and that certainly looks like a nice one. Can’t wait to follow along with your training and hear about those goals :)

  3. Becca says:

    I’m one of your “creeper readers” who never comments, but thought I’d chime in on this one. Swimming is my strongest leg(only bc I swam competitively in HS and am a crappy biker and mediocre runner). With swimming it really is confidence, a few tweaks with balance and technique, then unfortunately, time in the water. You’ll be unstoppable once you gain a little strength and confidence on this leg! I’m excited to follow your journey! IMTX is my first full in May and while I’m no speedster by any definition, I’m excited to join the IM club:)

  4. Swimming is also my weak leg and least favorite. How do I embrace it? Swim with a group! Trying to swim alone does no good if your not a swimmer. Having a masters group and a coach watching over you definitely helps. I also try to just get in the water as much as possible. 4x practice and at least one day on my own super easy 30 minute swimming. Just to get more comfortable in water, work on stroke etc. The less I swim, the more I don’t wanna swim! Best advice though= find a group

  5. Rhea says:

    My least favorite is the bike. Eight months after buying my first road bike ever, I fell off and broke my first bone–in my arm–and even after a full recovery it’s my scariest and weakest leg. I’m embracing the bike now by treating all my training rides as NOT training: I ride with my husband or with friends and make it a joyride to keep me from being anxious or pressuring myself to go faster than I have confidence for. I take spin classes, do weight lifting sessions that target stabilizing muscles for cyclists and I’ve added the duathlon to my sprint tri training schedule just to give myself more exposure and incentive.

    I’m happy to see that you’re back in tri training! I hope someday to read about you qualifying for Kona! I know you can do it! Thanks for sharing your triumphs and struggles all this time, and I’m looking forward to reading about adventures of the next two years.

    • I can totally sympathize with you–I crashed my bike last fall and broke my arm. I haven’t been back on the road since then, but I have started doing some rides inside on my trainer. Biking has always been my least favorite, and now I’m sure I’m going to be intimidating for awhile, too. I like what you said about treating all your rides as NOT training. I’m definitely going to do that!

  6. Rena says:

    That pool is gorgeous. Swimming also happens to be my least favorite sport. It’s awesome that you’re not shying away from triathlons because of the swiming portion, like what I’m doing.

  7. Beth says:

    cycling is always my weakest and with an IM coming up this year my plan is to bike my face off. hopefully you can get your swim where you want it and i can make it off the bike without hearing “on your left” 9,000 times this season. lol

  8. I am taking up swimming too! I LOVE running and CrossFit but broke my hip about a month ago and am still on the road to recovery. I promised myself I will not be running for a while but to take up swimming as soon as my doctor gives me the go -ahead. Keep posting on how it goes for you, I will be interested.

  9. Molly says:

    I actually love swimming! I swam competitively as a kid and all through high school, so it’s my comfort zone. I used to hate running, but now I love it. Biking is what scares me. I’d love to try a triathlon, but cycling is just so intimidating.

    Also, I am deathly jealous of that gorgeous, gorgeous pool.

  10. Jessica M. says:

    I just started taking swimming more seriously this year. By more serious I mean swimming never to swimming once a week for at least 20 minutes. I am a horrible swimmer but I can’t help but think it will help my running. Also started taking spin classes regularly…even bought the shoes and everything. Dare I say a triathlon is in my future? Might be a few years 😉

  11. Katherine says:

    Love these goals, and don’t be a stranger if you need some ideas for workouts, drills, or general swimming motivation (I believe I’ve referred you to the twitter feed of Mike Gustafson). The chlorine life is truly a lifestyle, and you’ll become a better athlete all-around for the time you spend in the water. It’s also the easiest place (for me, at least) to think, plan, and dream. Therapy. Also, one of the commenters above nailed it when she said improvement in swimming takes a lot of time. She’s right, but also know that progression in swimming is not linear. It’s not like running, where you get out of it exactly what you put in. You can train for months on end to see an improvement of hundredths of a second—hi, been there. Your best investment in the pool is a coach or friend who can help you with technique. Most swimmers struggle with that, and it’s the low-hanging fruit of the swim world. Good luck and keep us posted.

  12. Erin says:

    My advice for you: 1) treat your swim workouts like you do a track workout (I did the reverse, once I figured out that track workouts were basically like swimming sets in the pool, running in circles didn’t bother me). 2) think about doing a swim meet. (really!). Enter the 500 or 1000 and maybe a 100 free. Masters swimmers are uber-welcoming so there’s no reason to think that you don’t belong. Everyone belongs!

    For me, running is what I struggle with, although it is getting better and better. I have a swimming background and cycling is fun. It took a while for running to be “fun”.

  13. Anne-Marie says:

    That is one nice looking pool! Swimming is by far my least favorite . I avoided the pool way more than I should have last year during training (one time a week was a good week), so this year I am focusing on embracing swimming and just accepting that I have to do it if I want to get stronger! One thing that will help is that I am making myself get to the pool first thing in the morning so I don’t have time to make up excuses like I usually do it I plan to do it in the afternoon/evening(I am awesome at making excuses!).

  14. I suck at swimming. There, I said it! It’s really the only reason I’ve never considered triathlons until recently. Now I just need to figure out how to do it better/faster/and for more than 10 seconds at a time.

    Kudos to you for grabbing the bull by the horns, and good luck to you with your training!

  15. having a rock star place to swim and some great buddies must surely make it a little easier….though that first picture would definitely keep me outside A LOT

  16. Eileen says:

    I’m another member of the hate to swim club. Two things have given me the motivation to get in the pool, 1) finally joining Masters and 2) finding a way to get rid of the chlorine smell/itch using vitamin C powder (I wrote about it here

    That pool looks amazing! Happy training!

  17. Kara says:

    Swimming is also my least favorite! I’m so not motivated to go to the pool…especially in the winter. Having a nice pool does help, though…so jealous of yours! If you find any ways to trick yourself into swimming/enjoying it, let me know. I’m in dire need of some pool time, haha.

  18. Katy says:

    I promise to work hard at my running if you keep is update with your swimming progress. I love the swim leg and am always sad when it’s over. This year however, I’ve decided I WILL become a runner (after 10 years of being a swimmer who has to run to do triathlons). That pool does look fab, I’m quite jealous! Keep it up x

  19. Kristin says:

    Just posted a similar post on my blog! I am also getting back into building up my swimming… just like you, running is my ‘golden child’… I was never a swimmer until I started training for triathlons. Swimming with a Masters Team has really helped me… not sure if you are on a team, but it might be worth checking out! I love to swim, I just wish my swimming was as strong as my running!

  20. Ariana says:

    I’m new to the tri world, but the swim is definitely my least favorite. I’m painfully slow and I struggle to complete my training because the idea of swimming back and forth repeatedly makes me want to ditch my goggles and swim cap , and grab my bike. That being said, I LOVE cycling. My dad got me started last year and I haven’t wanted to stop (even in the chilly temps and snowy roads in New England). I did track and cross country in high school so I do enjoy running, but biking is my favorite, as of now as I’m joining my college cycling team, which is both exciting and kind of nerve wrecking.

  21. I have pool jealousy, and I don’t even belong to a pool yet! The gym I’m probably going to join has a 20 yard pool, which is actually considered big in NYC…

    Running will always be my favorite, but I actually think swimming will come in second, followed by biking. I swam when I was injured a few years ago and really liked it – you can zone out like in running, and I’ve been swimming since I was little so I’m not totally new to the concept. Biking, on the other hand…biking in NYC makes me nervous, and you have to go almost ten miles to get to a spot (aka New Jersey) where you aren’t surrounded by stoplights and cars. But only time will tell. I think I would like biking more (scratch that, I know I would like it more) if I wasn’t in the middle of a huge city.

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  23. Kristina says:

    In theory (or based on results), I’m a better swimmer than cyclist, although I actually prefer the bike to the swim. Until everyone passes me, that is!

  24. Kelly says:

    I’m trying to declare the same! It’s not working great.

  25. Caitlin says:

    Swimming is my weakest discipline but oddly enough it is not my least favorite. I love to swim and find it really peaceful to spend an hour underwater. My least favorite is cycling, and that’s not because I don’t like it but because ever since I made the transition to clipless pedals, riding my bike has been a bit of a source of anxiety for me. This year is the year I am going to face it and deal, though. It’s kind of hard to be a triathlete if your bike scares you.

  26. I LOVE that picture of you girls jumping into the pool. That’s the way everyone should feel about swimming! :)

  27. I love swimming…. I would say its my first love but I have fallen in love with running now. Its funny I been thinking about doing the Iron Girl in Webster MA. I know I could do the swimming with some training…..the 3 mile run with out a problem. BUT the workout I hate the most is the bike. BLAH.

    Side Note: My boyfriend got me the Garmin Swim for xmas which tracks my swims. Its kind of pricey because its Garmin watch and all but totally worth it if you want to make swimming more part of your life! :) I am terrible at tracking my swims in the pool, and this really helps!

    Sara :)

  28. I love swimming…. I would say its my first love but I have fallen in love with running now. Its funny I been thinking about doing the Iron Girl in Webster MA. I know I could do the swimming with some training…..the 3 mile run with out a problem. BUT the workout I hate the most is the bike. BLAH.

    Side Note: My boyfriend got me the Garmin Swim for xmas which tracks my swims. Its kind of pricey because its Garmin watch and all but totally worth it if you want to make swimming more part of your life! :) I am terrible at tracking my swims in the pool, and this really helps!

    Sara :)

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