Mile to Mile

Two days after I ran the East Hartford Memorial Mile, I decided to face up to the inevitable. My knee has been bugging me off and on ever since I ran the Celebrate Life Half Marathon on March 9th. The Maestro at Select Physical Therapy helped me manage it for a couple of months and I got through the Providence Marathon fine. I thought it would go away when I cut back on mileage after the marathon, but it didn’t. So, back to the Maestro who gave me a stern talking to and said no running for a week. Gulp. Of course I hate that, but I’m listening because I want to be ready to start training for NYC on July 1.

Well, it’s TWO WEEKS later and still no running, per the Maestro’s continued instructions. However, I’ve been doing a lot of cross-training, especially swimming. When I did my first swim, I posted about it in the sub-30 facebook group I participate in. One of my friends on there said in a sort of off-hand way, “Oh, you’re almost at a mile, you should go for it!”

That got me interested. I had been feeling pretty down about not running and just going to the pool and swimming back and forth felt kind of boring. But swimming a mile felt like a challenge. I think I went 36 laps that first time. Which, it turns out, is the wrong vocabulary. Because you are supposed to say “lengths”. And furthermore, swimmers talk in terms of distance (just like runners!). So rather than 36 laps, real swimmers say 900. 900 what? Either yards or meters – in the pool where I swim, it’s yards. However, swimming a mile is more complicated than that. A mile has 1760 yards, which in my 25 yard pool would mean 70.4 lengths. But swimmers don’t swim or talk about miles or 1760 yards for that matter. They swim 1650s. Which is pretty close to a mile and works out to 66 lengths.

Two days ago (June 10th) I swam 66 lengths! I’m really excited that I managed it. Here are some things I’ve learned other than the whole business about how to talk about swimming:

  1. Just like with running, it is possible and even likely to start quite a bit faster than you intend to go on. Slow down after that first crazed lap, uh, length.
  2. Also just like running, there will be good days and bad days. Last Friday I swam 60 lengths (oops – 1500 yards!) and thought I was going to die. Tuesday I swam 1650 and could have kept going. Best to just accept that some days are good and some are less good.
  3. It is way, way more difficult for me to get to the pool on time than it is for me to show up for a run on time. Sorry running friends who are being kind enough to swim with me!
  4. Swimming or running – new gear is always good.
  5. On the other hand, if you have pink goggles, as I do, at least your boy children will not steal them from you. Watch out for those girl children though.
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2 Responses to Mile to Mile

  1. Love it Sarah! Now you have to start speed workouts in the pool! Because you swim with pink goggles, does that mean you swimming rose colored glasses?

  2. Wow, you are doing great Sarah! I pretty much just learned all the lingo not too long ago. Think I got it down though. My last goggles were pink and my new ones are purple.

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