Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gentle Bubbles

There is one phone call I hate to make each November once the temps dip below freezing.

Hi. My name is Beth. I need to have my sprinklers blown out.”

Is it just me or does this sound dirty? Like I’m soliciting lewd acts and could get arrested.

I am an East Coast girl. We never had sprinklers growing up because it rained too damn much in Maryland. Or we didn’t care. But, here in arid Colorado, it’s a necessity if you want green grass. If you like the color brown or you’re into rocks and dirt, no need for it.

This year when I call I will say I need to have my sprinklers “winterized.” No blowing out. Not anymore.

Moving on. Yesterday I went swimming. My first workout in 27 days. While I have a couple of triathlons under my belt, I am no star swimmer. I don’t know how to do flip turns and I always wear my goggles upside down. I swim to be a better runner and that’s my story.

Coach Angie whipped me into shape. She taught me how to breathe on both sides, which is what all the cool kids do and can lead to major form improvement.  She gave me some toys (nothing to do with blowing out sprinklers) like fins, buoys, and paddles. We did some drills and she showed me how to read the workouts the coaches post on white boards by the pool. I now feel I am part of a secret society.

How did my hip fare? At first it was like, “What the hell? You sit on your ass for almost a month and then want to kick? Go pick on some other body part.” It ached. But, soon I forgot about it because I was trying to keep up with Angie who was always at least a length ahead of me.  It felt good to get up my heart rate from “working out” as opposed to going upstairs on my crutches or wheeling around in my chair. Thanks, Angie, for taking me under your wing.

Today’s adventure was water running. I shaved in all the right places for the event.


Here’s me with my floatie belt trying to pose for Kohls or JC Penney.


It was about 35 degrees outside at this point. I am trying to not look like I’m freezing my ass off. The water was 82, so that helped.

Here’s what I thought:

  • I would never choose to do this form of exercise if I could do anything else. It is pretty boring. I love the pool for purposes of drinking margaritas, reading People and getting tan. It’s not my favorite place for exercise.
  • My heart rate never got elevated. My friend, Vicki, who teaches the class assured me that you can get a cardio workout from pool running, but there is a learning curve as to how to make that happen.
  • I loved being able to simulate running. It felt so good to do that movement again after what has felt like years.
  • It was a great workout for my arms and legs. My hamstrings and triceps were particularly challenged by the water resistance.
  • I still get freezing cold even in 82 degree water.
  • Some people breathe loud when they do water running (not me)
  • No one knows if you fart. No sound, very little smell. Gentle bubbles.

Thanks to Joie, the photographer, who went with me even though she could have gone running on some beautiful trail today. I bought her a banana at Whole Foods for her sacrifice. It was 33 cents. I had an almond croissant the size of my floatie belt.

I want to thank you all for your insightful comments on my injury post yesterday. I learned so much from all of you about how you have found balance and moderation in order to stay healthy and injury free. I love our little running and blogging community.

What was your workout today? Let me live vicariously. Tell me how good it was. How far you went. I might buy you a banana.

Smelling like chlorine (but cleanly shaven),



  1. My "workout" today was getting a co-worker to go "run" with me. I use the quotes because this was her first workout in about 6 years. While we did "run" more than walk, it was a very slow jog, and the whole thing totaled 1.9 miles. Not really a workout considering I'm between a marathon and a half-marathon, but I thoroughly enjoyed sharing the running love! Now I'm wondering how far I can push her....

  2. I was so excited when I learned to breathe on both sides and maybe one of my problems is that I might be wearing my goggles upside down too. It just doesn't do the same as running...and what a process!! shaving, showering, swim cap, being cold, showering again...uggh, so much easier to just hit the road, run and be done with it. I miss Colorado (born and raised). Here in Oregon, we really don't use our sprinklers too much (or air conditioning). I went on a 2 mile run today ...4th run back in 3 months! As you can imagine, it felt great to be back. You'll be back soon too! Keep on keepin' on! Thanks for the laughs.

  3. I ran 4 miles with my friend who only has one speed and that's "fast". She truly kicked my butt and I appreciated it. I needed a good kick in the butt since I have been slacking in the running/working out department. I remember my x-country coach used to make us to pool running before school and then regular outdoors running after school. I too had a love hate relationship with the pool. It was always difficult coming from a family full of dolphins seeing as though I had no desire for the sport.

  4. The learning curve for cardio during pool running might be 3 momths of ass-sitting and donut eating.

    Oh god now I really want a donut.

  5. I used a heart rate monitor too when ever I was aqua jogging to be sure I was working because as you can see it's easy to basically be doing nothing!! If you use the heart rate monitor it really helps because you'll see that if you really move your legs HARD you can get your heart rate up.

  6. i ran 20 miles. can you buy me two bananas? ;)

  7. I am with you, no pool running, I'd stick to the swimming for now:) And huge croissants, of course:)

  8. I've never felt like I had a great cardio workout from water aerobics, though I do from actual swimming.

    My workout today was short: only 3km (about 2 mi, I think). Having said that, I've recently discovered I can go faster, so I focused on that.

    In 2 days, I run my first 10k race.

  9. Aw i <3 the pool! Once you get started its just like running. I always feel so relaxed and TIRED after a swim, and my mind is so free becuase I've thought about everything looking at the bottom of a pool for 1 hour.

    You'll become a fish in no time!

  10. I've got my own banana, thanks. But since you asked, I did 8 easy miles today; they felt worse than my 9 hard miles from yesterday. Yesterday definitely took it's toll. I've got 8 more tomorrow and 20 on sunday for a total of 55 this week. Yowsers that's too many miles.

  11. Good for you for trying something different while your waiting to run. That's awesome. Do you sweat when you run in a pool? My workout was 7 miles on the treadmill and I earned every step but oh well. Some days are like that.

  12. I'm going to be running 7 miles on the treadmill (it gets too dark and I don't have enough reflective gear).

  13. I ran 3.1 miles for my 31st birthday. Buy me a banana?

  14. Funny you workout was swimming laps today! It was raining like hell and I don't do rain at 5am or anytime for that matter, so no running for me today either.
    got six miles planned for tomorrow

    Oh, and at the end of my laps I realized my goggles were on upside down too...

  15. You can breathe on both sides? Wow, you ARE cool! I am far from able to do that.

    I am heading to the gym after work to do some speedwork on the treadmill. I'm sure that doesn't excite you at all, but it's like 95 degrees in San Diego today so I am opting for AC rather than nature. Call me a wimp, I don't care.

    27 days - that probably felt like forever. Even when you don't run you blog like a badass!

  16. first of all I like that new pic on your sidebar.

    second, props to you for being able to go in the pool. It's too cold for me.

    third, I didn't workout today. still recovering from my knee injury. darn it, that means I don't get a banana! =D

  17. I thought about running today? Does that count?!

    Truth be told, I both swam and aqua jogged, 20 minutes swimming, and 30 min aqua jogging. Try this one (with shoes on to speed the HR up) 1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-1 Hard intervals with 30 sec to 1 min rest in between. Good idea to think about chasing either some elite down or a good looking guy on the roads. Just sayin'

  18. Workout today was to be a 30 minute run with two :90 pickups and I did that at 5:15am then rest since 1/2 Mary on Sunday.

    Buddy called asking if I wanted to ride. Yup. Went for a quick 12 mile ride around the course we are doing the sprint tri on Saturday at.

    Yes, two races in the same wknd. Not very smart.

    And how did you learn to breathe to both sides. I just can't do it. I get anxious over it and go back to one sided breathing.

  19. I packed up my 2 (almost 3) year old, grabbed my gym stuff, let the lady scan my card, walked down to the daycare room, opened the door and "AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!" was what I heard. From my son. Who went to the gym daycare 6 days a week, sometimes 2x a day last year. Today he decided he wanted NOTHING to do with the daycare. So my workout was walking around the store deciding whether or not he wanted Toy Story 3 or How To Train Your Dragon.

    He's lucky he's cute.

    (It was raining out and he's got a cough, so no outside running for us today.)

    Can I trade a banana for some rum?

  20. You did an amazing job looking like it was the height of Summer in that photo. I would never have known it was so cold.

  21. Good God! I wish I would have been reading your blog more when I was injured! I swear just reading it would have given me my cardio workout for the day! You are TOO funny! I'm glad you were able to get out there and get a bit of a workout! The days are ticking by! Soon enough you'll be back at it on both feet!! Hang in there and YES-you are getting some serious arm!!

  22. You are so skinny!!!!!!

    and i cant believe you are outside in a swimsuit when its 30 degrees! crazy lady! :)

  23. My workout today did not shopping to feed the clan and it was raining and I felt lazy..i that enough sorry ass excuses!!!

    By the way...pools = life guard intervention for me. Iu come from a long line of sinkers

  24. Err, no workout today, I feel guilty, but will make up for it tomorrow morning. (I'm not just saying that, I always do it.).

    Swimming is fun for about 1/4 of a lap.

  25. That DOES sound dirty.

    Today, I ran 3 miles on the treadmill and now I feel bad for complaining about how much I hate the dreadmill because, well, you can't run at all.
    Then I did some light weight training before I decided I was too tired and went home.

    p.s. this is Jaime Runs, but I'm not blogging about running anymore (too busy). However, I'll still be reading and following up with you :)

  26. Yay for swimming and "running" again!
    My workout? I was supposed to run 5 miles, but life happened and it never happened. I'm hoping to make it up tomorrow!

  27. Mmmmm! almond croissants!

    I ran 5.5 miles (give or take) in the rain. Well, actually it was a deluge and it was hilarious, couldn't stop laughing (I'm in SW FL so it's still in the 70's).

    Good for you on the swimming and pool running, I really need to take some swimming lessons so I can at least not always feel like I'm drowning!

  28. Five miles on the mill. Two in the middle were speedwork.

    Nice work on the water running. I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would, but maybe it's because it kept me from running in 100 degree temps.

    I love the smell of chlorine.

  29. I aqua jogged for 10 weeks over the summer. My longest was 1 hour 45 minutes and I thought that I was gonna implode. No wait, I mean aqua jogging is super fun!

  30. Beth, you are just one rocking hot pool runner on crutches!! And what outdoor pool is open right now in Colorado??!!

    I so need to call the sprinkler dude and get my sprinklers "winterized" :/

  31. wow-I was wondering why in Nov in CO you were outside by the pool. Whew-no heated outdoor pools here :( Nice job beathing on both sides! I am finally getting some real swim instruction so I can't wait to be able to read all those Greek pool workouts too!!
    my workout yesterday? 20 mins on the ARC and 40 mins of Tabata (legs). Pouring rain here so no outdoor run.

  32. Posing for JC Penney and Kohls! You crack me up. I'm a Maryland girl too - it would never occur to me get sprinklers blown out...

    No workout for me today, but I ran 5 miles on Wednesday (slowly recovering from a cold). Have a good weekend, Beth!

  33. I ran 9km (some miles) relaxing all the way as I have a 32km (20 miler) tomorrow. It was splendid with a beautiful sunrise. I ran at 5AM. We are in the middle of spring here. Now send me a banana to South Africa and lets see how it looks when I receive it.

  34. No workout today. I must say the pool toys, especially the paddles, sound a bit dirty.

  35. You are standing OUTSIDE! In a bathing suit! At 35 degrees! HARDCORE SUAR!

  36. It is great to see you still gettin' out there. I am sure you will learn to get the cardio out of the pool.

    I have a marathon in 3 weeks, after I finish this last week of building. It is hard to believe I will be doing 60+ miles this week. A year ago I was pretty pumped when I broke 30.

  37. Rats. I thought a post entitled "Gentle Bubbles" was going to be about my masseuse.

  38. I need to jump in the pool myself. Good for you for getting out there and doing something.

    I too am on doctor-ordered rest due to some soft tissue damage after my last half marathon and it's driving me batty! Yesterday, I did a 3.5 mile hike. The doctor didn't say I couldn't walk so I didn't call him to make it was OK. After a very short time, it was clear that I was not ready for it, but I plowed through it and I'm glad I did. It was great to get the heart pumping a bit.

    I won't look *nearly* as good as you in my competition grade one-piece Speedo swimsuit, but I'm determined to work swimming into my routine while I'm recovering.

  39. My workout consisted of going to Masters Swim--we worked on Flip turns, did about 1000 yds only as we kept trying to flip properly.

    I am taking a couple of weeks off from running before I begin training for my next marathon

  40. I taught a Cardio Sculpt class at 9:30 then took a Yoga class right afterwards. I went bra shopping and measured my torso. Grocery shopping and now wine sipping.

    ain't life grande? Your torso has really thickened up. good thing you are released to exercise.

    I love your skinny ass self. Wiry, stealh. Fierce yet agile. Like a jungle cat.

  41. Good to hear that you're doing something! I hope your injury recovers soon.

    I still don't understand what winterizing/blowing out the sprinklers are. (as an East Coastie, we'd just bring them inside the garage if you did have a sprinkler).

  42. Hooray!!!!!!!! No smart assed comment here - this is awesome.