Tri-ing so hard!

I love riding.  I wouldn’t have adopted the Girl on a Road Bike persona otherwise.

I also run, although I’m less sure how I feel about that.

My boyfriend decided a couple of years ago that he was going to start swimming in order to help ease the stiffness in his neck and shoulders caused by so much desk work so, given his existing love of cycling, he joined a triathlon club last year, not least of all to take advantage of their excellent coached swimming sessions.  This, obviously, prompted him to take up running.

So I joined the triathlon club too, to take advantage of their coached running sessions in the build up to last years London Duathlon, but I resisted the swim sessions as I had no triathlon plans at the time, putting them off by saying 2014 would be The Year of The Swim.

So now it’s 2014.  The Year of The Swim.  I didn’t really give myself any choice, did I?

We found some lovely young ladies who have started a babysitting service and have been going together to the Monday evening sessions nearly every Monday evening this year (we’ve missed a few…).  Going together has made it easier to motivate each other to go and booking a babysitter has made it harder to miss sessions as it’s just so much hassle cancelling the sitter, and we feel guilty that it’s our fault they can’t afford whatever it is young ladies spend their money on these days.  Plus we have to try to remember who’s turn it was to babysit so we know who to contact.

For the swimming sessions, the pools (one in Kingston where the Monday evening session is held; one in Hampton where the Wednesday session is held) are divided into 6 lanes: the fastest swimmers in lane 1; the slowest in lane 6.  I am firmly and securely in lane 6.  Most weeks I am the slowest in lane 6, occasionally I am merely one of the slowest.  The frustrating part is that I listen to the coaches; I take on board their comments; I put into practice their tips but I don’t get any faster.  The coaches comment that I have a good technique, how about I try doing *this*?  I do *that*, my stroke feels smoother, the water fights me less, I receive praise from the coaches and from my boyfriend in lane 5 but I don’t get any faster!

Swimming has never been a favourite pastime of mine.  For a few years I was almost hydrophobic, the mere thought of having a bath leading to a perceptible rise in stress levels.  I’m past that now but still the chlorine stings my eyes; the water gets up my nose and I swallow and breathe so much of it that on the way out of the pool staff tend to stop me and ask me to return some.  My boyfriend tries to enthuse me on the way home, telling me what improvements he’s seen as I sneeze from the chlorine in my sinuses but I’m really starting to resent the whole process now.  I try so hard but it is just so difficult!  For a while I managed to get out for a second swimming session in a week but that is becoming increasingly difficult, not least of all because of my growing aversion to the sport.

I really need some inspiration; maybe a new take on things.  Can someone recommend a good magazine or book?  If something doesn’t change I am likely to give up on the swimming, then surely the running will follow…

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