Swimming, biking, running, sunburn.

Ok, I know I talk about working out waaaay too much on this blog, but this weekend was an extraordinary one so I just have to mention it.

The running

First I raced a 10K with Kevin, who totally kicked my butt (by 10 minutes) as he probably will with all races in the future. Exercising has done him a ton of good – did I tell you he’s lost about 40 lbs since New Years? Check out his blog for details on that. Me, I can’t shake the 10lbs I’ve been trying to lose forever, so I don’t know how he does it (he was a couch potato at Christmas, I swear.) We raced the Lake Wylie Splash Dash in River Hills. River Hills doesn’t get its name from nothing – it was really, really hilly. The hilliest race I’ve run. My time was 1:08:40, about 6 minutes slower than my last 10K (2008 Cooper River Bridge Run). Check it out here (look at the elevation!) The race looped around a few different streets, meaning as you’re heading into a loop, others that were ahead of you were heading out. I kept looking for guys with gray shirts and white hats, as that’s what Kevin was wearing. At one point I saw a guy in the distance and thought, “Is that Kevin?” and then it wasn’t. Then I saw Kevin for real – and woah, he is way skinnier than that guy. The first guy was more like Kevin’s pre-Christmas build. That’s when it really hit me how much weight he’s lost. I need to get on his workout plan.

My grandmother, Mia, came to watch us race – this was her first race ever. It was so awesome having her there at the finish line. Jenn brought their girls too; the first time my nieces have seen me race (they’ve seen Kevin race, and he and Jenn actually ran a 5K a couple of weeks ago and Kevin ran with the jogging stroller, so it was the girls’ first 5K as well!). After the race my 2-year-old niece, also named Mia, grabbed my hand and then said “You’re sweaty,” in her cute 2yo voice. Then she said “Just a little bit though.” We all went to breakfast at Cafe 49 in Lake Wylie. Was good but even looking at the pancakes made me full; I couldn’t even eat one of them.

I ended up placing 108 out of 122. Wow, I’ve never been that close to the bottom before. But Kevin and I were talking the night before – the race course was described as “challenging” so we wondered if it would bring out more hard-core runners and fewer joggers. There was also a 5K race and 5K walk, so I’m guessing many of the people that usually would come in behind me might have chosen one of those instead. I’m not unhappy with my time, but I’m definitely going to figure out a plan for working on speed. Tempo runs, here I come!


The biking

Used to be after a race I’d be worn out the rest of the day. That seems to not be the case anymore, though. Kevin has asked me if I would ever do triathlons. I haven’t said no exactly, but I’m not a strong swimmer or cyclist, so I’d have a huge learning curve to say the least. I told him I’d like for him to show me some tips for swimming laps. I took lessons as a kid and I love the water – but as far as hard-core swimming goes, basically: I know how to not drown. I haven’t swum laps in probably 20 years. He’s a member of  Leroy Springs Complex in Fort Mill, the p0ol we grew up swimming in, but I have a neighborhood pool (Junior Olympic size.) So after the race he went home and helped Jenn put the girls down for a nap, then cycled over to my house.

I don’t own a bike, but I have borrowed a bike thinking I would ride and have never done it. I always put it off because I don’t have a helmet, so I thought riding outside of my neighborhood or a trail with no cars would be a silly thing to do. I told Jeff this and he mentioned that I could borrow his bike helmet – I know this sounds silly, but I always thought they were custom fit so I wouldn’t be able to wear his. When Kevin got there I asked him if we could go for a ride before we went to the pool (even though he’d just biked 9 miles over.) I’m glad he was there – he helped me get air in the tires and fix some squeaky brakes or something to keep me from crashing into a tree. We rode for about 6.5 miles. It was my first time on a bike for any length of time for years. I will say cycle classes have paid off – I knew a little about form from them, and the muscles I was using were familiar. I’ve always been terrified of cars on the bike and I did feel safer with Kevin – like maybe with 2 of us they would see us better than if it was just me.

We rode about 5 miles. Check it out here. (Includes the one mile home I rode after swimming, so 6 miles total).

Getting on and off the bike was and still is the hardest part for me. Probably didn’t help that I was wearing a running skirt that kept catching on the seat every time I’d try to get on the bike. Note to self: shorts are better. Also, I know this sounds silly, but left-hand turns are very daunting. Not only do you have to take a hand off the bike to signal, but you have to then look behind you for cars and not fall off. And turn. I know it just takes practice, so I will practice.


The swimming

I was so excited, thinking I would get to log running, biking, and swimming into my workout log for the day! But my neighborhood pool was mayhem. We got in during adult swim and we had about 15 minutes of good time there. Kevin started with the basics – teaching me how to find my balance in the water. It sounds simple, and it is, but wow it was nice to have the tips. I’m sure I learned all of this years ago but swimming has become so instinctual that I don’t always think about the basics. We did a few slow laps with me focusing on balancing. Everything was going perfectly, and then: Adult swim over. Wow. You would think that kids (or their parents) would at least have a little respect for the one tiny piece of the pool we wanted to use, but no such luck. Kids were jumping in on top of us, playing Marco Polo right in our lane (so we moved to another area, and they subsequently moved their game to our area.) Some kid sprayed us with a super-soaker type thing. The waves were way too crazy to even think about balance. So we called it a day. I figured the slow laps weren’t even enough to log, so no official swimming.

The pool is open until midnight so I’m hoping one of these days Kevin will come over around 8 p.m. or something after all the little brats are in bed (no offense, parents) and we can try again. I could go to the Complex but they charge $10 for guests and that could add up.


After that, I biked home from the pool (about a mile) and called it a day! Took a good nap after all that, and complained about the sunburn I got despite 3 applications of sunblock throughout the day.

Am I going to be a triathlete? Again, very far off, but I am super-excited about this cycling thing. Looking forward to getting my own bike and being able to use it as transportation. Now that I know all the places I can run, I can’t help but get excited thinking of all the places I could cycle!


4 responses to “Swimming, biking, running, sunburn.”

  1. Dwight Avatar

    Thanks so much for sharing, Melissa! You inspire us to exercise more 🙂

  2. Chris Avatar

    Sounds like a busy weekend. Mine was busy too, but with mostly alcohol consumption. Oh, there was that 10-miler…

    I love swimming. Let’s go sometime.

  3. Kevin Avatar

    It was a busy weekend, but so much fun! And you will definitely get more comfortable on the bike. It just takes time. You can totally do triathlons too! I used to think that I never could and then I started running. I was already comfortable on a bike, so once I knew I could run, I tried to swim. I knew I wouldn’t be fast, but I would finish and it gives me something else to work on! Come on, Melissa, you can at least tri it! 🙂
    .-= Kevin´s last blog ..Great Weekend!!! =-.

  4. Jessica Avatar

    I know I’ve stated this elsewhere, but I am ecstatic that you sort-of discovered cycling on Saturday. And that you finished a really hilly 10K– def. sounds like you should start attempting the tri route now!

    I’m glad to hear you say that about cycling classes — that is how I learned SO MUCH about things I was doing wrong on a mountain bike, and about things I could work on improving form-wise on my road bike. YAY for spinning!

    I’m also excited about the prospect of getting to spend a lil’ outdoor time w/you next month. wooohooo!