Swim Time + CP Loops

I went to my first team swim practice on Monday night. And I SURVIVED! Who would have thought.

Kind of like that time I survived surfing.

Kind of like that time I somehow survived surfing without drowning.

Turns out, I’m better at swimming than I thought.  I kept up with the team. Apparently, my form was good enough to not warrant participation in the “needs extra help group”. Not that anything is wrong with needing extra help…I’m just thankful that what I’ve been doing for the past month has been correct.

I learned what “sculling” is and I got a “great job!” from my coach after doing it. (Yes, I WAS that 2nd grader that loved getting stars on my homework, how did you know?) We did vertical sculling and sculling with our heads out of the water, and underwater, and sculling on our backs…so much sculling! Yay sculling!

Not sure what sculling is? (Is that word starting to sound strange to anyone else?) Well now that I’m an expert, I will enlighten you. (Read: I had to Google it to make sure I was spelling it right, who knows if I know what I’m talking about.)

This is what it looks like:

Why do we do this drill? Essentially, to improve efficiency and strength in the water. According to Triathlete Europe, “Sculling encourages movements of the hand that help improve the feel for the water and the ability to hold on to the water.”

Perfect. I might need something to hold when I get tired in the water. (HAHA. KIDDING. FUNNY.)

So, I learned about swimming drills. They are legit. Fab.

So you're saying...this doesn't count as swimming?

So you’re saying…this DOESN’T count as “swimming practice”? (Can we all go back to college?)

Last night, I did a 5 mile run in Central Park. (Did anyone else notice that it was still light out at 5:30PM!? Wonderful, wonderful longer days.) I apprehensively used my RunKeeper app because I forgot my Garmin at home. I ended up having an awesome run…but can I trust RunKeeper’s splits? How accurate are they?

I felt great…minus the fact that I had to walk through a swamp during mile 2 because I made a stupid decision to try to trek through the icy/muddy reservoir. The only place that got me was walking in ankle deep ice cold snow puddles. And with a slower split. No bueno.


No, I can’t run even splits, thank you for asking.

I like seeing the 8s! Perhaps my lack of speedwork won’t totally ruin my sub-2 NYC Half goal. Could it be that all the cycling and swimming are helping my speed? (90 minutes on the bike trainer is no joke!) We shall see!

Tonight included some intervals on the bike trainer while I watched my roommates eat pizza. Torture.

And now, I will leave you with Wyatt the FaceTiming dog. (And The Don AKA my Dad too!)

Just a typical day for the boys in the man cave.

Just a typical day for the boys in the man cave.

Please disregard my wet, scraggly hair.

So tell me: what are your thoughts on swimming? Can you teach me a thing or two? (I know Erin can!) Do you think the RunKeeper app is accurate? (Please say yes.) Do you have a time machine that can take me back to college (but only if I can “know what I know now” of course)?

I’m a writer currently living in New Jersey and blogging about running, fitness, wellness, and motivation. I want every reader to laugh and feel empowered, balanced, and motivated! Subscribe by email to get 1-2 newsletters a month with post updates, my favorite articles, running playlists and more!


  1. February 13, 2013 / 9:48 pm

    I’ve been thinking about getting into swimming, but I find it to be a pretty intimidating sport. It’s so technical, and I feel sort of like it’s too late for me to really learn how to swim. I guess it’s never too late to learn via youtube — if I can learn to play the piano from watching youtube videos, I guess I could probably learn some swimming basics, too!

    I’ve been using RunKeeper for years and I love it. I’ve noticed that the splits are sometimes not as accurate as Garmin splits. Still, I love the UI of RK and that my irl friends use it, too. And unlike other sites (Nike+, maybe also dailymile — I forget), the data is yours, so you can export it out of RK if you want to and upload it all to Garmin Connect, or some place else. I usually use RK in the winter when I am running in the dark and can hold my phone in my jacket pocket. In the summer I’m switch back to my Garmin. (PS – I swear I do not shill for RunKeeper!)

    • February 15, 2013 / 10:37 pm

      I was super intimidated by swimming, but all you have to do it try it out and don’t give up right away. (I certainly wanted to!) It’s tough to learn a new sport but persistence is key. It’s NEVER too late, promise!! I usually use my Garmin year round but I use RunKeeper if I forget it. I hope the splits aren’t too far off!

  2. February 13, 2013 / 10:04 pm

    I do love the longer days lately :). It stays light out until almost 6 here lately… fingers crossed for seeing the sunrise at morning run soon. I can’t really teach you anything about swimming, I can doggie paddle and that’s IT.

    I don’t think any of the GPS apps are accurate or watches… I mean nothing can be 100%. I don’t think it matters if you’re off that much unless you end up being off by like .1 of a mile or something. Most I’ve seen are pretty close, like just hundredths off or something.

    • February 15, 2013 / 10:35 pm

      Same here! It’s nice to leave work and it not be pitch black outside. Spring is coming, I can feel it!! haha.

  3. February 13, 2013 / 10:07 pm

    I wish I swam again! I used to and stopped to play basketball in middle school..I wish I could get back into it, but the old people at the ymca are very serious about their lanes LOL. and if you ever find that time machine LET ME KNOW! 😉 i’m excited for the NYC HALF!!!! I’m staying in New Jersey (New Bergen) I believe, so maybe you can give me advice then on the best possible way to get to the race and so forth! (pretty please!)

    • February 15, 2013 / 10:34 pm

      Hahah yes I hate that! They are SO serious sometimes! But you should definitely try to go sometime. It’s a fun way to switch it up from running.

      Can’t wait for the NYC Half! We must meet up. I can tell you all about NJ! Let’s chat – send me an email if you want and we can figure something out. Maybe we could even carpool! (I’ll probably drive in.)

  4. February 14, 2013 / 10:13 am

    Swimming is so intimidating to me, yet I’ve been wanting to get into it for a while now. It just seems like such a great, different cross-training workout. Too bad I don’t have easy access to a pool!

    PS would love to take an Uplift class, go for a run, or just grab lunch/coffee to catch up soon!

    • February 15, 2013 / 10:33 pm

      Try it out! It scared me for a long time, but the more I do it, the better/less intimidating it gets. I’m a lot more comfortable that I was just a few weeks ago. If you want to come out to NJ you can come to my gym with me :) Otherwise, yes to Uplift/a run/coffee/etc! ! Do you have my #?!

  5. February 14, 2013 / 10:28 am

    the longer days make my mood so much better, your dog is adorable by the way

    • February 15, 2013 / 10:31 pm

      ME TOO! So much happier with more sunlight…just the fact that it’s still light out when I leave work usually is wonderful.

      And thanks! I miss him so much! (He lives with my parents!)

  6. February 14, 2013 / 12:13 pm

    If you continue to practice and do your swimming…you will be shocked how much easy it becomes! People say oh i hate to swim and i say how often do you swim. They say never. Well you aren’t going to get better at it unless you are actually in the pool! Swimming with a group and having a coach will help a lot too!

    So excited that it is staying light out longer!

    • February 15, 2013 / 10:30 pm

      I used to be that person! Now that I’m actually doing it, I’m finding that I love it (and am getting better…shocker!) I don’t feel as uncomfortable anymore. This is so exciting, haha!

  7. February 14, 2013 / 4:21 pm

    I was sooo scared when I first went to my Sunday swim class. Its 1 hour and 30 minutes, and back then, I was happy I made it through my 1 hour Tuesday swim class. I love how I am getting better each week, and I am glad I can follow your journey too! I never heart of sculling since our coach lets us do other exercises, but it sounds like fun.

    • February 15, 2013 / 10:30 pm

      That’s great that you’re swimming too! We can learn together :)

  8. February 26, 2013 / 5:29 am

    Looks like you are going to rock anything you do! Awesome!

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