Sunday, April 28, 2013

When Cross-Training Meets Fear

I have some hefty long-term running goals, a couple of which I hope to tackle in the next twelve months. I'm hoping to run my first full marathon in November. I've joined a Ragnar team to run my first relay in February 2014. But one running goal I have no interest in is the mighty triathlon.

I think it's an awesome and lofty goal, but there's this one little issue...

I hate deep water. I'm deathly afraid of anything having to do with incalculable depths, sea creatures, and simple idea of floating above who-knows-how-many lurking dangers.

No no no no no no no no no no no no no.
This weekend, I was strong-armed into paddle boarding with Matt and his friends. Some pros of going: I would get a full-body workout, strength-training, cardio, and basically good cross-training.

Cons? Well, at the risk of sounding ridiculous, I could drown, get eaten by a whale, be bumped off my board and drowned by a manatee...or a million other scenarios involving watery deaths. (This phobia is called Thalassophobia, and I have a tendency to talk about it jokingly, but yesterday I really got to experience what this fear does to me.)

I've successfully stood on the paddle board in twelve-inches of warm, still water, but getting me out into the ocean was another matter.

I'm not ashamed to admit that in first ten minutes, my nerves got the best of me and I cried a little. I was hyperventilating and my legs were shaking.

Closer to shore, I really enjoyed paddling. The water was so clear, you can see the board's shadow!
But after the tears passed, I was able to tamp down my nerves enough to pretty much enjoy the trip. And I'll probably give it another try in a couple weekends, but I'll definitely hug the shore more.

Paddling is a great cross-training workout. You entire body - especially your core - is constantly engaged, your muscles are constantly working to keep you balanced, and the paddling itself is great for your arms.

Afterward, we stopped at Whole Foods. I wanted more GF poptarts, but they weren't shelved. After talking to customer service, we were able to walk out with half of the stock they had in the back...I have a feeling it's enough to last me until school lets out.

Two cases of poptarts...nothing wrong with that.
I also picked up goat's milk soap from Canus. I like the smell and it seems nice and mild; I'm hoping it will have good effects on my eczema.
I've only used it twice, but so far I like it.
A friend invited us to another friend's for a potluck, and we had some awesome food, including fruishi (fruit that look like sushi) and homemade pulled pork. But by the end of the night and a couple glasses of wine, I was done in. I knew I had to get up early for a run the next day, and sure enough I regretted the wine this morning.

This morning AP came over and we did a short run. I wore my new Patagonia sports bra that I bought off a friend who had ordered the wrong size. I usually wear sports bras from Target, so it's kind of nice to have a cute, brand-name bra to throw into the mix.

I was surprised by how much I liked the skinny straps!
I was sore and tired from paddling, and she had taken two weeks off, so it was slow going. But I'm glad I met my goal of running three times this week. (It's a goal that will go on hold again for this next week because I'll be in DC with the students and won't have time to run.)

Another weekend gone. I wonder how much productivity and basic happiness would increase if the US adopted a 4-day workweek instead of the typical 5.

What did you do this weekend?

Have you tried anything new lately?

What is a fear you've faced?



  1. I need that bra. I have the worst thick bra strap tan lines right now. I paddle boarded for the first time 2 years ago in Hawaii and was only good at it bc I was too scared to fall off into the water. So, I'm right there with ya!
    Emma @

    1. I get thick bra strap eczema, so I'm thinking these thinner straps could be good. (It's not like I need a ton of support anyway, but this bra felt VERY supportive even with the small straps.)

      I think I avoided falling off for the same reason...I refused to take risks that might land me in the water.

  2. I'm SO glad to hear I'm not alone. I can't even wade into water that I can't see the bottom of. What about seaweed?? Seaweed scares the crap out of me. Can't you get tangled in it and die? That's what I think. I will be joining you in NEVER racing a tri. Tri people are three-times as crazy :)

    1. Yes! Seaweed is not harmless! You know that scene in "The Little Mermaid" where there are curtains of seaweed? All I can think of that someone is going to get trapped and never, ever reach the surface again!

      Three times as crazy and definitely braver than I am!

  3. OKay, I'm with you on triathlons, but not because of the swim (I love open water swimming). It's because of the bike. I am a bit of a tech-phobe. Plus I don't want to fall off. I like biking and used to bike every day in high school on nice, open roads - in farmland and nature districts - but I hate biking in the city and I don't want to have to change gears. Ever.

    1. See, I think the biking bit would hurt my butt and be generally awful, too, but at least I know that if I fall, there's road there...not a giant abyss!