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If you have runner and bicycling friends you could sign up for the swimming leg of a tri. I've done the running part with 2 friends, lots of fun pre and post race.


I feel you might need a Chris Cutcher novel. For all the YA issues insanity he packs into his plots, he does a nice job writing the love of swimming and its ability to evoke that trancendant state and glamorizing the sport.

Personally, I can neither run nor swim. I mean, I can manage not to drown myself in the pool but it took me 6 years of weekly lessons to get an Intermediate card from the Red Cross, because having a phobia of sea creatures eating you makes swimming hard. As for the running, my entire life when I've run I've felt like my lungs are exploding, even when I did soccer every fall and was in shape. When Genevieve and I did a 5K (a 5K!) 10 years ago, we both decided afterwards that it had been an experience that we do not care to ever repeat.


I have never enjoyed running either. I've always felt like not ever getting that "runner's high" is something to be ashamed of. I don't know why. I guess part of it is that people always seem to want to tell me that if I just tried a little bit longer or harder, I would have felt it. And I guess part of me wonders if that's true, even while the rest of me knows it's not.

Did you swim when pregnant or was that before your real return to the pool? If this question is too personal I understand, but I was just curious. I have never been a competitive swimmer but I was always an active one, and was a lifeguard back in my day. I've had awful lower back pain, almost debilitating, enough so that I even carry a wallet instead of a purse now. I have been swimming about 2-3 times per week to try to alleviate this and maintain some semblance of muscle strength amidst all the changes, but I don't really know much of what to do. I have just been alternating breast stroke and freestyle but while I can find a lot of information on how swimming is generally good in pregnancy, I can't seem to find much on what, specifically, may be most helpful to actually do.

I was never a hardcore lap swimmer, just did it for warm-ups etc, and I always thought I hated not being able to listen to music while swimming. Music was the ONLY thing that helped me enjoy anything about running, after all. But now that I'm swimming laps more frequently in lieu of other forms of activity, I find I really enjoy being forced to shut my ears down for a bit. It seems like a drag at the beginning each time, but by the end I always feel glad for the silence of it.

Lisa Schmeiser

Hi, Ally --

I swam pretty hardcore through the first trimester -- it was the only time I felt normal and not exhausted -- but around 20-something weeks, all I was really good for was treading water or doing breast stroke, because I found that my freestyle stroke was too ... I can't describe it, but because my center of gravity was so different, it threw off my stroke and it was really frustrating.

I was not a breast stroker before pregnancy, but it was the most comfortable stroke from second trimester on, and it is the one I have been using to rebuild my core because it's really great for the abdominals and spinal muscles.

My morning lap swim partner is due in early June, and right now, she's alternating between a lot of kicking sets (for cardio and aerobic) and slow freestyle, because the diminishing lung capacity means she gets tired earlier.


Thank you for this! It's very helpful.


This is also true for hobbies. I am addicted to quilting and can totally turn off my brain and let it relax me, but knitting makes my head explode. For me, knitting requires counting and attention. I do love running (three marathons and five half marathons and counting!) because I can turn off my brain as I watch tv on the treadmill.


I feel this way about ice skating. I joined a running club earlier this year, around the same time I started up ice skating lessons again and a lot of times, I'll go to a public skating session *after* running 5 or 8 miles because the run kind of sucked and I know skating will cheer me up. If I could feasibly skate every day, I would but that would probably require buying my own ice rink. Since I can't do that (*yet*), I attempt to enjoy running.

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