Injured Runner: Embracing the swim

I’ve written about swimming, or rather, my lack of swimming skills before.

And, I’m going to do it again since swimming has apparently become my main source of exercise for the past month.

Every other sport that isn’t cross-country or track consider running as a punishment.

For runners though, the pool feels like punishment. If you are aqua jogging or swimming, it usually means you cannot run. So maybe that’s why I have a negative association of swimming/the pool.

But, I’m getting better.

I try not to race the other swimmers next to me because I know I’ll never win. I don’t have the endurance or lung capacity. Plus, I’m just at the pool for rehab.

The other day I went to the pool and a middle-aged man came to my lane and asked if we could share it. I said yes and he replies, “oh, and I’m not actually a swimmer.”

It was the most comforting thing I’ve heard at the pool this whole summer!

“I’m not a swimmer either. I’m an injured runner,” I exclaimed.

He said he was injured too, but not a runner.

I felt so much better.

I always feel like everyone is judging me when I swim. They probably think I am flailing my arms around too much, that I am not kicking appropriately. The teenaged lifeguards wouldn’t even be able to save me if I actually needed saving since I am twice their size!

While I don’t have a schedule for going to the pool, I try to go “as often as I can” which turns into somewhere between one to three times a week. I’ve gotten a routine down where I swim breaststroke out to one end of the pool and then do the crawl back. I keep doing this until my lungs get too tired and then I take out the kick board and do two to four kick board laps to mix it up.

I’ve also learned to try to be more relaxed and calm when I do the crawl. I don’t know why but I always feel like I have to kick and swing my arms really hard while doing the crawl. This isn’t the case though. This just causes more bubbles and splashes which tend to freak me out. I think that’s why I prefer breaststroke: less bubbles/splashes = less stress under water.


These all seem like logical thoughts coming from a runner who is trying to belong as a swimmer.

Now if only someone could teach me a trick to getting my swim cap on in less than five minutes!


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