Monday, February 10, 2014

Like a Fish Out of Water

This morning was a day I was dreading- the first time swimming first showed up in my training plan.  Now EN is infamous for their "no swimming in the OS" philosophy, however, I honestly fall in their "yeah, that doesn't apply to you since you are a rock" category.  Well, still, I considered those rare swims I've gotten in as bonus.  Now they are expected.
So I crawled out of bed at 5:30 to leave for the pool in -4 degree weather.  That is not exactly motivating to want to get undressed and jump in a cold pool.  I kept thinking of how I could swim later, or tomorrow, but reminded myself I don't want to start that path as I know where it leads. 
Today was a time trial- 400 warm up, then give it my all for 1000.  The warm up went ok, nothing awesome, nothing awful.  Then I was off.  I mentally broke it into 4 blocks of 5 laps.  I immediately got very winded and realized I needed to slow it down.  With minimal swimming, just getting through the 1000 would be the challenge.  I never felt as though I got into a smooth stroke rhythm, and I could tell I was just thrashing about.  I was tired, but I survived, and mentally was ok.  It was not the dreaded boredom I was expecting.  Looking at my watch made the reality very real- I have not been swimming and am going to pay the price.  20:43. 
When I got out of the pool, I was approached by a man who offered some advice.  1) I apparently am thrashing my head around a great deal, and 2) I need to pull with my arms further out where I'll get more power.  He claims I'll see a 20% efficiency improvement.  Not sure I believe that but definitely two things to work on. 

This year, no more skipping swims.  Consistency will be key in the pool just as it is on the bike and run.  My plan has 3x/week swims, and they are tough.  I am also hoping to take some private lessons, though I know I have much to be gained just by getting the yardage in. 

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming!

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