A Swim!

Posted: April 19, 2011 in Training
Tags: , ,

It’s been a long day today no doubt about it.  Still fighting a rather bad cold that my little daughter Landry dragged home from day-care I was up at 4:45 a.m. to get in my Tuesday run before heading to the airport.

70 degrees, 86% humidity and 15 mph winds greeted me at 5:00 a.m. as I stretched against the garage for a quick 10 Kilometer training run.  It’s moments like those when you question what it is all about.  Why not grab that extra hour of sleep?  Nobody is watching.

But for more than 5 years now when the schedule says “run” we run.  When it says “rest” we rest.  When it says “race” we do our very best.  That is the only way I know how to do this.  It is almost as if I feel like if I skip just one day it will somehow make it o.k. to skip another.  Then another and before you know it all of that hard work is for naught.

So I pushed away from the garage door, adjusted my headlamp and hit the trail at Brushy Creek Park.  The wind was howling, blowing me all over the trail.  Just over 46 minutes later I was back at the house, narrowly missing my goal of 7:30 min./mile pace for the run, coming in at 7:33.

Given the high winds and the fact I did not look at my watch at all on the run, I was pretty happy with the workout.  My legs are starting to come back to me and my pace is starting to even out and return as well.  Still not a single peep from my left knee, so I think it is finally safe to declare our injury for 2011 is over.

I showered quickly, said goodbye to Dawn with Landry still fast asleep and traveled to the airport.

I had a day of meetings and then drove down to check-in at the hotel.  After getting settled in and returning messages I pulled my goggles, cap and kickboard out of my carry on bag and went down to the pool.

Time to give this another shot.

Coach Claudia had given me some drills and laps as homework and I slid into the warm water once again to try to take just the smallest step forward towards becoming proficient in the last discipline I need to become a triathlete.

At first the drills on the side of the pool felt just like yesterday.  But I slowly felt like I was catching my breathing rhythm.

As I stared to swim laps, I looked over at a man swimming two lanes to my left, watching him rotate to his side and take a full breath.  I noticed that he spent much more time than I did on his side and got a much longer draw of breath.

Huh.

My next lap I tried to glide a little longer before taking my next stroke and I rotated my body just a bit further.  Instead of looking directly to the side, I looked slightly higher in the air and a little bit behind me.

My lungs filled with air.

I swam a full lap.

Then I swam another.

And another.

For the very first time I felt like I was starting to get it.  That I might actually be able to learn how to do this.

Such a small adjustment made a huge difference.  Perhaps this is what everyone meant when they told me that the swim was very “technical”.

I spent about 45 minutes in the pool and left with more confidence than I have had to this point.  I find myself looking forward to tomorrow’s swim and even more towards my second lesson on Friday with Coach Claudia.

I can’t remember the exact day when instead of having to slow to a walk during my lunchtime run, I was able to run the entire way back to the house.  But I do remember that I felt like now all I had to do was keep trying.  Keep learning.  Stick with it and I could become a runner.

That same guy was in the pool tonight.  The same guy who for the first time got the first glimmer of believing in himself.

I know one thing for sure.  That guy.  The one who believes in himself is now a very dangerous runner on race day.

If we can get that same feeling in the water – look out.  2011 might turn out to be pretty interesting.

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Comments
  1. mal says:

    Reading your post on swimming stroke and technique. You might find this link very interesting – total immersion(TI) swim technique – very energy-efficient, relaxed, streamlined swim stroke:

    sorry if you already know all about this

    Mal Evans (UK)

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