Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Make it count

I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that I have never benchmarked or even timed myself for any distance in the pool. I've taken a very casual approach to swim training - which, in a way is not only a reflection of how mediocre I swim but how much I value it as part of my triathlon training.

I did spend some time working on technique and form - that has definitely helped my confidence and overall endurance in the water. I'm not sure what to say...I just don't enjoy it as much as running or cycling. Maybe it's because I'm short...you never see an Olympic swimmer under 6 foot, right? The longer the boat, the faster is sails. :)

Anyway, it wasn't until today that I had a little 'come to Jesus' meeting with myself about swimming. It came down to this...why get up at 4:30 and slog to the pool if you're going to have a casual attitude about what you're there to do. Go with a purpose.Give the time meaning. Make it count.

So that's exactly what I did this morning - made it count.

I lifted yesterday and was slightly sore in my chest so I stretched for 10 minutes and then swam 200 yards for a warm-up. With my handy Timex Ironman watch at the side of the pool, I started the chrono and kicked into a 1.2 mi time trail for the first time ever (other than race day).

The first 500 yards felt great - things were smooth and I was gliding well with a fairly aggressive pace.

The second 500 yards were a bit more challenging but for me, once I break through the 700-800 yard barrier, I seem to get my second wind.

The third 500 yards were a bit more laborious - I could tell my form was starting to break down and the breathing was more intense. I found myself sucking up more water than I really needed at 5 am.

The last 500 yards were hard. I was definitely fighting my sore pecs and fatigued shoulders to finish the last couple hundred yards.

(If you're doing the math, yes I'm aware that 2000 yards is slightly under 1.2 miles - it's a nice round number!)

Total time: 26.58

I'm good with that.

For perspective, my previous 1.2 mile swim times at Boise 70.3 (1:06) and Lake Stevens 70.3 (44:30) seem incomprehensible. I must have been doggie-paddling or something. Sure it's open water. Sure there are 1000's of other bodies flailing in the water. Doesn't matter. The bar has been set.

From now on, everything has a purpose.

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