Move, Move, Move

Posted: July 5, 2012 by writingsprint in Triathlon
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

ocean texture“I always wanted to be Peter Pan, the boy who never grows up. I can’t fly, but swimming is the next best thing. It’s harmony and balance. The water is my sky.” Clayton Jones

One day, I’ll swim like this. The water is Clayton’s sky but it’s my ballroom, and I’m dancing with the shoes that don’t fit.

So buy new shoes!

I’m making my own shoes, and they’re fitting better every time.

Okay, enough with the overstretched metaphors.

Month 2, Week 4
Thursday: Long swim (17 minutes)

When I’m not in training sessions, long swim day is nothing but as many laps as I can swim in the amount of time I have. I made it to the gym around 1 p.m., and was surprised how full the pool was. The staff told me that they built the pool for office workers who would use it on their lunch hours or just after work. The first lane looked like a student; the second lane looked like a gentleman my age; the third lane was empty and I jumped on it; the fourth lane was taken by another guy, younger than I am.

Lessons for the day:

  • Control your fear. Or, to bring back the metaphor, learn to dance with it. I actually found myself panicking over not having enough air, which is bloody annoying, because I’m an experienced swimmer and have gone for 45 minutes without stopping in the past. (To the *really* experienced swimmers in the back row, please laugh more quietly. Thanks.). I was cheating by popping up at the end of each lap and getting a gulp of air rather than doing flip turns, which I know how to do. (But I need to breathe! I’m not getting enough air!) I indulged myself with a stop in the short end of the pool and gave myself a gut check. This is a problem I had to fix, now, because I couldn’t keep swimming like this. I deliberately slowed down, breathed more easily, and kept swimming with good form. Everything else must come in time. I can’t swim like a fast nut job and cheat on the ends. Certainly not on race day, when I’m in open water surrounded by a hundred other swimmers.
  • Fear is an opportunity to exercise courage.
  • Swimming is constant movement. I’ve already mentioned that I have a bad habit of “locking” my form. Today I dealt with it by looking at my arms and legs as opposite ends of the same pole. When my left hand was reaching, I pulled my right hand back even harder and made my shoulder roll, to make my left reach even farther. Keep them rolling constantly, like an engine. I fought to get my hips into the kick. I’ve read that’s the key, but I’m only beginning to feel it.

Weight lifting was steady and careful. I’m over 40 and just getting back into it, and as fired up as I may be… one step at a time.

Tomorrow we’re heading down to Washington, DC, to see The Merry Wives of Windsor at the Shakespeare Theatre Company. Our train doesn’t leave until just after noon, so I have the morning to get one more day of exercise in. Saturday will be the second rest day for this week, and Sunday we’ll be back to hard training.

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