Saturday, December 6, 2008

Back in the saddle again...

Well, not the saddle, but the pool. I am back in the pool again! You may remember that over the summer I completed my first triathlon. I liked it so much, I did it a second time. I learned to swim in June and the first tri was at the beginning of August. And it nearly killed me. If you go back and read my posts from both triathlons, you'll find that the swim really freaked me out. I didn't have enough time this season to get comfortable. I just knew I had to get through it and then I could bike and run just fine.

Next summer I have three triathlons planned - a sprint, an olympic and a 1/2 iron-man. One of our friends thought this was a little too aggressive, but we don't care. If you think you can't do something, the best thing to do is DO IT. Plan for it, work towards it and get through it. In planning for it, I knew that I would need to spend more time in the pool over the winter to build a base and start to overcome my fear, yes fear, of the water.

After the last triathlon in September, I stopped going to the pool and got back into my workout routine that included only running, biking and lifting. I figured there was plenty of time for swimming. To be honest...I've been dreading it. I've planned it in my routine a few times and always talked myself out of it.

This week, I realized that it had been three months since my last swim and that January will mark the beginning of my official off-season triathlon training. To me, this meant that I really needed to get back in the water.

So Tuesday morning at 5:15, I got up, put on my suit and headed to the gym. I had a workout planned that included drills to work on my stroke and form. It was 55 minutes of torture and I wanted to quit the entire time. I kept reminding myself that I used to feel this way when I first started running and when I first started spending more time on the bike. I am now at the point when I run that I can actually enjoy the process - enjoy the miles, instead of wanting them to be over. I am almost at the point on the bike, I enjoy it sometimes, others I watch the clock. So I know its possible to transition to that point with my swimming, but I have to put in the time. There is no other way to see progress. Damn it.

Thursday morning, I got up at 4:45 and headed to the gym to swim 800 meters before spin class. This swim was so great - the water was really really warm and I was there alone. It was so quiet and peaceful and I really focused on enjoying the distance instead of just wanting to get from one side to the other. I remembered the open water swims where I had to let go, relax and just swim. It was a great reminder to me that training is ever-changing. That one day it can be so hard you want to cry and the next it can seem like the best thing you've ever done.

I finished my swim, changed and ran upstairs for my spin class. After it was all done, I had the feeling that I do it all for - accomplishment and self-satisfaction. Pride. I'll take some more of that please...

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