Tuesday, June 23, 2009

One stroke at a time.

I’ve had a day to reflect on our first triathlon of the season. I was feeling pretty crappy about it and having great anxiety about the coming weeks and the challenges they would present.

I had decided to alter our training schedule and push the Olympic distrance race out a few more weeks in lieu of another sprint distance. I was scared and the best way to deal with that was to back down.

The more I talk with people about the event and how it went, the more I realize that I am focusing on the wrong things. Telling others about the event, I focus mostly on the swim. Someone commented that it was as if there was no bike ride or run. The swim was that central to my performance. I struggled with the swim and so I doubted the rest of my abilities.

I did not acknowledge the strong, solid bike ride or the steady even run. In fact, during those portions of the event, I was still thinking about the swim. I was looking forward to the Olympic distance and half ironman and wondering how I would ever make it.

After some good thinking, I’ve realized this: the event was exactly what it needed to be. It was training. It was an early event to get the swing of things and figure out where to focus going forward. This was the first open water swim since last September. Of course it would be sloppy and scary. But I made it through. I didn’t quit. I kept going. Now I know that I need to step it up with the open water swims. Trevor and I have adjusted our schedules to do just that.

A good friend gave me some excellent advice. He said to focus on the stroke in front of me. Not the strokes that it will take on August 16th, but the stroke in front of me each day, in each swim. I really needed someone to channel my focus and I believe this is it.

So, tonight, Trevor and I will get into the pond by our house for a swim. It will be fun and relaxing – no pressure. And I will focus on each stroke that I take. This doesn’t mean that I won’t be scared or apprehensive. It just means that I won’t let that dictate my strokes. I’ll let the focus dictate the strokes. One by one by one.

I was talking with another friend who has done the Olympic distance race we had planned. He told me that with the 70.3 coming up quickly, we really had no choice but to the Olympic. Of course, we always have a choice. But he got me thinking about it. I wanted to change because I was scared. Instead, I think I want to leave it and do what I need to do in order to be ready.

Stay tuned.

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