Monday, March 06, 2006

Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming

My husband forgot to set the alarm clock when he came to bed last night. I normally get up at 5:15 on swim mornings so I'm in the water by 6:00. I woke up at 5:50, I hate feeling rushed. I almost decided to stay in bed and swim later. I knew my swim friend wanted to time my 500 this morning. This made me want to stay in bed more because I have the fear of the "in your face time facts". I put on my new flying sheep swim suit from Splish and headed out the door wishing it was "Sheepy Time".


I got to the pool at 6:20 and did a few warm up laps. My shoulders felt tired from running and lifting. When swim friend said "You ready for me to time your 500?" I tried to talk her out of it. "You don't have to time me this morning, I know I'm late and I know you want to get your drills in." She insisted she didn't mind. I was scared because the race this weekend is in a pool. I had to submit a time to be seeded when I registered. I made up a time because this race fills up within a day after the New Year. I thought 9:30 was a good time, it sounded good when I signed up. This morning it sounded too fast. I didn't want to embarrass myself in front of swim friends.

I was supposed to have lap cards but because I woke up late, I forgot them. Swim friend said she would put her hand in the water on my last lap. I started off taking a breath every 4-6 strokes. I wasn't counting my laps but around lap 6, I was having to take a breath every other stroke. I kept waiting to see swim friends' hand in the water. I started to think she miss counted, I had to be on my last lap. I was trying to look at the clock, it felt like I had been swimming for over 10 min. Then I started to think about Dora on finding Nemo' "Just keep swimmin', just keep swimmin', just keep swimming!!" On lap 8, still no hand and breathing hard- Dora wasn't cutting it anymore. So, I thought about the times I was in pain. I decided even though I was getting breathless, I have been through worse. Only the strong survive. Funny what our mind does to help us succeed.

On my way back, I see swim friends hand waving at me. It was the most beautiful hand waving that I have ever seen. I could hear my swim friends as I touched the wall and took a breath telling me to "GO goat girl, last lap, you're doing great!"I forced my legs to kick harder and took a breath every 4 strokes again. Amazing what a little encouragement can do!

I swam 500 in 8:02. I was very relieved! I was scared I submitted a time that was too fast. Now, I'll have to worry about passing people because it's too late to submit a new time. I feel more confident now though, I rather be faster than too slow. I learned a few things with this 500 practice. I probably need to breath more often when I first start out even if I don't need the air. I also was depending on the wall too much. When I got to the wall, I would hold on and take a BIG breath. I hesitated on the wall too long. I'll practice on improving these things the next couple days.

I'm still concerned about what to wear for this race. I was going to just wear my bathing suit and pull on my tri shorts when I got on the bike. I'm afraid only a bathing suit top will be too cold on the bike. Any ideas?

21 Comments:

At 1:31 PM, Blogger Bridget said...

Oh my, you are a fast swimmer! Nice job. I breath a lot more often than that. I don't have much advice on the outfit. I have to figure that out as well. Good luck training this week.

 
At 3:22 PM, Blogger tarheeltri said...

No advice for the clothing, but like Bridget I breathe more than that too, like every stroke, or every other stroke, I guess.

 
At 9:50 AM, Blogger Jamie said...

I am guessing that you are doing MAP this weekend? The weather looks pretty good right now, I think I am going with the tri shorts/shirt only.

The swim times look great- keep in mind that you will really have to go farther than 500 yds on Saturday. Yes, down and back ten times but also the length of the pool from side to side!

 
At 2:50 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

This came from an article my the TriMyCoach coaches, see if you think it makes sense:

*-When you exit the water...if you check your swim split, DON'T be alarmed if it's slow. Contrary to popular belief, a 500m pool-sprint swim is NOT 500m. If you swam that many laps in the SAME lane, it'd be 500m…But you've got to traverse your way down to the other end of the pool (50m away!), so it's longer. {Why does no one believe me when I point this out?} Don't pay attention to the watch.

 
At 7:12 PM, Blogger Ben said...

I think you're holding your breath for far too long... It's just forcing you anaerobic when you don't need to. As a competitive swimmer I never "held my breath" unless racing 100 m or less.

I recommend bilateral breathing (every third stoke). This balances your exertion, lets you see what's happening on both sides of you, and can partially correct for uneven pull in open water.

Don't change anything for this race though, it's too close to mess with mechanics...

The other big thing for the swim: you are really gonna miss pushing off those walls in an open water race. As a guess, I'd factor in 10% slower for the same distance.

 
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