For the past few months I have struggled with my swimming stamina. After regularly swimming for several years, I didn’t see the progress that I wanted to. Even post triathlon season I still found myself gasping at the end of a fifty yard swim. My coach told me to stop struggling and use the buoy and just use my upper body. So the next day I did 30 laps (60 lengths of 25 yd pool) for a total of 1,500 yards without stopping. Not bad but in my head I am still using the crutch of the buoy. I have done this for the last two weeks. The other day I decided to try to do fifty yards without the buoy. Guess what? I did two hundred! So what’s my point? After the mechanics kick in what’s in your head dictates your swimming ability. I can’t stress this enough. Relax and rely on your training. The rest will come. Did I mention be patient with yourself? A hard learned lesson for me.
So I am concentrating on my swimming. At least in my mind that is. I had a very stressful few days leading up to Christmas and although I enjoyed the day my legs were aching and stiff. No exercise at all this week and plenty of holiday eating. All reflected on the scale today at my Weight Watchers weigh in. Ok, boo hoo hoo. So when I ran out of real excuses, I put on my bathing suit and after Weight Watchers (my Saturday ritual) I headed to the pool. I was late and my team members were way ahead of me. Mike the coach says your late! Do your warm up. 20 lengths of the pool. I was exhausted after four but I did the twenty. Then he said 20 with the kick board. Really? I can’t do one. After six he said okay lets move you on to something else. 20 with the buoy. I was officially finished and I hadn’t done one drill. The ladies (no guys this morning for some reason) who finished the drills were exhausted. Mike suggested that we work on everything during the week because next Saturday we start again. He mentioned a T30 workout. Thirty minutes non-stop as many laps as we can. OMG. I won’t cry though.
I won’t be traveling this summer so I have to take my outdoor time when and where I can. This morning the staff at JFK recreation center in Newark, NJ opened the roof to our pool. I had no choice but to swim my requisite sixteen laps just to take advantage of the cool water and the warm sunshine. Lots of sunscreen and though I don’t generally wear one, a bathing cap to protect my pate from the sun. It was heavenly! So I can’t get to the Islands, I have my own water adventure five days a week for the next two months. The health benefits are the icing on the cake as they say.
So I have stopped fighting. Yesterday and today I began swimming a lap counting to twenty and doing a return lap I am up to twenty-two laps. Still not non-stop but I think that it’s progress. Next week I will try to do fifty yds. (two laps) and then rest and return. If I work my way up I should be able to do the half mile in a month or so. That’s the plan for today.
880 yards, rounding up 36 laps of my practice pool. This is important to me because I intend to do the Danskin triathlon in September. Thirty-six laps omg. Right now I am sputtering on two laps wearing my zoomers. Well I just have to keep trying. The last few days I have begun to count my strokes (thanks Yelena) and for the first time I am making a lap without freaking out and thinking that I’m out of air (cause I’m not) So I believe that I will be able to swim more than a half mile by September. We’ll talk about the open water freak out later.
I DID IT! Although gasping was involved, I swam a lap of freestyle today! Actually I swam a few! What power in the sense of accomplishment. I couldn’t have been happier. There may not be limits to my swimming career! Lol!
So today I found out that the part of the pool that I swim in is 25 yards not meters. Since my goal is to swim a mile I found out that I will have to do 71 or 72 (depending on who you talk to) laps to do this. Hmm… today I did 8. That was in addition to my freestyle practice laps which I don’t count since they still involve a lot of stopping and a bit of sputtering LOL! Next pool visit will be Monday. We’ll see what I do then. New goggles and flippers were a great addition today. I also wore a bathing cap which I don’t usually but the sun beat the mess out of my head the other day, even with sunscreen on it! More to follow!