Monday, February 1, 2010
Today was a long day...up at 6:45 for morning swim practice followed by a full at work from 9am - 5pm...then I headed to my coaching job after that. At 7:15pm I started my second swim practice...my freestyle felt so sore and my legs were heavy. This was weird because I still felt I had some extra energy – I just was too sore to use it for freestyle. When the main set ended up being 8 x 200m Free I knew that I couldn't make it though a freestyle set. Since Provincials is coming up and I plan to do the 400 IM and 200 breast stroke I decided to mix up the set and do it as 200 IM, 200 breast 4 times. The only catch - the pace was 3:15 per 200...I had my work cut out for me. The first 200 IM ended up being pretty easy and my breast stroke felt good (11 strokes per length...it should be around 10, but I wasn't too concerned...) - I easily made the pace by going 2:55. My first length of the next 200 (it was all breast stroke) seemed great and I wasn't falling too far behind the freestylers – amazingly the second length felt good too, and the next lengths too! I came into the wall in a 2:59 (considering my best time throughout university is only a 3:04, and my best time ever only a 2:50, this seemed pretty good). Still with only 15 seconds rest I knew I would have a tough time keeping this up. I managed to do ok (200 IMs – 2:55, 2:57, 2:59; 200 BR – 2:59, 3:02, 3:04). It felt great to be able to do it. I had that feeling that you get when everything about your breast stroke comes together: strong kick, powerful pull and perfect timing (the most important thing). Anyway, the point of this is not to brag, its to go back to the reason that I was able to get though this set (I really thought I was going to puke during the 6th 200) and the reason that I love triathlons and the reason that I can work hard today. It goes back about 10 years ago when I was swimming as a kid: it wouldn’t matter what was going on with the rest of my life, when I got to the pool I was expected to perform BETTER than the BEST of my ability. Having to do those sets with seemingly impossible pace times and having to go “a quarter of your best 200 time” for 24 50s in a row really taught me how to work hard and get through the impossible. At the time I thought I was just doing those sets so I could go fast at the next meet – but those sets do more than that, they prepare you to work hard later on in life. They are the reason that I got through the set I did today, the reason that I compete in triathlons and the reason that I am who I am.