Back in the Pool …

Yesterday was it.  I had ran out of excuses.   I’m 46 days out from a 70.3 triathlon in Racine, WI and I just HAD to get my ass in the pool.  I didn’t want to do it but those ironmen are mean.  Rough.  They swim with their fists and it’s important to stay as far in front of the next wave as possible!  So I went to the pool.  I wasn’t thrilled but I faked mustered a smile.

Swim_me_TTC

This go round, I decided to swim at Governors State University.  They have a nice 24.99 yard  (odd distance to eliminate it from being legal for competition) lap pool and it’s normally not too busy.  It’s open from 6am – 9pm M-F, and has similar Saturday hours but who the hell wants to do a swim workout on Saturday?  Not me!  Plus, they let me do month to month so when TRI season is over, I don’t have a nasty gym membership requiring me to sell my soul to cancel.  Win, Win.  I also noticed some improvements to the pool area since the last time I used it for TRI training.  Kinda cool and relaxing, if you head to an indoor pool for that.

.Gov State Pool   Gov State Pool_chairs

Then I got in the water and fought with my goggles for 16 minutes before I was able to get them adjusted properly and actually get to some real swimming.  Then I was almost out of time and needed to pack it up and head home to the family.  In all, I had a craptastic 35 minutes of adjusting my goggles and floundering around swimming for a distance total of 1250 yards ( 0.71 miles).  Impressive, I know.  At this rate, it will take me well over an hour to get thru the 1.2 mile swim in Racine.  That means just about every wave behind me will not only swim over the top of my slow ass but also punch & kick me as they pass me up.  I’m seeing stars already.  I can only hope that the water in Racine is cold.  Super cold.  Let’s slow those crazy people down!  Okay, more importantly a water temp under 78 degrees means it’s wetsuit legal.  Yay, me!  Although I “normally” don’t need a wetsuit for that distance, it’s nice to have because it provides a little added buoyancy, fixes some of the imperfections in my swim, and HELLO, it holds me up when those assholes punch me in the side of the head.   Feel free to read my IM Muncie 70.3 report HERE.

The good news, is that the swim in Racine looks SWEET!  It’s a point to point swim where we hop in the water in one spot, and swim a parallel line with the beach to another location and get out.  No stupid M to swim.  Or V.  Or J.  Or whatever crazy shape that they make to slow us poor sighting swimmers down.  Just two right turns around buoys and straight swimming.  Racine, we may become friends after all.  Looks like I’ll just be able to put my head down and swim, hopefully in someone else’s slip stream!

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Swim #1 down.  Many more to go.  I think I better just leave my swim clothes in my car and go as often as I’m able.  My goal is 2x per week til Racine on July 21st.  We’ll see how that works with the family and job and commute and life dynamic but that’s the plan as of today.

Which part of TRI training is most daunting or inconvenient for you?

** Happy TRIing ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

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Rough Waters……In the Pool?

Now that summer is officially in full swing, the local indoor pools have moved toward summer hours.  This means the  pools are packed all the time when they are open with swim lessons,

Swim Lessons_kids

Master Swimmers & Triathletes,

swimmer_masters men

And then me, trying to find a spot somewhere in between.

swimming cartoon girl

I don’t consider myself to be a “swimmer”, which I’m sure many of you can understand.  How long was it that you were running before you considered yourself a “runner”?  I always say that anyone who runs is  runner regardless of distance or pace.  Therefore, I should probably consider myself a swimmer.  It just seems like such a stretch. 

I’m a triathlete, that I own.  I swim because of triathlon.  When I’m not in season, I don’t go to the pool.  When I’m pregnant, I don’t go to the pool.  When I’m injured which is a rarity, I don’t go to the pool.  I only go to the pool when I’m in season and trust me, I’ll push it off as looooooong as possibly before I haul myself in for a workout.  I don’t dislike swimming, it’s just inconvenient.  I can’t do it at home and I have to physically go somewhere, during hours which they are open, in order to participate.  Not easy.  I am heading to work when most people are meeting for an “early”  5:30 or 6am run or swim.  The pool doesn’t even open before I have to start showering and getting ready for work, so I have to steal time out of my day to make it happen. 

Yesterday, I stole time from the family, hit the pool when it reopened at 5pm and squeezed into a lane between a couple Michael Phelps looking fellows,

michael-phelps      michael-phelps_swimming

a normal looking dude swimming with a pull buoy, 4 ladies doing their exercises and about 50 kiddos who were conquering swim lessons.   Wow, was it rough in that pool.  I have swam in calmer waters during triathlon races in rain & thunderstorms.  The Phelps Brothers were tearing up the water, spitting water, kicking water and creating a current that felt slightly like an undertow.  Mr. Pull Buoy was swimming faster when he was actually swimming with is pull buoy than I can swim in a race.  He was even doing flip turns with that thing and making a good amount of commotion in his lane as well.  The noise from the coaches, the whistles, the kids was deafening.  I had water hitting my back coming from countless directions but I just kept swimming (say that again in Dory’s voice from Finding Nemo cuz that’s how I hear it in my head).  I just kept focusing on counting my laps.  And I just kept swimming and counting.  Pretty much all of the normal things I focus on like reaching, being smooth, breathing, etc. all of that was eliminated last night as it took 100% focus to just keep count and swim.  I did that for 88 laps, non-stop.  I assumed I was slower than the nice calm swim I had with Susan the other day but was surprised to see upon completion that I was actually faster.  48 minutes for 1.2 miles.  No flip turns for this non-fish, non-masters swimmer…….I just keep swimming.  And apparently, “just” swimming has its own benefits when one settles into a routine.

I’m feeling good.  I’ll never be able to keep up with the fasties in the pool but I know I can “just keep swimming” for as long as it takes to get out of the water.  At the end of the day, I’m okay with that.  If we just keep TRI-ing then we improve, its bound to happen.  Don’t get discouraged that you can’t run with the big dogs, just keep moving forward and TRI-ing.

** Keep TRI-ing ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com