Highlights and lowlights from my early morning session with my trainer.
- When I mentioned that I really don’t enjoy getting up at the crack of dawn to get in a pool he reminded me that it will be worth it. He said, just like when I finished the Fall 50, I forgot all about the work that went into training and I just enjoyed the accomplishment.
- Uhm, no! I have NEVER forgotten the work that went into the Fall 50. That shit is burned into my memory. Just this past weekend someone asked me about the whole experience. I said I loved the day, it was better than expected. Training sucked and was harder and more time-consuming than I could imagine. It sucked!
- Craig reinforced that I’m not doing as badly as I think I am and that I am doing a lot of things correctly.
- But I had to come clean and I said that I honestly don’t care if my kicks are good or that my hips don’t sink like other people’s’ because if I can’t learn to breathe, nothing else will matter. If I can’t breathe in the water, I won’t have the opportunity to do the rest.
- He had me do a few laps while using only one pool buoy and this makes it extremely difficult to stay high enough in the water to breathe forward. When I told him that I also said it feels like I’m drowning. To which he said, he wants me to practice with less “help/assistance” to get closer to actual swimming. I looked at him and said, “so you’re trying to drown me?”
- Interesting tactic, simulate drowning. I’m pretty sure I have this one down. Feel like I’m going to drown. Check!
- I did a few laps while he watched my body positioning. When we were done he asked me, “Where were your feet?” Me: “At the surface?” “Where were your hips?” Me: “At the surface?”
- I didn’t answer him as much as I guessed and I hoped I got my answers correctly. Since he didn’t look too disappointed in me, I figured I got my answers correct!
- But in all seriousness, I told him that I have no idea where my body, feet or arms are at any given time. I can’t feel them in the water. I just can’t. Am I really supposed to be able to feel the difference?
- He wanted me to do the backstroke to get aware of my arm positioning and feel my dorsal muscle propel me through the water.
- “Huh? My what muscle?!” He obviously could tell by the look on my face that I had no desire to do that and I was just going to do the backstroke like normal. That’s when he busted me and said, “I don’t want you to get to the end of the pool and have you tell me you didn’t feel anything. If you aren’t doing it right and aren’t feeling it, you have to stop, adjust and start over.”
- When I finished my lap I told him I couldn’t tell if I felt my dorsal muscle (and yes I had to google dorsal muscle to make sure this was the muscle in my back I was supposed to be using) or if I was just feeling the water rush past my back. Now it was his turn to look at me and go, “Huh?”
- I finally got a chance to do a drill while trying to turn my head to breathe. I have to hang on to the kick board with one hand and my open hand just sits gently on top. When it’s time to exhale I’m supposed to rotate slightly to the side where my open hand is and lift my hand off of the board and breathe. Easy enough, right? Wrong!
- Lifting my arm and trying to rotate slightly was one of the more awkward and uncomfortable things I’ve done in the pool. And I’ve done a lot of awkward and uncomfortable things while trying to learn to swim. I absolutely could not do it. What I did do was swallow a lot of water. A LOT! This drill lead me to drink more water than probably anything else I’ve done so far.
- I took water in both my nose and my mouth. I’m not exaggerating when I say it was like gulping water and there was so much I couldn’t even spit it out so my best option was to just swallow. The swallowing mouthfuls of water as unpleasant as it was, was not nearly as bad as it going down my nose. Fun times at 5:30am!
The biggest thing that came from today’s lesson is both a highlight and a low light. Craig, trying to reassure me, said that I’m farther along than so many people. To which I said, “yeah, but are they trying to just learn to swim or swim in a triathlon… because I have to learn to swim and do a tri”. And his reply… “yeah, that will be tricky.”
What the fuck does, “yeah, that will be tricky” mean? He followed it up with, “I’m looking at the Marla from March, not the Marla months from now. We’ll re-evaluate things later when we get closer.”
I have no idea what that means. Is he trying to say that there’s a possibility that he recommends I pull out of the event? Is he trying to say that based on how I’m swimming in August, he’ll give me a race strategy to “go wide and away from everyone and aim for the life guards”. Is he trying to say that I should only do the backstroke? Or is he trying to say I should stick to running?
And while I know Craig well enough to know he didn’t mean “yeah, it’s tricky” as anything negative (I’ll have to ask him what he meant, otherwise I will end up obsessing over this forever) and it’s probably in regards to a race day strategy, I can’t help but take it negatively. It’s like when you try to give someone a compliment and say that you’ve never seen them look so nice but all they hear is, “apparently you look like shit the rest of the time!” This is what I heard when I heard, “tricky”. I heard, “Marla you look like shit”. Brian can attest to the fact that once something is burned into my brain, it’s my only focus. And now I’m focused.
So as I mentioned in my last post, during the Fall 50 I couldn’t help but focus on proving people wrong. Well guess what, I’m about to prove that swimming the tri isn’t going to be tricky.
I just found my fuel and it’s tricky!
Until next time,
Gotta run (or swim)