Self-congratulations is not easy

I had an early morning session in the pool today with my Coach.  I had seen him on Wednesday too but we didn’t do a lot of swimming or drills on Wednesday, it was more talking about what I’ve been doing and my upcoming goals.  Today he had me doing more drills.

He really wants me to work on my body position because as we both agree, it’s the SECOND most important part about swimming…. with not drowning being number one.  He’s finally conceded that body position is number two because he’s tired of asking me what the most important aspect of swimming is and me answering “not dying”!  So to speed things along, he’s now acknowledging that for me, body position is the second most important.

As we were working on body position in the water he had me just glide through the water with my arms out in front of me and just kicking.  I wasn’t doing any strokes and when I had to breathe, I would stop and stand up to breathe.  It was pretty simple, so I was surprised when he was pretty excited about how I did.  He said my body position was really good and that I was basically 80-90% perfect.  I just shrugged it off and he could tell that I wasn’t overly impressed with it and he wanted to know why I wasn’t more excited.  I said that I wasn’t more excited because it wasn’t that big of a deal.  I wasn’t actually doing the strokes – I was just gliding in the water.  No biggie.

That’s when he pointed out that it is indeed a big deal.  That last year at this time I needed two pull buoys and flippers to do what I just did now without any swimming aids.  Not only did I need two pull buoys and flippers last year at this time, but I didn’t even want to put my face in the water to do it and I would routinely cough or swallow water.

He also commented on how, when he watched me swim on Wednesday, a lot of what he taught me regarding the basic mechanics of swimming had stuck with me and are still there.  Again, all good things in his opinion.  In my mind, I still am not comfortable and still can not go fast.  That’s what I think about. I don’t think about the mini victories I’ve had (just ask Brian, he’ll confirm it) along the way.  And Craig could tell that I wasn’t impressed with my improvements. That’s when he again said how well I’m doing and said that he actually wanted me to say it out loud.

So I reluctantly said… “yes, I’ve improved!”  And then I got a fist bump from Craig.

I know I never acknowledge my progress and instead get down on myself for that which I can’t do – instead of being proud of what I can do.  So here I am, I’ll say it again, this time not just to Craig as I was sitting in the pool, but to all of you.  I’m acknowledging that I’ve made improvements.  I’m swimming!  I’ve come a long way and I’m not giving up.  I’ve made improvements and I plan on continuing to make improvements!

(It’s taking all of my self-control to not type out and follow-up with all of my negatives and all the things I still need to learn!)

So there’s my Friday self-congratulatory fix!   And it’s just about as difficult to admit I did something well and give myself credit for it as it is to actually learn how to swim!

Until next time,

Gotta run

 

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It’s going to be a long 2 days

The tri is about 44 hours away and I want to vomit.

I didn’t sleep last night and I’m literally sick to my stomach.

And I know it’s all ridiculous, I mean it’s not even a total of 20 miles.  I should be able to do 20 miles in my sleep.  It’s just that .5 of that total is in the water and another 15 is on a bike.  I don’t do water and bikes.

What the hell was I think?

Gotta run (gotta take care of the vomit in my mouth)

I’ll forego the story, give me boring

Panic.

Full panic.

Near hyperventilation panic.

What am I talking about?  I’m talking about my open water swim on Saturday. Let’s just say, it did not go well.

We went to a new body of water because I wanted to try new water so I don’t get too comfortable with the conditions I had been swimming in at the quarry.  I also wanted to try working on my transitions and doing a bike ride and run after the swim and that required us to go to Bayshore for the swim because it’s easiest to bike and run from there.

The water was not calm.  Well, let me rephrase that, it looked perfectly calm to the naked eye but once you were in the water, you realized it wasn’t calm.  Well at least not calm to me.

I was freaking out in such a tiny bit of movement that it was ridiculous.  The winds caused a bit of a current and some tiny swells but to me I swear on my life – it felt like the swells of a tsunami.  I had never swam with currents or ripples.  And I did not handle it well. Not only was I getting seasick from the motion, but I couldn’t get in a rhythm, I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t do anything right.

Many, many things did not go right with my swim.  I probably stopped and panicked every 10-15 feet.  Needless to say stopping every 10-15 feet is not a very efficient and quick way to complete a 1/2 mile swim.

The worst part was that once I panicked I couldn’t calm myself down.  My heart rate was so elevated and my breathing was accelerated.  I tried so hard to slow my breathing because it’s impossible to swim in that condition.  Also, I have a history of hyperventilating when struggling (I’ve hyperventilated on more long runs than I’d like to admit) during events and I knew I was close to that happening.  So trying to not hyperventilate while trying to calm down, all while treading water does not make for a very fun swim.

At one point I said to Brian, “I need to get out”.  And he said okay, let’s get out.  He said we can just go to the shore and stop swimming compared to going back to where we started.  But as soon as I said, “I need to get out” and Brian said “okay”, that I realized I couldn’t stop.  I knew if I didn’t finish my last open water swim, the mental effects of it would really be devastating to my confidence.  Besides I’m #toostubburntoquit!

So I kept swimming.  I kept stopping and panicking.  I kept swallowing water.  I kept trying.

Eventually I finished.  I hated every fricken second of it and it was way worse than when Brian and Nicole ganged up on my to give me the “group swim” experience.

I guess I’m glad I experienced it, because I sure wouldn’t have wanted to experience that for the first time on race day.  I am just bummed my last open water swim was so bad.  I wanted to go into the event feeling confident and instead all I can think about is “how bad it can be”.

I just hope for PERFECT weather and conditions next Sunday.  I’ve worked so hard to learn to swim and swim 1/2 mile.  I just want to be able to swim and not have to worry about other people banging into me or fighting against current or ripples.  All of those things will make me stop and I may or may not panic.  Lord knows I’m slow enough in the water, I don’t need to waste any more time stopping.  And I really don’t want to have to hang on to the lifeguards.  I know I can swim the whole thing without stopping or hanging on to the lifeguards so I just hope conditions are right so I prove that I can do it.

I want my first tri to be uneventful and calm. I don’t want some crazy story to tell after – I know shocking – because I’m always up for a good story!  But not this time.  Give me an uneventful, no drama filled day that is almost boring. Is that too much to ask?

Until next time,

Gotta run (and swim and bike)

 

The Great Ivy Outbreak of 2017

Seriously, I can’t make this shit up.

If you saw my last post you know that I contracted poison ivy.  But what you may not know is that it’s gone from a few little outbreaks to the MOST WICKED CASE OF POISON IVY EVER!!!!!!!!

I am COVERED.  Literally covered from head to toe.  I had one blister near my eye and another on my ear and I have them as low as my ankles.

I’ve been “oozing” for a week.  Most of the blisters have since dried up (THANK YOU JESUS) but the rash isn’t going away.  I either have a systemic case of poison ivy that developed and actually traveled from the inside of my body and is causing the rash on my stomach, sides and back, or I’m allergic to the medication.  Not sure what’s going on, but I do know is that this is absolute bullshit.

I can’t sleep at night and I pretty much want to scratch my body raw.

I did manage to get back on my bike yesterday and go for a ride.  It was my first ride since learning that I crashed into poison ivy and since I realized my bike had the ivy oil on it and got me re-infected.  I was VERY skittish on the bike and I’m obscenely aware of all possible places poison ivy could be lurking.

When is this whole triathlon training thing going to start getting easier?!  I think I’ve paid my dues.  I’m ready for it to be smooth sailing from here to the tri.

Until next time,

Gotta run (and stay out of the ivy)

 

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These pictures aren’t even the “worst” of it.  😦