Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Swimming Breakthrough

My dad has been bugging me for years to keep a journal. My dad has been keeping a journal every day for many years. It is inspirational, but in some ways has been daunting. So, this will have to do. As of late I've been inspired by regularly reading my coaches blog. So, this seems like a good idea.

I'm 10 days out from doing the Halfmax National Championship in Boulder City, Nevada. If I place in the top 10 in my age group, I'll qualify for the Long Course Worlds in 2009 in Austrailia. That's my goal. I'm getting over an injury to my right 12th rib that seems to have left me biking, running and swimming better than ever!

I had an incredible breakthrough swimming today, getting my stroke count for 25 yards down to as low as 10, but averaging 13-14/25 yards for my 100's. I actually managed to do these in ~ 1:20. For some, that might be slow, for others, it might be fast. It wasn't that long ago (perhaps as much as a couple of weeks), that my stroke count was closer to 18/25 yards for my 100's. For me, it's been a continuous improvement. What continues to amaze me is the difference in speed between easy and hard efforts. But I finally seem to be learning how to bridge that gap and not to focus on going hard, but on having solid form.

I'm off work for a few days, and really feel relaxed. I'm sure that doesn't hurt. The mental aspect of training becomes more apparent to me every day. It is probably not a coincidence that I had my best swim ever on a day that I was totally relaxed and at peace with myself. My stress level from work has been at an all time high for the last month. I sometimes want to add hours to my training log to account for this!

So, yet again, I'm in search of the perfect taper. Ten days to go. Monday was a recovery swim and bike. Tuesday was an easy swim in the middle of a 14 hour work day that included almost 4 1/2 hours of driving, giving two lectures and attending two meetings. Today was a 2 hour ride on the Computrainer in the morning, and an easy 5 mile run. Then, the swim! Ten days to go. We'll see what my coach gives me to do, I always follow his instructions and it has almost never led me astray. I tend to set a PR at over 70% of my races for the last three years.

I'm already looking forward to Friday's workout, which starts with a 2+ hour half ironman bike with a brick to 4 miles at race pace alternating each mile with a mile at race pace + 30". I'm excited about this, especially as I've become more aware of how my effort for these paces feel. My latest epiphany is that running easy is different than "jogging" for me. In fact, trying to "jog" slowly, seems to actually be harder on my body than running easily. I can't wait to put this into effect on Friday!


Marc said...

way to go bro!!!!!

Lucho said...

It'll have to wait until Saturday ;)
Great that you're blogging. I've found it to be very cathartic (is that the right word?).. getting your thoughts out here is great.

Fernie said...

Mom is proud of her #1 son..
luv U!