Tuesday, July 13, 2010

If I Want Your Opinion.... (Tri Tuesday Part I)

Is it me or anytime you opt to sleep a little bit more and do your workout slightly later than planned you have an off workout?

This morning my original plan was to be at the pool at the Y when it opened at 530AM.  I like going then.  Everyone at that time is there to swim.  They get in, they swim, they get out.  No nonsense.  Nobody talks to each other, nobody judges or questions your commital (you are there at 530!) and everyone gets their workout in.  This morning when my alarm went of at 445am I made the mistake of thinking...   why are you going so early?  You have very little work going on today, so theres no need to hit the pool at that hour, go at 7 instead.  So thats what I did.  Plus I've never been at 7 so I wondered if perhaps the pool was less busy then.

I got to the Y around 730 in the end.  My friend Chris was working the desk so we chatted for a bit as I haven't seen him in a while and then I hit the pool.  All the lanes were full at that time with two swimmers each.  I prefer not to circle swim as I need to take my rest breaks fairly regularly when swimming in the pool and I don't want to disrupt anyone else's workout.  So I waited and fortunately in a couple of minutes a spot in a lane opened up.  So I got in the water and got to it.

First 50 yard repeat didn't feel so good.  Suddenly it all came back to me.  That feeling of not having proper balance in the water again.  I've worn a wetsuit so much I'd forgotten all about it.  No worries though... time to get to work.  Swim downhill!  Your chest is the pivot point, keep your head down, stop lifting your head so much to breathe and focus on form.  So I worked on this for a few laps.  In fact about 10 50 yard repeats with 30 seconds of rest between them.  I know thats a lot of rest, but I haven't been in the pool for forever, nor have I been outside of the wetsuit in ages so I was initially working way too hard and feeling like I needed those thirty seconds of rest between repeats.

Here's what I didn't need.

The guy I'm sharing the lane with decides he's my swim coach.  He's standing at the end of the lane waiting for me as I finished my out and back.  As I stand up the first words out of his mouth to me are "your resting way too long between repeats."...    "excuse me?" I said.  So he repeats...   "you are resting too long between repeats, you need to get that down to ten seconds max".  I was kind of stunned.  Seriously dude...  you know NOTHING of my swim history and instantly your telling me this?  So he keeps going...  "your also not finishing your pull properly, you need to push the water behind you at the end of your stroke."..   "uhm....  Ok".  The only way this guy is going to shut up is if I put my face in the water and swim away from him.  Which I do.  But yep, he's there waiting for me when I get back.  (he's finished his repeat faster than mine of course)  And there's more advice coming out of his mouth.  So he gets his long speech out, and I'm too polite a person (Mom, you should be proud today) to tell him to F off and keep his mouth shut and then he gets out of the water.  I was pissed!  WTF dude!  You don't know anything about me!  You don't know that I'm well aware that I need to get my rest time down, and that I'm well aware that my legs are dragging and I need to find better balance.  And don't tell me to kick more jackass, I'm trying to kick LESS!  I'm training to be a TRIATHLETE!  not some aging gut sagging speedo wearing jackass king of the local YMCA.  Seriously...   get off your high horse and STFU!  If I want your opinion I'll ask for it!

Phew...  that felt good to get out.  Sorry about that.

Whats even more annoying was that the last thing I needed was that guy annoying me.  My mood was already not great.  I was just getting to that point in my pool workout where I get over the first hill.  You know how the beginning of your pool workout always feels like crap?  At least it does for me.  But when I finally get over that hill thats when I can start trying to do 100's and 200's instead of 50's.  And then I let this guy get into my head.  Which is my own damn fault.  I'm mentally stronger that this...   I know better.  And yet even after he left I was muttering to myself underwater through the next few laps.  I reached the wall at the other end of the pool and realized there were quite a few people waiting to get in.  I was pissed off, having a bad mental day, and was just not in the mood anymore.  So I got out.  I let that guy beat me today.  I'm not proud of it.  But it happened.  I'll just have to hit it harder next time. 

I don't want to say I hate the pool, because I don't.  But after so much time in open water it felt claustrophobic and unpleasant.  I didn't want to look down at that black line across the bottom of the pool, or feel my arm brush up against the ropes as I try and stay on my side of the lane.  I want to look down into the dark of the lake or the ocean.  I want to know theres nothing around me and no walls in front of me.  That is where I find the joy in swimming.  I'm looking forward to Friday when Luis and I will do some no wetsuit wearing repeats out at GVP.  I think thats going to build a lot of confidence for both of us.  And I think the lack of walls are going to do wonders for me.  So I have high hopes that it will be a strong workout.  I may try and sneak in another pool workout between now and then, but I need to be careful to not swim too much this week at the same time. 

So this morning was dissapointing...  but it was a start.  I only spent about 15-20 minutes in the pool all in all.  But at least now I know where I'm at.  I need to find another private swim coach.  I just didn't gel well with my last coach.  We just weren't a good fit.  Maybe that makes no sense... but I need a certain chemistry with a coach.  I need them to at least fake an interest in my longterm goals and make a little smalltalk every now and then.  My first coach was just a little too robotic for me and her approach of working on minutia endlessly didn't work for me.  I need to find someone more willing to work with my technique as it stands now and slowly help me improve it one thing at a time while also letting me build swim fitness and endurance.  Not someone who limits me to one armed stroke drills and kickboard drills week after week.  But I will say that my coach did do a great job of teaching me the basics of balance so I know what to look for, how it should feel, and how to correct things.  I just need to work harder on those things.  And she also allowed me to struggle through learning how to breathe bilaterally which now feels totally normal to me which is great.

Ok...  enough swim talk.  I'll warn you.  Theres going to be a lot of that in the coming weeks.  I may retittle this thing to be "Fish out of Water" instead of "Going the Distance". 

Next up today is the PB Time Trial.  My plan is to do a warmup lap of the course, then race it and do the 5K brick run afterwards.  I think I'll go easy on the brick run though.  My legs still feel pretty beat up from the 15 miler on Sunday and I want them to continue to feel stronger, not punish them by racing down that hill.  I think I will extend the run out beyond the 5K though.  Probably do a 5 miler.  Hopefully I can convince someone else to do it with me.  But if not no worries...  Right.  Time to go watch some Tour De France and gear up for the TT

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