Yesterday I swam 2 miles. OK… 1.98864 miles for the AR/OCD in the audience. And you know who you are…
No, it wasn’t continuous. In a 25 yard pool? Are you kidding? Remember? I lose count after 2 laps. Nope. It was a ladder. 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 500, 400, 300, 200, 100, with a 30 second break between.
This swim is significant for 2 reasons. First, it’s the biggest set I’ve ever done, and second, it’s FEBRUARY!!! I’m usually still trying to find my swim goggles around now. And then I spend a month looking for my gym pass and then another month looking for motivation… Then it’s time to swim outside and I have to start all over again… Wetsuit (if I can fit in it), sunblock… etc. It’s a vicious cycle. I’m lucky if I get in the pool 3 times before my first race.
And… since I’m not racing a half or full this year (read: EVER), I’m really not sure why I’m even doing this. Can it be that I have finally accepted swimming into my life as an enjoyable form of exercise? That I actually seek out the pool and CHOOSE to swim over other sports?
I do, however, accept it. As a necessary part of my fitness routine and an excellent form of exercise. I’ve stopped fighting the “I suck at swimming” battle. What I’ve found is that most people suck at swimming. Some less than others, but most of the planet swims between 1:30 and 2:30 per hundred. But triathlon is about energy management. In a sprint triathlon, I “could” come out of the water with a 1:30 average. And have nothing left for the other two sports. Or, I could come out between 1:45 and 2:00 with a smooth, strong swim. And have gas in the tank for the other two sports.
A friend told me early on when I was still a rookie triathlete that you can’t win a triathlon on the swim, but you can sure lose one. While I don’t think I will ever win a triathlon, that’s not what it’s really about. I want to get better and do better for as long as I can. So being an average swimmer (plus a little… hopefully) is OK with me because I know I’m better at the bike and run.
So… why the big distances now? Honestly, I’m really not even sure of the “HOW”, much less the why…? I don’t know. Because I can? Because the roads still suck and it hasn’t gotten above freezing in 2 weeks? Regardless, I’m pleased with the results.
The funny thing is, I’m not a huge fan of cycling either. I like to mountain bike WAY more than road bike and I just find road biking monotonous and uncomfortable. Unless the course is technical and challenging… I just get bored. And when I get bored I lose concentration and slow down. I guess I like it more than swimming just because I’ve done more of it so I’m more comfortable with it…? Running is still my favorite sport of the three. But it’s where I started so it should be my favorite Given the choice, I would always grab my running shoes first. Cycling has too much gear and swimming will probably always have a bit of a stigma with me because it is the only sport that can kill you by it’s very nature (if I stop on a run/ride… I stop. If I stop on a swim… I sink. I don’t float…)
These are a few things you think about while swimming 3500 yards. Don’t even get me started on solving the energy crisis or creating the perfect rib maranade… That’s another blog…