You Reap What you Sow . . .

12 04 2010

At the beginning of the season I sat down to look at my available workout time, my strengths and weaknesses and goals.  Yeah, I ‘m a geek like that.  I looked at years past and noticed that despite swimming being my strongest discipline I was still putting in a lot of swim hours and not dedicating the same intensity or time to my cycling or running.  I decided that in order to have a the half ironman time that I wanted it meant being a stronger cyclist, which will in turn lead to a stronger run.

I decreased my swims to 2, sometimes 3 a week and my yardage is between 5,000 and 9,000 a week, depending on the week.  I really thought I was doing alright maintaining my swim fitness.   My 100 T-pace is about 2 seconds off, but some magical weeks I am right on target so I figured I am doing alright.  Then came the awesome team challenge, 1650 yard time trial.

I packed the kids up for the pool on Sat. afternoon.   I offered to treat them (read bribe) with Klines ice cream (heaven in a cup or cone) if they could be patient and count laps for me.  They didn’t want to swim, so I thought they could sit for 24 min. right?  As I was starting my daughter said something about 19 or 20 min, I corrected her and told her I expected to be around 24.  UGH?!  TWENTY FOUR MINUTES, THAT’S ALMOST A HALF HOUR!! (um, it’s closer to that 19 or 20 you were just fine with, but lets not try to reason with a tween girl)  Off I went working hard, remembering to kick every once and a while and getting into a good rhythm.  I felt like I was pushing myself, but everytime I would take stock of how I was feeling I noticed that while I was tiring and my breathing was labored my arms were not burning or fatigued.

By lap 4 I noticed one of my fins floating in the lane with me.  Hmmm, that was in my swim bag last I checked.  No giggling allowed during a time trial, this is serious.  Lap 7 found a nice blue croc floating in my lane.  (ewww, if you could see my son’s dirty feet this would gross you out to be swimming with it)  I guess the antics distracted me in a good way, made me laugh a little wondering what I would find next when I came back to the wall.  By lap 25 my son would hang his leg on the wall and wave it wildly each time I came by.  I countered by splashing extra each flip turn.

As I finished my 33rd lap my lap counters were engaged in some game on the chairs oblivious to me finishing.  My son was soaking wet (in his clothes) and in tears.  I calmly (ok, only slightly calmly) explained that once he started to get wet he should have backed away from the wall, rather than dangle half his body in the pool in an attempt to distract me.  Don’t try to distract mama when she’s on a mission to reach a swim time : )  My time was 25:45.  That is a little over a minute slower than my PR.

At first I was dissapointed and annoyed by my time.  As I looked over my logs I realized that making the choice to concentrate on my cycling and swim less this season was making the choice to accept it graciously if my swim suffered a little.   My power on the bike has increased, I dropped 3 min. off my half marathon run time this year.  Time to stop pouting and realize that when I make choices about my training time those choices will play out in my times.  I am thrilled with my cycling and happy with my running and as always swimming is my favorite and I wish I could do it daily.  The GREAT news is that by June I will be able to swim daily, so until then I will be happy with my time and enjoy my wacko counters that kept me guessing for the entire 33 laps.

PS – I got them Klines anyway, but none for me.  Maybe when I hit that 24:30 I’ll reward myself!

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