Just Keep Swimming

HAPPY FRIDAY!   (I have a full weekend off, so I can say that.)

Tour de MOM is on Sunday! YAHOO!!!
I just raised the last of my $500 goal, but you are WELCOME to keep helping me out: http://main.diabetes.org/goto/megganann

Not to ignore the REAL focus of the month (SWIMMING) but to start out with,  here’s WTF happened on Wednesday’s ride.   

 My only two goals for this ride were to

1.       Drop the hammer
2.       Drop the hammer

(I was hoping to average 21)

I did not used to be a hammer-dropper.  Once the hammer-dropping commenced, I made myself scarce.  I avoided Hammerfests like the plague.  But, as I mentioned, I come to every workout now to work.  So, to facilitate said hammer-dropping, I started out at the front of the fast group. 

Thor's Hammer

The very front

(FYI: this is not something I’ve done . . . like . . . . ever.) 

I made it ¾ of the way to the turnaround with them.  We were probably going 24-26 the majority of this time (if not, faster).  I could only hold about 21, so me and one of the other guys teamed up on the way to the turnaround.  IT. WAS. WINDY!  The back group never caught us.

After a quick stop, we were back at it, and this time the front and back groups had merged.  It wasn’t long before the A riders were passing the back group.  And for a split second I wondered if I could keep up with the A group.  But in my head I kept hearing a voice in my head say let’s make it hurt! I came to work! (I hear voices when I go hard, leave me alone), so when I spotted the break . . .  I got on it.

Did she said she came to work again?  Oops.

I didn’t have the legs for their 28 mph pace, but I still felt strong.  I joined the back group with less than half of the return trip left.  We still worked really hard; the “fast” group averaged 21.5 and the “back” group averaged 20.   (To give you some perspective, last spring/summer the back group started out averaging about 17-18 and ended the summer averaging 19-20.  With some of the group with virtually NO outdoor training since like November, we STARTED this season averaging 20. Not 21, but I’ll take it.)

Then we headed back to the shop for a quick 5k run . . . a 10:37 pace right off the second or third fastest “training” ride of my life, thankyouverymuch

The other super-fast ride I’m trying to get on is the TNT ride.  (We have acronyms for everything – TNT, WTF, etc.)  TNT stands for Tuesday & Thursday, but it is also descriptive of the ride’s explosive pace.  It’s like a race.  There IS no “back group” for this ride – it attracts some of the strongest cyclists around.  It’s only 17 miles, but your only goal for the ride is to

1.       Drop the hammer
2.       Drop the hammer

So anyway, enough of this hammer-dropping. 


Remember how I was told to bust my ass in the pool this month add an extra swim or an extra 1k to every swim I did?  I haven’t been able to swim 3 or 4 times, so I’ve been tacking a thousand yards onto my biweekly swims for a weekly yardage around 6-7000 yards. 

But there’s something you should know about my swimming.

It’s awful.

I mean, really, really AWFUL.

Like . . . . I used to look like I was swimming BACKWARDS.

Add caption

I didn’t learn to freestyle until 6 years ago when I started tri-ing.  Swimming frustrates me the way golf does: there are so many components to the stroke and swing that it’s easy to overthink them (but I love both, so I keep trying).  When I started making an effort to come to the Friday morning masters swim, I knew it was going to take me a long time to “get it.”  My first few masters swims, I was on the slower side.

Today, I finally figured something out.  Two somethings, really. 

1.       Just Keep Swimming.  The more yardage I put in, the better I get.
2.       I have to swim like I’m taller than I am.
The second one came to me this morning as I was swimming alongside a taller, slightly faster swimmer.  I noticed that she wasn’t reaching very far for someone with longer arms than mine. Then I remembered the day our masters coach was telling one of the newbies: You swim like a short person! Stretch out your arms!  And then it hit me: what if I swim like I’m not 4’11”?  Instead of focusing on a shorter, more powerful “pull,” I reached my arms out farther on each stroke, relaxed a little bit, and all of sudden she wasn’t faster anymore. 

Huh.  Ain’t that some $41t!

Can't wait to see what happens during APRIL, Run Focus Month.

Have a great weekend!!!

3 tidbits of wizdom:

Karen said...

Yes, ain't that som 'ish! LOL. Love it when something you heard in training suddenly hits you and makes sense. keep swimming :)

The Original MAJ said...

Hahaha you should have seen my face. It took me how long to figure this out!?!?! Lol

Alili said...

Holy speedracer on the bike! NICE.