Thursday, February 19, 2009

These excuses how they served me so well...

I am starting on a positive note and before I get to the bad, I have to tell you that I have 72 days left until my half-marathon and I am actually staying on schedule. I have my short runs at 3.5 miles this week and long runs at 5 miles. Apparently, unlike swimming, I will actually do my run workouts. This shocks me because running was always my least favorite of the three sports. I have realized this is for two reasons:
  1. I had horrible form.
  2. I had never tried to swim competitively.
Swimming has become the bane of my existence. Before I go too far, let me say that I LOVE to be in the water. I LOVE swimming. I could spend the whole day in the pool, even in the gym. But, I suck at competitive swimming.

Last Saturday I attended a swim clinic given by Coach Brett Petersen. It was really informative and made me realize the extent to which I suck at swimming. I got some great tips from Brett and learned some excellent drills. I also got to swim with some present/former/friends of Mideast Elite athletes. Want a humbling experience? Swim with elite athletes. Brett was a rock star though and cut me slack without making me feel like a total loser. (Even though I'm sure he HAD to be thinking "This girl sucks at swimming". Why do I think that's what he thought? I'm projecting - that's TOTALLY what I would have been thinking. OK, all kidding aside, Brett seems way too nice to have thought that - I am certainly much more evil, haha.)

I have my video results that I have yet to watch for two reasons:
  1. I am a Mac and Dartfish needs a PC.
  2. I am terrified to see myself swimming on video. (I have PC access, so #1 is really just a red herring.)
Instead, I skip my swim workouts and hide from my video results - this is no way to improve at swimming. My whole deal was that I was going to join the YMCA and hook up with the Master's swim team. But I don't want to be at the Y at 5:15 AM, so that plan got shot to hell. (And I hate the Y - but that is another story for another time).

So, I'm at an impasse. I know duathlons (biathlons) are not in my future and the Tri is my true love. I love the swim and would never abandon it. But, I'm just so frustrated. I need to bite the bullet and get in the pool, and I need to do it every day. Even Hilary Biscay said she couldn't maintain her swim endurance on only 3 swim workouts a week, and she's been swimming since birth basically.

I did, however, buy the "Swim Workouts in a Binder" book. I'm going to give that a try... but not tonight - I have 3.5 miles to run...


untpawgal02 said...

Don't be scared to watch the video of you swimming... it will only help you improve your technique! My swim coach in Texas taught me that!

Javier said...

Swim workouts in a binder is an awesome little book. If you follow the little plan they have you WILL improve your swim.

I coach a number of athletes and I just have them buy the book and I simply schedule in the workouts into their plan. They love it. Plus you can read it along while swimming if anything, though thats not recommended ;)

BTW funny post

HolisticGuru said...

I like your post and can relate to your love of water and frustration with swimming. I have Swim Workouts in a Binder and its actually helped me improve. That's my coach, Javier, that commented before me :) The book has also drawn the attention of people at my Y. My favorite was an old lady saying, "what.. now you're reading in the pool?" she clearly didn't notice that it was a swim book.

One other thing, you seem to be stuck on the idea that swimming automatically becomes a competitive sport in for anyone in triathlon. If you're out there to have fun then swimming is just a nice way to relax into your race mode, do some thinking, and get in your groove (as long as you aren't being kicked too much... I stay out of the way). Just have fun with it!

Jamie said...

Don't stress out about the swim. In tris, it is such a small part of the overall race that it doesn't have a huge impact on your day.

Focus on good form and having fun. Speed and comfort in the water will some later. I promise.

Now post that video! :-)

L. said...

C'mon! You know you want to watch it. Hmm, Swim Workouts in a Binder. I'll have to check that out.

Hey, thanks for the comment about the new bike. It DOES have the pushy-kind on the brakes! It's gonna take some getting used to!

- Lora