Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Updated 2015 Race Schedule and Goals

Here they are - my updated race goals for 2015!

I Will Jump In Zee Pool!

After all that excruciating rest and recovery in January and February, March hit hard.  I'm finally feeling back in the groove of training.  I've reassessed my goals to accommodate a more realistic race schedule for this year (which I will post later) with a looser commitment to racing.  In the last few weeks I've had a few little triumphs in the pool that I'd like to share here if for no other reason than just to process the gains.

Since February, I've been attending a swim practice at Mills College pool on Monday nights with a group called OTC (Oakland Triathlon Club).  They typically provide a coach that gives a workout to the group (25 swimmers or so) and then walks around to give people advice.  The first week I went I was basically just told by Raileigh (the super amazing female coach) to go really easy on my Achilles and give it time to fully heal (great advice that I heeded wholeheartedly).  I took that opportunity to stick to the pulls (arms only strokes) and the Jacuzzi of course.  Ha!

At the second practice I attended, one of the lifeguards was a Mills volleyball player so she came over to give me a few pointers (hips up and push a little extra at the end of my stroke).  I also got a bonus invitation to the next day's volleyball tournament where I watched a former player of mine coach *and* a former player play.  That was super cool!

Back to the pool one week later and - I swear to God - I finally felt like I was swimming.  Like.  I felt more comfortable with the breathing, and having my face under water, and pacing myself.  Also, I was able to do a few 50s back-to-back (more or less - haha) and I can almost do a 100 now without stopping (4x down and back!).  After that swim I got out and talked to the coach and she was like, "How did it go?" and I was like, "I didn't drown" to which she responded "Your stroke actually looks pretty controlled - compared to some of our more seasoned swimmers!!!! - and you could benefit from just reaching out a little further when you start your stroke."  Wow.  I was so excited to hear that kind of encouragement from a swim coach... and it totally felt right (like she wasn't just humoring me) because that was the first night where my self talk sounded more like "Hey, you're swimming!  This is swimming!" and less like "You might drown or die or throw up soon."  Ahahaha...

Last night I had another positive development in the pool where the swim coach and president of the club, Chris, helped me discover my new swim mantra: "I'm fine". He kept yelling at me from across the deck, "You're fine!" which helped me more than he knows probably...  I'm now practicing breathing on both sides every three strokes which feels like a good balanced rhythm for me.  SO - hooray for swim coaches and lifeguards and everyone who has ever helped someone feel less alone when they are trying something new.  I definitely approach Mondays with more excitement and less nervousness now.  I already can't wait for my next time in the pool, which might have to come sooner than Monday.  Okay - double day today - so that's all for now.  More later!