It’s been an up and down few weeks. I’ve had good workouts and bad workouts. I’m definitely trying to do a good deal of cross-training. With the help of a chiropractor I’m mostly past my back trouble which is fantastic. Not having to worry that getting out of the car will cause it to seize up as I turn and stand up has been very welcome after all the trouble I was having last fall. The slow, steady, light weight lifting and yoga have probably done a great deal to help as well.
I’ve already signed up for a couple triathlons later this year, a sprint and an Olympic distance race. Which given that back trouble and the need to start swimming further (ack, I’ve never got up to 1500 yards in one continuous swim!), has caused me a little stress. Throw in life stress and work stress and my own introverted, anxiety-riddled nature and I’ve been getting worried. Most of my swimming lately has been shorter intervals and drills. When your longest interval lately has been 300 yards and you feel a little worn out and you’re a worrier, well, you worry. Even if you’re putting in 1,000 or 1,200 yards per sessions. Even if I have 4 months to get back up to a 600 yard swim for the sprint and 5 months to make it 1500 for the Olympic. So, yeah, I’m a worrier. And oh man, how am I ever going to get through this?!?
Last year I started tracking workouts with a training journal. This year I’m continuing that. Both years have been a journal from Lauren Fleshman and Roisin McGettigan-Dumas. This year is the Compete journal. I’ve been a runner for quite awhile but never did any tracking like this. Having now done it for a year and being able to look back it’s been a rather useful experience. These journals have been great. They are much more than a training log. They have sections on everything around fitness. Running workouts, what type of runner are you, goals, cross-training, how to improve mental strength.
Anyway, this Compete journal has a section on setting goals. As part of that I went through and jotted down a few general ideas of where I hoped to be at that point of the first few months this year. It just so happens that I put down for this week that I wanted to be able to swim 1,000 continuously.
Which brings us back to the worrying. And where my swimming has been. And the occasional malaise I’ve had, the tiredness, the frustration and the crappy runs. So I’m sitting there at work, trying to stay on task, with the back of my mind trying to come up with a simple, easy swim workout that I think I can actually finish and use to improve and just feeling generally -blargh, I don’t know what I want to do…- which somehow led me to remember that I’d wanted to be able to swim 1000 by this week. So, in a moment of -ugh, what the hell let’s try it- I resolve to just get in the pool and swim until I hit 1000 or need to stop and catch my breath.
I ended up making it the full 1000. It turns out it wasn’t even that exhausting. Though my upper back was not quite happy with me the following day. It was a mixture of swim strokes. I used them all: freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, elementary backstroke. Okay, I don’t know butterfly or any other strokes there might be. But it worked out. I was pretty surprised.
Score one for goal setting. It wasn’t so much something to chase after and work toward as it was a goad to force myself to try and adapt. Hey, sometimes you get the carrot and sometimes the stick.