Ok I’ve already messed up my training. I thought last week was #25, but it wasn’t and now I am in week 23 and am supposed to be having a rest week schedule. Man, am I glad to learn that I should be tired and I can have a day of rest this weekend!
Oh and ONLY 23 WEEKS TO GO! I am so excited!
I was surfing through my emails and I came upon someone’s signoff, “Dream, Prepare, Succeed”. This strikes me as a fabulous mantra. Although today I could confuse “dream” with sleep because I am tired from this weekends swims. The Bay was cold, and I am worn out. I learned that I need to spend less time “fighting” the current and more time just swimming and putting in the miles. The flood this weekend was very strong and I worked hard to try and get through it, maybe too hard. There is a fine balance between working out, building your base and tearing yourself down.
I was lucky that the new Swimmer magazine came out last week. There was a good article on stretching, with photos. It turns out that I do every single wrong stretch listed. Now I am employing the “right” stretches and I can tell that they are helping already.
This morning I woke up sore and tired and a bit down trodden since it is Monday and just the beginning of my week. I did the stretches (very simple and quick) and by the time I dove into the water I was my old happy self. Today’s workout was hard and fast, not exactly in tune with my training schedule where Mondays are active rest days, but then it turned out that the masters workout was only 2500 yards. So I guess counts.
Today while I swam backstroke I was captivated by the beauty of the water cascading off my hand and arm as it left the water by my side and reached to over my head to reenter the water. Every stroke was interesting and different. I guess swimming really is my love.
Ever since I sent my blog to my friends and family I have received so many wonderful responses and cheers. This blog will help take me through the tough days and I appreciate everyone’s support more than I can say.
Marathon swimming is essentially a selfish endeavor, but it takes many people pulling for you mentally to get you through.
I hate to sound like such a Pollyanna, but, “isn’t life grand”? There is a new coach in town on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s Steve Haufler is taking the helm. It is so nice to have his energy and enthusiasm never mind his immense technical skills. Today’s practice was hard, stimulation and some how rejuvenating as well. He is a big proponent of intervals and he designs the workout with tight intervals and active pull set rest in-between. I loved it. I got in my full 3,000 yards and wasn’t even late to work. My arms are feeling tired during the day and I am over all tired as well. I hope this means that I am building my base and getting stronger and not just over doing things. I wonder how you know.
I have been thinking about food a lot lately. This is not my favorite subject. I have terrible eating habits and I am so tired of cooking dinner that I would happily go without for about a month. That said, I believe that the food I choose as my fuel is going to become more and more important the harder I train and it needs looking into.
In my normal life, I exercise so that I can eat without thought. I am not successful at this however and am about 50 pounds over weight. One of the reasons I am so suited to open water cold swimming is that extra weight (I had to find some sport where it was a plus). I know that swimming is not the best weight loss sport, but it is fine for weight management and I am sort of happy where I am. I trained for a marathon (running) two years ago and was surprised to find out that I didn’t lose any weight with all of that work either. I guess I gained some muscle and I was hungrier so I made up for the increase in calories expended. I don’t plan these events to lose weight, but I wouldn’t be adverse to it happening either. So maybe it’s time to seek the help of a professional. I look for advice in my stroke technique, why not in what I ingest. If food is fuel, I need good practical fuel instead of junk food and candy (my normal diet).
When I trained last year to swim across Lake Tahoe (10 miles 58-62 degree water) I hadn’t done any experiments with food or diet and went solely on the advice of my pilots. Thank god they were there. They watched my swim, counted my strokes, and decided what I needed. I didn’t have to think about anything but swimming. This will not be true in Gibraltar. I will not have a crew of support pilots, I will be my own coach/trainer/feeder and I had better know myself and have my options figured out before I go. I keep thinking about this, but I don’t do anything about it. Last Sunday I drank some orange juice after 45 minutes of swimming. Not exactly a feeding or following a schedule. The people who do marathon swims have this fuel thing down to a science with feeds every twenty minutes and special mixtures of potions and pills. And I had better start giving the subject its do. In training to run the marathon there was a slogan that I always appreciated, “Respect the distance”. The same is true for marathon swimming and I need to get on track with respecting how complicated and important feeding is. I’ll get back to you with a plan.
I just figured out that this is supposed to be a “rest” week, and I am glad to hear it.
I think that the only thing that will really change for me during a rest week is that I will have only one swim on the weekend, and I may take one more day off during the week but I don’t know for sure yet. I can reduce the number of yards in the pool, but I usually just do what the coach says and that’s generally 3,000 yards every day. I will see how it goes, now that I know.