Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Zen and the Art of Swimming -or- How to Turn that Frown Upside Down

I have never gotten a ticket.

The closest I've ever come to a vehicular citation was when some power-trippin' USC campus parking official cited me for "parking" my car in a no parking zone (never mind the fact that everyone stops there to pick people up, and I was clearly standing just a few yards away, waiting for a friend to come down from her dormitory). So when I got pulled over for running a red light (you ever spend a couple seconds looking directly at a yellow light without realizing it's yellow? Yeah, I don't think that should seem too extraordinary at 5:15 am), it didn't exactly make my day.

In fact, it totally sucked. I didn't want to go into the gym and teach my track workout, I didn't want to cry (and I was crying, as I pulled into the parking lot) in front of all the awesome athletes I coach, and I really, really didn't want to do my scheduled endurance swim.

I dragged myself into the locker room, changed grumpily into my swimming suit, and clomped out to the aquatics area like a sulking four-year-old. I kept telling myself that I didn't want to be there, I didn't want to swim, it's recovery week anyway so what will it matter if I skip my workout . . . I forced myself to climb into the pool, thinking, "Aw, man, it's gonna be so cold" (the pool is never cooler than 81 degrees), and reassured myself, bracingly, that it's a short workout this week and I would only be in the pool for 45 minutes or so.

Warmed up 100 swim, pull, kick. Drilled for 600 yards, which went by sooooo slowly. Then got into my main set: 3x300 time trial to establish a T-pace for my swim intervals, which I start incorporating hardcore next week.

And I worked my ass off on those intervals. Somewhere in that first 300, I zoned out and could only feel my legs and arms swishing through the water, my heart and lungs pounding to get oxygen out to my limbs. It didn't feel effortless, by any means, but it felt good. And by the end of that workout, I felt awesome, and I didn't really care that I got my first ticket ever.

Also, I swam my 300s in 5:35, 5:25, 5:35, which--if you'll remember that I was swimming my 200s in 4:15 last week--I felt really proud of.

1 comment:

  1. Yay! That's awesome! About the swim I mean, not the ticket. I totally feel your pain on that one. I mean the ticket, not the swim. :-)

    I remember finally getting into that swim zen last summer and when I came out of the pool my kids told me I looked like a mermaid. Gotta love that kind of "coaching" :-)