Another Swim “Breakthrough”

I have to start by pointing out this is July. July is the cruelest month. Why? Le Tour de France. I want to watch all of the stages. I want to immerse myself in it. But the weather outside is perfect, and I’m training. What ends up happening is I don’t get enough sleep.

Yesterday, I could really feel the lack of sleep. I was bone-tired. But because of some mix-ups and “real life” getting in the way, I was already a day off-schedule on my training plan. Yesterday’s scheduled workout was a swim. I couldn’t miss it, but I was so tired. It was a fight to get me in the pool!

The workout was a 200-yard warm-up, three 400-yard intervals, and a 200-yard cool-down. During the second interval, I had an “ah-ha” moment. One of the deficits in my swim form is that my leading hand drops too soon; it’s more glaring when I’m not using the snorkel. (Having to add breathing to the mix means adding one more thing to think about.) Here’s the “ah-ha!”: speed up the motion of your recovering hand. If my right hand is out front, I need to bring my left hand to the front very quickly; it can be quicker than the motion going backwards. (If I pull faster, my heart rate goes up, and I can only do that for a short period of time if I’m not using the snorkel – certainly not for 400 yards.)

I was using the snorkel during the 400’s, so I don’t know yet how well this will translate into swimming without it. But I am anxious to try. Race the River is a week from Sunday, so I’m not sure how much practice I’ll get – the last thing I want to do is change my form right before a race!

Things were going well until my right foot cramped on the second lap of the last interval. I decided to call it a day – I was swimming with my right leg trailing behind me. I felt very defeated, but I realized that sense of defeat was the physical tiredness taking over. Missing the last 400 yards of a workout is not that big of a deal, even this close to a race. Normally I wouldn’t have blown it out of proportion like that.

I also got a reminder of how weak my self-control is when I’m tired: dinner was nachos (80 gm of chips, 80 gm of cheese!), a Q’ia bar, and another fruit & nut bar. Geez.

But today is another day. It’s gonna be great, too.

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