Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"Meet" Report.

This meet is happening this weekend. I was hoping this would be my first post-surgery competition. After some of the set-backs experienced recently, though, I decided that competition would be a mistake. I would have had to go out and "just swim"--not race. I decided that would be too difficult. It might be discouraging, and frankly I did not trust myself to let someone else win, even if it would have been what I needed to do to preserve the shoulder. So: no meet for me.

But this morning at practice, the coach had a "pre-meet" practice lined up, with some starts from the blocks and sprinting. Initially, I planned not to do it, just to do my own thing, but as I was warming up, I changed my mind.

Yesterday Elizabeth wrote about deciding to go out on her own for a wheel, even though she thought she should not. Even though everyone around her said she should not, and she knew that the risks involved would be tremendous:

I thought, “It looks like a good day to go training.”
I thought, “It would probably be better to spending the day resting.
Besides, training by myself is really risky." I paused, "AND Linda would kick my butt.”
I thought, “But, I’ve thought out the route and while it might be risky, it is also, I think, possible.”
I thought, “When are you, Elizabeth going to decide to do SOMETHING?”
I thought, "Does it have to be this? This is riskier than the trip to Port Angeles and look what happened there!"

Even though her post today is about the repercussions from that decision, it was one of the most inspiring posts I have read, because it was about how living life is about taking risks--even sometimes taking risks you know to have impossible odds--because otherwise you might not really be living. In some ways it might have been easier for her to decide not to go for that training ride, because it was not worth the risk, but she made the (really) harder choice and did the dangerous thing, the dangerous thing that for her is necessary to living life.

In no way can I say that my situation is like hers, but her post did come at a time when I needed a little kick in the pants. Too often recently I have tended to hole up at home rather than "getting out there," even though I know that "getting out there" makes me happier. It just seems too scary, so I stay in.

I am taking a long time to come around to saying that as I was warming up this morning, I thought, "If Elizabeth can go out for a training ride by herself (and without oxygen), then I can at least try to do this pre-meet practice."

I was a little nervous about whether diving might be risky, whether sprinting might be risky, whether I might be too tempted to pull too hard, but I decided to assume the risk and give it a shot, knowing I would be responsible for the results of my actions.

It felt great.

There is just something different about racing (even just sort-of racing) from swimming carefully, and I have not raced in a long time.

We did a series of break-out swims off the blocks (only 15 meters, which means the dive plus about three pull cycles), then a set of 2 x 25 sprint + 50 easy. I was ready to stop at any time if I felt any pain, but I managed to do the full set. And I beat the PP on most of the sprints. Heh.

For the first time in a long time, I feel mighty.

WARM-UP: 1000m with long fins (total of 700 kick + 300 swim)
KICK: 700m kick with no fins (7 x 100, odds w/snorkel, evens on back)
STARTS: 60m swim (4 x 15m sprint from dive)
SPRINTS: 400m [4 x (2x25 sprint swim + 50 easy kick)] (200m swim)
RECOVERY: 200m easy (140m swim)
KICK: 400m (2 x 200 fast kick with long fins)
COOL: 100m easy swim
2860 LCM (800 LCM swim)

1 comment:

Elizabeth McClung said...

Kick ass - or this there a swimming term, "eat my wake!" I am glad you competed. I am glad you feel mighty. Reading you writing about your swimming made me smile.

So does this mean you are doing it right now? I will wish you good speed and no pain (well, until later at least?).