October 18, 2008

Me Against the Water

As soon as the orthopedist told me yesterday I could swim again, I had a plan to get up and get straight to the pool. He told me not to overdo it so I took that advice to heart and planned to get to the pool during the last hour of lap swim to limit my time. I haven't been in the water for over 3 weeks. I had no idea what to expect, but I was excited.

I hopped in, hit the watch and started. The pain was surprisingly minimal and I felt like I had almost full use of my left arm. I felt the most pain on the extension so I definitely held back a bit. I did 100 yards to warm up and needed to stop for a break. Sad. The good news is that my 100 time was one of my best, 1:53. This is likely because of the strong kick I've developed while swimming with one arm. The bad news is that it totally winded me. The overdeveloped kick is not great for triathlon swimming.

I was a little disappointed in how this swim went. I ended up resting after every 200 yards for the first 900. My heart was pounding and I was exhausted. It's as though my swim fitness was totally gone and I was starting over. I could tell my stroke was all screwed up and my body felt low in the water. I used to feel graceful and smooth, now I feel like I'm attacking the water. It was frustrating to say the least.

I rested after 900 and decided to try the last 450 without stopping. By this point I was warmed up and feeling better. I was able to do the 450 in decent time and my form felt much more comfortable. I remembered back to June when I was learning to swim and hanging on the wall every length, wondering when it would click. Then one day it happened and I comfortably swam a mile. I know that day will come much more quickly this time so I'm not going to let the frustration get to me. It's been a long road back and I'm just happy to be back in the water. I'm going to take it one day at a time.

I hit the elliptical and the treadmill later to keep my legs loose for tomorrow's big 20-miler. Fingers crossed.

Distance - 1350 yards
Time - 27:39

Distance - 1.57 miles
Time - 15:00

Distance - 1.5 miles
Time - 13:15

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