Refocusing

I haven’t updated in awhile and because not much has really gone on in my training progress. Partially due to my non-swimming schedule and partially due to a lack of focus and direction.  I haven’t had really a free weekend, let alone one at home in over a month!  I’m home this weekend and am really looking forward to it.  I’m finally taking an open water swimming clinic on Saturday in Novato, which means I’ll finally learn how to see where I’m going while swimming when I don’t have lane lines below me to stare at.  I’ll probably get other questions answered too that I didn’t even think about.  This could be a make-it-or-break-it weekend for me as I learn more about what exactly am I getting myself into.

The lack of focus and direction lately has been that I haven’t had much, if any, time with my OW coach. Granted that he’s a busy guy, and I’m not paying him, but it’s hard to train under someone who seems like he isn’t around or reachable most of the time. It leaves me feeling a lot like I’m alone in this and still, I really have little idea what the **** I’m doing. My 11.2 miles swim isn’t a small feat, and sometimes *I* think I’m out of my f’ing mind.  I’ve had lots of thoughts of quitting.  Am I really preparing myself for this? Am I on track? Am I strong enough physically and mentally and emotionally?  I’ve never trained for anything and don’t know if I really know how to train for anything.  I panic when I think of how that swim is a little over 4 months away.  I’m not even sure what time of the day this is supposed to happen.  I would hate to get there and find out that hey, I grossely underprepared myself for this. But isn’t that why one is supposed to have a coach? To guide you through this every step of the way? I can’t do this alone. In the OW community, this may not seem like that long of a swim compared to things like the length of Tahoe, Channel Islands, English Channel, etc but for me this is a HUGE deal.  Yet by comparison to others, I feel so insignificant.

I never realized the importance of pep talks from other sports I did growing up.  It’s amazing what even a 5 – 10 minute conversation with the right person can do for you.  I feel good when my Masters coach compliments me on my stroke progress.  I felt good the other day when Amado said that he believed that I could do my Tahoe swim (and really any and all times that he says that he is proud of me which is often!).  I know most of the drive has to come from within, but there is definitely something to be said about the importance of guidance.  My friend Janet asked awhile back on how can I chart my progress with all this other stuff missing and my response was along the lines of “how the **** should I know? This is exactly what I was talking about.”

Two things that I definitely want to do each week is a Tuesday kicking session (800 or 1000 yd warm-up swim, 20 x 100 yds kicking w/ boardw/o fins, 10 x 100 yds kicking w/o board w/ fins, 800 or 1000 yd swim time permitting) and Masters on Thursday (stroke work). My hip muscles are pretty weak for swimming as I’ll get slower and slower and they’ll hurt when I have to do any kicking sets.  It’s my least favorite exercise to do in the pool, but necessary. Right now during Masters, the head coach Tom is working with me on getting more power from my stroke. My left arm likes to take the easy way out which means I’m not getting everything I can. I’m going to start doing some tricep work on land also.

Oh, and for off-days, I want to start working out at the gym again with some stationary bike cycling. I need some physical alternative to swimming going on. In a way, doing something else physically helps me be more dedicated to swimming. I can’t do monotony when it comes to exercise or well, anything else really.  This should hopefully help! 🙂

I’m hoping that early this week I can get some check-in time with Jamie, my OW coach since we haven’t actually talked in weeks.  I really need an overall game plan, a schedule, and some ways to track my progress. These little things would actually help me.  I don’t do well with the superunknown.

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