Slam the Dam Cancelled

On Tuesday we found out that Slam The Dam was cancelled due to the government shutdown. While I’m a little irked that the biggest race that I insanely signed up for and have been training for for the last 2 months was cancelled, I’d rather that my friends who work for the government had their jobs back. I can always do the race next year. They can’t pay their bills or put food on the table next year with not working today.

At least the race training got me used to swimming while dehydrated which has helped in some situations this week, like when I get distracted during a workout on Wednesday and swim 6000 meters while only drinking .5 L of water. Oops. Even with my STD training, I should have drank 1.5 L by that point. The pain I went through last January when I did a long swim on strictly water with no electrolytes taught me what severe dehydration symptoms are so this time I knew exactly what I had done to myself and luckily had my other 1 L of electrolyte water with me so started drinking that. I felt better about 10 minutes later.

I’m signed up for my Masters coach’s freestyle/backstroke clinic on the 20th. Even cooler is that the Aquatics Director said that since I’m an SMM member, I can pay the member price for the clinic even though I’m no longer a member of the pool! It was a unique situation definitely since it’s my home Masters team and pool but I’m not paying dues anymore. I love those guys. I’ll get to congratulate my awesome Masters coach Tom in person too for getting the Kerry O’Brien Coaching Award at the USMS Convention this year! I know I gush about the guy A LOT. He’s one of the most inspiring people and kindred spirits I’ve ever met though. I had given him an update on my STD training in my last email to him and he responded saying that *I* was inspiring to *him*. WOW. Having someone you idolize saying that you’ve inspired him? I had to re-read it several times! I was looking at the form for signing up for the clinic and realized that private swim lessons cost $100 / 50 minutes and Tom is one of the people you can get for it. It wasn’t exactly private, but over the course of the 5 or 6 weeks that we worked on my stroke, that’s at least $500 in swim lessons that I got from him!! It was definitely worth my $20/month Masters fee. πŸ™‚ I’m excited that I’ll be getting a tune-up with him and another Masters coach he highly recommends in a couple of weeks.

Unknown to well anyone is that I’m happy too to be getting this tune-up because various parts of my body have started aching a little while swimming. I’m not sure if it’s bad form, tired muscles, or if I’m starting to injury myself. My left shoulder, right side of my neck, lower back, and the ol’ hips have at various times hurt. All of these can be related to bad form. I know the neck one was related to me losing confidence in my ability to swim in a true straight line without visual clues so I was looking too forward while swimming which also causes the lower back to drop. My left shoulder may be from me trying to get more power out of my stroke so the muscles being fatigued. I don’t know for sure. I just hope that I’m not injurying myself. So it may have been a bit of a blessing that STD was cancelled as I may have ended up blowing out my shoulder or something horrible. There’s always next year.

Now I’m not sure what to do for my swimming workouts/training. We’re basically at the end of the open water season. I’ve gone back to an oldie-but-goodie swim workout of a reverse pyramid (1000-900-800-700-800-900-1000 set for a total of 6100 meters/yards). I remember the first time I did this set that I wasn’t really used to swimming more than 500 yards at a time so it was mentally painful to do this workout. Especially after training myself to do up to 4500 meters straight for STD training, I need to be careful that I don’t miss the end of each interval since they come up relatively quickly for me now. I’m still a relatively slow swimmer which is okay for me as I love my endurance. When I’m up with Tom next I’m going to ask for tips on adding more power into my stroke and how to cut down on my long distance time pace. Even when my 100 yard time was down to 1:40 comfortably, it’d shoot back up to 2:00 for anything 200+ yards. I’m sure in a couple of weeks I’ll have a whole new set of challenges in the pool to tackle which should keep me occupied for the rest of the year.

I am keeping up the long sets though as my friend Lynn convinced me to try and hit the 500 swim miles goal for the “Go The Distance” challenge that USMS and Nike are sponsoring. She got me to sign up for it during the Powerhouse Paddle and Swim race and I discovered that I was at 250 miles. If I hit 500 swim miles, not only would I have successfully fought off some holiday pounds but I’ll also get a free racing swimsuit! I’ve also declared that once I hit it that I want a double batch of my friend Janet’s addictive homemade Smores cookies. She agreed when I mentioned it to her so that gives me even more motivation to get in the water. πŸ™‚ I hit 300 swim miles for the year this morning. I’m behind though and have some plans on how to get caught up as I kind of want to see if I can hit it before the end of November. We’ll see though. It may be possible. πŸ™‚

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