Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Keeping my head above water...

Barely. Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted here. The last couple of weeks I've barely had enough time to get the essentials done, and I just couldn’t justify blogging with so much else to do. Let me explain.

First of all(drum roll, please), sing it with me, now:

Well, beat the drum and hold the phone - the sun came out today!
We're born again, there's new grass on the field.
A-roundin' third, and headed for home, it's a brown-eyed handsome man;
Anyone can understand the way I feel.

Oh, put me in, Coach - I'm ready to play today;
Put me in, Coach - I'm ready to play today;
Look at me, I can be Centerfield.

I love it. So much so that I signed up to be the manager of Bo’s T-Ball team because he looked up at me with those big blue eyes and said “Momma, I want YOU to coach my T-Ball team.” So, being the manager of a T-Ball team, the biggest fan of Briar’s Little League team, and being somewhat OCD about practicing and winning – things just got very busy at my house.

And, as Murphy’s Law would have it, I got completely covered up at work about the same time. Making time for my husband, kids, my teams, and my job required me to scale back my workouts a little, and to obviously rule out a Half Ironman during this time. But that’s okay.

Right now, I’m following an Olympic Distance plan by Mike Ricci that I got from BeginnerTriathlete.com. I have set the conclusion of the plan to the date of the Memphis In May Olympic distance tri (May 20th). I can’t say for sure that I’m doing that one yet, but I’m hoping to. At least I have a plan and something to look forward to.

Speaking of “keeping my head above water”, my swim is a whole ‘nuther topic for discussion. I have been awfully discouraged with it. I had followed the 8 week swim focused plan back in January and February, and started going to a triathlete swim class as well. This was exciting, but the fact that I was struggling to keep up in the class was discouraging. I was doing mostly drills (the “catch up” or “touch & pull” drill) to correct my bad swimming technique, and I felt like I was losing all my endurance. I could barely do 200 yards without having to stop and catch my breath. About 3 weeks ago, though, Coach Ashley, found that I needed to correct my head position(it was way down under water), keep my head still(I was turning it with every stroke, barreling through the water), keep my arm extended while I glide (I tend to drop them), and try breathing every third stroke(unheard of for me). I have been working on those things by swimming with fins only. I must confess, though, I haven’t exactly been gung-ho about it all. Trying to swim the way she has shown me had made me feel like I’m starting all over in the pool; like I felt the first time I got in the pool after deciding I was interested in triathlon. I’ve been having an ever so subtle pity party about it, too:

~sigh~ I can’t swim. I’m never going to be good in the water….

~sigh~ I don’t know if I can do any triathlons this summer since I can’t swim…

~sigh~ I don’t want to go to the pool today. It’s just going to discourage me.

Pretty pathetic, I know. Not exactly the kind of attitude that “Competitive Lana” likes to see. So this morning I was supposed to do a 1000 yd time trial after a 500 yd warmup, according to the plan, which actually had to be modified because I couldn’t get into the pool until 5:50 (I waited for 20 minutes at that time of morning!). I did the warm up with fins, but never really felt comfortable breathing every third stroke. I decided to do the time trial, breathing every other stoke instead, because I was really concerned about just being able to complete 1000 yards without stopping.

I started my watch and took off, focusing on my head position, arms, and my glide. 10 laps, and I felt fine. Cool, just 10 more. The next 10 I almost felt like I was getting into some kind of foreign-feeling groove, and finished with no problem, in 19:42. I was very, very pleased with this time. No, it's not "TriSaraTops fast". And no, it's not going to keep up with Michele, but it's improvement. I looked back at my log and found that the last time I did this, which was in early January, my time was 20:34. And I really think I might could have done that just a little faster, too, if I had been more confident from the beginning. So – cheers for improvement and some confidence regained...and ofcourse, to doing away with the pity party – it will eat you alive, man.


Ellie said...

I'm so glad you're back!! I thought maybe one of the flying bike parts had hit your keyboard fingers :-)

Swimming discourages me, too, definitely not my forte, but somehow it's gotten me through the swim leg every time. Not fast at all, but with my head above water, more or less! You can do it.

david said...

So you struggled when you first started the tri swimming thing... That is encouraging believe it or not. I'm still gasping for air after 25 meters....maybe one day it will click. I'm encouraged.

Michele said...

You are not as bad at swimming as you think. And you rock on the bike. I will trade with you!!!

Glad you got that good swim in and feel all the hard work paying off.

TriSaraTops said...

Yahoo! Glad you're back. And glad to hear all is well, too!

SO exciting that you are coaching the t-ball team. You always know how to make time for what really matters, and that rocks.

CONGRATS on the time trial! You're not giving yourself enough credit! :) That's a big improvement! And hey, I'll trade you some speed in the pool for some of your speed on the bike, K? hee hee

E-Speed said...

Sounds like you are busy! Way to balance all of that and still get in the water!

Great job on the TT!

Joe said...

You're the best mom and I'm sure you'll make a fine manager. As for the swimming, I wouldn't worry about it too much. I mean, triathlons aren't won and lost in the swimming leg are they?

Laurie said...

OMG...I can't make it 50 yards without death. I think you are doing GREAT if you can swim 1000. I wish I could. Honestly...I feel like I'll NEVER get there. We did a 200 Sunday night to mimic an upcoming Tri, and I couldn't do it at all. I always feel like a stud and like I'm in really good shape.... until I get in the pool.