161 Days until IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga
As I write this I’m listening to a Tower 26 podcast that was originally recorded last summer. The main focus of Tower 26 podcasts is triathlon swimming, but much of the philosophy is transferrable to all of triathlon.
What I like about Tower 26 is that some of the podcasts are very informative. For example, episode #67 talks about race strategies. I may not be able to use all their suggestions, but I am definitely forced to think deep and reevaluate my own race strategies.
Today I forgot my goggles and swim cap. Lori didn’t bring a spare so I started the swim 2/3 naked [jammers:(swim cap+goggles)].
Initially I was going to tough it out so I swam a short warm up looking at the blurry black line through squinty eyes. When my eyes hit the air at the end of the warm up, I could feel the blood rushing into them making me look like the high school stoner I once was. Even though my head was above water at that point, I was still squinting from the sting of the chemicals. I was prepared to tough it out for the remaining hour and ten minutes of the workout.
Trent, our coach, noticed that something was missing from my swim kit and asked around for an extra pair of goggles. My friend, Matt, also noticed but didn’t have a spare. Margret, in my lane, offered a pair but couldn’t find it in her bag. Vic, from the next lane over, found a spare pair in his bag and I was back to normal in no time. (“normal” is a relative term here). Thanks, Vic, Trent, Margret and Matt.
The workout started with four repeats of 50 kick/50 Swim and 20 seconds rest between each 100. I have been kicking in the pool for years and no matter how easy I start, the first 25 is always easy and the next 25 is always so slow. It’s as though there were a current in the pool. And when I say slow, I mean the nasty band-aid near the bottom of the pool that fell off someone’s elbow earlier in the day is moving faster than I. That’s OK. It’s a good workout. It’s all good (except for that band-aid).
What we did next was something I’ve never done before: vertical kicks. After a moderate 75 yards, we jumped out of the lane and jumped into the adjacent diving well where we had to keep our heads above water without using our hands and remain vertical for twenty seconds. After a twenty second rest, we were back to the vertical drowning… I mean kicking. I looked over at Matt and his whole head was above the water while I struggled to keep my eyes above water. I don’t know about you, but my mouth is below my eyes which made for very difficult breathing. This exercise in controlled drowning was followed by an easy 25 yards back to our starting point where we did the whole thing over again three more times.
At each rest, I looked for Lori. She was two lanes over from me and the two or three times I saw her it looked like she was enjoying the workouts. My guess is that she handled the vertical kicking better than I did.
I have no doubt that these exercises will prepare me for the 2020 training season, but the best part about our Sunday swim sessions is that we are in this together. Triathlon is an individual sport except that many of us enjoy training together, even when we’re not training for the same reasons or at the same proficiency levels. Feeling like crap after a hard interval is more fun when you can do it with your friends. Misery may love company but there’s nothing miserable about training for triathlon (except for some gels. There are some gels that just taste like shit)