From Head to Heart

I completed the second of two swimming time trials this morning. My friend suggested I do it to see what level I am at and to set a benchmark from which to improve. Last Friday was to measure my fastest 100 meters. Today was to time a 1500 meter swim. To warm up I did 300 meters – 100 swim, 100 pull, and 100 kick. I waited for the clock to hit the top of the minute and away I went.

Something to know about me – I rarely appreciate the term “too much detail”. I like to calculate ranges of paces I believe I am able to swim. Last night I figured it would be fantastic to finish under 33 minutes, or 2:12 per 100 meters. I hoped I would not exceed 33:45, which would be slower than 2:15 per 100. As I swam I only looked at the clock after 750 meter and 1000 meters. It was going to be close. When I fished and touched the wall, I stopped my watch – 33:10. Just .7 second per 100 meters over my goal pace. And I was actually a little disappointed.

My heart rate average was 131, 15 beats higher than my other swim workouts. This tells me I was working hard, so I was not slacking. Another thing to know about me – I have high expectations. Looking at my progress, I should be pleased. This was my benchmark swim that I want to improve upon. I read a running blog last night about “What is Your Mantra?” I thought about it and would come up with “push” or “give it your all” or “focus, focus, focus.” But these would help contribute to my disappointment if I miss my goal. It really is about my heart. And not just my heart rate. I have to believe in my heart I have what it takes to improve. Repeating something over and over in my head will not make a difference if my heart hasn’t bought in. That 16 inch difference may as well be 26.2 miles. I now understand what my friend meant by “you have to start believing you can do it.” Heart knowledge.

My mantra: Believe.

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