It is humbling when someone you respect shares words of encouragement to keep you going when you are frustrated with your training. It is even more humbling when it is your own words being repeated to you. This morning I did a speed swim set of 3,200 meters total my friend had created for me. After the 1,000 meter warm up I did three sets – 4 x 100 on 2:20, 4 x 200 on 4:30, and 4 x 100 on 2:15. The first two were separated by a 200 pull and then a 200 kick to warm down. There were varied accelerated legs of each with the last 200 and last 100 all out. My first 100 was my fastest. By the end I was exhausted and out of energy. Before I could email my friend with the results I received an email from a mentor who recently took a look at my blog and liked something I wrote on my “About” page. The quote on my email screen read: “It is in overcoming hurdles and barriers that we truly test our limits and abilities. There is much more we are capable of if we only believe in ourselves.”

With that, I knew I had to identify the hurdles that are slowing me down and work hard at overcoming them. I shared with my friend what happened, he gave me better insight into the targeted times I should aim for for each interval. The goal is the very last 100 should be my fastest – not my first. In my desire to be faster, I started all out in the beginning. This was not a time trial, I should be pacing myself. I don’t start a long run by running my fastest pace right out of the door – I have to use the same method with my swimming. Even when doing speed sets.

Then there is that last part of my quote – I am capable of much more than my current ability, I only have to believe in myself. Truthfully, when I was swimming the last 4 x 100 I was looking forward to the warm down. I was not in the moment believing I could do this. Well that is going to change. After I hit stop on my watch, I went back out there and flipped in the water several times. Some flips were spot on and some were a mess. But that was proof positive I can overcome something that is a huge hurdle in my way. And I will crush it.

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