I am always amazed in swimming how little changes are able to yield big results. The entire reason I am swimming six times a week for the next three months is to build strength and improve my stroke. The strength building is progressing with time. As I make little adjustments to my stroke I see a good jump in time and then a plateau as my strength building takes over. In the past week two suggestions were made to me that I worked on this week and today I saw the results. Last week my friend/coach watched me swim a part of my 1,500 meter time trial. His suggestion is to work on turning my arms over quicker while extending out my arms. This week the owner of my running store showed me how to turn my shoulders to facilitate the arm extension. This morning I worked on both suggestions and I saw results.
Thursday has become my long endurance swim day. Usually it would be 3,400 meters but I modified the warm up and warm down to make it 3,000 meters due to time constraints. The main set is challenging – 4×100 on 2:20, 400 on 9:00, 4×100 on 2:15, 400 on 9:00, and 4×100 on 2:10. Originally the 100’s were 5 seconds faster and I hope to get to that very soon. The past two weeks I have had a hard time with the 400’s and the 100’s at 2:10 or faster. I was actual smiling with a little giggle between my gasps for air after the first 100 – I came in on 1:58. Hoping I didn’t push it, I was pleased to do the second on 1:59. The last two were on 2:00. The the 400 – knowing the 200’s in my speed workout gave me trouble, I was hoping my stroke change would help. It did. I came in on 8:20. The entire workout was strong. My slowest 100 in the last set was 2:05. Something I am focusing on changing soon since I want to be able to do the last set on 2:05.
Frustration can lead me to question my ability. Days like today teach me to ignore the doubts and keep on. Words of encouragement help me – that is my predominant “love language”. But until the words of encouragement are coming from me habitually – just like my stroke adjustments – frustration and doubt will lurk in the shadows. I have used the rock and paper analogy before and now I found a meaning for scissors. Believing in myself, my mantra and now my scissors, will cut through the shadow of doubt.