My day today was framed by swimming. This morning I swam 3,000 meters outside in an endurance set with my training partner. Swimming outside is so invigorating. The air was cool enough to motivate me to swim as quickly as possible yet the water was warm enough I did not feel cold. The workout went well although I did feel my calves cramp up with 300 meters left in the swim. I used the pull buoy to “pull” me through the rest of the workout. I am sure I am not hydrating enough and with the heat this summer I should add electrolytes to the mix.
This afternoon was perfect for a bike ride – outside. I geared up and off I went. My ride was strong. Although I road the familiar hilly course in my neighborhood, I was much faster than I have been. The wind was mild, a helping factor. My pace was encouraging for my upcoming race this Sunday. It is not as hilly as my usually rides are, so that is an advantage for me. After my swim experience I should have drank far more water today because I felt a familiar feeling the last quarter of my ride – my calves threatening to cramp. This is not a confidence booster on the bike when it starts to happen. Fortunately I was able to stretch it out and finish the ride strong. In all I road 20 miles and averaged 16.3 miles per hour. The last time I road this same course was just a few weeks ago and I averaged 15.3 miles per hour. Definitely encouraging.
After my ride I hurried to shower and get dinner together so I could plop down in my favorite chair and turn on the TV. Before me was one of the most exciting sports to watch – the US Olympic Finals in Swimming. I am in awe of these athletes. The opening race was sure to be exciting and it did not disappoint. The 200 freestyle final with Michael Phelps up against Ryan Lochte started the evening. Last night in the semi-final Lochte edged out Phelps by 0.02 of a second. Tonight Phelps returned the favor and won by 0.05 of a second. Phelps swam the 200 freestyle in 1:45.70. Hey – that is my PR time too…. for swimming 100 meters. Wow – he swam twice as far in the same time. All of the swimmers were amazing. Missy Franklin, only 17 years old, set a new American record in the 100 meter backstroke swimming it in 58.85 – and smiling with the effervescence of the teenager she is. Again, amazing. The talent, determination, and desire to be the best is so motivating. I thought of the finals I watched the past two nights while I swam today and gave it all I was able. I can only imagine dynamic spirit the entire Olympic games will bring. Only a few weeks until London. I can hardly wait.