Let the Games Begin

The day I have waited for is here. The opening of the Olympics. Just tomorrow the swimming events get underway too. What an exciting time. Go USA, Go World. I look forward to the records that will be broken, the narrow wins, and the moving medal ceremonies. As the days pass I am sure there will be many blogs about the events. I look forward to the updates.

This morning I swam outside and unlike on Wednesday, my game was back. I had a great swim. I stayed within the beeps of my tempo trainer, keeping the long stroke going. The main set was a total of 1,800 meters. I was very pleased with my first 400 – I did it in 8:17, just over 2:04 per 100 meters. After that I swam 4 x 100 and those were even better. My first two I came in right on 2:00 and the second two I came in on 1:58. The rest of the main set was a 300, 3×100, 200, and 2×100. All were strong with my worst 100 pace being 2:03. I felt very good and encouraged about my progress. I can only imagine what Olympians feel when they swim 200 meters in half of the time I do – or faster…

This afternoon I had a tempo run to make up from last week. I went to my gym to run on the treadmills there. The workout starts with a two mile warm up, with each half mile I would increase my pace a bit. The goal of the tempo run is to run 3 miles staying in my zone 4 with my heart rate in the 153 to 163 zone. Once I started my 3 mile tempo run it took me a half mile to get to my zone 4. From there I was able to maintain it. It was challenging, but I pushed through. I kept focusing on my quick step and was able to stay between 86 to 90 steps per minute according to my foot pod, which equates to 172 to 180 steps per minute for both feet. Keeping my heart rate within the zone was a focus too. When it would get up to 159 I would back down the pace and when it would get to 153 I would increase it. For the three miles I averaged close to 9:25 per mile pace. For me – that was an Olympic accomplishment.

Little markers of advancement are just as good as medals when the fruits of hard training are visible. I know there will be days when I don’t see it, like on Wednesday, but that is not the norm. Days like today encourage me to go on. Days like Wednesday keep me humble – aware that I am human and set backs are a part of life. Now it is almost time for the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. The two weeks to come will show many moments of joy as well as those athletes who experience “the agony of defeat.” But all of the athletes made it there because they train hard and also are gifted. Let’s celebrate all of the athletes’ big, and little, achievements.

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