The Difference

What a difference a day makes. A well know and frequently used phrase that is applicable to me today. After a good night of sleep I felt much better this morning, my headache was gone so I went to the pool. Sometimes I make firm plans to swim with others, sometimes I end up swimming with friends that happen to be there. Today I got to the pool a little later than usually and two others I swim with were in the middle of their workout. After I warmed up 500 meters I joined them for a set of 10 x 100 meter repeats on a 2:10 send off. I swam freestyle while they did various strokes. I should mention that they are two of the fastest swimmers I swim with. I swear one gal is literally part dolphin. I held up well and completed all of the repeats under 2 minutes. Five I swam and five I pulled. When I use the pull buoy I am able to swim 100 meters around 1:50, with out it I was still swimming around 1:56. In all I swam 3,000 meters. I am enjoying the fact that I am seeing such an improvement in my pace. Just a year ago I struggled to do 10 repeats of 100 meters in 2:10, then adding a brief recovery to it. I guess I can also say what a difference a year makes.

This afternoon I ran at the gym. My running coach has given me a plan for the next four weeks that allows for recovery with a few up beat drills. Today was mostly an easy run in my zone 2 for 40 minutes followed by 4 excels for 20 seconds fast to continue teaching my legs to adapt to a quick turnover. When it comes to my running, I could say what a difference a few months make. I started working with my running coach in July and I struggled to get to a slow jog and still stay in my aerobic zone 2. Today I ran between 10:40 and 11:15 pace and stayed in zone 2. Topping it off, I was able to run fast at the end for 20 seconds and only ease to a jog, not a walk, for the 40 second recovery. I have progressed quite a bit in a year when it comes to my running pace and my efficiency.

So what exactly makes a day, month, or year different to the better? Today I did feel much better, but I also had the benefit of others to enhance my day. The improvement I have seen in my swimming and running has come as a result of hard work that was encouraged by others – shared workouts with friends, guidance from a swim coaching video, and coaching from my running coach. I did not just experience the difference on my own. I have run many races using training plans I found off of the internet or read in magazines. These are good resources. The difference is in the application of the plan. Whether it is a group of friends to train with or the benefits of a coach, the motivation that comes from others really makes the difference. Like so much in life, we can go it alone, but we will not receive the full experience that is offered in sharing our lives with friends and loved ones. I am able to smile and laugh when I am alone, but the best belly laughs come when I am in good company. Truly experiencing joy comes from allowing others into you life. And that makes all of the difference.

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