Irony is one of my favorite forms of humor. Irony in life really makes me chuckle. Just yesterday I wrote about “focusing on what is right in front of me.” Today I went to the eye doctor for my check up and, as always, I had my eyes dilated. Now I can not focus on anything right in front of me very well. See the irony? Ah, there I go again with “see”…
My morning started off with every good intention of swimming 3,600 meters. I got to the pool around 6:35 and was ready to swim by 6:45. I swam the first part of the warm up, which was 100 meters. And that was the extent of my swimming distance this morning. I was thrilled when I touched in too – my first 100 meters to warm up I did in 1:57. It felt easy. No, I did not decide to stop while I was ahead. In the lane next to me was one of my friends that I swim with. I have referred to her in the past as being part dolphin – and I am not kidding. She is not only fast in the pool, but elegant. When I am able, I like to be in the lane next to her to see her swim and hopefully pick up pointers. When I finished my 100 she was finishing a set too. Recently she had commented that she has watched my stroke and my flip and has a few suggestions. We chatted for a bit and then she showed me a few drills, made a few comments, and I flipped and flipped. My flip itself is okay. How I approach the wall, when I hit the wall, and how I push off of the wall is where I need work. But the actual somersault is okay. Who would have thought a flip turn could be as technical (and challenging to master) as a golf swing… Before I knew it, we had been in the water over 40 minutes. I was not disappointed at all that I did not get the quantity of meters in. It was great quality time spent with a friend and learning how to improve my technique.
This afternoon I had a speed run scheduled. Even as I write now, I still have a headache from having my eyes dilated. Running at home on my treadmill was my only plan. When it came time I just wanted to go to bed. After texting my coach and modifying the workout, I decided to give it a go. I cut the warm up in half, did 6 repeats at a fast pace for 90 seconds with 90 seconds recovery and jogged out a half mile. The actual workout called for 6 to 8 repeats. I stayed within the range for the workout and managed to get the quality part of the run in. When originally looking at the workout I expected to run 6 miles, I ran 3. Again, I am not disappointed. I got the run in, I was very pleased with my pace – I stayed at a 9:13 minute mile pace for the sprints and my heart rate maxed at 156 – still under my anaerobic threshold of 162. I sent the results to my running coach and she was fine with the modifications I made.
Quality over quantity was my theme today. I tend to want to get the most distances in. Every once in a while it is good to have some quality time. My friend suggested just swimming without counting how far. (Aghast! That is like running without a watch!) But I know I should try it. I should mention that my fast swimming friend is 20 years younger than I, and my running coach is just over 18 years younger. One of the things I love about athletics – triathlon and running specifically – is that it is the great equalizer. Age, profession, background – none of it matters. There is much to be learned from the stronger athletes. That does not necessarily mean the oldest or most experienced racer. In the pool my friend can easily swim a 1:10 for 100 meters and my running coach trains at mile repeats of 6:00 per mile. The quality of their guidance far out ways the quantity of their years.